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created August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Having failed at his first attempt to tempt Jesus in a direct and relatively crude way, the devil plays a subtler game: “The devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.” This is the more rarefied, more refined temptation of power. Power is one of the greatest motivating factors in all of human history. Alexander the Great, Caesar, Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Charlemagne, the Medicis, Charles V, Henry VIII, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Nixon, and Kissinger—all the way down to your boss at work. These are all people who have been seduced, at one time or another, by the siren song of power. We notice something very disquieting in the account of this temptation: the devil admits that all the kingdoms of the world have been given to him. He owns and controls them. That is quite a sweeping indictment of the institutions of political power. But it resonates with our sense that attaining high positions of power and not becoming corrupt is difficult to do. It might be useful here to recall the two great names for the devil in the Bible: ho Satanas, which means the adversary, and ho diabolos, which means the liar or the deceiver. Worldly power is based upon accusation, division, adversarial relationships, and lies. It’s the way that earthly rulers have always done their business. A tremendous temptation for Jesus was to use his Messianic authority to gain worldly power, to become a king. But if he had given in to this, he would not be consistently a conduit of the divine grace. He would be as remembered today as, perhaps, one of the governors of Syria or satraps of Babylon (and do you remember the first-century satrap of Babylon?) No, Jesus wanted to be the one through whom the divine love surged into creation, and so he said to Satan, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’”
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March 1!
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At the beginning of baseball season, the coach has to bring his players back to basics. He has to remind them of the three-point stance, the mechanics of throwing, the timing of a swing, the importance of keeping your eye on the ball, etc. It doesn’t matter how great of a season a player had the year before. He has to begin spring training with the basics because before he can do spectacular things in a sport, he must make sure he is doing the simple and elemental things well. The same is true in the spiritual life. Lent is a time to get tuned up, to get back to basics, to remember the fundamentals. This is why the Church asks us to look at the beginning of the book of Genesis, the story of the creation and the fall. We’ve heard it often; it’s probably emblazoned in our minds—but we need to hear it again: “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” On Ash Wednesday, we hear echoes of this in the words, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Today we are reminded that our lives come from God. Our very existence comes from God. We are owed nothing. We have nothing coming to us. Every breath we take is a reminder of our dependency upon God; every beat of our heart is a reminder that God is the Lord. As we begin our Lenten journey, let us take a few minutes to reflect on the reality that without God we are nothing and to give thanks that God loved us into being.
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great article with wonderful advice from Don Bosco: “Listen: there are two things the devil is deathly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. “Do you want many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to grant you only a few? Visit Him but seldom. Do you want the devil to attack you? Rarely visit the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want the devil to flee from you? Visit Jesus often. Do you want to overcome the devil? Take refuge at the feet of Jesus. Do you want to be overcome by the devil? Give up visiting Jesus. Visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is essential… if you want to overcome the devil. Therefore make frequent visits to Jesus. If you do that, the devil will never prevail against you.”
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Evangelio según San Marcos 3,31-35. Entonces llegaron su madre y sus hermanos y, quedándose afuera, lo mandaron llamar. La multitud estaba sentada alrededor de Jesús, y le dijeron: "Tu madre y tus hermanos te buscan ahí afuera". El les respondió: "¿Quién es mi madre y quiénes son mis hermanos?". Y dirigiendo su mirada sobre los que estaban sentados alrededor de él, dijo: "Estos son mi madre y mis hermanos. Porque el que hace la voluntad de Dios, ese es mi hermano, mi hermana y mi madre". Carl Heinrich Bloch. Siglo XIX. Museo de Historia Nacional, Castillo de Frederiksborg en Hillerød, Dinamarca.
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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:31-35 The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Carl Heinrich Bloch. 19th century. Museum of National History on Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, Denmark
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Pray for us!
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Pray for us!
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Dear Mother - your life was a total "yes" to God. Help us on our journey to declare our "yes" as well. We pray in your Son's Name. Amen.
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Pray for us!
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Balsamic & Parmesan roasted Cauliflower 1 head(s) cauliflower, large, (8 cups 1-inch-thick slices), florets 2 tablespoon oil, olive, extra-virgin 1 teaspoon marjoram, dried 1/4 teaspoon salt pepper, black ground, freshly ground, to taste 2 tablespoon vinegar balsamic 1/2 cup(s) cheese, Parmesan Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper. Roast on a large rimmed baking sheet until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.
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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:18-22. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, «Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?» Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins." Church of Santa Maria Foris Portas, 10th century, Castelprio, Varese, Italy.
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Un día en que los discípulos de Juan y los fariseos ayunaban, fueron a decirle a Jesús: "¿Por qué tus discípulos no ayunan, como lo hacen los discípulos de Juan y los discípulos de los fariseos?". Jesús les respondió: "¿Acaso los amigos del esposo pueden ayunar cuando el esposo está con ellos? Es natural que no ayunen, mientras tienen consigo al esposo. Llegará el momento en que el esposo les será quitado, y entonces ayunarán. Nadie usa un pedazo de género nuevo para remendar un vestido viejo, porque el pedazo añadido tira del vestido viejo y la rotura se hace más grande. Tampoco se pone vino nuevo en odres viejos, porque hará reventar los odres, y ya no servirán más ni el vino ni los odres. ¡A vino nuevo, odres nuevos!". Iglesia de Santa Maria Foris Portas, siglo X, Castelprio, Varese, Italia.
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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1:35-42. John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them,"Come, and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Kephas" (which is translated Peter). Caravaggio. Vocation of Saints Peter and Andrew, ca. 1603-1606. Royal Collection, Hampton Court, London.
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Estaba Juan Bautista otra vez allí con dos de sus discípulos y, mirando a Jesús que pasaba, dijo: "Este es el Cordero de Dios". Los dos discípulos, al oírlo hablar así, siguieron a Jesús. El se dio vuelta y, viendo que lo seguían, les preguntó: "¿Qué quieren?". Ellos le respondieron: "Rabbí -que traducido significa Maestro- ¿dónde vives?". "Vengan y lo verán", les dijo. Fueron, vieron dónde vivía y se quedaron con él ese día. Era alrededor de las cuatro de la tarde. Uno de los dos que oyeron las palabras de Juan y siguieron a Jesús era Andrés, el hermano de Simón Pedro. Al primero que encontró fue a su propio hermano Simón, y le dijo: "Hemos encontrado al Mesías", que traducido significa Cristo. Entonces lo llevó a donde estaba Jesús. Jesús lo miró y le dijo: "Tú eres Simón, el hijo de Juan: tú te llamarás Cefas", que traducido significa Pedro. Caravaggio, c. 1603-1606. Royal Collection, Hampton Court, London.
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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:13-17. Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus heard this and said to them (that), "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." Caravaggio. 1599-1600. San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.
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Evangelio según San Marcos 2,13-17. Jesús salió nuevamente a la orilla del mar; toda la gente acudía allí, y él les enseñaba. Al pasar vio a Leví, hijo de Alfeo, sentado a la mesa de recaudación de impuestos, y le dijo: "Sígueme". El se levantó y lo siguió. Mientras Jesús estaba comiendo en su casa, muchos publicanos y pecadores se sentaron a comer con él y sus discípulos; porque eran muchos los que lo seguían. Los escribas del grupo de los fariseos, al ver que comía con pecadores y publicanos, decían a los discípulos: "¿Por qué come con publicanos y pecadores?". Jesús, que había oído, les dijo: "No son los sanos los que tienen necesidad del médico, sino los enfermos. Yo no he venido a llamar a los justos, sino a los pecadores". Caravaggio. 1599-1600. San Luigi dei Francesi, Roma.
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Dear Saint Anthony of the Desert, intercede for our efforts of bringing the Gospel to others around the world, that those efforts may bear great fruit according to God's Will. Amen.
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Evangelio según San Marcos 2,1-12. Unos días después, Jesús volvió a Cafarnaún y se difundió la noticia de que estaba en la casa. Se reunió tanta gente, que no había más lugar ni siquiera delante de la puerta, y Él les anunciaba la Palabra. Le trajeron entonces a un paralítico, llevándolo entre cuatro hombres. Y como no podían acercarlo a Él, a causa de la multitud, levantaron el techo sobre el lugar donde Jesús estaba, y haciendo un agujero descolgaron la camilla con el paralítico. Al ver la fe de esos hombres, Jesús dijo al paralítico: "Hijo, tus pecados te son perdonados". Unos escribas que estaban sentados allí pensaban en su interior: "¿Qué está diciendo este hombre? ¡Está blasfemando! ¿Quién puede perdonar los pecados, sino sólo Dios?" Jesús, advirtiendo en seguida que pensaban así, les dijo: "¿Qué están pensando? ¿Qué es más fácil, decir al paralítico: 'Tus pecados te son perdonados', o 'Levántate, toma tu camilla y camina'? Para que ustedes sepan que el Hijo del hombre tiene sobre la tierra el poder de perdonar los pecados -dijo al paralítico- yo te lo mando, levántate, toma tu camilla y vete a tu casa". Él se levantó en seguida, tomó su camilla y salió a la vista de todos. La gente quedó asombrada y glorificaba a Dios, diciendo: "Nunca hemos visto nada igual". Mosaico bizantino, siglo XII-XIII. Catedral de Monreale, Sicilia, Italia.
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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:1-12 When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” –he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” Byzantine mosaic, 12th-13th century. Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily, Italy.
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