Author Archives: Father L

St. Mary Magdalene II

Beloved in Christ, 2000 years ago, there lived in the little town of Bethany, two sisters, Martha and Mary, who also had a brother named Lazarus. Mary had been from her youth a headstrong and passionate child; with her independent ways, she was impatient with the dull, quiet life of Bethany. For Mary, the call of the big city lured her; the caravans passing through town and stories about King Herod, led her to dream of adventures, where her beauty and talents would not be wasted. In the end, she could endure it no longer. She left her home and her heart-broken brother and sister; she won her way in the world and became quite popular, thanks to her dominating character and her beauty.
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Eventually she came to live in the city of Magdala. There, Mary of Bethany quickly developed into Mary of Magdalene. She acquired a reputation; a woman whom respectable people avoided, the talk of the town. So tells Father Goodier, who uses what we know from scripture, to fill in the pieces of the life of Mary Magdalene.
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Her name came to be associated with reckless defiance. In her daring she had found everything she wanted, but had lost all that mattered. She had been the flattered woman of the world, but it had drained her, and now she was just ‘a woman in the city – a sinner.’ Mary had no one to love her. In her defiant nature, Mary of Magdalene kept telling herself that she did not need love. Yet still dormant deep in her soul, was the little girl of Bethany, who as a child, had known God, and who had known love.
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The day came when that new prophet had passed by her town. She had heard of this man Jesus, who taught that even sinners were God’s children; who taught about beginning again, starting over in life. Could she really be forgiven? Was it really possible? One day she caught a glimpse of Jesus, and suddenly her heart expanded – without explanation, this headstrong, defiant woman, made a new decision: if she could be forgiven by Jesus, she would be the greatest disciple he ever had.
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And so in her boldness, she pushed her way into that public dinner, and in her reckless love, she broke the jar of perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair. Her stubborn heart had been transformed to Christ. In an instant the old life slipped away.
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Jesus would bring her back to Bethany, and henceforth, Our Lord would often stop in Bethany to visit, where he always found a grateful child of God. Mary of Magdalene was at the cross with Jesus, and she was the first to see the risen Lord as we read today.
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You noticed that we said the ‘Gloria’ today. It is a Feast. The Holy Father, in this year of Mercy, has elevated this Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to that of a Feast!  We can’t be sure about the details of her life, but we do know that Mary Magdalene is a hope for us sinners, a living testament to the wonderful mercy of Jesus Christ.

God will multiply his grace

‘To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’
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These words of Our Lord seem to go against our present ideas of basic fairness. ‘to the one who has, more will be given.’ ‘the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’ Such expressions by Christ recall the parable of the talents; the men who used the talents they were given, and produced more with them, were rewarded well. The one who just kept his safe, had it taken from him because the Master was displeased.
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When we work for the Lord, building his kingdom wherever we are – when we act on grace that he gives us, opportunities to be courageous, generous, kind, faithful – then the Lord gives us more. There is an expression in the business world which is true: ‘If you want the job done, give it to a busy man.’ In other words, if you have an important thing you need done, look for the person who is already doing a lot – that person is industrious, hardworking, motivated – even though they are loaded with more, they will somehow make it happen. If you give the job to the man who has lots of time on his hands, this might seem logical, but the job might not get done, because that man may not be so industrious.
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God is sort of this way. When we cooperate with grace, we almost certainly are given more grace; when we show ourselves faithful in little things, we are given great things. If a person steps up to the plate for God, and does difficult things for him, the Lord will give him more to do – in this way, he builds a person into a saint.

Read the Bible

16th  Sunday of Ordinary Time
Beloved in Jesus Christ, St. Augustine, who lived back in the 4th century,  is one of the great saints of the Church. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas are the two pillars of theology and influence in the Church.  But St. Augustine was not much of a saint when he was young,  he got into mega-trouble! He experimented with different religions, his life was on a sinful path, really the path to hell. But his mother never stopped praying for him, and eventually, he began to feel a pain in his heart, that he was not following Jesus Christ.  He prayed, he tried to learn more about the faith, but he was continually torn inside,  still attached to the lust and sin of his lifestyle.   
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Then one day he was sitting in a garden with this tortured heart of his;  he wanted to follow Jesus, but he didn’t feel he had the strength to give up his sin. He tells us about that day:  ‘I prayed and wept: O Lord, how long will you be angry with me for all my sins.’  Suddenly I noticed a voice of a child in the neighboring house, saying and repeating: ‘Take up and read. Take up and read.’  I began to think of what kind of a game this might be by which they said this,  but I felt that it was meant for me, to hear this as a command from God to open the Holy Bible that was there, and to read the first thing I should find.   
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‘I remembered how St. Anthony, who having heard the Gospel, changed his whole life –  Eagerly I picked up the Sacred Book and opened, and I read that on which my eyes first fell: ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.’  
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No further would I need to read, for instantly a light of serenity came into my heart and all my doubts vanished.  I showed the passage to my friend Alypius, and he too decided to join me in a new way of life. Then we went to tell my mother.  
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Friends in Christ,  St. Augustine, St. Anthony, and so many other people have had their life changed by reading the Holy Scriptures.  The Holy Bible reveals to us the Word of God.  Through the Sacred pages, Christ himself speaks.  Of course the Holy Gospels are Jesus’ direct words –  but in fact, every word of the Holy Bible is Him speaking to us.   The Sacred authors, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit have communicated God’s Word to us.  Fr. Lawrence Hennesey says, ‘Let the Holy Scriptures wash over you each and every day. If you go to bed and remember you have not read, turn on the light, read a few lines, and then go to sleep.’  St. Jerome says: ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ,’ and every single master of the spiritual life,  saints through the ages, urge us to read the Bible daily.  
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I’ve head people say, ‘Oh, the Catholic Church tries to prevent you from reading the bible.’  This is NONSENSE.  I have a Catholic bible in my room from 1948,  and on the first introductory page it urges Catholics to read the bible and grants a special indulgence for doing so.[i]  One can receive a Plenary Indulgence for reading the bible 30 minutes.  
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Look at today’s gospel. There we encounter an interesting scene in which Christ visits this home of Martha and Mary.  Mary sits at Our Lord’s feet, enraptured by the words he speaks.  Now although the preparations have evidently been done for Jesus’ visit,  Mary’s sister Martha continues to be obsessed with busyness,  making sure all the details are covered: the table is set just right, the cook is not making mistakes,  re-folding the napkins so they are just perfect; can I bring some more wine? More hors d’oeuveres? should I open a window, is it too hot….   The only thing she says to the guest is – to complain:  ‘Why is my sister not helping me more?’  
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Maybe Martha doesn’t really want to hear Jesus’ words; perhaps she is afraid his words will touch a wound in her heart, from her past; so she fills herself with busyness in order to avoid hearing the Word of God.   
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This is a message of this gospel:  although it is true that we must live up to the duties and responsibilities of each day, it is most important that we give the Lord some time, that we listen to him.  This time is in our prayers, in our rosary, in some quiet,  but it must also be in hearing his Word in the Holy Scriptures.    There is no difference between Mary sitting there to hear Jesus’ words, and our sitting to read the Holy gospels.  
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When we are soooo busy and simply think that we have no time to read the Word of God, Christ says to us the same as he said to Martha:  ‘”Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 
There is need of only one thing. 
Mary has chosen the better part.’  It’s as if the Lord said to her: ‘Martha! I came to visit you! Please, can we just talk? How is your life?!  
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If we read and ponder and pray, we will find Jesus there, waiting for us. We will find him there as did St. Augustine, and so many others. Our Lord wants time with us; he wants to speak to us,  he wants us to listen to his Word.   St. Theresa says that the world needs souls that are on fire for Christ, who pray. ‘Like Mary,’ she says,  they sit at the feet of Jesus, listening to His sweet words;’ from the outside it may seem that such people are not serving the Lord, but really, they give much more than busy Martha.   
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When reading the bible, we may focus on the literal meaning or on the spiritual meaning; in the literal meaning, we read for the purpose of knowledge,  of what Jesus did and said, of his miracles and his example; when we read spiritually, we see how the words speak to us, how we should live; in this we are moved to love God, fear our sins, be thankful, and praise Him, praise Him, praise Him. There are no rules –    as St. Augustine heard, just ‘take and read.’  
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St. Francis says, when meditating on some passage,  imitate the bees:  they work on a flower until they have extracted all the nectar, only then do they move on to another.  Therefore, rest in a passage of Scripture until it brings no more sweetness, and then read more.  
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And the Blessed Virgin – Mary is in the bible too.  Her last recorded words were: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ ‘So Lord, what are you telling us?  We can’t know, unless we – take and read.
Mary, pray for us, that no matter how busy we are, there will always be a little time each day for the Word of God.

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Entrusted to the prayers of St. Augustine

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[i] 133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful….to the frequent reading of the divine Scriptures

Read the Bible (latin Mass)

9th Week after Pentecost
Beloved in Jesus Christ, St. Augustine, who lived back in the 4th century, is one of the great saints of the Church. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas are the two pillars of theology and influence in the Church. But St. Augustine was not much of a saint when he was young, he got into mega-trouble! He experimented with different religions, his life was on a sinful path, really the path to hell. But his mother never stopped praying for him, and eventually, he began to feel a pain in his heart, that he was not following Jesus Christ. He prayed, he tried to learn more about the faith, but he was continually torn inside, still attached to the lust and sin of his lifestyle.
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Then one day he was sitting in a garden with this tortured heart of his; he wanted to follow Jesus, but he didn’t feel he had the strength to give up his sin. He tells us about that day: ‘I prayed and wept: O Lord, how long will you be angry with me for all my sins.’ Suddenly I noticed a voice of a child in the neighboring house, saying and repeating: ‘Take up and read. Take up and read.’ I began to think of what kind of a game this might be by which they said this, but I felt that it was meant for me, to hear this as a command from God to open the Holy Bible that was there, and to read the first thing I should find.
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‘I remembered how St. Anthony, how having heard the Gospel, he changed his whole life – eagerly I picked up the Sacred Book and opened, and I read that on which my eyes first fell: ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.’ No further would I need to read, for instantly a light of serenity came into my heart and all my doubts vanished. I showed the passage to my friend Alypius, and he too decided to join me in a new way of life. Then we went to tell my mother.
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Friends in Christ, St. Augustine, St. Anthony, and so many other people have had their life changed by reading the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Bible reveals to us the Word of God. Through the Sacred pages, Christ himself speaks. Of course the Holy Gospels are Jesus’ direct words – but in fact, every word of the Holy Bible is Him speaking to us, even if within some of the mysterious and strange stories of the Old Testament.
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The Sacred authors, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit have communicated God’s Word to us. Fr. Lawrence Hennesey says, ‘Let the Holy Scriptures wash over you each and every day. If you go to bed and remember you have not read, turn on the light, read a few lines, and then go to sleep.’ St. Jerome says: ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ,’ and every single master of the spiritual life, saints through the ages, urge us to read the Bible daily.
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I’ve head people say, ‘Oh, the Catholic Church tries to prevent you from reading the bible.’ This is NONSENSE. I have a Catholic bible in my room from 1948, and on the first introductory page it urges Catholics to read the bible and grants a special indulgence for doing so.[i] One can receive a Plenary Indulgence by reading the Bible 30 minutes.
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Today in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians, he is describing the events of the Old Testament – the tests that Israel underwent in the desert, in which some were faithful, and others not. He says, ‘These things happened to them in figure, but they were written for our correction.’ In Romans he will say: ‘everything that was written was written to teach us.’ And to Timothy he writes: All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, and to instruct. Every word in the bible is to assist us and guide us.
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Recall that scene in the gospel about Martha and Mary; Martha is so pre-occupied, super-busy – meanwhile, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet listening to him speak. Christ says, that is better. Avoiding prayer due to busyness doesn’t cut it with Jesus Christ.
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We ourselves often fail to make time to listen to God; we can use busyness to escape facing the Lord or ourselves. Although it is true that we must live up to the duties and responsibilities of each day, it is most important that we give God some time, that we listen to him. This is in our prayers, in our rosary, in some quiet, but it must also be in hearing his Word in the Holy Scriptures. If we read and ponder and pray, we will find Jesus there, waiting for us. We will find him there as did St. Augustine, and so many others. Our Lord wants time with us; he wants to speak to us, he wants us to listen to his Word.
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St. Theresa says, the world needs souls that are on fire for Christ, who pray, who sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his Word. Now in reading the Bible, we can notice there are 4 senses of scripture: First is the literal sense, which is the plain meaning of the sentences, understood according to the place and the customs of the day. Second, is the allegorical sense, which teaches by symbol; for example, the Passover lamb which was sacrificed, and freed the people from slavery; it is a symbol of Christ, the Lamb who was sacrificed to free us from sin. Thirdly, the moral sense. Scripture teaches us how to live. For example, the parable of the foolish virgins with their lamps teaches us not to put off our conversion to Christ, or it will be too late for us. Finally, the fourth sense of scripture is the anagogical sense, in which our minds are fixed on our true goal, which is heaven. For example, the journey of Israel through the desert represents our journey through this life to the Promised Land which is heaven.
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So – four sense of scripture: The literal sense speaks of events; allegory reveals faith; the moral sense teaches how to act; the anagogical sense points to heaven. When reading the bible, we may focus on the literal meaning or on the spiritual meaning, but there are no rules; we may be moved to love God, to fear our sins, to be thankful – or praise Him – did I say, ‘to praise Him!’ There are no rules; as St. Augustine heard, just take and read.
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St. Francis says, when meditating on some passage, imitate the bees: they work on a flower until they have extracted all the nectar, only then do they move on to another. Therefore, rest in a passage of Scripture until it brings no more sweetness, and then read more.
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And the Blessed Virgin – Mary is in the bible too. Her last recorded words were: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ ‘So Lord, what are you telling me? We can’t know, unless we take and read.
Mary, pray for us, that no matter how busy we are, there will always be a little time each day for the Word of God.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. Augustine]

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[i] Catechism #133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful….to the frequent reading of the divine Scriptures

These men are my priests

Friends in Christ, today we see Our Lord and his disciples walking though the grain fields picking the heads of wheat and eating them. The Pharisees were outraged, because picking grain, that is, harvesting wheat, is work – and you aren’t supposed to work on the Sabbath.
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But our Lord defends his disciples. ‘These men are innocent’ he says. Why?
Well, in the temple every Sabbath, the priests had to replenish the Bread of the Presence, it was part of their rituals, and they ate that bread. So Jesus says, ‘look, your priests are doing this WORK on the Sabbath, replenishing the Holy Bread, working in the Temple, eating bread; they do this on the Sabbath, and they do not sin because they are priests. They are innocent. So too, my men here, who are picking wheat, and eating it. Even though it is the Sabbath, they are innocent!’
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Why is he saying this? Jesus is implying that the apostles are also – priests! In eating this wheat, they are symbolically being prepared to offer, not the bread of the Old Law, but the sacred Bread of the New Law. These men are innocent when they work on the Sabbath, because they are priests too!
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Winding all through the Sacred Scriptures, is the fact that Christ is preparing his 12 Apostles to be his priests, priests of the New Law.
We pray for priests, and for those young men that God is calling, that they respond and give him their life.

Finding God

Friends in Christ,
today Our Lord holds up simplicity as the door by which God can get into our heart. In his day, it was the Jewish leaders who could not accept Jesus. It was the simple, the humble, who could see the truth.
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Someone once said, ‘The heart, not the head, is the home of the gospel.’ This does not mean that intellectuals and leaders do not have access to God, it means that the proud cannot find him; simplicity and humility are the virtues that open the door to God.
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Jesus concludes his words today by saying that the only way to know God the Father is through the Son, and it is the Son who can reveal him to us. In another place he says, ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father.’
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Christ is saying, if you want to see what God is like, if you want to see the heart of God, the nature of God, God’s attitude toward us – then we need to look toward Jesus. Jesus will reveal our Father-God, and we will find him, if we are simple and humble enough.

The Lord expects a lot from Us

Friends in Christ, at the end of the gospel of St. John, he wrote a sentence in which he tells that one could never record a complete account of Jesus’ life. He says, ‘There are many other things which Jesus did, which, if they were written down, not even the whole world could contain the books that would be written.’
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Today’s gospel is one of the proofs of that saying. Jesus says, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! ‘For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented.’
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There is no record in the gospels at all of these mighty deeds that Christ says he did in those towns. This passage shows us how little we really know of all the marvelous things Our Lord has done. The things we don’t know far outnumber the things we know. So Jesus had done amazing things in those towns, no doubt incredible miracles; yet they did not come to faith. The people in those towns had far more evidence of Christ’s divinity, his power, the truth of himself, than many other places – this is what the Lord says – yet there was more faith elsewhere.
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We do not condemn a person who is ignorant; we do not hold a child to the same standards as an adult; a person is judged by what he had the chance to know. We have been very blessed, in our formation and in our faith, and that means that Our Lord expects a lot from us. We have a responsibility to live up to everything that Jesus calls us to.

Discretion

Friends in Christ,
Our Lord tells us in the gospel that we should be cunning as serpents and innocent as doves. How are we to see this? I think this idea is summed up in a rarely considered virtue called ‘discretion,’ being discrete. If we want to transform the world in which we live – and we certainly do, we wish to transform it into the Kingdom of God – then we must do it discretely. We must work as leaven, as quiet seeds in society; this is how the first Christians did it, living discretely within the brutal Roman Empire, but they spread the faith one person at a time.
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There is a place for overt actions: picketing, and marching, and debates, and get-out-the-vote, for sure, especially in a democracy, these are important. But the conversion of the hearts of people to Jesus Christ will never be primarily by these methods, but only with friendship and discretion, one person at a time. ‘Be cunning as serpents and innocent as doves, says the Lord.
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If we befriend neighbors, and let them see the gospel in us, then neither personal vanity, nor pride, will get in the way of God’s work. People will see in us sincerity and humility.
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We sometimes encounter loud people on the street, who yell at you: ‘are you saved!!??’ Or who drill you with bible verses. Does that make us love Christ, or follow them? Not at all. The way of Christ is the way of personal apostolate.
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St. Josemaria loved always to say, that there is no better proof that you are walking in the Lord, than if you pass unnoticed. Observe that one friend in your group, who speaks little, but is always kind? That one person, in whom you could entrust your concerns – that person, whom you happen to know is a genuine Catholic, this is the person who will lead others to Christ, the one who is discrete, and sincere. And if a person is indiscrete, and in your face, and demanding to argue with you – well, Father Urteaga says: ‘An indiscrete question, deserves no answer.’  
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What we need today is a fearless honesty which refuses to compromise truth, combined with a refined sincerity and discretion. This will win souls for Christ.

The Prophet Hosea

Friends in Christ, today’s first reading is from the prophet Hosea. Hosea was one of the 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament; he lived in the 8th century BC. At that time, Israel had been tragically split into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom; Hosea is preaching mostly to the northern kingdom, in which the people had gotten terribly involved in all kinds of idolatry, taking up the ways of the pagans.
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Hosea will refer to the Northern Kingdom as ‘Israel,’ which it was called, but he will also preach sometimes to the tribe of Ephraim, the largest tribe, sometimes signifying the whole nation.
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Hosea has been considered a ‘prophet of doom,’ and while he certainly was warning the people of the dangerous path they were on, he also has a message of hope. It is interesting, that he uses his own experiences to teach symbolically God’s dealings with his people. Hosea’s wife left him to be a prostitute, similarly, Israel abandoned the True God, and prostituted herself to the pagan gods.
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Hosea searched for his wife, forgave her, and bought her back; similarly, God would not abandon his people, but would seek them out to save them. We can now understand even more of Hosea’s meanings because we see now that Jesus, who is the Bridegroom, has come to save the Church, the Bride of Christ. And as Hosea bought his wife back from slavery, so too did Christ purchase our salvation by his death on the cross.
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Just as Hosea warned the northern kingdom to be faithful again to God, to repent, so too it is a warning to us never to forsake Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom. Hosea in his warning, was right on target, for soon after his preaching, the northern kingdom indeed, was conquered by the Assyrians, and the people were shipped off, to mix into other cultures. It was a shock to them.
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Hosea is an important warning to us today; we can see playing out before our eyes, what happens to society and souls, when Christians follow the pagan culture and give up a Godly way of life.
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We ourselves are not responsible for all the evil of the world, but we are responsible for building up the kingdom of God in our own sphere of influence: in our job, our friends, and our family. In this, Our Lord has given us much responsibility.

God’s Providence

6th Sunday after Pentecost
Beloved in Jesus Christ, after having escaped from Egypt through the Red Sea, the ancient Israelites made the treacherous journey through the desert for 40 years.  And through those whole 40 years of traveling, their clothes and their shoes never wore out. This is told us, in the Book of Deuteronomy (8:4).
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Their clothes never wore out! And not only that, but in the desert, they drank water that gushed from a dry rock, they ate miraculous quail, and manna appeared daily as bread for them to eat. Divine Providence cared for them, as long as they trusted the plan of God.
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Some of them however, were worried that God might not keep providing the manna every day; so just in case, they stored up extra manna, even though God had told them not to do it. In fact, they found that the manna they saved for the next day was always full of maggots. God was not pleased with their lack of trust in his Providence.
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Divine Providence is the care that God exercises over the universe. The Catechism says, ‘The universe was created “in a state of journeying” toward an ultimate perfection to which God has destined it.’ CCC 302 The plan by which God guides his creation toward this perfection is called ‘Divine Providence.’ Thomas Aquinas will say, ‘Everything has a place in God’s Providence, and this in no mere general way, but in particular, in individual, down to the last and least detail.’ (Summa of Summa)
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But so often, we do not trust Divine Providence. We live a constricted and fearful life, hoarding up for ourselves everything and anything, just in case – just in case God forgets us. Father Jacques Philippe says, ‘A lack of trust of what God can do in our life, and what we can do with his help, leads to a shrinkage of the heart.’  
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Now while it is true that we must focus on doing the details of our work, living up to our responsibilities, we must ever-maintain the glorious and big picture of God’s loving Providence, that we are acting within a grand scheme of a Good Master-Father.
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In the Gospel today, Jesus multiplies the few loaves and fishes to feed the multitude. Thousands of people from 7 loaves. Who would have ever thought that God could do so much, with our so little? Yet so often we question God: Lord, this won’t work. Why is this happening, this thing here – you made a mistake.
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Now we mustn’t attribute evil to God; all the pain, and evil, and sin, and suffering ultimately are rooted in that evil Fool who lives in hell. But God uses secondary causes to accomplish his plan. He knows every single thing, and will always be able to draw good out of whatever the Fool throws at us. God’s Providence cannot be stopped.
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If we are out on a lake riding in a motorboat, we look back at the wake behind us; we see the turbulent water, but our eye is also raised to the beautiful expanse of where we’ve been: of the vast distance we have traversed, the new perspective of the shore, the distant hills and forests. In our life, we are often bogged down by the restricted concerns of today, yet when we glance at where we’ve been; yes, we see the turbulence, but we also see the beauty of Divine Providence which has seen us safely through it all.
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In 1608, an English ship came to the New World at Plymouth. The Indians innocently met them, but were brutally captured and taken to Spain and sold into slavery. Where was God? Where is his Providence?
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Well, one of those Indians, whose name was Squanto, was purchased by a group of Catholic friars and set free. He made his way to England where he worked and learned English. Although he never dreamed it could be possible, he was one day offered a trip back to the New World. Ten years after he had been captured, Squanto returned to his homeland.
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But when he arrived, in grief, he realized that his entire tribe had perished from disease. He realized that had he not been kidnapped, he would also be dead. For years, he lived alone in the woods. In 1620, a ship called the Mayflower arrived, bringing pilgrims. Their journey had been difficult, and in the frigid conditions of that winter, half of them died. They no doubt wondered, ‘where is God? They seriously considered returning because they really did not know how to live in this New Land.
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But one day, an Indian walked out of the woods to greet them; and – he spoke perfect English. He knew everything about surviving in New England, and he could speak to them; he taught them how to plant corn and squash and methods for fishing. The Pilgrims adopted him as one of their own. He changed everything, making it possible for them to survive. To the people, Squanto was the answer to their prayers, an outrageous miracle that had walked out of the woods to help them.
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Friends, we question God’s Providence so many times; but is the King of the World really lacking in wisdom or goodness,[i] so that we must be fearful about our future? No. This universe will one day be dissolved. But what consequence in Gods sight is this machine of the world? Without effort He can make a thousand others. The events which we spend too much time worrying over, politics, revolutions, the succession of empires through history, – in God’s sight they are child’s play. Everything is here to save souls.
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Fr. James Mallon asks: ‘Is our vision too small? Is our vision big enough for God? Do we believe that God is doing and wants to do great things with our life, which seems perhaps, so hum-drum today?
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‘And He asked them: how many loaves do you have?’
Who said to him: ‘Seven.’
‘But what can be done Lord, with only 7 loaves? ‘Trust me’
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Fr. Joseph Schryvers says, God’s Providence, His sanctifying of souls, knows no limits. It makes light of difficulties, turns obstacles aside, forces its enemies to serve as instruments.
Before the patience of a holy soul, violence exhausts itself, deceit is entangled in its own net; what is intended to be its ruin, becomes the soul’s salvation. But St. Paul has already said it: for those who love God all things work together unto good.
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And when we look at the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her life was turned upside down: birth in a stable, arduous trips, no rest, her Son mocked, crucified – but Mary knew God’s Providence. In the Holy Scriptures she exclaims: ‘He that is mighty, has done great things for me.’ Why did Mary not explain what are the great things God has done for her?[ii] Why did she not explain to us God’s Providence? She did not explain it, because it is inexplicable.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of Little Audrey Santo]

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[i] The Gift of Oneself, Joseph Schryvers, pp. 14-19

[ii] Glories of Mary, p. 367