“Jesus was a Man’s Man!” – Lk 15:2


I have been off the radar for the past three days with the worst case of gastroenteritis (GI flu) that I have ever experienced in my life.  Many, many, souls have been released from purgatory through my pain and suffering.  I am soory this 150th blog is three days late, but I have not stopped.  Thank you all for the prayers.

 

This is my 150th reflection.  What a time of study, reflection, and meditation I have had.  What has it done for me?  I truly believe that it has brought me closer to God.  I encourage all to do the same thing.  It is a wild trip!
 

Do not make it difficult on yourself.  Just read one or two verses, and then put the bible down. This is where the miracle takes place.  Sit quietly of 10-15 minutes thinking about what you read.  To be frank, and possibly somewhat rude, you can even do this while sitting on the toilet.  I have had many great thoughts in the extreme silence of sitting on the porcelain throne.
 

This is my 150th reflection.  What a time of study, reflection, and meditation I have had.  What has it done for me?  I truly believe that it has brought me closer to God.  I encourage all to do the same thing.  It is a wild trip!

Quote or Joke of the Day:

 

A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you. — C. S. Lewis

 

Today’s Meditation:

 

This man welcomes sinners and eats with them. (NAB Lk 15:2)

 

Jesus was a “Man’s Man” in ancient Palestine.  This “God made man” did something no other human could accomplish (other than the obvious dying for our sins thing).  He was able to eat with royalty and the rich in society; and also with the lowest of the low.

We know via the gospels that  Jesus was at a banquet in Cana, and how His first recorded miracle took place there.  This was a large feast, with many people, and a lot of money was spent during this feast; and that Jesus and His mother were there in a notable way.

Other stories in the Bible show Jesus conversing with, touching, and even eating with the “unclean” of the region.  This included people with defects like blindness, physical defects, and psychological problems.  The ultimate in low class in Palestine were those with skin diseases like cancers, tuberculosis tumors, and the dreaded leprosy.

I can just picture the look on His disciple’s faces the first time Jesus walked up to a person with “leprosy” and not only hugged him, but probably kissed him.  I wonder how many disciples He lost with that one action?  Or did He gain disciples?

As a Secular Franciscan, I know of our orders founder, St. Francis of Assisi, and of his conversion story.  It is nearly identical to what I just described in the above paragraph.  Only, with St. Francis, he had many converts, and his order grew, and continues to grow today.

What are we to learn from this verse?  Are we to welcome the thief into our house to steal from us?  I don’t believe so.  We are only expected to love and respect all individuals, regardless of their status in life.  God’s creation is all sacred, and thus all equal in His eyes.  If the poor and rich, the clean and dirty, the sick and healthy are all good in God’s eyes, why should they not be good in our eyes as well?

“Lord, I am a sinner.  Thank you for allowing me to come to your table.  Thank you for offering yourself, body and blood, at each Eucharistic meal at Mass.  I so love to consume you, and to be consumed by you in my faith and life.  Amen.”

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

 

*****

 

Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Margaret of Cortona

 

Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret’s mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father’s house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta. Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others. In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle (“Poor Ones”). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ. Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728. Her feast day is February 22nd.

 (From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #22:

 

The local fraternity is to be established canonically. It becomes the basic unit of the whole Order and a visible sign of the Church, the community of love. This should be the privileged place for developing a sense of Church and the Franciscan vocation and for enlivening the apostolic life of its members.

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