Today in Catholic History:
† 1536 – Danish/Norway King Christian III leads reform in Catholic possessions
† 1587 – Battle at Coultras: Henri van Navarra beats Catholic League
† In Christianity, it is the feast day of Andrew of Crete, a Martyr
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
“Today in Catholic History”
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Life is worth living. Heaven is worth fighting for.
Today’s reflection is about faithfulness to God’s wisdom.
39 [Jesus said to His Disciples] Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” 41 Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” 42 And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute (the) food allowance at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 47 That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; 48 and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. (NAB Luke 12:39-48)
What can a thief in the night teach us of God’s desire for us? Can you imagine a thief notifying us ahead of time, and telling us when he would raid our “treasures?” What does this parable tell us about the treasures God has handed over to each one of us? What is Jesus actually saying in this Gospel reading today?
This parable is a lesson in faithfulness for me. Jesus, our “Lord,” loves faithfulness and abundantly rewards those who are faithful to him. I believe Jesus is telling us that His (and our) heavenly Father is expecting much more from us than we usually give to Him AND to others around us! In verse 48 above it is written, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” We are to be held responsible; to be answerable to God Himself for our ability to share, and how we did share our resources!
What is meant by this word, “faithfulness?” Simply, it’s keeping one’s word, promises, and commitments, regardless of how rough, hard, dangerous, demanding, or difficult it becomes. God loves the virtue of faithfulness. He expects us to be faithful to all His creations. God gives us the grace of faith, and the free-will to remain faithful – as we choose!
Everyone has something to share; to give to those in need. Each one of us can be generous in sharing a “time, talent, or treasure.” If you can’t give financially, maybe a meal to someone home bound or homeless can be you forte. The arts; finances; cooking; driving; and teaching, are all excellent talents that can be shared relatively easily. And everyone is always in need of smiles and prayer!
“My master is delayed in coming” from verse 45, indicates that the early Christians anticipation for an imminent return of Jesus had undergone some modifications. Jesus’ followers expected Him to return within days of His assumption into heaven. Like children waiting near the Christmas tree on a snowy Christmas morning, they waited with baited anticipation to open our gift from God: a new and everlasting world of beauty in paradise with our magnificent Lord, Jesus Christ. But Luke, in today’s Gospel, wisely advices his readers against counting on a lag in time, and then acting foolishly. A parallel warning can be found in Matthew 24:48, “But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed…’”
The concept of one being delayed is found in other stories in Scripture as well. In Matthew 25:5, it is written, “Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep,” and in Matthew 25:19, “After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.” Both deals with the delay of a noteworthy and important person: the bridegroom and the master. Both also warn against imprudent actions.
The fact is, everyone has something they can do for others. God expects us all to share with those that have less than us; and not to just squander our gifts He has given us. The more He gives, the more He requires! The temptation to “put off for tomorrow” what we know God expects for us to do today is a very dangerous practice for our everlasting souls! After all, where do you want to spend eternity: smoking or non-smoking? Are you faithful to God, and ready to give him an account of your actions? And finally, remember that Jesus gave the ultimate gift to all of us: His human life! The least we can do is to share a portion of our excess with others of God’s creation!
“Act of Faith”
“O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because you revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day: St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin (1888-1922)
Born in Italy in 1888, the young girl lived in fear of her father, a violent man prone to jealousy and drunkenness. Her schooling was limited so that she could spend more time helping at home and working in the fields. She showed few talents and was often the butt of jokes.
In 1904 she joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy and was assigned to work in the kitchen, bakery and laundry. After some time Maria received nurses’ training and began working in a hospital with children suffering from diphtheria. There the young nun seemed to find her true vocation: nursing very ill and disturbed children. Later, when the hospital was taken over by the military in World War I, Sister Maria Bertilla fearlessly cared for patients amidst the threat of constant air raids and bombings.
She died in 1922 after suffering for many years from a painful tumor. Some of the patients she had nursed many years before were present at her canonization in 1961.
Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.;
revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #’s 20 & 21 of 26:
20. The Secular Franciscan Order is divided into fraternities of various levels — local, regional, national, and international. Each one has its own moral personality in the Church. These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to the norm of this rule and of the constitutions.
21. On various levels, each fraternity is animated and guided by a council and minister who are elected by the professed according to the constitutions.
Their service, which lasts for a definite period, is marked by a ready and willing spirit and is a duty of responsibility to each member and to the community.
Within themselves the fraternities are structured in different ways according to the norm of the constitutions, according to the various needs of their members and their regions, and under the guidance of their respective council.