READING OF THE DAY: 31 AUGUST, 2015

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“We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore, console one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

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SAINT OF THE DAY: 30 AUGUST, 2015

Saint Fiaker

Prince of Scotland and Anchorite

Patron Saint of Gardeners and Farmers
(† 670)

Saint Fiaker

Saint Fiaker was the eldest son of Eugene IV, king of Scotland, born in the early sixth century heir to the throne of Scotland. He was educated under the care of a bishop of eminent sanctity, Conan, Bishop of Soder or the Western Islands.

Considering all worldly advantages as dross, the young prince, accompanied by his sister, left country and friends when in the flower of his age, and sailed to France.

The prince intended to seek a solitude to which they might retire and devote themselves to God, unknown to the rest of the world. Divine Providence conducted them to Saint Faro, Bishop of Meaux, eminent for his sanctity.

When Saint Fiaker addressed himself to him, the prelate, charmed with the marks of extraordinary virtue and abilities which he discerned in this stranger, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest called Breuil, two leagues from Meaux.

He placed the princess Sira in the Faremoutier monastery for women, of which his own sister was Abbess, and in that convent the young Christian found the enduring peace of Christ.

The holy anchorite Fiaker cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell and cultivated a small garden. He built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, where he spent the greater part of the days and nights in devout prayer, laboring also with his own hands for his subsistence.

The life he led was very austere, and only necessity or charity ever interrupted his exercises of prayer and heavenly contemplation.

Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor sought relief at his door. Saint Chillen, or Kilian, an Irishman of high birth, on his return from Rome visited Saint Fiaker, who was his kinsman.

After spending some time under his discipline, this other budding Saint was directed by Fiaker’s advice and with the authority of the bishops, to preach in the nearby dioceses as well as in that of Saint Faro.

This commission he executed with admirable sanctity and fruit, and his relics were later placed in the same coffer as those of his eminent relative, the saintly hermit.

Saint Fiaker died in the year 670, on the 30th of August; he is the patron of gardeners.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 30 AUGUST, 2015

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“When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.

(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders.

And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves.

And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)

So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”

He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;

In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.

Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.

All these evils come from within and they defile.”‘ –Mark 7:1-8.14-15.21-23.

READING OF THE DAY: 27 AUGUST, 2015

knocking

“Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.

So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?

Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.

Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.

But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the 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 hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”‘ -Matthew 24:42-51.

READING OF THE DAY: 25 AUGUST, 2015

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“Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.

(But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”‘ -Matthew 23:23-26.

READING OF THE DAY: 23 AUGUST, 2015

Jesus-and-disciples

“Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.

The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

But there are some of you who do not believe.”

Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.

And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”‘ -John 6:60-69.

READING OF THE DAY: 22 AUGUST, 2015

Jesus teaching at the Temple

“Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.

They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.

All their works are performed to be seen.

They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.

Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.

The greatest among you must be your servant.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”” -Matthew 23:1-12.