July 31, 2016

Gospel: (Luke 12:13-21)

Jesus said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." Then he told them a parable: "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?' And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink and be merry!'" But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" Thus it will be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God."


The rich man in the parable would have had enough in his present storehouses; seeking more, he builds more storehouses only to die and not enjoy his abundance anyway. We work hard for what we think is important to us, but we may end up with nothing because we have missed the whole point: life. We tend to think we can provide for our own future, but the gospel reminds us that the future is God's. What we struggle all our lives to learn is that life does not consist of possessions nor our perceived security, but of being possessed by God. We belong to God and God can demand an accounting of us at any time. The only security we truly possess is a loving relationship with God. (Living Liturgy, p.184)
Vincentian Reflection:

"We as followers of St. Vincent must not forget the emphasis which he put on the virtue of simplicity. Simplicity is speaking and acting always with God alone in view. God is touching our lives at every moment of the day, and we are touching Him. He is particularly close to us in the Church, in the Sacraments and in the poor. If we wish to be sensitive to the presence of God in our lives, we have to recall His presence frequently. We have to give ourselves moments of stillness and reflection in the midst of our work and our lives, so that we can become more conscious that it is in God that we live and move and have our being at all times." (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 427)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

How have you learned that life does not consist of possessions but in knowing that it is in God that we live and move and have our being?

Closing Prayer:

Lord, keep our hearts clean and our vision clear,
-as you mold us into authentic witnesses of your love.
Lord, keep our hearts clean and our vision clear,
-so that we may be free from greed and selfishness.
Lord, keep our hearts clean and our vision clear,
-as you renew us with the truth of your Gospel. Amen


Please contact Mary Esther Jockers at jemmie57@sbcglobal.net or B.J. Polk at jrragman@aol.com if you would like to host a class or have any questions in regards to the training.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016 8:00 AM -
Saturday, September 03, 2016 9:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Hyatt Regency Columbus

350 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
United States

The Mideast Region is sponsoring the 2016 National Assembly of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, August 31- September 3, 2016.  

  • Restorative Justice Symposium: $175.00

Congratulations St. Vincent de Paul - Kerrville!

We, at Society of St Vincent de Paul Kerrville, are celebrating a milestone.  On Monday, August 15, 2016 our Thrift Store will be officially 15 years old.  We are having a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting to celebrate the event at 9:45 am followed by tours of our facilities.
For the day, we are returning to 15 years ago and are pricing all our clothing at 25-cents  plus tax.
All Vincentians are welcome that Monday and every day!

St. Matthew's Conference has clothes that they can donate weekly to your Conference.  The amount is enough to fill a pick-up truck.  If your Conference is in need and has transportation to pick up the clothing each week, please contact Jack Schlegel at (210) 478-5020.

The Council Office is in need of copy paper boxes for file storage.  If your Conference has any that they can spare, please contact Rachel Esposito at rachel.esposito@svdpsa.org. to coordinate a pick-up time.  Thank you!

Friday, July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene

Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.

Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, "of Magdala," was the one from whom Christ cast out "seven demons" (Luke 8:2)-an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness.

Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the New Catholic Commentary, says that "seven demons" "does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life-a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36." Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the Jerome Biblical Commentary, agrees that she "is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her."

Mary Magdalene was one of the many "who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means." She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the "official" witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."

Saturday, July 23 - St. Bridget

From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. Her visions formed the basis for her activity-always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors.
She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children (the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband's death.

Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence).

In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses.

A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) were named co-patronesses of Europe.

Sunday, July 24 - St. Sharbel Makhluf

Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely.

Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later.
Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly.

He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.

Monday, July 25 - St. James

This James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. "He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him" (Mark 1:19-20).

James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemani.

Two incidents in the Gospels describe the temperament of this man and his brother. St. Matthew tells that their mother came (Mark says it was the brothers themselves) to ask that they have the seats of honor (one on the right, one on the left of Jesus) in the kingdom. "Jesus said in reply, 'You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?' They said to him, 'We can'" (Matthew 20:22). Jesus then told them they would indeed drink the cup and share his baptism of pain and death, but that sitting at his right hand or left was not his to give-it "is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father" (Matthew 20:23b). It remained to be seen how long it would take to realize the implications of their confident "We can!"
The other disciples became indignant at the ambition of James and John. Then Jesus taught them all the lesson of humble service: The purpose of authority is to serve. They are not to impose their will on others, or lord it over them. This is the position of Jesus himself. He was the servant of all; the service imposed on him was the supreme sacrifice of his own life.

On another occasion, James and John gave evidence that the nickname Jesus gave them-"sons of thunder"-was an apt one. The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to hated Jerusalem. "When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, 'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?' Jesus turned and rebuked them..." (Luke 9:54-55).

James was apparently the first of the apostles to be martyred. "About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also" (Acts 12:1-3a).

This James, sometimes called James the Greater, is not to be confused with James the Lesser (May 3) or with the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.

Tuesday, July 26 - Sts. Joachim and Anne

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother's family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names Joachim andAnne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary's childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives-all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne-whether these are their real names or not-represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.

Wednesday, July 27 - Blessed Antonio Lucci

Antonio studied with and was a friend of St. Francesco Antonio Fasani, who after Antonio Lucci's death testified at the diocesan hearings regarding the holiness of Lucci.

Born in Agnone in southern Italy, a city famous for manufacturing bells and copper crafts, he was given the name Angelo at Baptism. He attended the local school run by the Conventual Franciscans and joined them at the age of 16. Antonio completed his studies for the priesthood in Assisi, where he was ordained in 1705. Further studies led to a doctorate in theology and appointments as a teacher in Agnone, Ravello and Naples. He also served as guardian in Naples.

Elected minister provincial in 1718, the following year he was appointed professor at St. Bonaventure College in Rome, a position he held until Pope Benedict XIII chose him as bishop of Bovino (near Foggia) in 1729. The pope explained, "I have chosen as bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint."

His 23 years as bishop were marked by visits to local parishes and a renewal of gospel living among the people of his diocese. He dedicated his episcopal income to works of education and charity. At the urging of the Conventual minister general, Bishop Lucci wrote a major book about the saints and blesseds in the first 200 years of the Conventual Franciscans.

He was beatified in 1989, three years after his friend Francesco Antonio Fasani was canonized.

Thursday, July 28 - St. Leopold Mandic

Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold's prayers.
A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.

Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.

Leopold's dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.

At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God's grace awaiting human cooperation.

Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.

Does your Conference have any news, events, or any other information that you would like to share in the Friday Five? **Please note, that events can be advertised if they ONLY support the SVDP Conference.  Any events that are put on by a parish can no longer be advertised.**

If so, please email Rachel Esposito at rachel.esposito@svdpsa.org to be include in the next edition of the Friday  Five! All information must be submitted by 3:00 pm on Wednesday. Thank you. 

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Please pray for Arnold and Maria Trevinio, our Vincentians from Prince of Peace, who are both suffering from illnesses at this time. 

Please continue prayers for Council Treasurer, Langston Rodge, during his difficult illness. 

Please continue praying for Yolanda and Ramiro Ramirez, Angela Angel and Gloria de Luna,  all from St. Ann's Conference  who are experiencing health issues.