Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Rom 8:12-17

Brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Responsorial Psalm 68:2 and 4, 6-7ab, 20-21

R.    (21a) Our God is the God of salvation.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
    and those who hate him flee before him.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
    they are glad and rejoice.
R.    Our God is the God of salvation.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
    is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
    he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R.    Our God is the God of salvation.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
    who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
    the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
R.    Our God is the God of salvation.

Alleluia Jn 17:17b, 17a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The Glory of a Day of Rest

God commands us to give our Sabbath to the Lord, not as a recommendation or suggestion, but as a command. If God made room for it on the tablets given to Moses, perhaps we ought to pay attention to how we spend our Sundays!

As a child, my entire family put aside work, school, errands, and chores—setting Sunday apart from the rest of the week. Although sadly, we didn’t always attend Mass, we visited and enjoyed a meal with my maternal or paternal grandparents. Sometimes, we’d score a free meal from both. Over time, my family’s lives and the world around us changed, making keeping our Sundays for rest and focused on the Lord much more difficult. 

Spiritually, a faith not attended to quickly deteriorates. As a mother of young adult sons, I’ve witnessed first-hand how the longer they go without making time for Christ in their life, the wider the cavern between themselves and the Lord gets. Although a relationship with Christ should be built every day, giving Sunday to the Lord provides a sturdy tether to keep us from completely floating away.

In addition to making time for worship, the command requires us to rest. A worn-out body becomes overwhelmed, less effective, and even sick, ultimately unable to work to its full potential. Work is my jam, and all my work is for the Lord, making this command especially challenging. 

I am so blessed to work in Catholic ministry, and I sometimes confuse making time for God with items listed in my job description. Additionally, I have a domestic church to run, and like most women, I am always chasing the end of my to-do list. It is tempting to stare down the 12-plus awake hours of Sunday without opting to complete back-logged work or a lingering household task.

So, looking toward next Sunday, what do you have on your calendar? What blessing does the Lord have awaiting you in the rest of the Sabbath? Commit to giving Him the whole day; then at the end of the day, be sure to look back and count the many ways you benefited from following this commandment. 

If God commands it, we can all rest assured that He intends it for our good and is guaranteed to help make us holy. And, if you must work or attend to household tasks, be sure to glorify the Lord in all you do.

Contact the author

Allison Gingras works for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization as National WINE Steward of the Virtual Vineyard. She is a Social Media Consultant for the Diocese of Fall River and CatholicMom.com. She is a writer, speaker, and podcaster, who founded ReconciledToYou.com and developed the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV).   

Feature Image Credit: 5688709, https://pixabay.com/photos/man-woman-dog-pet-pug-owners-2425121/

The views and opinions expressed in the Inspiration Daily blog are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Diocesan, the Diocesan staff, or other contributors to this blog.

St. Crispin and St. Crispinian


St. Crispin and St. Crispinian

Feast date: Oct 25

Sts. Crispin and Crispinian were brothers. Together, they evangelized Gaul in the middle of the third century. Working from Soissons, they preached the streets by day and made shoes by night. Their charity, piety, and contempt of material things impressed the locals and many were converted to Christianity.

The brothers refused to yield to the persecutors of the Faith who wanted Crispin and Crispinian to apostatize. They were both beheaded in Rome ca. 286 A.D. They are the patrons of  cobblers, glove makers, lace makers, lace workers, leather workers, saddle makers, saddlers, shoemakers, tanners, and weavers.

A great church was built at Soissons in the 6th century in their honor.

Forty Martyrs of England and Wales


Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Feast date: Oct 25

This feast, the feast of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, honors the hundreds of British men and women who died for their faith in wake of the dispute between the Pope and King Henry VIII during the 16th century. Many loyal Catholics were tortured and killed by the British state from 1535 to 1679.

In 1970, the Vatican selected 40 martyrs, men and women, lay and religious, to represent the full group of about 300. Each martyr has their own day of memorial, but they are all remembered as a group on October 25.

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I Jer 31:7-9

        Thus says the LORD:
    Shout with joy for Jacob,
        exult at the head of the nations;
        proclaim your praise and say:
    The LORD has delivered his people,
        the remnant of Israel.
    Behold, I will bring them back
        from the land of the north;
    I will gather them from the ends of the world,
        with the blind and the lame in their midst,
    the mothers and those with child;
        they shall return as an immense throng.
    They departed in tears,
        but I will console them and guide them;
    I will lead them to brooks of water,
        on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
    For I am a father to Israel,
        Ephraim is my first-born.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3)    The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
    we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
    we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
    shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
    carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
    carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading II Heb 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
    You are my son:
        this day I have begotten you;

just as he says in another place:
    You are a priest forever
        according to the order of Melchizedek.

Alleluia Cf. 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” 
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” 
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Act of Faith and Hope

Lately, I have been listening to the soundtrack from the musical Hamilton. The song sung by Aaron Burr, Wait For It, has been especially captivating. The song is about how Burr has hopes and dreams, but also feels the weight of needing to leave some kind of legacy. In the tension between wants and oughts, he finds himself unable to pick sides. He keeps his opinions to himself, never fully committing to one side or the other for fear of choosing wrongly. This feature song expresses his desire to be patient, waiting for the moment he was made for, the time he’s supposed to shine.

The problem with waiting like Burr is that very often, the moment you’re waiting for passes you by. Perhaps you don’t recognize it for what it is, since you are so in the habit of waiting for what could be coming next. Or, you never see the moment because in order for it to arrive you had to make a hard choice in one direction or the other. 

In our Gospel today, Bartimaeus is begging on the side of the road. He is blind, but hears the crowd approaching. His ears pick up the words, “It is Jesus!” “Jesus of Nazareth is coming! Quick, get your mother/father/sister/brother so He can heal them!”

Bartimaeus has been waiting, and waiting, and waiting to be healed. He is at a crossroads. Will he lean into hope, or be held back by despair? If he calls out, will anyone hear him? He doesn’t have anyone to advocate for him, no one to draw attention to his case. The crowd is huge, even he can tell that. How could Jesus even hear him, let alone see him? 

But he does call out an act of faith and hope. He is pushed aside, others tell him to sit back down, and stay in his place. “Who are you to ask for a miracle? Why should Jesus heal you?”

A greater act of faith and hope, a defiant one even in the midst of the crowd’s rejection: “Son of David, have pity on me!”

Bartimaeus is bold. His call to Jesus is one with multiple acts of faith. First, he has faith Jesus will take pity on him and stop at all. Second, that Jesus’ pity will move Him to restore Bartimaeus’ sight. Third, and perhaps most important, Bartimaeus doesn’t just call Jesus, “Jesus”. He names Him as the “Son of David”, a title which points toward Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. 

Bartimaeus did not wait for the perfect moment. He was not timid nor lukewarm in his request. Bartimaeus is a model for all of us to boldly proclaim Jesus’ identity as the Lord of our lives and in Him do we place our hope and trust. We should not wait for things to be perfect before coming to God with our hopes and dreams. The perfect moment is the moment we bring them to God, trusting in His mercy and love.

Contact the author

Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.

Feature Image Credit: Lucas Pezeta, https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-person-outstretching-hand-in-forest-3772365/

St. Anthony Claret


St. Anthony Claret

Feast date: Oct 24

Anthony Claret was born in Spain in 1807 and like his father, he was a weaver by trade. In his spare time, he studied Latin, and at the age of 22, he entered the seminary, and was ordained in 1835. He preached and worked in the missions for 10 years and then, in 1849, he founded the Claretians. Shortly thereafter, he was named Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba. While he was archbishop, he successfully reformed the clergy and the laity. He returned to Spain to be Queen Isabella II’s confessor, to oversee his congregation, and to publish a few books.

In 1868, due to the Spanish Revolution, both Archbishop Claret and the queen were exiled. After Vatican I, the archbishop sought refuge at a Cistercian monastery in France, where he died in 1870. He was canonized in 1950.

Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Rom 8:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has freed you from the law of sin and death. 
For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do,
this God has done:
by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh
are concerned with the things of the flesh,
but those who live according to the spirit
with the things of the spirit. 
The concern of the flesh is death,
but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.
For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God;
it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it;
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Responsorial Psalm 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R.    (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
    the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
    or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
    who desires not what is vain.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
    a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
    that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia Ez 33:11

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion that he may live.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
He said to them in reply, 
“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way 
they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed 
when the tower at Siloam fell on them—
do you think they were more guilty 
than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: 
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, 
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree     
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also, 
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; 
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Is the Spirit Alive in You?

Did anyone else besides me have to read today’s First Reading more than once before it started to click in your mind? I really had to take a deep breath and intentionally clear the thoughts and images from my head because they were obstacles to the Word of the Lord spoken through the writings of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans.

I couldn’t focus on God’s voice being spoken through the written words in these Bible passages. There are many times throughout my life when I’ve struggled with ‘seeing the face of God’ as the Psalm intones today or hearing His voice in my daily life.

There are so many distractions and tasks that can pull my focus from being fruitful for the Lord. When I’m distanced from Him, for whatever length of time, I become similar to the parable about the barren fig tree in the Gospel.  I don’t want to be cut down after three years for not bearing good fruit.

I know there have been times my routines and thoughts aren’t connected to the Spirit of the life-giving Lord. I am so very thankful that there is no time limit for me to leave the concerns of the flesh and world behind, which take me further from God, and turn back to Him. The fertilizer I need to nurture the Spirit of Life in my heart and thoughts I absorb through the Sacraments, His divinely inspired Words in Scripture and in the living witnesses throughout time in this world.

Today is the memorial of Saint John of Capistrano. There were many challenges in the world during his lifetime. Through courage, diligence and faith, St. John became a reformer of the Church. He is a witness for me of the Spirit being alive in his life.

Please pray with me, asking for St. John’s intercession today.

St. John of Capistrano, your love for Christ overcame all obstacles. Help me to cherish God’s call and to follow him wherever he might lead. Amen.

Contact the author

Beth Price is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and a practicing spiritual director. Beth shares smiles, prayers, laughter, a listening ear and her heart with all of creation. Reach her here bprice@diocesan.com.

Feature Image Credit: Exe Lobaiza, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/5886-ellas-tienen-felicidad-plena-dios

St. John of Capistrano


St. John of Capistrano

Feast date: Oct 23

On Oct. 23, the Catholic Church celebrates the life of Saint John of Capistrano, a Franciscan priest whose life included a political career, extensive missionary journeys, efforts to reunite separated Eastern Christians with Rome and a historically important turn at military leadership.

Invoked as a patron of military chaplains, St. John of Capistrano was praised by St. John Paul II in a 2002 general audience for his “glorious evangelical witness,” as a priest who “gave himself with great generosity for the salvation of souls.”

Born in Italy during 1385, John lost his father – a French or possibly German knight who had settled in Capistrano – at a young age. John’s mother took care to have him educated, and after learning Latin he went to study both civil law and Church law in Perugia. An outstanding student, he soon became a prominent public figure and was appointed governor of the city at age 26.

John showed high standards of integrity in his civic career, and in 1416 he labored to end a war that had erupted between Perugia and the prominent House of Malatesta. But when the nobles had John imprisoned, he began to question his life’s direction. Encountering Saint Francis of Assisi in a dream, he resolved to embrace poverty, chastity, and obedience with the Franciscans.

Abandoning his possessions and social status, John joined the religious order in October 1416. He found a mentor in Saint Bernardine of Siena, known for his bold preaching and his method of prayer focused on the invocation of the name of Jesus. Taking after his teacher in these respects, John began preaching as a deacon in 1420, and was ordained a priest in 1425.

John successfully defended his mentor from a charge of heresy made against his way of devotion, though he found less success in his efforts to resolve internal controversy among the followers of St. Francis. A succession of popes entrusted important matters to John, including the effort to reunite Eastern and Western Christendom at the Ecumenical Council of Florence.

Drawing immense crowds in his missionary travels throughout Italy, John also found success as a preacher in Central Europe, where he opposed the Hussites’ error regarding the nature and administration of the Eucharist. After Constantinople fell to Turkish invaders in 1453, Pope Nicholas V sent John on a mission to rally other European leaders in defense of their lands.

Nicholas’ successor Pope Callixtus III was even more eager to see the Christian world defend itself against the invading forces. When the Sultan Mehmet II sought to extend his territorial gains into Serbia and Hungary, John joined the celebrated general Janos Hunyadi in his defense of Belgrade. The priest personally led a section of the army in its historic victory on Aug. 6, 1456.

Neither John nor the general, however, would survive long past the battle.

Weakened by the campaign against the Turks, Hunyadi became sick and died soon after the victory at Belgrade. John survived to preach Janos Hunyadi’s funeral sermon; but his own extraordinary life came to an end after a painful illness, on Oct. 23, 1456. St. John of Capistrano was canonized in 1724.

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