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Renunciation in favor of Love (S2E29)
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February 17, 2017 02:16 AM PST
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Meditation by Fr. Cristian Laslo

The Roman soldiers are taking Jesus up to Golgotha for the supreme sacrifice. For them it was only an amusement, for the Jews a revenge, but for the rest of mankind it was an act of kindness and mercy, the supreme act of love for the humanity.
In the praetorium, or the Pilate’s palace court Jesus is stripped of his shirt and beaten without reason. Pilate thought that like that he could temper the Jewish accusers, but they did not have enough; they’ve received Barabbas, and now they wanted Jesus’ life. The soldiers are taking Jesus out of town, to the place called Golgotha and they are crucifying Him. Still, Jesus was praying for them.
Unfortunately, the sacrifices for God were not stopped on Golgotha, but that was only the starting point for persecutions. Millions of Christians have died all over the places under this world rulers, and many are dying even today in Africa, Middle East or Asia. Just as Jesus, they are calling in their sufferings: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22, 1). For their belief insults have broken their hearts,..., they have looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but they found none. They gave them poison for food, and for their thirst, vinegar to drink (cf. Psalm 69, 20-21).
One can think of Christianity that it’s a morbid religion which calls to self sacrifice upon the world’s altar, and God is a bloodthirsty deity. But God is only thirsty for our love and kindness, and wants from us to kill the unclean desires in our bodies and souls. He is telling us: “Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward”. (2 John 1, 8).
Jesus Christ killed in himself the worldly temptations, gave Himself for the salvation of all. In anticipation for the Lent, how do we fight with the daily temptations? How do we prove the love for our neighbor?
In agony Jesus was praying to the Father for his oppressors. Are we usually praying for others?

Mark 15, 20. 22. 25. 33-41
Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

The Right Choice (S2E28)
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February 16, 2017 07:09 AM PST
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Meditation by Fr. Cristian Laslo

Today’s Gospel is inviting us to reflect upon our Savior who is brought in front of the world’ rulers to be judged for revealing God’ love for mankind. Trying to interfere as little as possible in Jewish community, Pilate offers them to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, a killer. And they have chosen the killer.
Jesus’ dialog with Pilate is more like a friendly talking than an interrogation. At Pilate’s questions, Jesus is not answering; He didn’t come to justify Himself. He came to act accordingly to the Father’ will. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53, 7).
Just like his disciples, the multitude seems to have forgotten the miracles that were done for them. They were already fed, healed, resurrected. They got what they expected, and now, after they have spread their clothing at His feet, they want Him dead. And they found even an alternative to be release: a killer who disobeyed the roman ruler and thought that he will free the land of Israel into a rebellion. Jesus was ready for this too. He was prepared for the supreme sacrifice which have shaken the world and its numbness, for “… the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true…” (I John 5, 20).
Today we are working for our bread, we are praying for a miracle when we are sick, and we might have little confidence in front of the death. But children are killed in their mothers’ wombs, elders and veterans are abandoned on the streets and it seems that Jesus has died on the Cross. Where is He nowadays? Where is He when we need Him? Well, He is still alive in the Sacraments and acts pale through the humblest instruments who chose Him into their lives.
The evil ruler of this world puts us to choose between Christ our Savior and the sweet deadly sin. Whom we choose today?

Mark 15, 1-15
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

From words to facts (S2E27)
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February 15, 2017 11:49 AM PST
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Meditation by Fr. Cristian Laslo

In today’s Gospel we meet Jesus praying in Gethsemane garden, where He is found by Judah and the Temple’s guard. Through a kiss Jesus is identified, caught, and brought in front of a illegitimate court. They are bringing him false testimonies, but He doesn’t collaborate with the vicious men. Revealing Himself as the Son of God, they accuse Him of blasphemy, and they are sending him at the Roman authority.
When we read the end of chapter 14 in the Gospel according to Mark, our heart can be filled with resentment against Jesus’ disciples. On the one hand is Judah, who for a few pennies betrays his Master, his friend, his brother. On the other hand most of the other apprentices, astonished and tired, fled. Peter has an salvific attempt, but he is appeased by Jesus. He also finds the courage to follow the crowd into the courtyard of the high priest, but here he will deny his Master too.
Just like Job in his sufferings, Jesus could have said: “… my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. My kinsfolk and my close friends have failed me…” (Job 19, 13-14), or just like the Psalmist: “Thou hast caused my companions to shun me; thou hast made me a thing of horror to them” (Psalm 88, 8). He was left alone in front of this world’ rulers…
Because they could not accuse him, malicious witnesses rise up; they asked of things that he knew not. They requite Him evil for good; His soul was forlorn. (cf. Psalm 35, 11-12). And yet, just as Daniel the prophet, He told them: “I saw in the night vision, and behold, with the clouds of heaven, there came on like a son of man and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him…” (Daniel 7, 13-14). For these words he was punished: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isaiah 50, 6). And then “the kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed” (Psalm 2, 2).
The resentment seems justified, the hate against the traitor and cowards also. But us, as followers of Jesus through the Baptism, how do we defend Him against today’s judgments? Do we have the courage to sit next to him when He is betrayed? Do we dare to pull out the sword of love and understanding when He is attacked, spited and denigrated? How often are we preach Him in front of our family, friends, and of the whole world?

Mark 14, 43 – 15, 1-2
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Adopting the true Love (S2E26)
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February 13, 2017 10:00 PM PST
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Meditation by Fr. Cristian Laslo

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord, throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever.” (Book of Exodus 12, 14).

Chapter 14 from the Gospel of Mark contemplates of the Last Supper, and Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. It also reveals the the perverted nature of mankind, using the image of the corrupted Judah and the weakness of the other disciples.

Jesus is observing the Mosaic law before the Passover, sitting together with his brothers… true the corrupted ones. He knew them well, their desires, their dreams, their weaknesses. Yet, He didn’t choose them by their human impulses, but by their spark of divinity hidden deep into their conscience. The greedy Judah, the incredulous Thomas, the immature John, the unreliable Peter, the unstable sons of Zebedee… all in the same room, all at the same table, all receiving the true Body and Blood of Christ. After dinner they weren’t able to assist at the vigil in the garden. Yet they were forgiven, for they were sons of God.

First letter of John reminds us: “By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother…” (I John 3, 10). The true model of love is again Jesus, who laid down his life for us. Today’s lesson is the love for our neighbors, for our brothers and sisters. But how can we take the model of Jesus into our lives? “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide him?” (v. 17).

Are we capable of such of love? Are we aware of observing such a commandment? How do we find power TODAY to believe in the name of Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded?

Mark 14, 10-42
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

From Death to Life (S2E25)
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February 12, 2017 08:06 PM PST
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Meditation by Fr. Cristian Laslo
In today’s Gospel Jesus is ready to enter in Jerusalem as the true Son of Man, like the old kings of Israel. His disciples are preparing the colt on which no one has ever sat, the crowds are spreading their garments on the road, and leafy branches, crying out loud “Hosanna!...” The King is bringing the new life to the mankind.
A very ridiculous trend in every generation is to be concerned about the end of the world, about the apocalypse. If not, we are investing time in all kind of projects or hobbies, neglecting more and more the most important project which is our soul. And most of us have forgot that we have a soul, the living part of our existence, the only part that is everlasting and will live after our bones will be dried out and our memory long forgotten.
This week's Gospel wants to remind us about the true meaning of our life, describing us a very human face of our Savior. In chapter 11 from Mark, we meet Jesus as he’s approaching to Jerusalem for the last time. He is surrounded by his disciples and a large crowd, and his entrance into the town reminds of the second book of the Kings: “every man… took his garment and put it under him and acclaimed…” (2 Kings 9, 13).
As a man, and after many years surrounded by his disciples and the needy crowds, Jesus understood his mission, his call, his duty to the Father in Heaven. He was sent to become the Lamb of God, the one who takes upon himself the sins of the world, the one who will restore the bounds between the mankind and God. He had no time to think upon apocalypse, upon ending of all ages and generations… He had a different mission. His mission was to spread the eternal life to his creature, to call them out of this life’s mirage and open their eyes, our eyes to the true meaning of our existence. His mission was to eradicate the work of the evil, the sins out of our souls and bodies.
St. John in his first letter warns that so far “many antichrists have come” (I John 2, 18) and “he who commits sins is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.” This warning is for us today as it was for our forefathers: what kind of work are we doing into this world? How do we live our lives and who is guiding us? Are we the true followers of Jesus or have we lost our path by sins?

Mark 14, 10-42
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

The virtue of giving (S2E24)
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February 10, 2017 09:00 PM PST
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In today’s episode of Refreshing Bread, Fr. Radu Titonea meditates on the way we give. When we don’t have but give, it is not the amount that counts, but the heart or intention behind the giving. Similarly, when we have more, we don’t have to always do the math, but rather focus on God’s and our own satisfaction for the help that we have provided. All in all, in this life, the more we give, the more we will receive.
Luke 20:45-47; 21:1-4
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

God deserves our best (S2E23)
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February 10, 2017 08:36 AM PST
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In today’s episode of Refreshing Bread, Fr. Radu Titonea meditates upon the only extravaganza Jesus made in his life – accepting the ointment poured on him by the woman. When we do something to please God, even if it looks like a waste, it is not. God deserves our best, because God is the best.
Mark 14:3-9
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Be prepared (S2E22)
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February 09, 2017 10:36 AM PST
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In today’s episode of Refreshing Bread, Fr. Radu Titonea encourages us to be attentive moment in and moment out, because we know not when the end is coming. Being prepared through confession, prayer and good relationships enforces us to constantly consider the two directions of our lives: developing our relationship with God and our relationship with other human beings.
Mark 13:31-27; 14:1-2
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

How might Heaven look like? (S2E21)
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February 08, 2017 02:33 PM PST
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In today’s episode of Refreshing Bread, Fr. Radu Titonea invites us to stop and think for a moment how might Heaven look like.
Mark 13:24-31
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

If today was the end... (S2E20)
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February 07, 2017 09:09 PM PST
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In today’s episode of Refreshing Bread, Fr. Radu Titonea meditates on the end of times. The real question is not whether it is coming or not. The appropriate question is if it comes today, am I ready?
Mark 13:14-23
Music: Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

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