Readings & Reflections: Tuesday after Epiphany & St. André Bessette, January 6,2015
These days between Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord foreshadow the marvels we can expect to encounter in Jesus Christ once he begins his earthly ministry. He is the One whose “heart is moved with pity” when he recognizes our bottomless need. Out of our nothingness he will make a miracle of untellable abundance so that we might have life through the Son of God sent into the world.
God, light of all nations,
give us the joy of lasting peace,
and fill us with your radiance
as you filled the hearts of our fathers.read more
Readings & Reflections: Memorial of St. John Neumann, January 5,2015
John came to the United States in 1836 A.D. to serve as a priest in western New York. He joined the Redemptorists and was their superior in Baltimore when he was elected bishop of Philadelphia in 1852 A.D. The stocky, unrefined prelate with a thick Bohemian accent failed to impress Philadelphia’s high society. Yet, under his leadership the Catholic schools in Philadelphia increased from two to one hundred. He established the first system of diocesan schools in the United States. On average, John founded a new church once a month. After eight years of intense pastoral activity he collapsed on Philadelphia street. John was canonized in 1977, the first American male saint.read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord & St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4,2015
“The Magi set out because of a deep desire which prompted them to leave everything and begin a journey. It was as though they had always been waiting for that star” (Pope Benedict XVI). Our response to the Father’s offer of salvation is that of the Magi: “To offer gold is to proclaim Christ’s kingship, to offer incense is to adore his Godhead, and to offer myrrh is to acknowledge his mortality” (St. Odilo of Cluny). Creation responds as well: “When the king of heaven was born, the heavens knew that he was God because they immediately sent forth a star; the sea knew him because it allowed him to walk upon it; the earth knew him because it hid the rays of its light” (St. Gregory the Great). The manifestation of the Son of God to the world begs belief from us by which we will be led home by another way.read more
Readings & Reflections: Saturday before Epiphany & Holy Name of Jesus Memorial, January 3,2015
The Lord Jesus promised, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do” (Jn 14:13). For “the name ‘Jesus’ contains all…. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies” (CCC: 2666). “You have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 6:11). For there is no “other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). This memorial provides us the chance to live with special attentiveness before the Holy Name. “If you think the name ‘Jesus’ continually, it purges your sin and kindles your heart; it clarifies your soul, it removes anger and does away with slowness. It wounds in love and fulfills charity. It chases the devil and put out dread. It opens heaven, and makes you a contemplative. It puts all vices and phantoms out from the love” (Richard Rolle).read more
Readings & Reflections: Memorial of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
As a bishop, Basil the Great fed the poor, addressed the destitute and the marginalized, and created a hospital for the sick; he was “truly one of the Fathers of the Church’s social doctrine” (Pope Benedict XVI). Gregory Nazianzen, a lover of solitude and philosophical contemplation, delivered majestic oration on the Trinity that earned him the title “The Theologian.” Both men developed and solidified the Trinitarian formulations of the Church in the face of Arian heresy. The Church’s theological reflection on the Trinity is unthinkable without their contribution. Basil died in 379 A.D. and Gregory in 390 A.D.read more
Readings & Reflections: Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, January 1,2015
The Virgin Mary is born to be Mother. The supreme consolation that our Lady receives at the cross of her Son is the assurance that her vocation as Mother does not end with Christ’s death. The Lord commands the world. “Behold your Mother.” The Resurrection begins for Mary – and for us – with these words. The Blessed Virgin’s womb remains for ever fruitful. Mary leads us to Christ, but Christ leads us back to his Mother, for without Mary’s maternity, Jesus would become a mere abstraction to us. The Lord wills to “let his face shine upon” us through the face of the Mother of God. We “serve a Mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generation rise up and call her blessed” (G.K. Chesterton).read more
Readings & Reflections: The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas & St. Sylvester, December 31,2014
At the end of the year, the Gospel proclaims, “In the beginning….” “It is the last hour,” but because “the Word became flesh” and dwells among us, every moment offers us a new beginning. We announce the Lord’s salvation “day after day” because his presence changes the meaning of time.
Ever-living God, in the birth of your Son our religion has its origin and its perfect fulfillment. Help us to share in the life of Christ for he is the salvation of mankind, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. “Almighty God and Father of light, your eternal Word leaped down from heaven in the silent watches of the night. Open our hearts to receive his life and increase our vision with the rising of dawn, that our lives may be filled with his glory and his peace.” In your Name, I pray. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas & St. Egwin, December 30,2014
Having lived through the joy of Elizabeth, we cannot help but smile as we read about the aged Anna in the Temple. She has lived a devout life, not loving the things of the world. And we know that once she meets the Christ Child, her world will change. And so will ours.
in the birth of your Son
our religion has its origin and its perfect fulfillment.
Help us to share in the life of Christ
for he is the salvation of all,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.read more
Readings & Reflections: Monday of Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas & St. Thomas Becket, December 29,2014.
The elated Simeon takes the child Jesus into his arms and turns to his Mother and says, “And you yourself a sword will pierce.” Even before Jesus can walk, Mary resolved “to walk just as he will walk” to his crucifixion. “Remember the sufferings of Christ,… the crown that came from those sufferings which gave new radiance to the faith… All saints give testimony to the truth that without real effort, no one ever wins the crown” (St. Thomas Becket).read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, December 28,2014
“The family is the privileged setting where every person learns to give and receive love…. The family is an intermediate institution between individuals and society, and nothing can completely take its place…. The family is a necessary good for peoples, an indispensable foundation for society and a great and lifelong treasure for couples. It is a unique good for children, who are meant to be the fruit of the love, of the total and generous self-giving of their parents…. The family is also a school which enables men and women to grow to the full measure of their humanity…. O God, who in the Holy left us a perfect model of family life lived in faith and obedience to your will, help us to be examples of faith and love for your commandments” (Pope Benedict XVI).read more
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