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
Readings & Reflections: Feast of Saint John, Apostle and evangelist, December 27,2014
John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” and author of the fourth Gospel, epistles, and the Book of Revelation, is often represented as an eagle, one the “four living creatures” from Revelation 4:7. John’s Gospel begins by placing Jesus Christ within the context of eternity, as the eternal logos (Word) of the Father. Saint Augustine says that John “soars like an eagle above the clouds of human infirmity, and gazes upon the light of the unchangeable truth with those keenest and steadiest eyes of the heart.” John is said to have composed his works in Ephesus. He died there around the year 100 A.D.read more
Readings & Reflections: Feast of Saint Stephen, First Martyr December 26,2014
Stephen, whose name means “crown” or “garland” was the first to gain the crown of martyrdom in the Church. The account of Stephen’s death is a short course in the martyrdom that would define Christina life in its first four centuries. After engaging in a debate with Hellenistic Jews, Stephen recounts for them their own history as having been fulfilled in Christ. To the ears of his accusers, Stephen’s words are blasphemy. Stephen’s marvelous countenance – “like an angel” – is a further irritant. They drag him outside the city to stone him. Stephen, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” has a vision of Christ. Before he dies, he forgives his tormentors.read more
Readings & Reflections: Nativity of the Lord, December 25,2014
“God’s sign is the baby in need of help and in poverty. Exactly the same sign has been given to us…. God’s sign is simplicity…. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby – defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts, and his will – we learn to live with and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him…. Christmas has become the Feast of gifts in imitation of God who has given himself to us. Let us allow our heart, our soul, and our mind to be touched by this fact!” (Pope Benedict XVI).read more
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Advent & Christmas at Greccio, December 24,2014
God promised David, “I will give you rest from all your enemies.” Zechariah prophesies that God will “save us from our enemies.” “Knowledge of salvation” comes “by the forgiveness of sins.” Tomorrow “the dawn from on high shall break upon us” and we will cry, “You are my father.”
“Lord, you have been gracious and merciful towards your people. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may bear witness to the joy of the gospel to those around me.” In your Name, I pray. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Tuesdayof the Fourth Week of Advent & St. John Kanty, December 23,2014
“Lo, I am sending my messenger.” The divine destiny of the Baptist resounds in the conviction of his mother’s voice: “He will be called John.” Elizabeth and Zechariah recognizes in this infant the one who “shows sinners the way.” The friendship of the Lord is with us – the new covenant.
Father, we contemplate the birth of your Son.
He was born of the Virgin Mary
and came to live among us.
May we receive forgiveness and mercy
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amenread more
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent & Blessed Jacopone da Todi, December 22,2014
The O Antiphon makes today a little Ash Wednesday: “Come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!” We cling to Mary’s hymn, certain with her that God will “remember his promise of mercy.” For “he raises the needy from the dust.” Like Hannah, Mary offers us to God.
God our Father, you sent your Son, to free us from the power of death. May we who celebrate the coming of Christ in the flesh share more fully in his divine life, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amenread more
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