Tag Archives: 2017

Readings & Reflections: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12,2017

Readings & Reflections: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12,2017

Fifty-five year old Juan Diego met the Virgin Mary on the morning of December 9,1531, as he hurried to Mass near Mexico City. Speaking in the native Nahuatl, she revealed herself as “Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live.” She requested that a chapel be built. After the local bishop refused to believe Juan, the Virgin herself arranged roses in Juan’s rough cloak. When opened his cloak before the bishop, a miraculous image appeared of the Virgin wearing a black maternity belt and bearing the jasmine flower over her womb. The Aztec symbolism clearly showed Mary’s unborn child to be the divine center of the cosmos. Numerous volunteers constructed Mary’s chapel in less than two weeks. In seven years, eight million native people were converted. Pope John Paul II called the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe the “Marian heart of America.” In 1999 Saint John Paul II declared Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patroness of the Unborn. read more

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Second Week in Advent & St. Damasus I, December 11,2017

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Second Week in Advent & St. Damasus I, December 11,2017

Jesus heals the paralytic because he saw the faith of those who lowered him through the roof. In their own hearts they have seen “the glory of the Lord,” and that is why they are so eager to make firm knees that are weak and to say to their frightened friend, “Be strong, fear not! Here is your God.” Advent calls us to be such a friend “for those with a journey to make.”

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Opening Prayer read more

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Second Sunday of Advent B & Blessed Adolph Kolping, December 10,2017

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Second Sunday of Advent B & Blessed Adolph Kolping, December 10,2017

“The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” is not a book, but a presence: the presence of the Son of God in human flesh. The beginning of the Gospel promises a new beginning for those aching to hear someone “speak tenderly.” Comfort will come; truth that is meaning which never decays will “spring out of the earth” – out of what we see and touch every day. We hasten that day by awaiting this presence eagerly. “Repentance” means changing to please the one who loves us into happiness. read more

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the First Week of Advent & St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, December 9,2017

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the First Week of Advent & St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, December 9,2017

Christ’s pity translates into a personal presence. Those who wait for the Lord are blessed through an encounter with the Apostles. In them “no longer will your Teacher hide himself.” The mark of every Gospel missionary is the proposal: “This is the way; walk in it.”

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Opening Prayer

“Lord, you have chosen me to be your disciple.  Take and use what I can offer, however meager it may seem, for the greater glory of your Name.” In your Mighty Name, I pray. Amen. read more

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8,2017

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8,2017

God chose Mary the Immaculate Conception to be our “model of holiness” (Preface) in much the same way that DNA plays an integral role in our genetic code: from the inside, not from the outside. At Mary’s conception, a new way of being human happens, and we are “chosen, destined” to share it. Adam and Eve were tricked by the serpent’s “conception.” The yes of Mary at the Annunciation, the culmination of the Immaculate Conception, undoes the disobedience of Eden and makes paradise a possibility once again for us. read more

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the First Week in Advent & St. Ambrose, December 7,2017

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the First Week in Advent & St. Ambrose, December 7,2017

Ambrose was born in Trier around 340 A.D. Having won acclaim as a lawyer, Ambrose was appointed as Roman governor, residing in Milan. When a new bishop was to be elected at the cathedral, contention broke out between Arians and Christians. Ambrose rose to quell the raucous crowd. Suddenly, a little child cried out, “Ambrose, bishop!” The multitude joined in acclamation. Only a catechumen at the time, Ambrose was installed on December 7, a mere eight days after his baptism as bishop of Milan at age thirty-five. He immediately divested himself of all worldly possessions and threw himself into the study of the Church Fathers, learning their writings in order to teach. An eloquent preacher, he was especially noted for his homilies on virginity. So convincing were his discourse that some mothers refrained from sending their daughters to his Sunday Mass, for fear of losing them to the Church. A young Augustine was moved toward the Christian faith by the power of Ambrose’s words. In homilies and moral works, he extolled the virginity of Mary and defended the divinity of Christ against the Arian heresy. He died in 397 A.D. with his arms outreached in the sign of the cross. He is one of the four Latin Doctors of the Church. read more

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the First Week of Advent & St. Nicholas, December 6,2017

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the First Week of Advent & St. Nicholas, December 6,2017

Today Jesus goes up the mountain. Isaiah prophesied that on a mountain the Lord would wipe away tears, remove people’s reproach, destroy death, and provide for all a feast. We unite ourselves with the lame, the blind, the deformed, and the mute gathered together with Jesus and we pray the primordial Advent prayer: “This is the Lord for whom we looked!”

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Opening Prayer

Lord, you alone can satisfy the longing and hunger in our hearts. May I thirst for your kingdom and find joy in your presence. Give me the true bread of heaven and nourish me with your life-giving word.” Amen. read more

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the First Week of Advent & St. Sabas, December 5,2017

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the First Week of Advent & St. Sabas, December 5,2017

Jesus wants to be known. He rejoices that the wonders of God – hidden to so many – “are revealed to the childlike,” Children yearn for the Father, whom the Son in Mary’s womb even now reveals. “Blessed are the eyes that see” life this Advent way. For one look at stumps, and roots, and wild animals – every other unlikely thing – tells them that awesome miracles of grace are going to happen. read more

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the First Week of Advent & St. John Damascene, December 4,2017

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the First Week of Advent & St. John Damascene, December 4,2017

In days of old, Isaiah prophesied  that all nations would stream toward the mountain of God. But when the Son of God descends from the heights of heaven, he promises, “I will come and cure.” The Lord is not scandalized by our unworthiness; he waits for the faith that welcomes his presence.

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Opening Prayer

“Heavenly Father, you sent us your Son that we might be freed from the tyranny of sin and death. Increase my faith in the power of your saving word and give me freedom to love and serve others with generosity and mercy as you have loved me.” In Jesus’ Mighty Name, I pray. Amen. read more

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: First Sunday of Advent B & St. Francis Xavier, December 3,2017

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: First Sunday of Advent B & St. Francis Xavier, December 3,2017

At a certain point in life, the profound desires and cravings of our heart reach a point of eruption in us. Yet at the same time comes the awareness that we cannot bring about what we want – we do not have inside us what is needed to fulfill and satisfy our longings. And so, with our infinite yearnings we turn to the Infinite and cry, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down.” Our experience of helplessness before the fact of our boundless human need moves us to ask for fellowship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. The nature of our desire assures us as we enter into Advent that we are not lacking in any spiritual gift as we wait for the revelation of our Jesus Christ. “The Lord of the house is coming.” “Be watchful! Be Alert!” read more