Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time B & St. Gregory Nazianzen, January 14,2018
“I have waited, waited for the Lord.” In our yearning, John the Baptist sends us to the Lamb of God. Jesus look at us and addresses us with a breathtaking questions, “What are you looking for?” Christ’s first words call us to search our desires. For Jesus draws us to himself through the longings of our heart. The Lord once said to Saint Catherine of Siena, “I who am infinite God want you to serve me with what is infinite, and you have nothing infinite except your soul’s love and desire.” “You are not your own”; God’s law/desire has been placed within our heart. To do his will is our delight. The Son of God says to us now what Samuel once said to Eli: “Here I am.”read more
Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Hilary, January 13,2018
Born into a pagan family, Hilary is said to have studied his way into the Church, meditating in part on the prologue to John’s Gospel. In 353 A.D. he was chosen bishop of Poitier, France. Only three years after being elected bishop of Poitiers, France. Hilary was sent into exile in Phrygia, present-day Turkey by the emperor, professed Arian, because he refused to condemn Athanasius. There Hilary composed his great doctrinal work On the Trinity. “Anyone who fails to see that Christ Jesus was at once true God and truly man is blind to his own life: to deny Christ Jesus, or God the Spirit, or our own flesh, is equally perilous,” he wrote. Hilary governed his diocese from afar, thwarted only the slow mail delivery. He returned to Poitiers and died in 367 A.D. Hilary was dubbed the “Athanasius of the West” because, like the great doctor from Alexandria, he worked tirelessly to uphold the truth of the divinity of the Son of God in an age dominated by the Arian heresy. Hilary was hailed by Saint Augustine as “the most illustrious doctor of the churches.”read more
Readings & Reflections: Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, January 12,2018
Fallen human beings try to refashion reality. That is why the people of Israel defiantly demand that Samuel appoint for them a king; that is why the scribes repudiate Christ’s genuine authority to forgive sins. The “splendor of our strength” is walking in the light of the Lord’s countenance.
Heavenly Father, we sometimes lose sight of what is going on around us and we forget that it is our mission to be witnesses of the Good News. A lot of times, we overlook the human suffering around us. We forget Christ’s preferential option for the marginalized and suffering. Lord, give us the grace to focus on Christ and be united in faith when we gather for religious services and pray together. Being united in faith with each other, sharpen our eyes to see the human suffering around us and increase our desire to alleviate it, and to commit ourselves to serve the marginalized in our society and globally. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & Blessed William Carter, January 11,2018
Beaten Israel asks, “Why has the Lord permitted us to be defeated?” The leper probably asked himself the same question. But if he had not been “defeated” by leprosy, he never would have attracted the attention and the pity of Jesus. “Our woe and oppression” disposes us to God’s mercy.
Heavenly Father, You have guided us directly through our consciences! You have invited us to listen and to respond to your call yet we have been cold and indifferent. Lord God, give us the grace to soften our hearts and enable us to re-arrange our busy schedules and priorities to include regular rhythms of withdrawal and retreat from activity to be in silence and solitude with You. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Gregory of Nyssa, January 10,2018
The mercy Simon’s sick mother-in-law received from Jesus is what we wait for. Oh Lord, approach me, grasp me by the hand, help me up. Find me among the countless crowd gathered at your door in longing. I have heard you calling me in the night. Here I am, Lord! By your grace, the heat of my fever will become fervor for waiting on others.
“Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver. There is no trouble nor bondage you cannot overcome. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service.” In your Mighty Name, I pray. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: The Baptism of the Lord B & St. Angela of Foligno, January 8,2018
Jesus joins the people out to John the Baptist in the gesture of repentance, not because there is sin in him, but in order to model for us the only authentic way to approach the Father. He goes to the Baptist as a beggar because the Mystery is mercy. Jesus surrenders to mercy by submitting himself to baptism in order to invite us to share in his relationship with the Father announced from the heavens. The Lord Jesus lowers himself in his baptism and, as Nothingness, acknowledges his Father so that we will never hesitate to do the same.read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord B & St. Raymond of Peñafort, January 7,2018
Today’s Solemnity of the Epiphany (Manifestation) of Jesus completes the Christmas celebration. It gives the universal character to the birth of Jesus. He is the Savior, not only of Israel, but of the whole world as manifested by the three Magi. The three magi (or 3 kings namely: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar) came to Bethlehem as pilgrims and returned to their lands as missionaries. Their pilgrimage of faith had begun and would bring them face to face with one king, Herod, who was corrupt and jealous, and another king, a helpless child lying in a manger. They expected to find the city rejoicing, but instead they encountered hostility and indifference. Before Jesus, the newborn king they offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; gold to honor a king, frankincense to bless a priest, and myrrh to anoint a victim. They humbly prostrated themselves before the Lord Jesus and paid homage to the newborn king (Mt 2:11). In his sermon on Epiphany, St. John Chrysostom (+407A.D.) said, “If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly King, though they found in Him no signs of royal preeminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God.”read more
Readings & Reflections: Friday before Epiphany & St.John Neumann, January 5,2018
John Nepomucene Neumann was born in Prachatitz in Bohemia. In 1836 A.D. he arrived in New York and was ordained and sent to minister to German immigrants laboring in the Niagara region in Western New York State until he joined the Redemptorists in Pittsburgh four years later. In 1852 A.D. he was made bishop of Philadelphia and took the motto, “Passion of Christ, strengthen me!” During his eight years as bishop, he gave himself totally to establishing schools and parishes for his mostly immigrant flock. He learned Gaelic to hear the confessions of the Irish. John patiently suffered the violence of the Know-Nothings, virulent anti-Catholic nationalists, all the while creating a system of parochial schools, writing a catechism for children, and establishing new parishes. He collapsed in 1860 at the age of forty-eight. He was canonized in 1977 A.D. “He was close to the sick; he was at home with the poor; he was a friend to sinners. And today he is the honor of all immigrants, and from the viewpoint of the Beatitudes the symbol of Christian success,” said Pope Paul VI in his canonization homily.read more
Pope Francis’ first international trip of the New Year will take place in less than two weeks. From January 15-18 the Holy Father will visit Chile, first stage of his itinerary, before going on to Peru, until the 22nd.
To reduce the costs of the trip, Pope Francis requested that useless expenses be avoided, using recycled materials and goods, said the Executive Director of Pope Francis’ visit, Javier Peralta, to the Chilean newspaper T13.
Therefore, the Pope’s request has been followed up, predisposing installations, such as altars, which can be used in other circumstances. According to T13, the altars alone will occupy a surface of 4,500 square meters; 600,000 hosts will be prepared for the faithful’s Communion.read more
Readings & Reflections: Thursday before Epiphany & St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4,2018
Born to a prominent colonial family in 1774 A.D, Elizabeth married William Seton and bore five children. After she married William, she founded a Protestant society for helping widows and orphans as her dreamed of helping the poor from an early age. After William’s business failed, he contracted tuberculosis and died. Elizabeth encountered the Catholic faith through friends in Italy, and was received into the Church at St. Peter’s Church in lower Manhattan, New York. Her attempts to found a school in New York to support herself and her five children failed when the parents of her students discovered that she was Catholic. The victim of anti-Catholic prejudice, Elizabeth accepted an invitation from a Sulpician priest in Baltimore to found the congregation that became the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph to educate the poor and orphans, and the beginning of the American parochial school system. In her sufferings, Elizabeth resorted to prayer: “And do I realize it – the protecting presence, the consoling grace of my Redeemer and my God. He raises me from the dust to feel that I am near him….” Elizabeth died in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1821 A.D. She is considered the patron of Catholic education in America.read more
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