Blessed Pope Urban V
In 1362, the man elected pope declined the office. When the cardinals could not find another person among them for that important office, they turned to a relative stranger: the holy person we honor today. He came close but was not able to achieve one of his biggest goals—reuniting the Eastern and Western churches. As pope, Urban continued to follow the Benedictine Rule. Shortly before his death in 1370 he asked to be moved from the papal palace to the nearby home of his brother so he could say goodbye to the ordinary people he had so often helped.
In 1362, the man elected pope declined the office. When the cardinals could not find another person among them for that important office, they turned to a relative stranger: the holy person we honor today.
He came close but was not able to achieve one of his biggest goals—reuniting the Eastern and Western churches.
As pope, Urban continued to follow the Benedictine Rule. Shortly before his death in 1370 he asked to be moved from the papal palace to the nearby home of his brother so he could say goodbye to the ordinary people he had so often helped.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming.
God is not foreign to my freedom.
How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am.
Reading 1 jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a
There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites,
Responsorial Psalm ps 71:3-4a, 5-6ab, 16-17
R. (see 8) My mouth shall be filled with your praise, and I will sing your glory!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel lk 1:5-25
In the days of Herod, King of Judea,
Listen to audio of this reading
Watch a video reflection
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Meditation: Luke 1:5-25
3rd Week of Advent
The angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. (Luke 1:11)
Zechariah was thunderstruck. Not only had he seen an angel up close and personally; this angel spoke directly to him.
Most of us can only imagine what that heavenly encounter must have felt like because we've never seen an angel or heard God's audible voice. So does this mean that supernatural encounters are rare? Zechariah's experience probably is. But the truth is, you can encounter God every day.
In a way, encountering God is easier and harder than we often think. Easier, because when we're attentive, we start finding him all over the place. Harder, because we have to actually begin paying attention. Angels don't usually drop in for an informal chat!
Listen as Pope Francis speaks about a secret to encountering God: "Finding God in all things is not an 'empirical eureka.' When we desire to encounter God, we would like to verify him immediately by an empirical method. But you cannot meet God this way. God is found in the gentle breeze perceived by Elijah."
Did you catch the secret? It's in learning to sense this gentle breeze. Many people who learn to encounter God start by listening for his gentle voice. They describe God's voice as sounding, or feeling, just like one of their own thoughts. They say it's the tone, the content, and the effect of these special thoughts that give them away as actually coming from God. His tone is kind and encouraging. His words are pure and holy. And their effect is to draw us closer to him.
Here's a way that you could learn to sense his voice. Try to start a little conversation with God right now by asking him a question. It doesn't have to be a solemn prayer. Have a little fun! Remember the wide-eyed curiosity you had when you were a child? You felt there was so much about the world you didn't know. You didn't have any problem approaching your parents with a question. Well, there's so much about God that you don't know!
So ask him a question, and then listen for his gentle voice. Remember it may feel just like one of your own thoughts. Here's one to get you started ...
"Lord, how much do you love me?"
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25