You say you're not familiar with today's saint? Chances are you aren't—unless you're especially informed about Benedictine bishops who established monasteries in medieval England.
Born of royal blood in the 7th century, Egwin entered a monastery and was enthusiastically received by royalty, clergy and the people as the bishop of Worcester, England. As a bishop he was known as a protector of orphans and the widowed and a fair judge. Who could argue with that?
His popularity didn't hold up among members of the clergy, however. They saw him as overly strict, while he felt he was simply trying to correct abuses and impose appropriate disciplines. Bitter resentments arose, and Egwin made his way to Rome to present his case to Pope Constantine. The case against Egwin was examined and annulled.
Upon his return to England, he founded Evesham Abbey, which became one of the great Benedictine houses of medieval England. It was dedicated to Mary, who had reportedly made it known to Egwin just where a church should be built in her honor.
He died at the abbey on December 30, in the year 717. Following his burial many miracles were attributed to him: The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the sick were healed.
Daily Prayer - 2015-12-30
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
Your death on the cross has set me free.
In the presence of my loving Creator,
The Word of God
Reading 1 1 Jn 2:12-17
I am writing to you, children,
Responsorial Psalm PS 96:7-8a, 8b-9, 10
R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 2:36-40
There was a prophetess, Anna,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
6th Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
Do not love the world or the things of the world. (1 John 2:15)
How magical life feels during this week between Christmas and New Year's Day! As far as the Church is concerned, we are still in the Octave of Christmas. And as far as the world is concerned, the holiday season is still in full swing. Candles still give off their warm glow. Christmas trees remain in many homes. Families are spending more time together, and children are still basking in the mirth of the season.
So why, in the midst of all these good feelings, is John warning us not to love the world? Why caution us against "sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life" (1 John 2:16)? Does he like being a killjoy?
Not at all. Just a few verses before these warnings, John gives a litany of all the blessings that are ours because of Christmas: Our sins are forgiven. We can know "him who is from the beginning." We can even know victory over the evil one (1 John 2:12-14). Surely there is much to rejoice over!
John gives us this warning because he knows how tricky life in the world can be. He knows that the Christian life is a matter of ongoing change and transformation. None of us really "arrives" at perfect holiness. It's a journey filled with joy and fear, an adventure that has its triumphs and defeats.
Brothers and sisters, God has so much that he wants to give us. And the devil has so much that he wants to tempt us with. So no matter how far we've come, there is always more awaiting us: more grace and love from the throne of God. Greater transformation into the image of Christ. More healing of our past and more hope for our future. And there will never be an end to the obstacles, the challenges, and the temptation to rest on our laurels and stop seeking after the Lord.
So as the Octave of Christmas winds down, take time to rejoice in the marvelous gifts God has given you. But begin also to make a plan for growth in the coming year. And always remember: Jesus is with you no matter what!
"Lord, protect me from the snares of this world. Today, help me remember who you are and all that you have done in me. Jesus, I want to know you even more!"
In waiting room for wife's sonogram and tests, I share reflections with you:
The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at www.dailyscripture.net
Meditation: What do you hope for? The hope which God places in our heart is the desire for the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness. Hope grows with prayer and perseverance. Anna was pre-eminently a woman of great hope and expectation that God would fulfill all his promises. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she was found daily in the house of the Lord, attending to the Lord in prayer and speaking prophetically to others about the Lord's promise to send a redeemer. She is a model of godliness to all believers as we advance in age.
Advancing age and the disappointments of life can easily make us cynical and hopeless if we do not have our hope placed rightly. Anna's hope in God and his promises grew with age! She never ceased to worship God in faith and to pray with hope. Her hope and faith in God's promises fueled her indomitable zeal and fervor in prayer and service of God's people.
How do we grow in hope? By placing our trust in the promises of Jesus Christ and relying not on our own strength, but on the grace and help of the Holy Spirit. Does your hope and fervor for God grow with age?
"Lord Jesus, may I never cease to hope in you and to trust in your promises. Inflame my zeal for your kingdom and increase my love for prayer, that I may never cease to give you praise and worship".
The following reflection is courtesy of Presentation Ministries (c) 2015. Their website is located at presentationministries.com
WORLD WAR WON
"If anyone loves the world, the Father's love has no place in him." —1 John 2:15
Most of us believe that love for the world could detract people from receiving God the Father's love. In contrast, the Lord maintains that love for the world will totally displace the Father's love from our lives. Therefore, we must have no love for the world (1 Jn 2:15), make no provisions for the desires of the flesh (Rm 13:14), and crucify the "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). Love for the world is like cancer. Even a little bit of it kills.
The Lord has been extremely clear about our relationship with the world. He chose us out of the world (Jn 15:19), and the world hates us (Jn 15:18; 17:14). Nevertheless, we can choose to be the world's friends and thereby become God's enemies (Jas 4:4; Phil 3:18-19).
As clear as the Lord is about our relationship with the world, many Christians have never gotten the message. Therefore, the Lord has sent as messengers Christians who, like little children, depend on God the Father (see 1 Jn 2:12, 14). These "little ones" are graced by the Holy Spirit to convict us of our worldliness (see Jn 16:8). Fathers especially are anointed to communicate the message of God the Father's all-sufficient love (1 Jn 2:13, 14). In our Father's love, we have everything. We don't need "the world with its seductions" (1 Jn 2:17). Finally, the Lord has chosen young men (1 Jn 2:13, 14) like Paul, Anthony, Benedict, Francis, Dominic, and others to rebel against the world. The message of these young men rocks the world. Because of them, many crucify themselves to the world and live in the Father's love (Gal 6:14).
Prayer: Father, this Christmas free me from the world. Promise: "She was constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer. Coming on the scene at this moment, she gave thanks to God and talked about the Child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem." —Lk 2:37-38 Praise: James sought Jesus in silence, heard the call to monastic life, and accepted his new vocation.
Ours is a life to explore the possibilities of just how much to grow in love with God. Anna grew in age and hope. I thank our Lord for this opportunity. Find out what is holding you from a better love. Then pray for strength to move past this hurdle. Then, move. Move forward. Courage happens moment by moment. At the safety meeting this morning, I asked all how we could've avoided an accident earlier this year when one of our drivers got struck by an oncoming vehicle turning in front of us. And notice, I say 'we' but it was only him driving alone. I said we are all one and what you do alone affects the rest...the same with sin. It seemed it was unavoidable, but I kept asking how it could've been avoided. I asked the driver to say what happened and he said something that I called out "the other driver seemed to have hesitated" before taking the risk of almost killing someone. I said we can look ahead in anticipation of what could happen. Analyze, search, and don't get distracted. What was funny is that the guys in various accidents didn't really want to accept their end of the fault. We want to protect our "reputation" and in doing so the other party must be fully blamed. I'm talking about our sin. We don't want to accept we are sinful. I say this repeatedly because the lines to the confessionals are practically nonexistent and priests do not make it readily available, that what is healing and reconciliation for us all.A sign of intelligence is to be able to recognize signs and patterns -notice what is transpiring and has transpired for centuries. If I SAT here and recalled everyone's weaknesses including mine what purpose would that serve? It should serve as a sign. Because the word of the Lord is insistent an incessant. And not only that it is good and it is saving. Much of what I have learned has been from experiences of self and others.
How can I apply the word of the Lord to my life this very day? It said today that the child grew strong and in wisdom and in God's grace. If we are to be Christ followers then rightly so we too shall be a child of God to grow strong in wisdom and in grace. I pray for you to have this grace and wisdom bestowed upon you. And wisdom comes by vindication, humiliation, and often buy a glory we dare not ask for... a total surrender of our lives.
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