Jesus lived his earthly life within the kingdom of heaven, and he came as the gateway by which we, too, can enter that kingdom and dwell eternally with God. We look forward to his coming again in glory, ready and eager to sing out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD."
-from The Little Way of Advent
†"Let us love the Cross and let us remember that we are not alone in carrying it. God is helping us. And in God who is comforting us, as St. Paul says, we can do anything." — St. Gianna Molla
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Even though the Disciples suffered persecution, they were filled with joy. One would have expected them to be depressed or angry or resentful. The very fact that they responded to persecution with joy is a sign that the Spirit was guiding their actions. We can use that same test with our own words and actions." — Rev. Jude Winkler, O.F.M., p. 11 AN EXCERPT FROM Daily Meditations Holy Spirit
Blessed Honoratus Kozminski
Saint of the Day for December 16 (October 16, 1829 – December 16, 1916)
Blessed Honoratus Kozminski's Story
Wenceslaus was born in Biala Podlaska in 1829. By the age of 11 he had lost his faith. By the age of 16 his father died. He attended architecture school at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Suspected of participating in a rebellious conspiracy against the Czarists in Poland, he was imprisoned from April 1846 until March of 1847. His life then took a turn for the better, and in 1848 he received the Capuchin habit and a new name, Honoratus. He was ordained in 1855 and dedicated his energies to the ministry where he was involved, among other things, with the Secular Franciscan Order.
A 1864 revolt against Czar Alexander III failed, which led to the suppression of all religious orders in Poland. The Capuchins were expelled from Warsaw and moved to Zakroczym. There Honoratus founded 26 religious congregations. These men and women took vows but did not wear a religious habit and did not live in community. In many regards, they lived as today's secular institutes do. Seventeen of these groups still exist as religious congregations.
Father Honoratus' writings include many volumes of sermons, letters, and works on ascetical theology, works on Marian devotion, historical and pastoral writings, as well as many writings for the religious congregations which he founded.
When in 1906, various bishops sought to reorganize the communities under their authority, Honoratus defended them and their independence. In 1908, he was relieved of his leadership role. He encouraged the members of these communities to be obedient to the Church.
He died on December 16, 1916 and was beatified in 1988. Reflection
Father Honoratus realized that the religious communities that he founded were not truly his. When ordered by Church officials to relinquish control, he instructed the communities to be obedient to the Church. He could have become bitter or combative, but instead, he accepted his fate with religious submission, and realized that the gifts of the Religious were to be gifts to the larger community. He learned to let go.
Dear Jesus, as I call on you today I realise that I often come asking for favours. Today I'd like just to be in your presence. Let my heart respond to Your Love.
I ask for the grace to believe in what I could be and do if I only allowed God, my loving Creator, to continue to create me, guide me and shape me.
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.
The Word of God
Friday of the Third Week in Advent (audio link)[http://ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/16_12_16.mp3]
Reading 1 Is 56:1-3a, 6-8
Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the son of man who holds to it; Who keeps the sabbath free from profanation, and his hand from any evildoing. Let not the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the LORD, "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."
The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, Loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants– All who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: Others will I gather to him besides those already gathered.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8 R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you! May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you! May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you! The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us. May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come, Lord, bring us your peace that we may rejoice before you with a perfect heart. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 5:33-36
Jesus said to the Jews: "You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Jesus always relies on his miracles – his 'works' – for proof of his divine origin.
▪ But Jesus singles out for praise John, who foretold his coming. Witnessing to what God had in mind for his people – in the end through his own martyrdom – John's life was a brilliant illumination of truth for the people who walked in darkness.
▪ As we today endeavour to deepen our own belief in the coming of Jesus, we too are each invited to be a light of faith for those around us.
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: John 5:33-36
3rd Week of Advent
John was a burning and shining lamp. (John 5:35)
In April 1918, a young German woman who had abandoned her Jewish faith went to visit Anna Reinach, a Lutheran friend whose husband had just died in battle. She went with dread, expecting to find a depressed and broken widow. But to her amazement, Anna—though deeply grieving—was radiant with hope in the resurrection.
The visitor was Edith Stein, now known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. That meeting, as she wrote years later, was "the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine his light on me—Christ in the mystery of the cross." In her own way, Anna had been like John the Baptist: "a burning and shining lamp" bearing witness to the light of Christ. She never learned what role she had played in pointing Edith to Jesus, but she was crucial to the story.
However bleak the world may seem, the light of Christ continues to shine through his disciples. It shines in the dazzling brightness of great saints like John. But it also radiates through lesser-known lights like Anna Reinach, like all the "lamps" who have shone on your path.
It even shines in you! In baptism you received Jesus, who is "the light of the world" (John 8:12). His light is in you, and believe it or not, it does shine out. Every time you bite your tongue and pray for peace instead of retaliate, the light shines. Every time you reach out to a hurting neighbor instead of remaining indifferent, the light shines. Every time you step back from the holiday shopping frenzy in order to pray, the light shines.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if, each day leading up to Christmas, we were all to do one small thing that let the light of Christ shine? Imagine the impact we would have! We are so used to focusing on our failings. Let's focus instead on the fact that imperfect as we are, we are still the light of the world. Because Jesus came to share his life, even lamps that are nicked or battered can still shine.
"Lord, help me welcome your light into every corner of my life. May I shine so that the people around me might glorify you."
The Lord said in the first Holy Scripture: "The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, Loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants–" ... "Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer" He says His house shall be a House of Prayer for all peoples. This is a time of welcoming. And the time is always now. The time of the Lord is rightly as He said "At Hand". Because the Lord didn't come and go, but He went to immediately come back with us inside of us, His heart written in ours.
We prayed today "O God, let all the nations praise you! May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us." And notice how the prayer goes: ".. have pity on US." not just me, it's not all about me and Him only. "..and bless US." not just me, it's about US being blessed together. When I was swept, my blurred vision saw masses of myriads while I was in the womb of the Mother, and they were serving in offerings to the Lord, more than a mind can work. It was a conglomeration acting as a body, sort of like air or water flow, all one Mass. Those that think it's about "them and Jesus" are wrong. The Lord desires a Mass, a togetherness, a flock gathered, united. Last night we had a penance service (Holy Confessions) and we had a good turnout, and this gives Glory to God. I shared in the Ultreya (gathering of Cursillistas) after confessions, that I liked confessing how we did, priests set all around the church, in plain view, not hidden in a little room, some around the altar, JEsus everywhere. And you sit there and seemingly confess to the people, which is RIGHT ON. The whole point is to make amends with the people, the CHURCH. It is not all about just you and the Lord, and then never reconcile with the entire community. My ugly sins have to be communicated, and I was a little afraid I was getting too excited, maybe even audible, people could hear the dumb and ugly things I've done, especially with my body language, because I was using hand gestures and so forth, LOL. But inside too, I was glad to do so, let everyone know and see the truth...I Love God, and I confess, I give witness that I believe. We shall not profane a Sunday, the Sabbath of the Lord, meaning, keeping it Holy, and this means attend, ready, ready to give to God what is rightly His....EVERYTHING.
The Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel today " these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me." if you continue reading the Gospel a few verses later the Lord says "You search* the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf". The bible is the Word of God, but the Body of Christ is the other part. That is why in Holy Mass we have the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist, the body of Christ is made up of Scripture and the living body consumed by our bodies. The Lord our God is asking us to believe not merely human words, but His word reaching out to us. Blessed be the Lord for reaching us right now in these readings, because many in your life will not receive all of this, because of many reasons stemming from no desire to no one reaching out to them in the name of Christ. People will know why you reached to them if it was for Christ. It is obvious when a messenger goes on their own behalf or on someone else's behalf. In the case of the light of the Lord, we are giving testimony, confessing, witnessing for the Lord. I never go looking for homeless people or any needy person for my own purpose, but for God, to seek God, and to seek His lost flock. LOL, I heard at a meeting this week that sometimes at CCD, a student will wonder off, go to the playground instead of class. Or sometimes a parent will wander off after dropping their kids at Mass on Sunday. Boy I wish I had a shepherd's staff to gather them back. The flock is God's and for the offering, what the sheep provide as offering is wool, and food, for warmth and nourishment, and they respond to their shepherd very well, even distinguishing His voice from thousands and follow trustingly. It is a trust relationship, us with our Father. And we trust each other to stay with the flock, staying faithful. I'm trusting you because I see some wander off, and the Lord says "stay here while I go get the Lost". and I follow Him with my eyes and my heart. He knows what He is doing with us in this world. He created it. I want you to not only go to Church on Sundays (a COMMANDMENT) but to immerse yourself in His Holy Sacraments and to be a giving person. Christ's Mass teaches us to give. Give peace, give time, give money, give love, give mercy, and the list goes on and on.
I will, I will lead others to Christ, only because I am following HIM. Let HIS light shine on you, be out in the open, not found hiding...