Rooted in Christ When we are rooted in Christ, we are rooted in an ancestry of many who have gone before us. We stand in the light of the teachings t
Rooted in Christ
When we are rooted in Christ, we are rooted in an ancestry of many who have gone before us. We stand in the light of the teachings that come to us from Scripture, and the teachings that come to us from the wisdom of the Catholic community. We stand in the wisdom of Jesus Christ, the one who becomes for us the person and hope in which we are rooted.
-from Let Us Adore Him
†"When we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus." — St. Rose of Lima
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "If you would suffer with patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer. If you would obtain courage and strength to conquer the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer. If you would mortify your own will with all its inclinations and appetites, be a man of prayer. If you would know the wiles of Satan and unmask his deceits, be a man of prayer. If you would live in joy and walk pleasantly in the ways of penance, be a man of prayer. If you would banish from you soul the troublesome flies of vain thoughts and cares, be a man of prayer. If you woudl nourish your soul with the very sap of devotion, and keep it always full of good thoughts and good desires, be a man of prayer. If you would strengthen and keep up your courage in the ways of God, be a man of prayer. In fine, if you would uproot all vices from your soul and plant all virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. It is in prayer that we receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost, who teaches all things." — St. Bonaventure, p. 25-26 AN EXCERPT FROM The Ways of Mental Prayer
Saint of the Day for December 30 (d. c. 720)
Saint Egwin's Story
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. Reflection
Correcting abuses and faults is never an easy job, not even for a bishop. Egwin attempted to correct and build up the clergy in his diocese and it earned him the wrath of his priests. When we are called to correct someone or some group, plan on opposition, but also know that it might be the right thing to do.
I slow myself down for a moment, and try to realise that God is present. To me. Here and now. He is in present in what I do, in the people that I meet, and the situations I find myself in daily. How can I make this reality real for myself?
Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom. May your Holy Spirit guide those in power to work for equality for all your people.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children, and, when he prays, is heard. Whoever reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.
My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him; revile him not all the days of his life; kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firmly planted against the debt of your sins —a house raised in justice to you.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Alleluia Col 3:15a, 16a R. Alleluia, alleluia. Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.
When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazorean.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ According to this narrative, Jesus, Mary and Joseph went through a period of being – like tens of millions today – 'displaced persons'.
▪ Joseph was the one taking instructions on how to respond as events unfolded. We could say that each move was a leap in the dark – but of course none of the messages was anything like the first utterly unique and earth-shattering announcement that the spirit of God had intervened in Mary's life. One might say that Joseph, at this 'annunciation' to himself, had more right than Zechariah not to know what to make of it all and to be dumb-struck.
▪ Perhaps we could call Joseph 'the saint of trust' - being kept in the dark till the last moment – and then having to put his faith in whatever direction he was given.
▪ Some of us may know persons with family responsibility today who admit that, in a rapidly changing society, they never know 'what's round the corner'. Joseph's willingness to 'fly blind' under heaven's bidding could provide a model for them.
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Feast)
God sets a father in honor over his children. (Sirach 3:2)
In Rome, you can visit the place where St. Ignatius Loyola lived. In the room where he prayed, there is one picture mounted on the wall: a painting of the Holy Family. This was the one image Ignatius used for his meditation every day.
What was Ignatius pondering as he spent hours gazing upon that picture? Was he admiring the way Mary listened to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and consented to be the mother of Jesus? Perhaps he pondered what it would have been like to walk with Joseph, leading and protecting Mary and the baby Jesus on their journey to Egypt? Maybe Ignatius saw himself sitting down for dinner each night and joining in conversation with these three?
Ignatius probably also spent time meditating on how God joined himself so closely with us in the birth of Jesus and on how Jesus submitted himself to his parents' authority. He probably also pictured himself at work with Joseph and Jesus in the carpenter's workshop. It's even possible that Ignatius prayed to the Holy Family in intercession for all the families that he knew.
It's hard to be a holy family today. The world doesn't always share or support our values. Everything has become so fast paced and demanding that it's hard for couples to find the time to deepen their relationship. Many families also face significant financial obstacles. Clearly the challenges are many. But we shouldn't let them discourage us. Why? Because we have a loving Father who will always look out for us.
As you celebrate the Holy Family today, know that Jesus treasures your family—no matter what shape it is in. He knows your needs, and he is constantly pouring out love and blessings upon you.
One sure way that your family can be like the Holy Family is to imitate Jesus by giving your own expressions of love. Whether your family is united or divided, whether it is healthy or struggling, tell your children that you love them. Show them your affection by hugging them or kissing them. Let love—your love and Jesus' love—cover your family, and God will bless you.
"Jesus, protect our children. Transform all families into holy families."
"Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them." And this goes a long way if taken serious, such a long way that it goes into eternity. Honor your Father...honor our mother. On earth, many of us have mothers and fathers, honoring them represents honoring the Lord. At the funeral, I asked one of the children if that was her mother we were praying for, the deceased, they said it was their stepmother, then I asked for how long she'd been their stepmother, and they said about 27 to 28 years, since they were young, like 5 years old. I said "this is your mother, in place of your biological mother" and then I said in front of all, "just as she was a mother to these children, so we have a Mother in Heaven and so we pray for her to assist us" and it is always an assistance to guide us to Christ. The Holy Family is in Heaven. We honor Joseph and Mary, because they were the protectors and teachers of Jesus, teachers of work, teachers of faith, teachers of work in faith, teachers of Kingship, teachers of Priesthood, teachers of the Divine Word, and the Master learns. Learn what it means to Honor thy Father, and soon you'll be on your way to the Kingdom of God.
We prayed today: "Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored" Fear the Lord! FEAR HIM! And not the kind of fear that makes you stay away, but the kind of fear that makes you want to bring everyone to Him in amazement, in wonder, and in awe. The Wise men were in awe, amazement. The Shepherds were in awe and amazement, and they feared, and that is why they obeyed the angels, and to this day, there are angels telling you to go to Christ and then you become angels for Christ, messengers of the Divine Word...that is...if you fear! Because in the hustle and bustle of life, and then everything ends, perhaps the Lord will ask someone else "how did you get here to Heaven?" And they may reply a forgotten child like me "it was because that person", and then they look at you, and God smiles..."oh yes! of course". Because of the message you carried to them, because you carried Christ in protection, just like the Holy Family. You protect the faith with your life, and this will mean a true witness.
Today, the Gospel says "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." Those seeking to take life away, are dead already. This is the gruesome truth of a spiritual death. I don't know why, but I'm worried. Not about the economy, or politics, or anything of worldly matters except when they touch my family, the dead ones, the ones still breathing but are dead. Mortal sin is mortal death. They live, and think they are happy, but spiritually, they are as good as dead to the Kingdom. Unresponsive, unbelieving, and not united with life. I pray for them, just like I'm sure you pray for your unresponsive family. Then, it is not a matter of protecting the dead, but trying to bring the dead back to life...like Christ, the Messiah who did just that, and most often with words like "Rise" and "your sins are forgiven". ARISE! Then, we must be unceasant in our prayer life. Just because we don't see signs of life, doesn't mean they aren't faintly breathing. At the funeral I started with "i don't know anyone here really, I was asked to come pray, but looking out to you, I see my family (in Christ), I share with you your loss, of your wife, of your mother, of your sister" and it is true, the Holy Family is not your blood family alone...it is extended in Christ as He extended Himself on the cross as if to say, "I'm doing this for the whole world" Now it's our turn...
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December 30: Homework
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
In April of this year, Pope Francis released the apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), which was the culmination of a synodal process called for by Pope Francis in 2013. Following synods on the themes "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world" in 2014 and "The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization" In 2015, Amoris Laetitia shares the Holy Father's teaching and encouragement regarding pastoral ministry to families, and what marriages and families are called to at this time in history.
▪ Follow Pope Francis' advice and remember three key phrases for living in peace and joy in the family: "may I", "thank you," and "sorry." (Pope Francis, Angelus, December 29, 2013). Say this Prayer for Families before your evening meal today.
▪ Look to the Holy Family for inspiration and support as we try to let God make our families holy in a world so different from Nazareth.
▪ Read a Report on Reception and Implementation of Amoris Laetitia in the United States