Advent reminds us that the One who has come into the world and is always coming into our lives in new ways is the source of our salvation. We don't need novelty and "magic bullet" solutions to our concerns. We simply need to return again and again to the rock-solid foundation of our lives: God and God alone. The mystery of the Incarnation is that by entering into our time and into our world, Jesus can show us the way to the gift that is beyond all time.
—from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent by Diane M. Houdek
†Saint Quote "There are two ways of knowing how good God is: one is never to lose Him, and the other is to lose Him and then to find Him." — Archbishop Fulton Sheen
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "It is, then, in following the will of God, in spite of all the difficulties that may arise both from within and from without, in the constant offering of ourselves to God as the creatures of His hand to do and to be what He would have us, in the surrender of one thing after another that comes between us and Him and holds us back—it is in such acts that we unite ourselves with those glorious beings who cast their crowns before the throne and with those unfallen creatures who have never known what it is to have a wish or thought apart from the will of God. Amongst those glorified saints there are, indeed, many whose wills were for a long time in revolt against God's will and who brought themselves at last into subjection, many to whom the will of God here on earth meant the sacrifice of everything the heart most loved, many to whom it meant the sacrifice of life itself. But all that is past and over, and its fruits remain—the eternal life of oblation and union with God, where one will rules those countless multitudes and binds them together and to God, where each one of those countless millions lives his own complete and perfect life yet never jars on any other, where each is perfect in itself and all together compose one perfect whole—the Body of Christ." — Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 47 AN EXCERPT FROM Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God
† VERSE OF THE DAY "But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers." James 3:8-10
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St. Winebald (701-761 A.D.) was a Saxon prince born into a holy and royal family in England. His father, St. Richard the King, and his mother, St. Wunna of Wessex, are both saints, as well as his brother, St. Willibald, his sister, St. Walburga, and his uncle, St. Boniface. After making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his father and brother, and then spending many years in Rome, Winebald was recruited by his uncle, Boniface, to join him in evangelizing Germany. Winebald was ordained a priest and worked as a missionary across Germany, Holland, France, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, leaving behind many flourishing churches and monasteries under the Rule of St. Benedict. St. Winebald was an important figure in laying the foundations of Christianity across much of Europe. After his death, his tomb became a pilgrimage shrine. His feast day is December 18.
Friday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 194 Reading 1
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: "The LORD our justice."
Therefore, the days will come, says the LORD, when they shall no longer say, "As the LORD lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt"; but rather, "As the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north"– and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own land.
PS 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; He shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. And blessed forever be his glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power! R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 1:18-25
The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. (Matthew 1:20)
Dreams can be happy, scary, or strange—if we can even remember them! Because dreams often don't make sense, it's no surprise that most of us don't take them seriously, much less make major life decisions based on them. Yet that's exactly what St. Joseph did.
Today's Gospel reading tells us about the first time this happened, when an angel in a dream told Joseph to take Mary as his wife, even though she was pregnant with a child that was not his. Then, after Jesus' birth, Joseph was told in a dream to "flee to Egypt" rather than return to Nazareth (Matthew 2:13). This decision allowed the Holy Family to escape the detection of Herod, who was looking to kill the Christ child.
There must have been something very unusual and convincing about Joseph's dreams for him to follow them. But still, as powerful as those dreams were, he must have still had doubts. Was it crazy to think that they were really from God? Maybe people around him questioned his judgment. It would have been a leap of faith to take Mary as his wife and then, later, leave family and friends behind to start a new life in a foreign country. These choices took Joseph in directions that were completely unexpected and unplanned. But Joseph trusted God, and the world is different because of it.
When you have a big decision to make, you can trust God to help you, just as Joseph did. Look for the signs that he may put in your path. They may not be as obvious as a vivid dream, but he has other ways to reach you—maybe through the advice of a good friend or with a passage of Scripture that tugs on your heart. And if you're still not sure what to do, trust that God will guide you along whatever path you take. If you seek his guidance and try your best to follow him, God will not condemn you, even if things don't work out the way you planned. He will still continue to bless you. That's how faithful and loving he is.
"God, help me to discern your plans for me."
Jeremiah 23:5-8 Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Now the one man who might be inclined to doubt the virgin birth, on natural grounds, was the man who writes it in his gospel, namely St. Luke. I say on natural grounds because Luke was a physician and yet, it's the medical doctor who sets down the virgin birth and tells us most about it. — Ven. Fulton J. Sheen from The True Meaning of Christmas
"This is the name they give him: "The LORD our justice."
We pray: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. And blessed forever be his glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."
In the Holy Gospel we hear:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel".
Our Lord has been given many names.
+ The Lord our Justice. + Emmanel- which means "God is with us." + Jesus - which means "He Saves".
The Lord our Justice is with us and saves us.
He is with us, Emmanuel. He came to be made one with us, He's us, in us, with us, through us. HE'SUS.
The Angel told St. Joseph "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. " Our Lord, Son of David, as He is dying on the cross for us, gives Mary to us to take into our home through St. John.
Do not be afraid to take her into your home.
For many years, I want to say, I was afraid. Afraid to take Mary into my home. I grew up praying on the rosary, never a problem, no big deal, until I was taught in my own faith, to not go to Mary, nor the Saints, because we are only to go to God and straight to God, as the protestants teach. Now that I've continued my faith formation, or have been guided more deep, I've realized how wrong protestants are. There is a grain of truth, God is the greatest, no question about it, but God gave us His Mother and Saints and Angels, many helps and opportunities for grace, especially His graces in Sacraments. Once I realized Mary hears prayers, once I could trust my prayers into her, I decided that day she would be my true mother. The same with the saints, I realized, I could trust the saints with my faith, to help me through this journey, I trust in them and I give prayers of thanks in offering to Mother and to God, for we are family. He'sUS. He works among us. He's among us. And He saves. And on that note, that's where our greatest trust enters in...His Salvation. It's not "my salvation" but "His salvation". It is His gift. And we must be open to His gift.
Lord, save us. Lord, You are with us. May we with You and one with You forever and ever. For You are our justice!
Random online bible verse: 2 Timothy 2:22 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
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