Sometimes we overcomplicate things and slip out of an awareness of our inherent union with God and abiding in the Trinity. May this prayer help to simplify your life and longings and continue to redefine the meaning of "fruit" in the garden that is your life.
Life's mysteries are not my own to control, to claim, or to contrive though I often cling in desperation to the plow in a field on a planet, none of which belong to me. Send the rays and the rain whenever and however you wish, Master Gardener, Fountain Fullness, as my hands and feet and as my heart and mind simply do what they're made to do.
In Matthew 13, Jesus shares a parable about how wheat still grows among the weeds.
Whenever anxiety arises today about the rain that has not yet come, acknowledge the thought, thank the thought, let it gently pass, and allow a line from the prayer to ruminate and re-center your hands and feet and your heart and mind. Maybe the tension is where the wheat in your life is growing among the weeds.
†Saint Quote "We must always remember that God does everything well, although we may not see the reason of what He does." — St. Philip Neri
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Prayers are God-filled words in which our love and God's love are joined. That love embraces the people for whom we are praying, and love always changes people and situations. This doesn't mean that we will always get what we want, but Jesus does promise that we will get what we need." — Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p. 14 AN EXCERPT FROM Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" Psalm 139:23-24
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The Holy Innocents (1st c.) are the children mentioned in the account of Jesus' birth in Matthew's Gospel (2:16-18). When the Magi came to Jerusalem to find and adore the Baby Jesus, the newborn King of the Jews, King Herod requested that they inform him of the Child's location under the pretense of offering Him adoration, too. After paying the Child homage and offering Him their gifts, the Wise Men were warned in a dream not to betray Jesus' location, and departed for their home country by another route. Meanwhile the Holy Family was warned by an Angel to flee into Egypt. King Herod fell into a jealous rage over the Magi's failure to report back to him. He ordered all the baby boys aged two years and under to be killed, according to the appearance of the Bethlehem Star to the Three Wise Men, in an attempt to kill the Baby Jesus. These baby boys died not only for Christ, but in his stead. The Church venerates them as martyrs. It it is uncertain how many children were killed, whether a small number, or in the thousands. The Latin Church instituted the feast of the Holy Innocents in the fifth century. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome is believed to possess the bodies of several of the Holy Innocents. Their feast day is commemorated on December 28th.
Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
Lectionary: 698 Reading 1
1 JN 1:5—2:2
Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7CD-8
R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Had not the LORD been with us— When men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive, When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us; The torrent would have swept over us; over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Broken was the snare, and we were freed. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
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 realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 2:13-18
A voice was heard in Ramah . . . ; Rachel weeping for her children. (Matthew 2:18)
The feast of the Holy Innocents is jarring. Amid our Christmas celebrations, we are confronted with tragedy and grief. We turn from the Christ child in the manger to hear mothers sobbing over the death of their children. It's as if God is reminding us that life is filled with both joy and sorrow. Referring to this feast, Pope Francis wrote that "Christmas is also accompanied, whether we like it or not, by tears" (Letter to Bishops, December 28, 2016). The Holy Innocents remind us that the Son of God plunged himself into our complicated, even painful, reality. And he did so out of love for us.
In becoming man, Jesus fully embraced our humanity with all its limitations. He was born into poverty to a young couple who offered only two turtledoves when they consecrated him at the Temple (Luke 2:24). His family fled to Egypt to escape Herod's threats and lived as refugees until they could safely return to Nazareth. In ministry, Jesus experienced both admiration and rejection. And he knew the blessing of close relationships, as well as the grief of losing his father and the disappointment when his friends abandoned him.
So whether we are suffering or rejoicing today, we can be confident that Jesus knows what it's like. Better yet, he enters into our circumstances with us. It's easy to imagine Jesus smiling beside us when everything is going well. It's harder to trust that he's with us when challenges arise. We might think that he has forgotten us. But he is never far from us. He hears our cries, just as he heard the cries of the grieving mothers of Bethlehem. When we suffer, he weeps with us, just as he wept over Lazarus with Mary and Martha—and he invites us to weep with those who are suffering (John 11:35; Romans 12:15).
You are never forgotten, never alone in your suffering. Jesus is with you, even as he calls you to be with your brothers and sisters who are suffering. Can you hear their cries?
"Lord, help me to reach out to the suffering people in my life."
1 John 1:5–2:2 Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
Amid all the fear that characterizes our time, we Christians are summoned to live in joy and communicate joy—joy in spite of fear, joy in the midst of fear. — Hans Urs von Balthasar from You Crown the Year with Your Goodness
my2cents: "If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." We all know we are sinners. Right?
But have you ever said "I have not sinned"?
Think about it. When's the last time you went to confession? Most of the time that most won't go, it is because in their mind, our mind, and my mind, we believe "I really don't have much of a reason to confess" and the unrepentant heart lives on. Kind of ruthless in a way.
We pray: "Had not the LORD been with us—When men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive, When their fury was inflamed against us. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare." Men rise up. Men must wise up. Man will go against man, if we are not wise, and God is Wisdom. We need His Divinity.
St. Joseph was told in a dream to flee and "Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Already life for and with Christ was a struggle. Israel means struggle. Struggling with God. How can it be that struggling with God is the way? Is faith a struggle? I bet you have struggled at some point with faith. But there are two ways of reading that sentence "Struggling with God". One: Struggling against God. Two: Struggling while being with Him, never separating. Most find themselves at point one, trying to grasp and comprehend faith with the mind. And on the second, we find ourselves going through hardships like Mary and Joseph, for the life of Christ.
King Herod was the kind of person we don't want to face, because it'd be like looking in a mirror. That struggle becomes evident. Is this some poetic figure of speech? Or is it truth? Egos abound. Selfishness supersedes all. Look at how many selfies people take. Look at how much people hate what has happened in the year 2020. Why? Because they can't have their sports gods or movie gods? Restricted recreation and pleasure? Because their technology gods can't make them happy? What will make you happy? It is the struggle WITH OUR LORD, remaining in Him, in our hearts. That will be the key.
St. Joseph fled in the night, in the very darkness that he had to face for Christ now HIS baby. God said "here's the baby you didn't ask for" and "here is your cross". Eventually, this baby became the love of his life. The cross becomes the love of your life, but it is not like that at first. I'm thinking of parents with a child with autism, or paralyzed. The child is an extreme burden taking a toll on every last bit of their lives. I saw this year a family that hadn't come in to church in a long while. They were there during the week to remember the death of a child they had struggled with for so many years with weak health. The death and love of the child brought them to God. The book of Revelation became true when Herod had so many toddler and baby boys killed. I look at us today, and what Herod did was nothing compared to what we are doing today in society, allowing millions upon millions of unborn babies to be killed for ...selfies. There are ads put on by satanic groups promoting abortion, they see this as beneficial to the movement. It is a sign, isn't it? A clear sign of what is evident.
Have you got the sign yet? My sinful ways must revealed, and killed. My sinful life must end. My sins are what causing the atrocities. What is abortion? It is a continued of effect of contraception. It is that "delete" and "cancel" button we'd like to have in life, but it is a lie. The only cleansing process is confession. Have you any sins? Have you any need of our Lord? Have you any need of a savior? This pandemic is geared for a purpose. Whoever launched it can be accused of an atrocity greater than Nazis, right? It is an engineered death virus to kill the weaklings. Nazism was designed to make a super power of man. And in the end it only killed men (and women and children). Whoever desired to be great, became as if nothing. Think Herod. Think of how you view yourself. You my friend must join me in receiving angelic messages. Tune into your guardian angel as a guide to the light. Tune into prayer as an oxygen mask to the soul. With a world with less people because of the worshiping of sinful things, we too must take up our Jesus and carry him to safety and then, give our lives for Him. Mary our Mother did it, St. Joseph too, and all the saints and martyrs. Hold fast. Fast. Offer sufferings to God. Have faith, but faith in God above all. And this means love of God above all.
Lord, the white robes of the baby martyrs holds the power of prayer for us sinners...we need mercy, and love of mercy....Mercy Lord.
Random online bible verse: Micah 6:8
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,1
and to walk humbly with your God?
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace
For questions or comments contact Adrian@going4th.com. For more go to www.Going4th.com