Christian joy is not simply a superficial feeling of heightened delight or the emotion accompanying extreme pleasure. It does not necessarily depend upon one's immediate circumstances or fortune as taught by Saint Francis's example. It does not ignore or deny the troubling reality of indifference, hopelessness, or disappointment. Christian joy lies beyond the realm of feelings and emotions. It is a fundamental disposition and stance toward life. Descriptive metaphors for it abound: It is the knowledge that having prayed and surrendered, God hears the hopes and desires of my heart and will respond in a timely, appropriate way. God is my shepherd and I must trust God's heart. Joy feeds on the fact that God stands watch over every situation in my life and guides me with rod and staff. My joy sometimes bubbles up, sometimes surges up, from the rock-bottom certainty that the finger of God is somehow present in every tragic or trivial event. Joy is the oasis residing in the confident conviction that the waters of God's loving care and concern never run dry—not even in the desert. The gratuity of grace is always unending and never expiring.
—from the book Soul Training with the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis by Albert Haase, OFM
†Saint Quote "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
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality." Colossians 3:23-25
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ST. ADELAIDE OF BURGUNDY
St. Adelaide (931-999 A.D.) was the virtuous daughter of King Rupert II of Burgundy, France. She became the Queen of Italy after being given in marriage to the future King of Italy. When her husband died, she was imprisoned for refusing a second politically-driven marriage. However, when the German Emperor Otto came to rule Italy, she accepted his rescue and offer of marriage. They had four children, the future Otto II and three daughters, two of whom became nuns. Pope John XII crowned Otto the Holy Roman Emperor in 962 A.D., and Adelaide was crowned as the Holy Roman Empress. When her son, Otto II, succeeded her husband as Emperor, she was driven from court by her jealous daughter-in-law. When they both died, Adelaide returned to court to rule the empire as regent Queen until her grandson was of age. She used her position, power, and influence to help the poor, evangelize her people, and to build and restore monasteries and churches. She afterwards retired to a convent in Germany, spending her remaining days in prayer. St. Adelaide is the patroness of princesses, empresses, second marriages, widows, parenthood, brides, exiles, and abuse victims. Her feast day is December 16.
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Reading 1 IS 45:6C-8, 18, 21C-25
I am the LORD, there is no other; I form the light, and create the darkness, I make well-being and create woe; I, the LORD, do all these things. Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above, like gentle rain let the skies drop it down. Let the earth open and salvation bud forth; let justice also spring up! I, the LORD, have created this. For thus says the LORD, The creator of the heavens, who is God, The designer and maker of the earth who established it, Not creating it to be a waste, but designing it be lived in: I am the LORD, and there is no other. Who announced this from the beginning and foretold it from of old? Was it not I, the LORD, besides whom there is no other God? There is no just and saving God but me. Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other! By myself I swear, uttering my just decree and my unalterable word: To me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear, Saying, "Only in the LORD are just deeds and power. Before him in shame shall come all who vent their anger against him. In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory of all the descendants of Israel."
Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14
R. (Isaiah 45:8) Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior. I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior. Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior. The LORD himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps. R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Alleluia See IS 40:9-10
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Raise your voice and tell the Good News: Behold, the Lord GOD comes with power. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel LK 7:18B-23
At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" When the men came to the Lord, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'" At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And Jesus said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me."
Daily Meditation: Luke 7:18-23
Blessed is the one who takes no offense at me. (Luke 7:23)
Admittedly, it can be hard to accept the unexpected. But that's what many in Jesus' time were asked to do. There were differing expectations about what the Messiah would be like. Would he be a military figure? Would he be a benevolent king? But Jesus completely upended these expectations. The Messiah was, in fact, a humble carpenter.
Yet there were people who did accept Jesus as the Messiah. Concerning them, Jesus said, "Blessed is the one who takes no offense at me" (Luke 7:23). So how were some able to receive Jesus without being offended by the manner in which he came? They had to surrender their original expectations for the Messiah. Then they were free to receive the faith that allowed them to see Jesus for who he really is.
We too sometimes have to surrender our expectations in order to find the faith to see Jesus working in our lives. It's the process we engage in when, for example, an adult child has to move back home. We expected that he would be able to live on his own. But when we leave our expectations at the door, we might just be able to recognize Jesus at work drawing us closer to this child. Or maybe we didn't expect to lose our job but saw God providing for our needs through various offers of help we received.
That's not to say that working through such scenarios is a simple process or that it's comfortable. It can get messy at times. Sometimes we don't know we are carrying expectations until they're left unmet, and we discover them as a situation unfolds. Sometimes we experience disappointment or loss. But the Lord is still with us, ready to help us navigate the circumstances and show us how he is extending his love to us.
This Advent, if you find that your expectations are unmet or need a major adjustment, surrender them to the Lord. Ask for the grace to believe that he will be working in every situation, whether it's something you anticipated or not. As you open your heart and mind to see Jesus revealing himself to you, then you will be blessed indeed!
"Jesus, I am so blessed. Help me to be open to all that you are doing in my life."
Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25 Psalm 85:9-14
That God gives children in order to take them again is something Mary knows not only from her human knowledge but even more from her knowledge of the Son in faith… Thus she gives him, at Christmas, both to the world and to the Father. She gives him to the world created by God that it may be redeemed, and she gives him to the Father that he may redeem the world. — Adrienne von Speyr from Handmaid of the Lord
my2cents: "Let the earth open and salvation bud forth; let justice also spring up! I, the LORD, have created this."
We pray: "Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior. I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land."
We heard St. John the Baptist: "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" St. John was in prison when he had them ask our Lord the question. Was John in need of help? A savior? Why did he send two of his own disciples to our Lord? St. John knew our Lord, they perhaps seen each other, as cousins growing up, a few times or more. He knew WHO Jesus was more than most people walking the earth ever would. So why would He have them ask our Lord?
St. John was handing over his life for the Lord our God. And like Elijah, he was now commending the next prophet through emissaries, two to Jesus, two of the best, new disciples for our Lord...for the truth...for John was about to die for the truth. They say St. Joseph also suffered for our Lord, for he offered all his sufferings and death to and for our Lord. Mother Mary leads the way too, in this way. I've only to step outside my house to see a state of our Mother, with tears that have appeared and will not go away. Sorrowful Mother, pray for us.
""Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me." Even in the pandemic, we still hear of some that take offense at our only shot at Salvation...Jesus.
Do we not know that this debilitating pandemic is meant to bring us to our knees?
It is a beginning when darkness in unleashed, bats mixed with humans, vampires are dark spirits. The most man loving people (meaning nation) will be bitten by the bat. Evil. Darkness. We need to realize what has caused this pandemic. It is darkness itself. False gods. It is the very technology that has turned against us...in medicine. False gods are false ideals. And for the last several decades, I have witnessed the rise of many false ideals, such as moral relativism, and auto and self sufficiency (no need for God). In a cursillo, a short course in Christianity, we learn what are false ideals and what is a true ideal. But first we must learn what false ideals are there that we follow.
I have seen for decades flourishing communities and a well to do lifestyle, people healthy, happy at bars, going out always, pleasure seeking full time, and bickering and backstabbing at the same time with their mouths. Spiritually, we have been going blind, we have become lame. Lame and blind to Christ and even dead to Christ. Only the poor have good news proclaimed.
Lately, I've run into ex-convicts in my parish, and I have high hopes for them to have a true conversion, why do I bring them up? Because immediately my mind went to the poor. The poor appreciate the Word made Flesh. The poor lay down their lives for Christ. John the Baptist was poor, living off the land, and was preaching full time, wearing animal skins for clothes.
All sorts of people flocked to him in the wilderness, rich and poor, and many came to believe in our Lord Jesus, because he prepared the way of the Lord. These prophetic words have reached you in hopes that they will enter your heart.
Lord, I am not worthy....to untie your sandal, much less for you to come under my roof, but only say the Word, and it shall be done, we shall be healed, and we shall be saved! We flock to you and kneel before your mighty presence!
Random online bible verse: John 6 35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace
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