To serve the Lord and Divine Master is to recognize the gratuity of grace that is never exhausted and never expires: everything in my life is a grace, gift, and blessing. In the presence of God, I can claim absolutely nothing as my own—except my sin. My life is at the disposal of Jesus. Detached from my pride and indifferent to the personality props, I am constantly asked to serve him by responding to the unmet need or required duty of the present moment: that might be a prayer of praise or petition, a response to someone in need, an act of forgiveness, or the offer of an apology. As happened to Blake, the operating force in my life begins to shift to the centrifugal: Jesus is the Master, and I look beyond myself to serve him and follow in his footsteps.
—from the book Soul Training with the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis by Albert Haase, OFM
†Saint Quote "The adorable Heart of Jesus is our comfort, our way, our life." — St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Strong passions are the precious raw material of sanctity. Individuals who have carried their sinning to extremes should not despair or say, 'I am too great a sinner to change,' or 'God would not want me.' God will take anyone who is willing to love, not with an occasional gesture, but with a 'passionless passion,' a 'wild tranquility'. A sinner, unrepentant, cannot love God, any more than someone on dry land can swim; but as soon as a person takes his errant energies to God and asks for their redirection, he will become happy, as he was never happy before. It is not the wrong things one has already done that keep one from God; it is present persistence in that wrong. Someone who turns back to God, as the Magdalene and Paul, welcomes the discipline that will enable him to change his former tendencies. Mortification is good, but only when it is done out of love of God. ... Mortifications of the right sort perfect our human nature; the gardener cuts the green shoots from the root of the bush, not to kill the rose, but to make it bloom more beautifully." — Venerable Fulton Sheen, p. 185 AN EXCERPT FROM Peace of Soul
† VERSE OF THE DAY "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 35:10
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St. Bibiana, also known as Vibiana or Viviana (d. 361), was born in Rome, the daughter of Christian parents who were martyred in the persecutions of Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate. Her father was severely beaten and sent to live in exile as a slave, but died from his wounds. Her mother was beheaded shortly after. St. Bibiana and her sister, Demetria, were stripped of their possessions and imprisoned in their family home in utter poverty and hunger. They were offered reward if only they would renounce Jesus, but the sisters, strong in faith and prayer, said they would rather die. Finding that they did not die from lack of food, the Roman governor summoned them. Demetria, after professing the faith, died at his feet. St. Bibiana was given to the guardianship of a pagan woman who tried to force her into prostitution. St. Bibiana refused and resolutely maintained her faith in Christ. For this she was beaten, tied to a pillar, and cruelly scourged. She eventually died from her tortures, and her body was discarded to be eaten by wild dogs. The animals, however, would not touch her. Her body was recovered by a priest and buried, with a chapel built over the tomb for her veneration. St. Bibiana's feast day is December 2nd.
Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Lectionary: 177 Reading 1
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.
On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!" For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.
PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side With your rod and your staff that give me courage. R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. Behold, the Lord comes to save his people; blessed are those prepared to meet him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.
Daily Meditation: Psalm 23:1-6
I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. (Psalm Response)
"I'll Be Home for Christmas." This popular song shows just how much we associate the holidays with the comforts of home. Even if we can't be home this Christmas, we probably recall times of anticipation from the past—of stringing lights, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, and gathering around the table. But have you ever thought about how Advent is also a time to anticipate how wonderful it will be to gather in God's eternal home?
Many of the readings we hear during the Advent season focus on just this theme. Why? Because just as we look forward to Jesus' coming at Christmas, so the Church invites us to reflect on the day when the Lord will come again in glory and welcome us into heaven. Let's see how today's first reading stirs this longing.
Like any good host, Jesus is eager to welcome his guests and feed them. Isaiah envisions a great feast "for all peoples" (25:6). Everything we could possibly desire—Isaiah uses the image of "rich food and choice wines" (25:6)—will be ours because we will be face-to-face with what we have always desired the most, God himself.
On that day, all the guests will gather as one family around this table because God will have removed the "web that is woven over all nations" (Isaiah 25:7). Just imagine—all the strife, conflict, and arguments that we witness today, even in our own families, will no longer exist.
There will be great rejoicing in heaven. God will "wipe away the tears from all faces" and "destroy death forever" (Isaiah 25:8). The disappointments, losses, and pain we have experienced during our lives on earth—all will be healed. Reunited with our loved ones, we will never have to fear being separated from them again.
Who wouldn't want to be welcomed into this kind of home? This is what awaits you as you prepare to live in the house of Christ, your Lord. So rejoice! This Advent, as you prepare your home for Christmas, remember that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is preparing a place in his home for you.
"Heavenly Father, thank you for inviting me into your home."
Isaiah 25:6-10 Matthew 15:29-37
The ordinances of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. — Psalms 19: 9b -10
my2cents: "On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples..." And our Lord provided on that mount, food for all peoples...forever.
We pray: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul." Last night my 8 year old daughter said after confession as we ate dinner: "Confession is like a shower for your heart, it feels so good." Restful waters He provides, and then the food of everlasting life, Himself.
We heard in the Gospel: " the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed..." He provides healing. Confession is healing. And then He feeds. We heard Him: ""My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat." He has pity. He has a human heart. A true human heart has pity. A truly real person of God has mercy. And He begins to feed Himself.
From Bishop Barron: "Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus instructs the crowd to sit on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and a few fish, he makes a meal that satisfies the enormous crowd. They are hungry, tired, and worn out from their exertions, and Jesus gives them sustenance for the day. For Thomas Aquinas, the great metaphor for the Eucharist is sustenance, food for the journey. The Eucharist is daily food, nourishment to get us through the day-to-day. How effective would we be if we never ate, or ate only on special occasions and in a festive environment? Not very. So, in the spiritual life, we must eat and drink or we will not have strength. Is this just meant in some vague symbolic way? No, rather in a vividly analogical way. For just as the body needs physical nourishment, the spirit needs spiritual nourishment, and there is no getting around this law. Sometimes we think it's no big deal if we choose to stay away from Mass and refrain from receiving Communion. Not so, according to the spiritual physics laid out in this account. Reflect: Do you notice any change in your life when you don't receive Communion for awhile?"
He took what was offered, 7 bread, and He made a seven covenant, and this provides an eternal return. Jesus our Lord and King showed us what He does is perfect. He gives everything that was offered and gives thanks. He did so on the cross, on the mount. And He provided water from His side and blood for the soul.
When I receive the Eucharist, I am feeding my soul, and I pray that I become what I eat...
Lord, your Spiritual food is food for life. May we be the life for others as we become your Body of Christ.
Random Bible verse from online generator
Isaiah 40:30–31 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
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