Today is the traditional Twelfth Day of Christmas, the end of the Christmas season. Soon we will be back to the ordinary routines of our life. But if we have celebrated the feast of the incarnation well, our lives will be changed. We don't know what the new year will hold for us, for our families, for the world. But we know that God will continue to be with us. As we look back at the significant events of the past year, both the joys and the sorrows, the highs and the lows, we can see how God has shaped us and strengthened us for what lies ahead. Perhaps we're a bit relieved that Christmas is over for another year. But perhaps we discover that something has changed in us because of an encounter, a gift, a new insight into the meaning of the incarnation. We can keep a little bit of that with us through the coming year and let it bring light and peace to our everyday lives. Our journey with God doesn't end with the Christmas season. Jesus is forever, not just for Christmas.
—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek
†Saint Quote "Let each of us accept the truth of the following statement and try to make it our most fundamental principle: Christ's teaching will never let us down, while worldly wisdom always will. Christ Himself said that this sort of wisdom was like a house with nothing but sand as its foundation, while His own was like a building with solid rock as its foundation." — St. Vincent de Paul
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Christians long ago concluded that each individual human being has his or her own particular guardian angel. Though the Church has never defined the teaching about individual guardian angels, the Catechism of the Catholic Church sums up the matter this way, quoting St. Basil: 'From infancy to death human life is surrounded by [the angels'] watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life'. In this light, we can turn to our guardian angels for help in spiritual warfare, especially to resist the temptations of the Enemy. Yet angels are more than guardians; they are also warriors." — Paul Thigpen, p. 30 AN EXCERPT FROM Manual for Spiritual Warfare
⛪ TODAY'S FEAST DAY⛪
EPIPHANY OF THE LORD Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts and one of the most important. Historically, Epiphany celebrated four things: Jesus' nativity, the Magi's visit to the Holy Family, Jesus' baptism, and Jesus' first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. Each biblical event is a theophany, or epiphany, a special manifestation of Jesus Christ to mankind. The relationship between these events is beautifully described in this antiphon from the Divine Office: "This day is the Church joined unto the Heavenly Bridegroom, since Christ hath washed away her sins in Jordan; the wise men hasten with gifts to the marriage supper of the King; and they that sit at meat together make merry with water turned into wine. Alleluia." In the Latin Church the visit of the Three Kings is the primary focus of Epiphany, symbolizing the revelation of Jesus Christ as a light for the Gentile nations and the Savior born for the redemption of all mankind. Epiphany is January 6th, traditionally marking the end of the 12 days of Christmas; in many U.S. dioceses the liturgical celebration is transferred to the nearest Sunday.
†VERSE OF THE DAY "No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29
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ST. ANDRE BESSETTE
St. Andre Bessette (1845–1937) was born the eighth of twelve children to a poor working class family in Quebec, Canada. He was weak and sickly from his birth. When he was nine, his father died in a lumber accident; when he was twelve, his mother died of tuberculosis. He then worked at various odd jobs until he entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross as a lay brother at age 25, serving as porter for Quebec's Notre Dame College for much of his life. Andre welcomed and prayed for the people he met, especially those who were ill or suffering. When an epidemic of sickness broke out, Andre demonstrated the gift of healing. He gave all the credit to St. Joseph, to whom he had a great devotion. Over the years, when word of his sanctity spread, tens of thousands of people came to Bessette for prayer and healing. He worked all day to receive them in person or answer their letters. When his Order wanted to purchase land on Mt. Royal, Bessette buried St. Joseph medals on the property. The owners yielded, the land was sold to the Order, and Andre worked to have a chapel dedicated to St. Joseph built on the property. It is still in use to this day. When he died at the age of 91, it is said that a million people visited his coffin. St. Andre Bessette's feast day is January 6th.
Wednesday after Epiphany
Lectionary: 214 Reading I
1 Jn 4:11-18
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.
This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
72:1-2, 10, 12-13
R. (see 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you. 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. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you. The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you. 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. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
See 1 Tm 3:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Glory to you, O Christ, proclaimed to the Gentiles. Glory to you, O Christ, believed in throughout the world. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.
Daily Meditation: Mark 6:45-52
He got into the boat with them. (Mark 6:51)
Why does Mark say that the disciples "had not understood the incident of the loaves" (6:52)? They were with him when he multiplied the bread and the fishes. They even had a hand in the miracle! Apparently it was because they hadn't yet realized the significance of this event. Jesus could do things like this because he was the Son of God and because he wanted to feed and care for his flock.
Still, despite their lack of understanding, Jesus didn't give up on them. He made that clear when he walked across the stormy sea, "got into the boat with them," and saved them from drowning (Mark 6:51). That second miracle must have illuminated their minds and helped them to comprend better Jesus' divine power and intentions.
Sometimes we are like those disciples: we don't understand what God is doing or why. Maybe we don't notice him working in a situation, and we start to doubt whether we can count on him. Or perhaps we don't realize how much we need him when we're in a storm. But Jesus knows our limitations. Instead of getting annoyed with us and distancing himself, he gets into our boat—not only into the specific situation but into our feelings and thoughts as well.
What might it look like when God gets into your boat? Maybe you're feeling overwhelmed one morning at the thought of all you have to accomplish that day. But then you come to prayer, and you experience a deep sense of peace. Or perhaps you can't understand why one of your children seems to resent you. But then God helps you understand why your child is feeling that way, and you realize your need to reconcile. Or you and your spouse might be disagreeing about an important issue, but then Jesus opens your heart to see things from his or her point of view.
Jesus wants to get into your boat. He wants to encourage you and support you when you're struggling to understand. He wants to come alongside you, just as he did his first disciples. So today, invite him in, and be open to how he might want to reveal himself to you.
"Jesus, thank you for getting into my boat with me. Come more deeply into my heart and life today."
1 John 4:11-18 Psalm 72:1-2, 10, 12-13
For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy. — St. Therese of Lisieux
my2cents: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. " This is the scriptural reflection to this verse, "...Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Mt 19:26. How is it the reference? God is Love. That is how. And so, then we are with Love.
We pray: "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. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you." Why do I love our Lord and our Father? Because like you, we may have been down and out, and I mean completely, and the only solace we muster up...is that He is there, holding you up. I'll stop there because my eyes are watering up.
In today's Holy Gospel, there are some points to consider about our Lord.
1st, after feeding all and dismissing them, like in Holy Mass, we get the final blessing, the real dismissal, what does our Lord do? He goes off alone...to the mountains, to pray. His disciples too went off, but not to pray. They were sent off on a mission, to meet Him on the other side. And what would happen on their journey, that would be a lesson for us all. 2nd, our Lord is watching them, and their boat being tossed. He hears their pleading for help. Remember His name is He-Saves. All these super hero stories are all copies of our Lord Jesus who comes in an instant. He though, comes not only to save lives physically, but spiritually. And that brings us to the last point.
3rd, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!". Lesson learned? Why were these professional fishermen afraid all of a sudden? Afraid of a ghost? Watch the last verse for the answer: "They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened." This is the scary part about the bread, the Eucharist. I call it the hardener. If you ever used JB weld, or some types of glues, one of the two tubes is used as a catalyst. It is the hardener, like in paint. This is the Eucharist. Without confession, the Eucharist could harden you in your sin. I noticed lately, a guy that was trying to come to church, who hadn't been in decades perhaps. One Sunday he took the Eucharist, and I don't believe he was prepared. Since then, he has never returned. And so it has been with many in this pandemic, many hardened hearts have not returned.
So where are you today? Are you in the boat? Are you afraid? Are you rowing against the wind? Are you being tossed about in faith? Are you fighting a losing battle? Are you seeing no light on the fourth watch? What time is the 4th watch? 3 o'clock in the morning. Many of you may have experienced what me and some do, we wake up automatically at 3am for no reason. It is a wake up call. It is time to pray. The world needs it. Someone needs it. Just pray. They call the 4th watch "pre-dawn", because afterwards, the light breaks the darkness. This is the time that God sees fit. Take courage.
Lord, you made us in Your image. You were courageous but not in our way, but Your way for You are Grace filled. You are the Father of grace. I pray we can accept grace. I pray for sanctifying grace and actual grace to bear all things patiently, and with Love....with You Lord. Thank you so much.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse: WOW!
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
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