Friday, January 1, 2016


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Stand With Christ Minute Meditations
If you find yourself in a tempting situation, realize that it isn't God setting you up to fail. Live for Jesus in that situation, take pride in your faith and in calling yourself a Catholic Christian, kick the devil in the rear, and tell him that he can't win because you stand with Christ.
— from The Bible Geek 

Daily Prayer - 2016-01-01


I pause for a moment
and think of the love and the grace
that God showers on me,
creating me in his image and likeness,
making me his temple....


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely. 
Instil in my heart a desire 
To know and love you more each day.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God

The Octave Day of Christmas
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
Lectionary: 18

Reading 1NM 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses: 
"Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: 
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, 
and I will bless them."

Responsorial PsalmPS 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Reading 2GAL 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law, 
to ransom those under the law, 
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons, 
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, 
crying out, "Abba, Father!"
So you are no longer a slave but a son, 
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

AlleluiaHEB 1:1-2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
In these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message 
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen, 
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • According to the story an angel had months ago appeared to Mary and more angels had now appeared to the shepherds. All the heavenly messengers had conveyed an assurance: 'You are going to see that God has sent into the world a prince from heaven's kingdom'. The promise filled all with anticipation and the fulfillment filled all -- Mary and the shepherds -- with thanksgiving.
  • Placing myself alongside Mary before the child, I try to open my heart to thanksgiving for all that God has done in my life.


What is stirring in me as I pray?
Am I consoled, troubled, left cold?
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Numbers 6:22-27

January 1, 2016

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

The Lord bless you and keep you! (Numbers 6:24)

How many New Year's resolutions have you come up with? How many do you think you'll forget by the end of January? Every new year is filled with great promise, but it also has a fair bit of uncertainty. Who knows what the future holds? As Mary prepared to have her baby circumcised, she probably felt a similar mixture of anticipation and apprehension. "The angel didn't give me too much detail. What will our future be like? Will my child be accepted? Or rejected?"

But Mary answered her fears in the best way possible: she recalled God's faithfulness in the past and held onto the promise that God had made his own "resolution" to bless and keep his people.

She recalled how God reassured Joseph that she had not been unfaithful. She recounted the way God had opened doors for her in Bethlehem so that she had a safe place to give birth. She remembered the shepherds and their stories of angelic visitors. God had protected her from shame; blessed her with a loving, faithful husband; and sent visitors at just the right time to remind her of his love and care. At every step of the way, God had blessed her and kept her, just as he had done for her people over the centuries. Why would he abandon her now?

What was last year like for you? It might have been just another year with the usual ups and downs. Or like Mary's, it might have been a year of significant changes and challenges. Either way, take some time to recall one or two memorable situations. Try to see how the Lord has blessed you and kept you through them. Look for the ways he has proved his faithfulness to you. Let this "inspired remembering" fill you with hope for the year to come. Let it remind you that God, your heavenly Father, has resolved to love you and care for you all year long.

"Father, help me remember how you have blessed and kept me. Give me faith to entrust this new year to you."


Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

They saw this


To start a new year how could I not share the word of the Lord with you? We had a beautiful Eucharistic service this morning, beginning a new year with the Lord. Whatever may come before us he already is there to meet us there. Yesterday I spent several hours with a man that sounded an orphanage in Mexico with his wife. I am bringing this up because we read today in the first Holy Scripture,"Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!"  And I remember him saying that about a week or two ago he visited some indigenous people and the children in the barren landscape the mountains treacherous rocky road up the hills he was suddenly stopped by armed men, and this in a country where guns are illegal. He said he approached with caution as they approached him he said Dios los bendiga, which means may God bless you. They investigated what he was doing in the area and they let him through. He said he made his way up the rest of the way in a hurry a little nervous and the rocks he came over with his truck carrying all the gifts for the poor people in the mountains busted a hole in the oil pan and the vehicle lost all its oil. To the indigenous people and there found people that help him fix the oil pan and get back on his way. The man has story after story of how God provides and how he has only to go the way that the Lord says. I said as we ate breakfast together, I cannot believe you told them god bless you it must have been possibly a lifesaving moment for their souls. As a conversation continued I said you know I've seen that on one of your wall do you have pain today rainbow a sign of hope and of God's promise, and this means to me that you are not only a hope for these children these 57 children you are taking care of with your wife, but you are a hope for the community a light in the darkness you are doing much more than you think.
We pray the Psalms " may God bless us in His mercy".  As we ask for blessings we are to be the blessings ourselves that we receive. I was talking to a brother that was helping the orphanage. On one of the text messages my brother Marcos asked how are the tires on the bus for the orphanage? I said I believe they may last 3 to 4 months and then they will be asking for help for tires. He said let me get a tire guy out there get me the tire size. By the time me and Fidel the orphanage man got there to the bus they were almost finished mounting tires and I was shocked to see that one of the inner dual tires was blown out, had they traveled with the tires it would have been possibly an accident for the poor man or worse the children they care so much for. When I pointed out the tire to the man and told him I am so happy we got new tires for you he said that is simply how God provides for us it goes to show you how he leaves his life, simply by faith.
"Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen, 
just as it had been told to them."
The shepherds obeyed the angels of God. For us the angels appear even to the site of human beings. This morning after Mass I told Marcos what had transpired and he said believe it or not he was moved by the photo I had taken a Fidel next to the bus and the tires he had provided. The love of God was in his face the tears were coming up in the eyes and this comes from a burning heart of love. The man I speak to you about today I ask for prayers for all of them. Because it is a challenge to be a God fearing man, if you find one keep him tight in your prayers. And you too will go glorifying and praising God as these men are doing now. After the photo I was looking around the bus and I heard Fidel praising God and giving him thanks as if to say you are indeed marvelous and great oh God and I had only heard him sa "Gracias Dios!"
What they should be is a lesson for the love of God and as I told Fidel we Catholics live a life of Thanksgiving.  Let this new year be a life of Thanksgiving to the Lord every single day. Forget about your diet if you are not dying to sin because what good is the body without the good soul? Let this be the year that you have surrender your life to God in all its glory and trouble happiness and trials. Let us give thanks and let it show, let it shine!