Monday, January 2, 2017

There is one among you

Radiant Dawn We believe that the day of the Lord is rising among us, and even if we sit in the darkness and the shadows of death, we believe that lig

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Radiant Dawn

We believe that the day of the Lord is rising among us, and even if we sit in the darkness and the shadows of death, we believe that light will shine—the light of justice, the light eternal.

-from Let Us Adore Him


†"Only in Christ can men and women find answers to the ultimate questions that trouble them. Only in Christ can they fully understand their dignity as persons created and loved by God."
— Pope St. John Paul II

"There is nothing to be dreaded in human ills except sin—not poverty, or disease, or insult, or ill treatment, or dishonor, or death, which people call the worst of evils. To those who love spiritual wisdom, these things are only the names of disasters, names that have no substance. No, the true disaster is to offend God, to do anything that displeases him."
— St. John Chrysostom, p. 334
A Year with the Church Fathers


Franciscan Media


Most Holy Name of Jesus

The Story of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Although Saint Paul might claim credit for promoting devotion to the Holy Name because Paul wrote in Philippians that God the Father gave Christ Jesus "that name that is above every name" (see 2:9), this devotion became popular because of 12th-century Cistercian monks and nuns but especially through the preaching of Saint Bernardine of Siena, a 15th-century Franciscan.

Bernardine used devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus as a way of overcoming bitter and often bloody class struggles and family rivalries or vendettas in Italian city-states. The devotion grew, partly because of Franciscan and Dominican preachers. It spread even more widely after the Jesuits began promoting it in the 16th century.

In 1530, Pope Clement V approved an Office of the Holy Name for the Franciscans. In 1721, Pope Innocent XIII extended this feast to the entire Church.

Jesus died and rose for the sake of all people. No one can trademark or copyright Jesus' name. Jesus is the Son of God and son of Mary. Everything that exists was created in and through the Son of God (see Colossians 1:15-20). The name of Jesus is debased if any Christian uses it as justification for berating non-Christians. Jesus reminds us that because we are all related to him we are, therefore, all related to one another.

screenshot 244


Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church

On this, their feast day, learn about and pray through the intercession of Sts. Basil and Gregory, who were named Doctors of the Church because of their profound theological and spiritual influence.
St. Basil, once wrote "Do everything possible to make yourself worthy of the Kingdom. Do not disdain the invitation you have received." Basil the Great, Exhortation to Baptism, 7-8
January is Poverty Awareness Month. Join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic Community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor. Find resources here.


Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2017-01-02


I pause for a moment and think of the love
and the grace that God showers on me:
I am created in the image and likeness of God;
I am God's dwelling-place.


I ask for the grace to believe
in what I could be and do
if I only allowed God, my loving Creator,
to continue to create me, guide me and shape me.


How wonderful it is to be able
to enter into your presence Lord.
No matter what time it is.
No matter which land I am in.
I need only to speak your name.

The Word of God

Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
audio of readings

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:22-28

Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you,
then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
I write you these things about those who would deceive you.
As for you,
the anointing that you received from him remains in you,
so that you do not need anyone to teach you.
But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false;
just as it taught you, remain in him.

And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Alleluia Heb 1:1-2
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In times past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets:
in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 1:19-28

This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, "Who are you?"
He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
"I am not the Christ."
So they asked him,
"What are you then? Are you Elijah?"
And he said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."
So they said to him,
"Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?"
He said:
"I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
'Make straight the way of the Lord,'
as Isaiah the prophet said."
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
"Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?"
John answered them,
"I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

John the Baptist's whole mission is to emphasise the importance of Jesus and not his own. This is to become a major characteristic of Jesus' teaching that we learn from him, as from John - to be humble. This means facing two realities about ourselves: that there is a very small part of ourselves that is limited and sinful but that this must not prevent us from seeing the far greater part of ourselves that is very gifted by nature and even more so by the gift of Grace.
For a few moments of prayer be with John the Baptist and let him tell you how fortunate you are to have met Jesus. Let him tell you of his own enthusiasm about Jesus.


Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words.
You can see into my heart.
You know my desires and you know my needs.
I place myself into your hands.


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

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: John 1:19-28

Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church (Memorial)

Who are you? (John 1:19)

If you've ever attended a family reunion, you have heard this question many times. Many families find it helpful to wear name tags and distribute a copy of the family tree at reunions. That way, you can find out who each person is and how they are related to you.

In today's Gospel, some of the Pharisees asked John this same question: "Who are you?" (John 1:19). Surprisingly, John responded by saying who he was not. It wasn't until after they had pressed him further that he replied, "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert" (John 1:23).

Deep in our hearts, God asks us the same question: "Who are you?" Not just your name, but who are you? We're very good at saying who we are not: "I'm not all that important," we might answer. "I'm not the smartest or wealthiest or holiest or the most talented." But still God asks, "Who are you?" Of course he knows the answer, but he wants to make sure you know it as well. So let's take a look at who God says that you are.

You are loved. You are a child of God, created in his image and likeness. You hold a special place in his heart. He knew you and loved you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5).

You are irreplaceable. God is pleased with the way that he made you, with your particular gifts and talents that he has given you. You have a unique role to play in this world, and he delights to see you fulfill it (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16).

You are part of God's family—the Church—with many brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins. You are never alone (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12).

You are a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. God lives within you, teaching you, guiding you, making you holy, and filling you with his love (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Who are you? You aren't Jesus, but neither was John the Baptist. Like John, however, your whole life can be a voice announcing Jesus' goodness.

Take these truths with you today. Remember who you are and to whom you belong. Stand firm when other voices tell you something else. And be ready to remind other people who they are as well.

"Father, thank you for loving me and making me your child."

1 John 2:22-28
Psalm 98:1-4


my2cents audio


"Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well." The denial is the turning of the back. The denial, is to have denied the Son the love He rightly deserves. The denial is to close your lips, close your mouth, and close your face as it is turned away from the Son that is the light. The denial, in the same moment then, is to deny yourself. You deny yourself the light. You deny yourself the food that wants to come in the mouth. You deny yourself the life of the promise, you deny yourself everything that has to do with Christ. The denial then, is evil. Evil because it harms you, and those around you. But the denial of evil is the opposite. To deny myself the pleasures of the world, that is the way of the cross. The Lord was mounted on the only throne fitting in this world and carried there by the deceitful lips, the betrayal, the denial of the WORD of God as had been announced by Saint John the Baptist who himself was denied and beheaded.

And so we pray today "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God. Sing to the LORD a new song". Again and again we hear the Psalms giving a command "sing to the LORD a new song. This means convert, this year be the person you want to be for Christ, sing a new song, it is a new year, speak in new ways, act in new ways, behave and have the attitude of Christ, which is positive, just look a the cross, it is not negative, it is in the shape of a T for transfiguration. The T of Transformation. The T of Total surrender to the King of Kings of not just one nation, but the whole world, good and bad, this is the King to whom we shall render accounts, and it has already begun. Every day is a rendering of accounts, of singing songs. Do you play sad songs? Do you sing bad songs? Or do you blast out songs of salvation with the way you live?

In the Gospel, the Jews sent Levites and Priests from Jerusalem, the "city of peace", they asked Saint John the Baptist ""Who are you?" This is shady. The Jews wouldn't go find out for themselves. The Jews in a way, sent the equivalent of a text message, choppy, bad communication, rather impersonal, not really an important message, like a written letter, or better, a personal phone call, or even better...a live, face to face visit to get the full communication, or even better than open heart, mind, and soul to the truth...if they truly were seeking to know who he was. And so John responds with the truth, a voice crying out in the desert, as if a creature in lamentation that had been abandoned or lost, seeking a reuniting but it had been cast out...the truth, and the truth was that the Jews had taken over religion, instead of letting God take over. Not only was the ark of the covenant lost, but they were lost themselves, a darkness had taken a hold of the temple, where money was very important, where personal relationships were more important than opening up to strangers in need. It had in a sense, become a closed circle, and this is why John was alone in the desert, and instead of recognizing a fellow Jew, they asked "Who are YOU?", worse than a question at a family reunion, it was more like "who are you to be preaching repentance?" Why are you out there telling people to change their lives (sing a new song)? Is it time for the Lord? Or are you some fanatic, some lunatic that needs to be silenced? And the latter was more of the sentiment, because eventually...he would be beheaded for speaking the truth.
It is an eye opening moment for all of mankind. Saint John lives on. We are now baptized with water, in the waters of purification and salvation, to be washed from original sin, and to be one in the circle, the family of God. The only way out of the circle is to deny. What you do, represents the whole of Church. You represent me wherever you go and whatever you say and do. Do not deny me. Do not forsake me. I am counting on you. And I know you are counting on me...