Holiness in Our Daily Lives Advent remind us that Jesus was born into a human family. It was important that he took on our flesh and blood, but it wa
Holiness in Our Daily Lives
Advent remind us that Jesus was born into a human family. It was important that he took on our flesh and blood, but it was equally important that he took on the social relationships that both complete and complicate our lives. We can sometimes think that it would be easier to be holy apart from the people with whom we live and work. But the incarnation reminds us that God calls us to be holy in the midst of those very relationships. What we learn from Mary and Joseph is that as long as we say yes to God, he will guide us through the darkness with a sure hand. —from Diane M. Houdek's The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
✞ "Advent's intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope." — Pope Benedict XVI
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The most important and most fruitful acts of our freedom are not those by which we transform the outside world as those by which we change our inner attitude in light of the faith that God can bring good out of everything without exception. He is a never-failing source of unlimited riches. Our lives no longer have in them anything negative, ordinary, or indifferent. Positive things become a reason for gratitude and joy, negative things an opportunity for abandonment, faith, and offering: everything becomes a grace." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 58 AN EXCERPT FROM Interior Freedom
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
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(283 – 304)
Every little girl named Lucy must bite her tongue in disappointment when she first tries to find out what there is to know about her patron saint. The older books will have a lengthy paragraph detailing a small number of traditions. Newer books will have a lengthy paragraph showing that there is little basis in history for these traditions. The single fact survives that a disappointed suitor accused Lucy of being a Christian, and she was executed in Syracuse, Sicily, in the year 304. But it is also true that her name is mentioned in the First Eucharistic Prayer, geographical places are named after her, a popular song has her name as its title, and down through the centuries many thousands of little girls have been proud of the name Lucy.
One can easily imagine what a young Christian woman had to contend with in pagan Sicily in the year 300. If you have trouble imagining, just glance at today's pleasure-at-all-costs world and the barriers it presents against leading a good Christian life.
Her friends must have wondered aloud about this hero of Lucy's, an obscure itinerant preacher in a far-off captive nation that had been destroyed more than 200 years before. Once a carpenter, he had been crucified by the Romans after his own people turned him over to their authority. Lucy believed with her whole soul that this man had risen from the dead. Heaven had put a stamp on all he said and did. To give witness to her faith she had made a vow of virginity.
What a hubbub this caused among her pagan friends! The kindlier ones just thought her a little strange. To be pure before marriage was an ancient Roman ideal, rarely found, but not to be condemned. To exclude marriage altogether, however, was too much. She must have something sinister to hide, the tongues wagged.
Lucy knew of the heroism of earlier virgin martyrs. She remained faithful to their example and to the example of the carpenter, whom she knew to be the Son of God. She is the patroness of eyesight.
If you are a little girl named Lucy, you need not bite your tongue in disappointment. Your patron is a genuine authentic heroine, first class, an abiding inspiration for you and for all Christians. The moral courage of the young Sicilian martyr shines forth as a guiding light, just as bright for today's youth as it was in A.D. 304.
Saint Lucy is the Patron Saint of:
The Blind Eye Disorders
Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
Reading 1 Is 40:25-31
To whom can you liken me as an equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things: He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing! Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know or have you not heard? The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10 R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul! Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. R. O bless the Lord, my soul! He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. R. O bless the Lord, my soul! Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. Behold, the Lord comes to save his people; blessed are those prepared to meet him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 11:28-30
Jesus said to the crowds: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
Meditation: Matthew 11:28-30
Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)<
My yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11:30)
It might not sound all that appealing to take on a yoke at this point in Advent. You may well be busy with preparations for Christmas, maybe feeling anxious about gift giving or overwhelmed by cleaning and cooking. And all of this comes on top of your everyday duties: work, carpooling, maintaining your household!
Rest and retirement sound much better than a burdensome yoke. What we want is a break. But Jesus tells us his yoke is easy, his burden is light, and we will actually find the rest we are looking for as we let him place this yoke on our already weary shoulders. How can this be?
Yokes were made to help a team of oxen do their work faster and more efficiently. Wearing a yoke, the oxen walk side by side; they work side by side. They still have a job to do, but they share the burden. Their cooperation makes the task so much easier because they are both pulling together.
When Jesus invites us to take his yoke, he promises to be the one walking next to us, working right alongside us. Sharing a yoke with Jesus doesn't make our responsibilities disappear, but it sure does make things easier! Not only does he help us carry the load, but we learn from him as we spend time walking beside him.
Let's follow the example of the yoked oxen. Walking side by side with Jesus, our task becomes easy and light as we keep our eyes on the next step. And the next one. And the one after that.
So don't focus on how many steps there are. Just take a breath, and take the next step—with Jesus beside you. Over time, you'll get there. You will learn from Jesus, your teammate, and you'll get there faster and feel stronger!
That's not such a discouraging prospect, is it? Far from being a burden, Jesus' yoke can help you work more effectively. It links you to the best Companion you could ever have. You are no longer alone as you face the tasks at hand. Jesus is with you, right beside you, sharing the load.
"Lord, I will take your yoke upon me. I want to walk closely with you and learn from you!"
Isaiah 40:25-31 Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10
The Word of our Lord says: "Do you not know or have you not heard? The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth." What does that mean to you? What if He says " I Am your Father". And then He says, "I Am your brother". And then He says " I Am one with you". Because He does, He yokes Himself to us in a way nothing in the world can compare.
We pray "Bless the LORD, O my soul" and " He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion." That's the crown? We gave Jesus a crown on earth while He walked this earth. "Here you go" and it was a crown of spikes, a brutal torture to pierce His head and blood covered His face. And to make things worse? A laugh, a spit in the face, a striking at the head with clubs. And He still asks us to be one with Him. Strange, we have a strange God, mostly because we are strangers to Him....estranged.
In comes our Heavenly Father speaking through our Lord and our Lord through the Holy Spirit: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart". Meek to be 100% true, and humble 100% more. The Holy Church has never been one to launch wars, only once did men take up arms in the name of the Lord and that proved disastrous, once to defend from total annihilation, once and then it was taken out of its original intent for other ambitions. For the most part, it is meek and humble because it is Christ. The other part is our feeble selves trying. This then, is encouraging, because being yoked to Him, bound to Him as in the Sacraments, means so much. His grace pulls us through, for the Most Part He does most things, only a few we do. He provides the air, the water, the food, the love even for us to survive and most have just enough. Those that don't have is because someone did not share with them. I'm thinking of some folks now, that grew up as flowering children, and their parents divorced and the flowers turned away from the Lord. God did not fail them. He provides. But we must do our part...in faithfulness. Sinning is being unfaithful. Funny part is we try to hide sins from the all-knowing Creator. All He asks for is humility and meekness...all things faithfulness. Can we? Yes. Christmas should point to meekness and humility...just look at the manger. A stable. Where animals sleep and do their business....there God is born. Are we such animals? If so, which animal are you? The stubborn donkey? The chicken? Oh you don't see chickens in the scene? They got scared away! LOL. What about the sheep that followed the shepherds? What about that creation...the wise men that knew to bow down before the Lord? What about that faithful representative of God, Joseph? What about the immaculate Mother shining with grace and holiness? Who are you?
Jesus is at the center. Where are you? Meek is servitude. Humble is acknowledging God always. I take pride in only one thing...that I can do many things in Christ who strengthens me, and that is humbling, because apart from Him I am a mess. God is amazing. There's this guy on EWTN with a youth group traversing the streets telling the people of all walks and faiths "You Are Amazing" and hugs them. One witness wrote to them saying "thank you" because of what they did, one girl decided not to take her life after being touched by the love of God, and this standing in line at a McDonalds!?
This kind of grace and love will only happen through the meek and willing. How are you uplifting high the glory of God? Surely not by complaints. Surely not by doing your own thing. We are to be the shining lights of Christmas. Or is your home dim...your soul? Light it up with GRACE It is provided for by God and always availed in the Holy Sacraments, to the degree you are willing. Surely you'll empty your pockets out on Christmas...for what? For who? What about emptying yourself of yourself? For...HIM