Thursday, November 29, 2018

⛪When These Signs Begin

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Advent with Saint Clare

"She was the first flower in Francis' garden, and she shone like a radiant star."
—Saint Bonaventure

On Sunday we begin the Advent season, leading us to the birth of Christ. As we walk this journey, we will be joined by Saint Clare, a holy woman with quite her own journey to Christ. It is one that begins with Clare's decision to leave behind the comforts of her life, descend to the hills below Assisi, and join Saint Francis in living out his mission. For Clare, Christ was her focus and Saint Francis was her guide to him. Her path, though, was definitely her own.

"Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths. / Guide me by your fidelity and teach me, for you are God my savior."—Psalm 25: 4-5

—from the book Advent with Saint Clare


"Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the most tender of friends with souls who seek to please Him. His goodness knows how to proportion itself to the smallest of His creatures as to the greatest of them. Be not afraid then in your solitary conversations, to tell Him of your miseries, fears, worries, of those who are dear to you, of your projects, and of your hopes. Do so with confidence and with an open heart."
— St. Damien of Molokai

"The fullness of wisdom is fear of the Lord, she is present with the faithful in the womb (Sirach 1:14). Fear of the Lord does not mean to be afraid of God. It means to stand in awe and wonder before the greatness of the Lord. When we recognize that God is God and we are creatures, we develop a healthy sense of humility. We acknowledge our need for wisdom and grace, which are both gifts of the Holy Spirit."
— Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 9
Daily Meditations Holy Spirit

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'"
John 8:12


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Blessed Denis of the Nativity (1600-1638) was born as Pierre Berthelotin in France and became a sailor at the age of twelve. He had a successful career as pilot-in-chief and cartographer in service to the Kings of France and Portugal, even being knighted for bravery. He later chose the religious life and became a Carmelite friar, taking the name Dionysius (Denis) of the Nativity. He was sent by his superiors on a diplomatic and missionary mission to the Sultan of Aceh (Sumatra). Once there, all the members of his party were seized at the instigation of the Dutch authorities. They were tortured by their Islamic captors and were told to renounce their Catholic faith and become Muslims. They refused and were martyred. St Denis was martyred last, as he desired, in order to be able to strengthen the others. He was killed by a scimitar blow that split his head in two. His last words were: "Jesus, Mary."


Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 506

Reading 1 RV 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice:

"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast."

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

"With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion."

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."

They said a second time:

"Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever."

Then the angel said to me, "Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb."

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Alleluia LK 21:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand."


Meditation: Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a

34th Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:9)

Doesn't it feel wonderful to receive a wedding invitation? The couple wants you to share in their big day! So you put the date on your calendar. You start thinking about what you will wear. You make travel arrangements and begin to look for an appropriate gift. As the event gets closer, you might even begin counting down the days.

Today's first reading tells us that God is inviting us to a wedding—the "wedding feast of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9). This is no ordinary ceremony. Scripture often uses marriage as a metaphor to describe God's covenant relationship with his people, and the actual feast is seen as a description of the joy and celebration that await us in heaven. This is the biggest invitation you could possibly receive: an eternal celebration with God and all the saints and angels! So how will you respond?

Just as you would make arrangements for an earthly wedding, there are some preparations you'll need to make for this one as well.

You might think that one of the biggest questions is what to wear. Well, don't worry about that one; God has it taken care of. Scripture tells us that he wants to clothe us with "gladness" and the "garments of salvation" (Psalm 30:12; Isaiah 61:10). It says that he offers us "a bright, clean linen garment" of righteous deeds (Revelation 19:8). And importantly, it warns us to make sure we come to his feast properly dressed (Matthew 22:11-12).

So how do you get hold of this outfit? Believe it or not, you already have it! At your baptism, your parents put a white robe on you as a symbol of how God had washed away original sin and clothed you with Christ. You were then told that this robe was "the outward sign of your Christian dignity," and you were exhorted: "With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven" (Rite of Baptism).

So there you have it: an invitation to a never-ending wedding banquet, with your wardrobe already provided! Just make sure you keep that robe as clean as possible.

"Jesus, thank you for inviting me to your wedding feast! Help me to be ready."


2 cents :
"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great." And so it happened. The culmination of all the people, put together, a great city, and it was completely destroyed by one single angel of God. Left to go up in smoke forever. There is hell to pay for believing you are god. For you believing you are greater. For you believing you don't need Him. For you to lose fear of Him. They were all one, one language, one coin, Revelation came true once again. In that one number they had sacrificed no more. For they were hogging up all the praise and honor and glory. Jesus has ushered in a new Jerusalem. The City of God, the City of Peace. A spanish reflection ended today with: "Because the heart also is like a small city, in which one can be or not be, in which He can reign or not reign, God our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ."


Let us pray the Psalm: "Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song." Serve the Lord. SERVE! And sing at the same time? LOL. And sing joyfully at that? WHOA! Do we have to? Well, in a wedding feast, you kind of should, if you are rejoicing. Why? Aren't you just a guest? Uhh...Hate to break the news to don't know? Jesus is the groom....and You are the bride!! AHHH! Yeah, He loves you. Like, He loves you soooooo much. Yeah. You're kind of the biggest deal. So much that He designed eternity to be with you. You know how people say "I'll love you forever?" Well, He really does.
So yeah! Be joyfully serving HIM! Love for Love. Amen?

In comes our Lord with an apocalyptic message: "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Again in the cloud, just like the old Testament. This cloud of old did what? It showed them God was with them. Yes. It showed the power of God. Yes. It would accept their sacrifice. Yes. And anyone who dared to enter it would die. Right? It's kind of a big thing. Power and glory, all belong to Him. Now, scattered across the earth, people speak different languages, can't understand one another, unless you learn their language. But there is one language God put in our hearts...His command, of love. People understand across the world, the precepts of love. Love wins ultimately, despite the attacks. You can choose to win. And there is no second place, to lose is to lose forever. What if I told you that the cloud is with us? Can you see it and the Son of Man on it? People choke in church when the incense starts up. And the Eucharist arises. Dare to enter? Jesus says "Come". And no one dares. The confessionals are empty, basically. Jesus says "come give thanks with holy lives" and the Eucharist is offered. Be ever careful how you receive Him. Know this, He will cement the love you allow in your heart, your inner city, with the Holy Eucharist. If there is none, for Him, you leave with none. But tenacity wins. I encourage you to keep partaking and asking for holiness. I told my 9th grade students last night "if you haven't been picked on for being religious, forgive me for being crude, but it may mean you haven't really stood out for Christ". It very well may mean the world says "hey come on in, you are one of us!". Worldly. Ungodly. Those trying to rebuild Babylon. I am not a Babylon builder. I am trying to build up God's Kingdom. I am trying to stand out for Him and stamp out darkness. Is it easy? With God it can be. His angels are on standby. If there are billions of demons, demon spirits in the world, and there are only a few angels, it means a single angel has more power than millions. Let us turn to God like angels. Angels serve God. On earth, they serve, and they serve as messengers. Don't you just love it when someone serves you with love? You should try being that server (instead of being a love hog! LOL). Serving at church, at home, and at work. It brings light to darkness. It changes the world. God reigns.
And He receives Glory, and praise, and Honor



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