Friday, December 7, 2018

⛪See that no one knows....

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God Alone Is All We Need

Advent reminds us that the One who has come into the world and is always coming into our lives in new ways is the source of our salvation. We don't need novelty and "magic bullet" solutions to our concerns. We simply need to return again and again to the rock-solid foundation of our lives: God and God alone. The mystery of the Incarnation is that by entering into our time and into our world, Jesus can show us the way to the gift that is beyond all time.

—from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent


"Health is God's great gift, and we must spend it entirely for Him. Our eyes should see only for God, our feet walk only for Him, our hands labor for Him alone; in short, our entire body should serve God while we still have the time. Then, when He shall take our health and we shall near our last day, our conscience will not reproach us for having misused it."
— St. John Bosco

"Praying fervently for the coming of the Kingdom also means being constantly alert for the signs of its presence, and working for its growth in every sector of society. It means facing the challenges of present and future with confidence in Christ's victory and a commitment to extending his reign. It means not losing heart in the face of resistance, adversity, and scandal. It means overcoming every separation between faith and life, and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness. It also means rejecting a false dichotomy between faith and political life, since, as the Second Vatican Council put it, 'there is no human activity—even in secular affairs—which can be withdrawn from God's dominion'. It means working to enrich . . . society and culture with the beauty and truth of the Gospel, and never losing sight of that great hope which gives meaning and value to all the other hopes which inspire our lives."
— Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

" shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mark 10:43-45


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St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340–397 A.D.) was born in Gaul (modern France) and became a successful lawyer and governor in Milan, Italy. When the bishop of Milan died in 374 A.D., a movement arose among the people to demand that Ambrose take his place. At the time Ambrose was only a catechumen preparing for baptism; he was not yet a Christian. He went into hiding in an attempt to escape the ecclesiastical appointment. His attempts to hide were unsuccessful; the emperor forbade anyone to gave him shelter, which forced him to give himself up and submit to the will of the people to be their bishop. Ambrose quickly received the sacraments, including Holy Orders, and was ordained the Bishop of Milan a week later. He became a very holy leader, giving his property to the poor and his land to the Church, and making himself directly available to the needs of all people. He also worked tirelessly to defend orthodox doctrine, especially against the pervasive Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Christ. St. Ambrose was the saint who introduced lectio divina, the practice of prayerfully meditating on the Sacred Scriptures, into the Latin Church. This informed his eloquent writing, preaching, and teaching, earning him the nickname "honey-tongued doctor." Ambrose was the bishop who converted and baptized St. Augustine of Hippo. He is one of the four original Doctors of the Church, and his statue is one of four that upholds the Chair of St. Peter inside St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. St. Ambrose's feast day is December 7th.


Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Is 29:17-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone;
All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,
those whose mere word condemns a man,
Who ensnare his defender at the gate,
and leave the just man with an empty claim.
Therefore thus says the LORD,
the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham:
Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
nor shall his face grow pale.
When his children see
the work of my hands in his midst,
They shall keep my name holy;
they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
and be in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
"Son of David, have pity on us!"
When he entered the house,
the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
"Do you believe that I can do this?"
"Yes, Lord," they said to him.
Then he touched their eyes and said,
"Let it be done for you according to your faith."
And their eyes were opened.
Jesus warned them sternly,
"See that no one knows about this."
But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.


Meditation: Matthew 9:27-31

Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Their eyes were opened. (Matthew 9:30)

"Seeing" is central to all of today's Scripture readings. The psalmist expresses confidence that he will live long enough to see God's bounty (27:13). Isaiah predicts that "the eyes of the blind shall see" (29:18). And Jesus fulfills this prophecy by restoring sight to two blind men in today's Gospel. Maybe we should make this theme of "seeing" one of our Advent prayers: Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see!

God opens our eyes to his presence in and around us in two basic ways. First, he shows us who he is, and second, he shows us how to act.

It's not too hard to see ways that God has opened your eyes like this. Here are some examples of how he shows us who he is: Maybe as you were taking a walk, you felt your hope lifting as you passed by a beautiful flower garden. Or you felt worry slipping away as you held your new grandchild. Or after spending time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, you felt a new sense of joy or contentment.

As for opening your eyes to how you can act, maybe God helped you glimpse a solution to a dilemma you were facing, like how to deal with a difficult employee. Or maybe you didn't know how to approach a problem with your son, but you suddenly felt inspired with a deeper courage and trust in God's care for both of you. Maybe you have experienced a new sense of compassion for someone who has hurt you, and you have finally found the ability to forgive.

All of these examples, and so many more, have the potential to open your eyes to God's hand at work in your life. Little by little, as you pay attention to these movements of the Spirit, you'll find your sense of hope and enthusiasm growing. Your faith will deepen, and you'll become more convinced that you are not alone.

God wants to open all of our eyes to his presence with us. He wants to help us see other people—and ourselves—the way he sees us. So let's keep praying through this Advent:

"Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see!"

Isaiah 29:17-24
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14


2 cents :
"...the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." The Prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Christ, the Savior, hundreds of years before He actually came. He said many things of what the Christ would do. An important one is ""Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel", and Emmanuel means God With Us. Before Jesus ascended, He said " I am with you always, until the end of the age." Prophecy fulfilled. Truth lives.


Let us pray: " The Lord is my light and my salvation. One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple". Often, this Psalm is read at funerals. But it is for the living. The Lord IS my Light. What does this mean? It means He is your compass, your guide, your star of Bethlehem. Isn't it? Isn't the light a saving light? Yes. The Lord is my salvation. And it goes on "Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD." Have courage. What does this mean? Have faith. Be faithful.

In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is chased by blind men. How they followed Him blinded, who knows. But one thing is for sure, one who seeks, finds. One who knocks, the door is opened. Amen? This is encouragement from Heaven. We can not see what God sees. But if we ask? I hope you are ready. It is a whole other beautiful realm, unimaginable. They say people that hear or see for the first time are so overwhelmed, they are so moved, life is never the same again. This is how it is when you can see. This is how it is for one who is truly, born again. You are not the same. And it is not even a choice anymore, you don't go back. It, then, is as if Heaven on earth. Living a life of grace is seeing the light. The Holy Sacraments avail grace. How about in matrimony? Yes. A holy Matrimony is possible. Grace can live in a Holy Matrimony. Grace can grow. How? Being open to grace. What a peculiar thought, no? But it is possible if God is involved and invited and kept at front and center. LOL, speaking about front and center, there's an 85 yr old lady being threatened in Florida, to be booted from her trailer house if she won't take down a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe in front of her house, painted on her house. She is bold and says "you'll have to kill me first". Whoa! Now, we shouldn't tempt the devil, right? But isn't that what saints do? And speaking of evil, I have to divulge a special encouragement to you, as I learned from the last exorcism book; things always get worse before they get better. Let this be an encouragement. Have faith. They are now putting Satan at the court houses next to Christmas trees. In the name of equality they say. What is so abhorrent about this? If you only knew. If you only knew what people do in the name of neutrality. They say that Patrick Henry Newman said "Give me freedom, or give me death". That was the cry of the revolution. In that same spirit people want more and more freedom....from God. True freedom is in God's laws. There, grace abounds. Freedom is so beautiful. Angels fly in this freedom. Isn't that a dream, to be weightless and flying? We get a smidge of taste after a Holy Confession. Alas, the blind will see this. The blind with faith. Have faith. Don't think it impossible to have faith for that is being faithless. Jesus told the blind not to tell anyone what their own faith had done. But they were deaf, LOL. What would happen if we obey? The truth would be revealed. Were the blind men supposed to lie about what happened? What if God healed you and told you not to say a word? And you know it was Jesus that did it. Or was it your faith? Faith moves mountains. On a little mountain in New Mexico, there is an old shrine, and it was built supposedly because someone found a buried crucifix there. And you walk into the little old adobe church and walls are lined with crutches and pictures of healed folks, healed because of the dirt there. Is it the dirt? Or is it faith? Amen? Have faith. Be encouraged. You too can see. What Jesus did was amazing, for He restored the lives of these men. They would be eyes for the blind who have no faith. Amen? And so we anxiously await to see Jesus coming. As if He weren't already here, He is coming in great glory. The kind that would make the world rock, waves scare people. But isn't that how He comes? In the midst of all the chaos? He is there so calm, and seemingly asleep? So it happens the day He is born. Light means sight. The blind came out of darkness. The wise men came to Jesus one way, and left another. They would not be the same and leave the same. A transformation occurs that is irreversible. Be ready




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