Wednesday, December 12, 2018

⛪My Soul Proclaims....


What Waits in the Dark?

Ancient storytellers observed that the sun makes a journey every night. To their eyes, the sun slipped out of sight in the western sky and descended into the dark earth or ocean, only to reappear far to the east at dawn. The old ones watched this daytime voyage of light across the sky. They understood that the sun's light inspired the process of photosynthesis. It warmed the desert and opened the flowers. But at night, when the sun descended into the dark, they understood that even more was taking place. Do we make this same journey? Is that what this is all about? What waits in the dark?

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds As Light


"Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."
— St. Maximilian Kolbe

"Write: I am Thrice Holy, and I detest the smallest sin. I cannot love a soul which is stained with sin; but when it repents, there is no limit to My generosity toward it. My mercy embraces and justifies it. With My mercy, I pursue sinners along all their paths, and My Heart rejoices when they return to Me. I forget the bitterness with which they fed My Heart and rejoice at their return. Tell sinners that no one shall escape My Hand; if they run away from My Merciful Heart, they will fall into My Just Hands. Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them, that I listen intently to the beating of their heart . . . when will it beat for Me?"
— St. Maria Faustina, (1728)
Diary of St. Maria Faustina

"By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible."
Hebrews 11:3


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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Saint of the Day for December 12

The feast in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the 16th century. Chronicles of that period tell us the story.

A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower, and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.

Juan was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared, and within it stood an Indian maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.

Eventually the bishop told Juan to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan's uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Juan to try to avoid the lady. Nevertheless the lady found Juan, assured him that his uncle would recover, and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.

On December 12, when Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop's presence, the roses fell to the ground, and the bishop sank to his knees. On the tilma where the roses had been appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac.

Mary's appearance to Juan Diego as one of his people is a powerful reminder that Mary—and the God who sent her—accept all peoples. In the context of the sometimes rude and cruel treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, the apparition was a rebuke to the Spaniards and an event of vast significance for the indigenous population. While a number of them had converted before this incident, they now came in droves. According to a contemporary chronicler, nine million Indians became Catholic in a very short time. In these days when we hear so much about God's preferential option for the poor, Our Lady of Guadalupe cries out to us that God's love for and identification with the poor is an age-old truth that stems from the Gospel itself.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron Saint of:
The Americas


Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Reading 1 Zec 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

God's temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed."

Responsorial Psalm Judith 13:18bcde, 19
R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.

or Lk 1:39-47

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior."


Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Feast)

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)

Mary and St. Juan Diego probably never imagined that God would give them a major role to play in his plan of salvation. Neither of them had any special training or standing in society. But look what a difference they made. They changed history!

Mary was a young girl from a poor family living in the backwater town of Nazareth. On the day the angel Gabriel appeared to her, she was probably doing what she did every other day: helping her family with household chores. She must have been shocked that God had chosen her to bear God's son. And yet despite her surprise, Mary said yes.

Fifteen hundred years later, Mary appeared to a peasant named Juan Diego. She asked this humble Aztec Indian to go to the bishop and request that he build a church in her honor. Juan immediately obeyed, but the bishop asked him to return another day. The next time Mary appeared to him, Juan Diego told her about the failure of his mission and urged her to find someone more influential. But Mary said, "My little son, there are many I could send. But you are the one I have chosen."

So Juan Diego returned to the bishop, who then asked for a sign that the apparition was real. Mary told Juan Diego to find roses growing on a hillside in winter. He gathered the flowers in his tilma and returned to the bishop. When he opened the tilma, he found an image of Mary dressed as an indigenous woman imprinted on the cloak. Convinced, the bishop built the church, and the miracles associated with these visions brought nearly nine million Aztecs to the Lord.

God could easily turn hearts and change minds by simply calling out from heaven in a big booming voice. But that's not how he works. Throughout history, he chooses humble people to make his message heard and to change the world.

So don't be surprised if God calls you. You may not feel qualified, but God thinks otherwise. Just keep following him, and you will change the world.

"Lord, help me to be as willing as Mary and St. Juan Diego to say yes to you!"

Zechariah 2:14-17
(Psalm) Judith 13:18-19


2 cents :
"See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD"
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet".
"God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple."
The new Ark is Mary. The New Covenant is Jesus.

Mary appears. She transformed all of the Americas. She did what us normal people could not. Bring people to Christ. She assisted our meager and feeble efforts. And guess what? She still does! I been listening to a youtube video "The Catholic Talk Show" (click to check it out only 42mins!). At one point of the outstanding facts of the Tilma, the material she appeared on in Mexico, they said the tilma, her image, maintains a human temperature, 98.6 degrees. She has many human like characteristics, even the eyes seen with microscopes and so forth. There have been several attempts to destroy her, but none have succeeded. Our meager attempts to eradicate the Mother only gives her more exoneration. This is why, the blood of martyrs, is the seed of the Holy Catholic Church. Indeed, just this morning, news of 4 new martyrs comes, 4 faithful gunned down while praying in Mass in Brazil. More blood for the Church to grow from. They were all shot at and most killed, a handful of faithful at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception. The evil dragon does not stop. So let us continue.


Let us pray: "You are the highest honor of our race. Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God, the creator of heaven and earth." Mary was created in a most unique way. This is why we had a Holy Mass of Obligation for her Immaculate Conception. Forever she lives. She LIVES. She stands as the firmament, that texture that drapes the beautiful altar, an adornment that truly gives honor and glory to God. We are called to be in living love with her for Jesus. What's more, Jesus gave us His precious gift on the cross, yes His Sacred Body, but also...His mom. His beloved Mother for the whole world. Love you mom!

In the Holy Gospel we heard, ""Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." Poor Mother Mary, the angel startled her beautiful soul, and so the angel continued ""Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." Nowadays, prosperity gospels have butchered what it means to be "highly favored". God's favor upon Mary was a glance from God. "I seen you, I formed you, and now, I desire for you to accomplish my Holy Will ". That is favor. A grace beyond grace. She says with utmost humility words that Jesus would later say the night before being crucified "May it be done to me according to your word." And She did. And He did. He lay down His life in obedience. Much in representation of priestly ordinations, and deaconate. Lay down your life. "You are Mine" says God, "You will serve only ME from now on. You will serve what I desire, and I AM Love. " This morning we got up about 5AM to go to church to sing to our Lady in Mexican tradition. Since she appeared in 1531, millions of lives have been transformed and many saved. She is warm. She is in prayer. Always. She holds within Christ Jesus, the Savior, the King. This is what Indians saw in the image. The King of the Universe is coming. She holds the truth. From now on, they would no longer have human sacrifice. They were killing even their children as sacrifice, thinking of it as high honor. She said no more to death. Yes to life. Yes to Jesus. She said to Saint Juan Diego "build a church". That is what she desires, a Holy Church for God. A Holy Temple. And they say we are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We yelled this morning in song "Viva La Virgen De Guadalupe!" VIVA!!! Long live our Lady! She is with us. Have no doubt. She offers comfort and grace. Grace we need to be humble and love God. Grace to be like Jesus. Grace to make us shout and exclaim the wonders of our Lord....forever




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