Monday, December 17, 2018

⛪the Son of David. . .

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Symbol of Joy

The Christmas tree, so simple and yet so strange, is a natural symbol that speaks to many people without elaborate explanation. It was there, you remember it, you know it was meaningful, even if you can't put that meaning into words. The lights and ornaments made you happy. You knew that Christmas was a special time, though you have never heard about liminality, utopia, or soul and spirit.

—from the book The Soul of Christmas


"Upon receiving Holy Communion, the Adorable Blood of Jesus Christ really flows in our veins and His Flesh is really blended with ours."
— St. John Vianney

Meditation of the Day
"The works of her, who was to be the Mother of the God-man, were altogether and in every way most perfect, and even to understand them exceeds the capacity of all human creatures and of the angels. Her interior acts of the virtues were so precious and of such great merit and favor, that they surpass all that the seraphim can do . . . But it is my Will, that during thy pilgrimage in thy mortal body thou place most holy Mary as the beginning of thy joy, and that thou follow her through the desert of renunciation and abnegation of all that is human and visible. Follow her by a perfect imitation according to the measure of thy strength and of the light which thou receivest. Let her be thy guiding star and thy Directress: she will manifest to thee my Will and will let thee find my holy law which is written in her by the power of my right hand: meditate upon it day and night."
— Ven. Mary of Agreda, p. 87
An Excerpt From
Mystical City of God

Verse of the Day
"Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.' So we can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?'"
Hebrews 13:4-6


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Saint Hildegard of Bingen

(September 16, 1098 – September 17, 1179)

Abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, theologian—where to begin in describing this remarkable woman?

Born into a noble family, she was instructed for ten years by the holy woman Blessed Jutta. When Hildegard was 18, she became a Benedictine nun at the Monastery of Saint Disibodenberg. Ordered by her confessor to write down the visions that she had received since the age of three, Hildegard took ten years to write her Scivias (Know the Ways). Pope Eugene III read it, and in 1147, encouraged her to continue writing. Her Book of the Merits of Life and Book of Divine Works followed. She wrote over 300 letters to people who sought her advice; she also composed short works on medicine and physiology, and sought advice from contemporaries such as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

Hildegard's visions caused her to see humans as "living sparks" of God's love, coming from God as daylight comes from the sun. Sin destroyed the original harmony of creation; Christ's redeeming death and resurrection opened up new possibilities. Virtuous living reduces the estrangement from God and others that sin causes.

Like all mystics, Hildegard saw the harmony of God's creation and the place of women and men in that. This unity was not apparent to many of her contemporaries.

Hildegard was no stranger to controversy. The monks near her original foundation protested vigorously when she moved her monastery to Bingen, overlooking the Rhine River. She confronted Emperor Frederick Barbarossa for supporting at least three antipopes. Hildegard challenged the Cathars, who rejected the Catholic Church claiming to follow a more pure Christianity.

Between 1152 and 1162, Hildegard often preached in the Rhineland. Her monastery was placed under interdict because she had permitted the burial of a young man who had been excommunicated. She insisted that he had been reconciled with the Church and had received its sacraments before dying. Hildegard protested bitterly when the local bishop forbade the celebration of or reception of the Eucharist at the Bingen monastery, a sanction that was lifted only a few months before her death.

In 2012, Hildegard was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI. Her Liturgical Feast Day is September 17.

Pope Benedict spoke about Hildegard of Bingen during two of his general audiences in September 2010. He praised the humility with which she received God's gifts, and the obedience she gave Church authorities. He praised too the "rich theological content" of her mystical visions that sum up the history of salvation from creation to the end of time.

During his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI said, "Let us always invoke the Holy Spirit, so that he may inspire in the Church holy and courageous women like Saint Hildegard of Bingen who, developing the gifts they have received from God, make their own special and valuable contribution to the spiritual development of our communities and of the Church in our time."


Monday of the Third Week in Advent

Reading 1 Gn 49:2, 8-10

Jacob called his sons and said to them:
"Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.

"You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion's whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people's homage."

Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17
R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.


Meditation: Matthew 1:1-17
3rd Week of Advent

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:1)

One of the central truths of the Christian message is that God is always faithful to his promises. He will never revoke his plan of salvation; it will come to pass despite the "low points" that seem to signal otherwise. We see this truth most clearly in Matthew's account of Jesus' genealogy. Jesus' birth came about despite a family line that included murderers, spies, and exiles. None of their sins derailed God's plan or caused him to break his promises.

One of the brightest lights in this genealogy is King Hezekiah, who ruled the Israelites seven hundred years before Christ was born. After the disastrous and idolatrous reign of his father, Ahaz, Hezekiah called his people back to the worship of the Lord God and him alone. He repaired the Temple, which had been damaged in a siege, and abolished the worship of the gods of the Gentiles. What is most impressive is the way Hezekiah listened to the prophet Isaiah and miraculously averted an invasion by the powerful Assyrian army (Isaiah 36-37).

By contrast, Hezekiah's grandson Amon stands as a low point in the line of Christ. Amon "did what was evil in the Lord's sight. . . . He served the idols . . . , and did not walk in the way of the Lord" (2 Kings 21:20, 21, 22). Under Amon, the sacred text of the Torah was burned, and pagan images were once again set up for worship. According to Jewish tradition, spiderwebs came to cover the altar through its disuse. Yet even in the midst of all this sin and unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. He continued to work patiently to bring his plan to fulfillment.

Whether your Advent has been a peaceful, blessed time or a frenzied race, God remains faithful. He is continuing today the plan that he started centuries and centuries ago: a plan to bring each of us—including you—into his presence forever.

Never forget that God is faithful! He will help you as you struggle to find time for prayer and as you strive to follow his commandments. He is always with you, always faithful to his promises to teach you, to bless you, and to guide you.

"Father, I believe in your faithfulness. Stand beside me today in all the situations I will face."

Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17


2 cents :
"Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father."
And the sons assembled. And one of them would be a brother that all the rest would have to listen to. A son from Israel, from Isaac, from Abraham. A sign of what begins a mark of promises. From binding and reconciling, to this day, binding and reconciling. It will never set well to turn away from the Lord. Not after you have tasted. Not after you have seen. What comes now is Judah's tribe, soon to be reunited. Judah's return is eminent. And it is fitting for Advent to recall this scripture. Advent means the coming, the coming is near. Repent and believe.


"Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness." So, is justice flourishing in His time? Is there fullness of peace for ever? Of course. IN HIS time, not ours! LOL. Can there be peace? Yes. It is on us. If we repent and believe. Your world could actually be filled with peace....Jesus. His peace is not of this world and not as the world presents of all troubles. For in the world you WILL have trouble. Our Lord says it: ""I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33. He says that you MAY have Peace, in HIM. That is a very terrible word for our world, that you MAY. But it is a word of hope. And that should give us Joy. For there is hope now for us reading this today. And this brings us peace.

In comes the prince of Peace, our Savior, this time by nothing He said, except by the way He came to us in the world: "Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations." So we are talking about ancestry back over 1,000 to 2,000 years? Can you trace your ancestors back 2,000 years that well? People use a website to track their ancestors, I've seen some of my family, but the site is not as reliable for a few decades, let alone a few thousand years! But because it is God, it is traced. Just like every pope is traced now. That is our ancestry now. Our Father's heritage and inheritance. That's what Christ has left us. He didn't write books, He writes history with what we do today. And you can partake of this magnificent work. Mary shows us the way, Mother Mary, with her Magnificat, and it begins like this: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid". Watch those amazing and prophetic words pour fourth from the Immaculate Conception, "My Spirit Rejoices in God my Savior". What does it mean to rejoice? I found on where it says "Joy is not to be understood as something superficial or immature. The person who is filled with Christian joy possesses an immense treasure because the true Christian can smile and laugh even in the middle of the most terrible adversities and sufferings. Let us make this Christmas the best Christmas ever by making a firm decision today to rid ourselves from every behavior that causes us to be self-centered. "Rejoice always" (Thessalonians 5: 16). "
Rejoicing is to be living joy. To be grounded and founded on Christ. Last night we began our 9 day journey prayer with Saint Joseph and Holy Mother Mary, the Posadas. The donkey carrying the mother-to-be was gentle, but still sticks to his rule of not approaching the front door of the house withing 20 to 30 feet! LOL Is He stubborn, or is he showing us something? Is he disobedient? No. He does well down the roads, loading and unloading. Humility? As I'm typing, they are telling me that the donkey did approach the door when everyone else had gone in the front door. He put himself last. Amen? Let others be first. How often? Always. That is preparing the way for the Lord. Jesus had followers, but Jesus followed God. It was always about our Father. From the Annunciation to the Baptism, to the Transfiguration, to the Last Supper, to the Crucifixion. it has always had God speaking. Through angels. And appearing and speaking from Heaven through angels and audible senses. To disappearing from the scene of the cross...apparently. What remained? Who remained? Jesus, and Mary, and the Disciples. Joy amidst the burning flames, and Jesus desired to save every last soul. Everyone else was more important. When they hurt Him, He turns the cheek. When we sin, He turns the cheek.
Prepare the way. Prepare your life. Make the way, the Way. If Jesus is coming, should this not be a time of great joy and expectation? Share this enthusiasm of faith. Make people wonder "what's up with this person? Why are they so full of joy and peace....and.......grace?"




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