Monday, June 24, 2019

⛪ ...Became Strong ..⛪

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God Will Always Take Us Back

Hosea's experience is a message of hope. It reassures us that God will always take us back when we turn to him. When we do, he will see us through any consequences we may have brought on ourselves by our own poor choices. More than that, Hosea's story confirms that suffering—painful though it may be—is not without purpose. Hosea's torment was not something that belonged to him alone. With God, his personal hardship was used to benefit others. Many of us have difficult and painful challenges in our lives. Pain without a purpose is misery. Pain with a purpose is redeeming. There is hope in seeing that our misfortunes don't have to be pointless. They can be of some value to help someone else. When we have weathered and come through our own storms, others know our words of comfort are not given lightly. Because we have had our own share of pain, we gain credibility with those who still suffer. We offer hope in a way that those whose lives have been untouched by pain cannot. We become living examples that heartache, broken relationships, physical pain, and grief are not insurmountable with the help of God.

—from the book Fools, Liars, Cheats, and Other Bible Heroes by Barbara Hosbach


†Saint Quote
"Christ is my Spouse. He chose me first and His I will be. He made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve."
— St. Agnes

†Meditation of the Day
"Habits are being formed here under the pressure of temptation and difficulty that unfold in perfect form and beauty when the soul that has developed these habits passes into its true home. Those very temptations that made it so difficult to persevere were really the means of developing these powers. The spirit of prayer and worship grew on; hampered and oppressed by the distractions of life, it fought its way in spite of them and thus gained strength; then, when all these were removed, it opened out unhindered in its perfect growth. Now, there is one fundamental principle of the spiritual life that has to be learned and practiced here, mostly with suffering, often with the very keenest suffering, although so closely associated with it that it almost seems a necessary part of it, is indeed only accidental, and one day will altogether cease, while the grace that has been fought for and developed in so much agony will live on forever, and be the delight of the soul through eternity."
— Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 44-45

†Verse of the Day

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

Hebrews 11:6


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Nativity of St. John the Baptist

A family relation of Jesus, St. John the Baptist is called "the Forerunner" because he was sent by God to "prepare the way of the Lord" ahead of Jesus' public ministry. The birth of St. John the Baptist to his elderly and previously barren parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, is recorded in St. Luke's Gospel. His birth was announced to his father Zechariah by the Archangel Gabriel, who also brought the news of Christ's birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. John the Baptist's nativity is one of only three birthdays celebrated by the Church, along with the nativities of Jesus and Mary. It is an ancient belief among the faithful that St. John the Baptist was freed from original sin at the moment his mother heard the greeting of the Blessed Virgin at the Visitation, causing John to leap in his mother's womb through the action of the Holy Spirit. So, like Jesus and Mary, St. John was born without sin, and therefore his birthday is also worthy of special honor. Because Christ praised John the Baptist so highly by saying "Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist," he was one of the most highly venerated saints in the ancient and medieval Church. He has two feasts: his nativity on June 24th and his passion on August 29th.


Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist - Mass during the Day

Reading 1 Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

R.(14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading 2 Acts 13:22-26

In those days, Paul said:
"God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.
From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'

"My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent."

Alleluia See Lk 1:76

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
"No. He will be called John."
But they answered her,
"There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name,"
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
"What, then, will this child be?"
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,

and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.


Meditation: Luke 1:57-66, 80

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (Solemnity)

He will be called John. (Luke 1:60)

"What's in a name?" This famous question from Shakespeare seems to say that what you call someone doesn't matter; only the person's character is important. But in Scripture, names matter quite a bit. They often signify a person's character or indicate God's intentions for a person. For example, Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter because he wanted to build his Church on the "rock" of his faith.

So it was with John the Baptist. Everyone assumed he would be named after his father, Zechariah. But John's parents chose a name derived from the Hebrew word for "God favored," or "graced by God."

Of course, living in the wilderness, eating locusts, and wearing camel's hair for clothing might not suggest any special outpouring of God's favor. But by living in such a simple manner, John found the grace and favor of God. He allowed himself to be stripped of everything that he may have relied on. Instead of finding comfort or strength in wealth or prestige, he sought to rely on his heavenly Father.

Life in the desert helped John grow in confidence and trust in God. It helped prepare him for his mission of announcing the Messiah. It made him into a vessel of God's grace and favor—the very thing his name signifies.

Now, you may not be called John (or Joan), but that doesn't mean God isn't blessing you.

God is blessing you in every season of your life, and especially in those "desert" times. When we are in the desert, we feel alone, uncertain, and stripped of all our usual support. We have to learn to rely on the Lord. We realize that he is the only One who can sustain us. As hard as it can be, the desert can be a time of grace. God can use these times to mold our character and free us from anything that may be keeping us from him. He can also use them to prepare us for the next season in our lives, just as he did for John.

Whether you feel as if you are in the desert right now or in a lush garden, you are greatly favored by God. Never, ever forget that!

"Father, thank you for your grace and favor!"

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Acts 13:22-26



Once you understand that the passover is the background to Jesus' sacrifice, then when does Jesus' passover sacrifice begin? When he's celebrating the passover! He took the bread and he said 'this is my body,' then he took the cup and he said 'this cup is the blood of the new covenant.'
—Dr. Scott Hahn
from The Fourth Cup



"I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."

Was the Holy Scripture speaking through a prophet already about Saint John the Baptist? Because, Jesus was said to be THE light. But John Announced the light. Does that make Him the light? And what about us? Aren't we called to be light to all nations? Afterall...we are nations of people, right?


Let's pray: "I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works." I find it hard to believe in true love. It seems to me that most are in love in convenience mode. Very few actually love, as Christ. Think Sacrifice. Thank in thanksgiving mode, always in holiness and grace. Can we love like that? Can we be that light?

A miracle occurs in the Gospel, Zechariah finally spoke. And we heard ""What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him."
Do we ask this question of a newborn child? "What will this child be?"

A light to all nations?
What will you be?

For sure and for starters, let's remind ourselves what we already are...a child of God.

Before you were born, He knew you would be born. And as you grow, He knows what you will be.
With this realization, we can have a greater outlook in life, a life changing and saving outlook.
What is great about our life? How we affect others, isn't it?
God lets us affect other lives.
And He wants us to have on them, not just a positive effect, but a saving effect.
Of all the things I pray for, I find the hardest to be ....the conversion of a soul.
It seems that for this, it calls for more than prayer and calls for one to unite themselves affectionately and constantly to a soul, as if to say " I really care".
Now this is not a convenient love. Be prepared for heartaches. This is the kind of light and love God wants us to pour out into the world.
But we can do it.
Because God is love and we are God's child. We are fully capable, for God's grace is enough....


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
1 Peter 2:11 (Listen)

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Thank You Jesus

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