Tuesday, December 10, 2019

⛪ . .One Of These Little Ones .. .⛪

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Bring the Gospel Back into Christmas

We ask ourselves, what is to be done, what can we do to bring the Christ of the Gospel back into Christmas in a way that is more than a bumper sticker slogan that ends up being mainly a political football? How can we bring the Christ of the Gospel back into our daily lives so that we actually live out the teachings of the Gospel where we first learned the story of Christ? Brother Thomas of Celano says of St. Francis, "His greatest care, his most vivid desire, his supreme resolution was to observe the holy Gospel…." And this very Gospel emphasizes over and over again the imperative of reaching out to those who, like the man in Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, have fallen among thieves, which in turn calls to mind the rapaciousness of those forces and structures that control our economy and of the many who are left by the wayside. How, then, can we today reach out to those fallen and to the thieves, as well?

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis by Murray Bodo, OFM


† Saint Quote
DECEMBER 10, 2019
"He who enters into the secret place of his own soul passes beyond himself, and does in very truth ascend to God. Banish, therefore, from thy heart the distractions of earth and turn thine eyes to spiritual joys, that thou mayest learn at last to repose in the light of the contemplation of God."
— St. Albert the Great

"St. Augustine says, that to prevent the sheep from seeking assistance by her cries, the wolf seizes her by the neck, and thus securely carries her away and devours her. The Devil acts in a similar manner with the sheep of Jesus Christ. After having induced them to yield to sin, he seizes them by the throat, that they may not confess their guilt; and thus he securely brings them to Hell. For those who have sinned grievously, there is no means of salvation but the confession of their sins."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 138
Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

"For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus . . . the only thing that counts is faith working through love."
Galatians 5:5-6

Our Lady of Loreto is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with the house where Mary was born, the site of the Annunciation, and the dwelling place of the Holy Family. The tradition and history of the Holy House goes back to Apostolic times. In the 13th century the house was mysteriously moved in one piece from Nazareth in the Holy Land to a final resting place in Loreto, Italy, carried by angels, a miracle to which the Church attests. It was transported to prevent its destruction by Muslims who destroyed the basilica which housed it. A new basilica was built around the Holy House in Italy, known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world. Written at the door of the basilica are these words: "The whole world has no place more sacred ... For here was the Word made Flesh, and here was born the Virgin Mother." Our Lady of Loreto is the patron of aviators, fliers, pilots, and builders. Her feast day is December 10th.


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Blessed Adolph Kolping

(December 8, 1813 – December 4, 1865)

The rise of the factory system in 19th-century Germany brought many single men into cities where they faced new challenges to their faith. Father Adolph Kolping began a ministry to them, hoping that they would not be lost to the Catholic faith, as was happening to workers elsewhere in industrialized Europe.

Born in the village of Kerpen, Adolph became a shoemaker at an early age because of his family's economic situation. Ordained in 1845, he ministered to young workers in Cologne, establishing a choir, which by 1849 had grown into the Young Workmen's Society. A branch of this began in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1856. Nine years later there were over 400 Gesellenvereine—workman's societies—around the world. Today this group has over 450,000 members in 54 countries across the globe.

More commonly called the Kolping Society, it emphasizes the sanctification of family life and the dignity of labor. Father Kolping worked to improve conditions for workers and greatly assisted those in need. He and St. John Bosco in Turin had similar interests in working with young men in big cities. He told his followers, "The needs of the times will teach you what to do." Father Kolping once said, "The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possesses, even if he does not realize it, is family life."

Blessed Adolph Kolping and Blessed John Duns Scotus are buried in Cologne's Minoritenkirche, originally served by the Conventual Franciscans. The Kolping Society's international headquarters are located across from this church.

Kolping members journeyed to Rome from Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, for Father Kolping's beatification in 1991, the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's revolutionary encyclical "Rerum Novarum"—"On the Social Order." Father Kolping's personal witness and apostolate helped prepare for that encyclical.

Some people thought that Father Kolping was wasting his time and talents on young working men in industrialized cities. In some countries, the Catholic Church was seen by many workers as the ally of owners and the enemy of workers. Men like Adolph Kolping showed that was not true.


Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 182
Reading 1

Is 40:1-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice says, "Cry out!"
I answer, "What shall I cry out?"
"All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever."

Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 96:1-2, 3 and 10ac, 11-12, 13

R.(see Isaiah 40:10ab) The Lord our God comes with power.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The day of the Lord is near;
Behold, he comes to save us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
"What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Matthew 18:12-14

2nd Week of Advent

Will he not . . . go in search of the stray? (Matthew 18:12)

There's nothing like a parable to illustrate a spiritual point in a new way or to offer new insight to a familiar point. Jesus used these short stories drawn from everyday life to surprise his hearers and help them grasp the truth about life in his kingdom. Rather than simple tales, Jesus' parables always had some kind of twist that was meant to surprise his hearers and move them to deeper faith. So what kind of twist is in this simple, familiar story?

We tend to think of Jesus as the main character in the parable. He is, after all, the "good shepherd" who lays down his life for his sheep (John 10:11). But this time, Jesus tells us that God the Father is also like a shepherd: "It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost" (Matthew 18:14, emphasis added). He is telling us that the One who made the heavens and the earth, almighty God himself, is as tender and loving as any shepherd.

In Jesus' time, shepherds were known for their special relationship with the sheep under their care. The shepherd wasn't just familiar with the markings of each one; he knew its disposition as well. It was his job to watch carefully over the flock, find the best grazing spot, and steer the sheep away from anything that might harm them. In short, the shepherd was deeply devoted to his sheep.

This is the God we believe in. He is intimately familiar with everything about you and completely devoted to your care. He is attentive to your needs and eager to bring you back when you lose your way. Best of all, he is filled with joy when you are restored.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed by a troubling problem, remember that God knows the situation inside and out. He knows what you need and can lead you through any knotty situation. And if you—or any of your loved ones—stray off the path, he is ready to pursue you and bring you back.

Isn't it comforting to know that no matter what life throws at you, God is looking after you? Isn't it comforting to know that he will find you and bring you back?

"Father, thank you for pursuing me and my loved ones!"

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13



Could it be that one reason for the lack of vocations is our failure to stress sacrifice? The young have a sense of victimhood that we underestimate. They want a mission, a challenge!
—Ven. Fulton J. Sheen
from The Priest Is Not His Own


"Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her..."
God left us with some babysitters no? it His loving self through people? So, whether or not you've had good sitters, God is still there. But what about those who've never had good sitters? If you've worked with people, especially in ministries, you'll find that some seem to have fallen through the cracks and have been left alone...seemingly forgotten. Yet, they've been found...but there are more.


Today we pray: 'Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands. Sing to the LORD; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. The Lord our God comes with power." Let yourself be caught ...singing. With oil in your lamp, with your lights on when He comes! Then He will see...your faithfulness.


In the Holy Gospel, we have a parable from our Lord, about a seemingly crazy shepherd. "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?"
To us it sounds crazy, but back then, I bet this was the rule for a shepherd. Find the lost. Sing. Right? Could that be what sing means? Who is this message for anyways? Just for a select few you are targeting right now?

What is the "lost and found" parable about anyway? For those lost in addictions, and finding their way to sobriety? Hmm. What about all lost in sin? Now things are getting deep. Now we are being called personally by the Lord. Now a shepherd is calling out. Now His crazy love is swooping the ends of the earth in search for you. "Where are you?" He says in Genesis.

"Lord, if you could only hear me, but I can't call out".

The Lord: my child, where ARE YOU!?

"Lord, I'm too weak to call out, I'm dying where I lie".

The Lord: "Do Not Be Afraid! I am coming!"

Did the Shepherd abandon the 99 in the flock for you?

Where are the 99? Heaven?
Or, are we the 99? If so, are we not left with sitters? Where is our Shepherd? He is on the move.

Love is on the move. Love is an action and a being.

And the flock is to follow the Good Shepherd.
That is, trust in Him. Trust that you are in Good Hands.
How do you choose your sitters? Do you do a background research? Do you do a drug test on the sitters? Or do you just leave your kids with someone that you think is "reliable"?

I say this because, we fail to care as much as God does. Most atrocities of abuse happen with "family", blood relations.
Those who are "entrusted" with care.
Now, let us take it to the level of a family of God.

You can trust someone who loves God with all their heart.
Trust Mary. Trust Angels. Trust saints.

Trust them more.
And above them even, trust God more than all.
I worry sick about some loved ones, their health, their faith. I pray and I pray, and I talk with them, and sometimes if I'm lucky, I pray with them.
I don't see an overnight change, boy that'd be nice...for me, to have peace. But where is faith in that? Trust God. Trust Him on His search. He is a hero. He is a God that has no match in any universe, for He created it all.
We are to trust in His Word. And in the meantime, the flock must sing, and never stop singing. Why? The noise, the joyful noise of grace brings souls to the light. Such is the light of sound. Do I mean really sing songs? That helps, but I mean live out your conversion, in your daily living. Live your faith out loud. Learn a new song. Learn a new way to live your faith. Learn how to live it more fervently, more devoutly. You may wind up being the Holy person you were designed to be!


hear it read

Random Bible Verse 1

Ps 37:4

4 Delight yourself in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Thank You Lord

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