Wednesday, December 18, 2019

⛪ . He Named Him.... .⛪

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Take a Step Back

We are constantly surrounded by advertising in a growing variety of forms. Ads creep into nearly everything we do. And this ramps up even more during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Advent invites us to take a break from the deluge of ads and seek something deeper and more lasting than the latest electronics or the best deal on that kitchen appliance that everyone needs this year. Advent invites us to seek a sense of peace and wholeness in our hearts and in our daily lives. If we do that even in small ways this year, we will have an immeasurable gift to share with our loved ones and possibly even with our world.

—from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent by Diane M. Houdek


† Saint Quote
"There are two ways of knowing how good God is: one is never to lose Him, and the other is to lose Him and then to find Him."
— Archbishop Fulton Sheen

"It is, then, in following the will of God, in spite of all the difficulties that may arise both from within and from without, in the constant offering of ourselves to God as the creatures of His hand to do and to be what He would have us, in the surrender of one thing after another that comes between us and Him and holds us back—it is in such acts that we unite ourselves with those glorious beings who cast their crowns before the throne and with those unfallen creatures who have never known what it is to have a wish or thought apart from the will of God. Amongst those glorified saints there are, indeed, many whose wills were for a long time in revolt against God's will and who brought themselves at last into subjection, many to whom the will of God here on earth meant the sacrifice of everything the heart most loved, many to whom it meant the sacrifice of life itself. But all that is past and over, and its fruits remain—the eternal life of oblation and union with God, where one will rules those countless multitudes and binds them together and to God, where each one of those countless millions lives his own complete and perfect life yet never jars on any other, where each is perfect in itself and all together compose one perfect whole—the Body of Christ."
— Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 47
Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God

"But no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so."
James 3:8-10


click to read more



St. Winebald (701-761 A.D.) was a Saxon prince born into a holy and royal family in England. His father, St. Richard the King, and his mother, St. Wunna of Wessex, are both saints, as well as his brother, St. Willibald, his sister, St. Walburga, and his uncle, St. Boniface. After making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his father and brother, and then spending many years in Rome, Winebald was recruited by his uncle, Boniface, to join him in evangelizing Germany. Winebald was ordained a priest and worked as a missionary across Germany, Holland, France, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, leaving behind many flourishing churches and monasteries under the Rule of St. Benedict. St. Winebald was an important figure in laying the foundations of Christianity across much of Europe. After his death, his tomb became a pilgrimage shrine. His feast day is December 18.


Blessed Anthony Grassi

(November 13, 1592 – December 13, 1671)

Anthony's father died when his son was only 10 years old, but the young lad inherited his father's devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. As a schoolboy, he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.

Already a fine student, Anthony soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a "walking dictionary," who quickly grasped Scripture and theology. For some time he was tormented by scruples, but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass. From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.

In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was carried paralyzed from the church, expecting to die. When Anthony recovered in a few days he realized that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.

More importantly, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks.

He also began hearing confessions, and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, Anthony listened carefully to penitents, said a few words, and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.

In 1635, Anthony was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory. He was so well regarded that he was reelected every three years until his death. He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe. At the same time he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.

He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services. As Anthony grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.

But age brought its challenges as well. Anthony suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one. First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth. Then he could no longer hear confessions. Finally after a fall, Anthony was confined to his room. The archbishop himself came each day to give him Holy Communion. One of his final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarreling brothers. The Liturgical Feast of Blessed Anthony Grassi is December 15.

Nothing provides a better reason for reassessing a life than a brush with death. Anthony's life already seemed to be on track when he was struck by lightning; he was a brilliant priest, blessed at last with serenity. But the experience softened him. Anthony became a loving counselor and a wise mediator. The same might be said of us if we put our hearts to it. We needn't wait to be struck by lightning.


Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 194
Reading 1

Jer 23:5-8

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
As king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name they give him:
"The LORD our justice."

Therefore, the days will come, says the LORD,
when they shall no longer say, "As the LORD lives,
who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt";
but rather, "As the LORD lives,
who brought the descendants of the house of Israel
up from the land of the north"–
and from all the lands to which I banished them;
they shall again live on their own land.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19

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.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous deeds.
And blessed forever be his glorious name;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Matthew 1:18-25

3rd Week of Advent

Joseph . . . did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. (Matthew 1:24)

Do you want a great piece of advice? Expect the unexpected. Everyone knows that the best-laid plans can change in an instant. Yet when the unexpected happens, we can still get rattled by it. It seems that we really didn't expect the unexpected after all!

Joseph's plans were all set. He loved Mary. The two of them had already been betrothed. All that was left was the final ceremony; then they could finally live together as husband and wife. But then the unexpected happened: Mary became pregnant before they had come together. What was Joseph to do? He came up with Plan B: quietly divorce Mary to save her reputation. But then the unexpected happened again. An angel appeared to him in a dream and showed him God's plan: Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit and would bear a son who would save his people from their sins.

Can you imagine how Joseph felt at this point? He must have been shaken to the core. Yet despite all these surprises, he was able to give up control and accept the unexpected because of his faith. Joseph believed that God is good. He trusted that if this was God's plan as the angel had said, then something good would come out of it. So instead of complaining or doubting this new turn of events, he took Mary into his home. And as a result, Mary had the support she needed to bring Jesus into the world.

We have all been in situations when we are faced with Plan B or C or even D. Sometimes these are minor annoyances, but other times it's something momentous: a sudden illness that sidelines us, a job transfer that requires a move across the country, or an unexpected pregnancy. In all these cases, we face the challenge of giving up control and yielding to something new, unfamiliar, and maybe even frightening.

When that happens, think of Joseph. Even if he didn't expect the unexpected, he accepted what God had in store for him and moved forward in faith. Let's pray for the grace to do the same.

"Father, I know that your plan is always good. Give me the grace to trust you even when I do not understand it."

Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19



God's call went out to John 'in the wilderness'. In order for God to speak to me, I must hear him. In order to hear, I need a certain degree of quiet. That is why John was in the wilderness. The silence there is so complete that one's heart is quieted and starts to hear. In our world today, silence has become a rare commodity. That is why it is so important to me that our churches are open.
—Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
from Jesus, the Divine Physician


"As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land."
Jesus is King, amen? He governs as He sees fit. And in this world, there are citizens of the Kingdom. All sorts of citizens. Many faithful, many not so much. Many you question why they are in the Kingdom of they despise the King.

Is this a question, or a comment? Who is the King of Glory? And who desires glory?

First off, the word "glory" means something else in His Kingdom. It means ultimately, the cross. And what is the cross? Giving glory to God.


We pray: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. And blessed forever be his glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."


In the Holy Gospel, we have the visitation of an angel of God to Saint Joseph.

An angel appears to change the course of history.

When we read this last night at the Posadas, a 9 day prayer of going house to house singing asking for an "inn" to the house, I explained about Joseph, how he was a righteous man, the only righteous man mentioned in the bible. Extremely holy, just as the Mother was extremely holy. I contrasted it with modern protestants on their view of Joseph and Mary, as unholy, just regular sinners of the world.

"... they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us."

Did they name Him Emmanuel? The archangel named the baby Jesus first, before Joseph's Emmanuel. So what's up with this name conflict? What do you call God? He called Himself "I AM who Am". Was then the full name of God 3 names? Jesus means He Who Saves. Emmanuel means "God with us".
Who Saves
Among us.

He is with us, said the angel.
He is then rightly Emmanuel. When we think of God, we think Emmanuel, He who is with us, for us, and not against us.
I asked those present last night "what does fear of the Lord mean? " Someone said "scared". I said we should not think of being scared of the Lord, like many kids afraid to go to confession. Afraid to come to God. Afraid and staying away from God.
No. Fear of the Lord is being scared of not coming to God! Of not BEING with God.

That is all the difference.. Being with Him. Giving Him Glory.
Or being away, and not giving Hims Glory.
And I said the more we are with Him, the more the light will shine.
It will show, it will glow. You become one with Him...more and more....


hear it read

Random Bible Verse 1

Revelation 22:20

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Thank You Lord

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