Tuesday, December 24, 2019

⛪ . You Will Find an . .. .⛪




God Is Most High and Most Humble

The idea of "bending over" or "bending down" reminds me of the days when I took care of my nephew when he was just a baby. I recall moments when I would see him lying in his oversized crib—a tiny creature with hands and feet waving in the air, totally helpless. I would bend down into the crib and lift him high up in the air and he would smile uncontrollably, as only an infant can. The humility of God is something like the baby in the crib. God is at once the small helpless infant who lies quietly in the crib of the universe, and also the strong one who can raise up a fragile human being and draw that person into the embrace of infinite love.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective by Ilia Delio, OSF


† Saint Quote
"God has done everything; he has done the impossible: he was made flesh. His all-powerful love has accomplished something which surpasses all human understanding: the Infinite has become a child, has entered the human family. And yet, this same God cannot enter my heart unless I open the door to him."
— Pope Benedict XVI

†Meditation of the Day

"What worthy return can we make for so great a condescension? The One Only-begotten God, ineffably born of God, entered the Virgin's womb and grew and took the frame of poor humanity. He who upholds the universe, within whom and through whom are all things, was brought forth by common childbirth. He at whose voice archangels and angels tremble, and heaven and earth and all the elements of this world are melted, was heard in childish wailing. The Invisible and Incomprehensible, whom sight and feeling and touch cannot measure, was wrapped in a cradle."
— St. Hilary of Poitiers, p. 364
An Excerpt From

†Verse of the Day
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."


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Saints Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve, the first man and woman created by God as recounted in the Old Testament book of Genesis, are the father and mother of all humanity. Through their willful disobedience to the command of God, sin came into the world. To redeem mankind which was thereby separated from the perfect communion with the Holy Trinity for which they were created, God became man, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and died on a Cross. Jesus is the New Adam, and Mary is the New Eve. Christian tradition recognizes that Adam and Eve were rescued by Christ in virtue of His death, burial, and resurrection, and are with God and the saints in heaven. Their feast day is celebrated together on December 24th.


Christmas at Greccio

Saint of the Day for December 24
What better way to prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child than to take a brief journey to Greccio, the spot in central Italy where Saint Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib in the year 1223.

Francis, recalling a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, resolved to create the manger he had seen there. The ideal spot was a cave in nearby Greccio. He would find a baby—we're not sure if it was a live infant or the carved image of a baby—hay upon which to lay him, an ox and an ass to stand beside the manger. Word went out to the people of the town. At the appointed time, they arrived carrying torches and candles.

One of the friars began celebrating Mass. Francis himself gave the sermon. His biographer, Thomas of Celano, recalls that Francis "stood before the manger…overcome with love and filled with a wonderful happiness…"

For Francis, the simple celebration was meant to recall the hardships Jesus suffered even as an infant, a savior who chose to become poor for our sake, a truly human Jesus.

Tonight, as we pray around the Christmas cribs in our homes, we welcome into our hearts that same Savior.

God's choice to give human beings free will was from the beginning a decision to be helpless in human hands. With the birth of Jesus, God made the divine helplessness very clear to us, for a human infant is totally dependent on the loving response of other people. Our natural response to a baby is to open our arms as Francis did–to the infant of Bethlehem, and to the God who made us all


1st Reading – Isaiah 9:1-6

1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.

2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils.

3 For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

4 For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.

5 For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

6 His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Responsorial Psalm – Psalms 96: 1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13

R. (Luke 2:11) Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
2A Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

2B Announce his salvation, day after day.
3 Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

11 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
12 let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

13 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. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

2nd Reading – Titus 2:11-14

11 The grace of God has appeared, saving all

12 and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,

13 as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ,

14 who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.

Alleluia – Luke 2:10-11

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
10 I proclaim to you good news of great joy:
11 today a Savior is born for us,
Christ the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Luke 2:1-14

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.

2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3 So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.

4 And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

6 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,

7 and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.

9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

10 The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

11 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.

12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 1:67-79

4th Week of Advent (Mass in the Morning)

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High. (Luke 1:76)

In one sense, today's Gospel is the story of an early Christmas gift. Upon having his mouth opened, Zechariah erupted in praise of God for his mercy and coming salvation. But right in the middle of his song of praise, he turned to John, his newborn son, and delivered a prophecy about him: "You, my child, shall . . . go before the Lord to prepare his way" (Luke 1:76). He spoke of John's future and the important work he would do in preparing God's people for the Messiah. You might say that by doing this, Zechariah gave John the gift of God's words. He outlined the future that awaited his son and spoke of how God was going to bless him and guide him.

Today is Christmas Eve. Every-one can feel the excitement building, especially as children eagerly await the time when they can finally open their gifts. But what if, as we wait, we were to consider doing something for our loved ones that mirrors what Zechariah did for John? What if, in addition to giving the traditional Christmas gifts, we were to give our loved ones the gift of a special word from God?

It might sound intimidating. I'm no prophet! How can I presume to speak for God? But it doesn't have to be grand or spectacular. Simply speak from your heart the words that you think God would want to tell them.

You don't even have to say anything! Just write a little note that will encourage and uplift them. Remind them that they are a son or daughter of God. Tell them how much God loves them and how deeply he wants to bless them. Point out one or two gifts that you think God has given them, and encourage them to use those gifts to build his Church. Then give them the note before Christmas Day—or slip it in their stocking tonight before you go to bed.

Words of encouragement like these can make a powerful impact. Who knows? Your note might even spark a desire in them to take another step closer to the Lord!

"Lord, help me to bless and encourage the people around me."

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29



In order to relate what is in my heart to God, I must be aware, in faith, that God is present, that he listens, that he sees, that he cares, and takes interest in me. In short, the act of entrusting what I find in my heart to God is an act of faith in His love for me and disposes my heart to receive a greater lived experience of that love.
— Fr. Scott Traynor
from The Parish as a School of Prayer


"His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!"
Our priest always says "if Christmas causes you to sin, it is not Christmas". Because we make of it other things that are not what it is meant to be. I asked the crowd at Posadas "what does the name Christmas mean?" It means Christ Mass. it is the Mass of Christ. It is the Mass of our Creator coming into the world, the biggest birthday in the entire world. Billions have received gifts to this day. Gifts freely given. Some gifts received with great joy, and other gifts discarded within moments of receiving them. Now I am not speaking about temporal gifts but gifts of the Spirit of God!


"Announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord."
From this moment on out think what is expected with the gifts that are given. We watched the final advent reflection on Youtube, me and the kids, my wife said she already watched it. (click to see) Some of these caused us to get teary eyed. Why? We were supposed to walk with Jesus and Mary through their journey and hardships. We did it mentally. And we did this every night physically in the Posadas, kids dressed as angels, and Joseph and Mary, and we had a real donkey on the journey. And now it comes to an end. Or does the journey end? What if this is just the beginning? Because now we carry Christ....


In the Gospel we heard " she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Often we were thrown into someone's garage in the Posadas. It was fitting. Throw us where you can, just give us a bit of warmth and a bit of food if you can.

I tell you what, I really feel like some of the houses that welcomed us were feeling truly blessed. Last night a man walked me out of his house as we ended the Posadas, and we had eaten.

I thanked him for his hospitality. He thanked all of us in return, "no thank You all for letting us be a part of this beautiful experience". You see, when you let angels into your home, everything changes.
We talked, and he excused himself for at one moment in the Posadas, he had to take a persistent call; it was someone letting him know his cousin had just got shot to death in a nearby town. He talked about it, saying how he couldn't believe what kind of place the city had turned into.

I looked at the beautiful sky and said "we do need our Lord".

It would not take away from the blessing he felt, the warmth of the light, in contrast to the dark of the night.
I got home finally, and I walked in my home to my little kids crying, my wife was in the shower and they seemed frightened. I found out that they were scared? And why? My little one, a 3 year old and them were playing with google (speaker assistant) telling it to do sounds and laughing and getting carried away, my toddler says "play monster sounds" and that's when all heck broke loose, they said it wouldn't stop and they were crying scared until my little curly headed girl unplugged google.
I made light of the situation and they calmed down and started smiling again. "Kick that google out of here" I said.

Why do I bring this up? Well, isn't it obvious?
What do you bring into your home? Your soul?
Angels? or fallen angels?
They come upon invitation.

And the Master of Angels desires to be in your home...the Master Creator who fashioned us in His image. Beauty and perfection. A beautiful creation.
Truthfully speaking, I haven't reached to touch and feel the baby in the womb, in my wife. Everyone gets excited as it kicks and we hear the heart beat and everyone keeps asking if the baby is a boy or girl, and now we are about to be 7 months. We don't know. It is a surprise. We were supposed to know this week but it got postponed. What ever the baby is, it is being awaited in joyful anticipation. And this is how things will be in Heaven, as we await our deliverance in this Mass exodus that is ushered by Jesus.
He is the deliverer. He is everything one could hope for and ask for. So ask! ASK for a gift...I have been praying for my suffering agnostic families to find faith. They say they believe in some God, but that is not the kind of faith that will deliver. That is only enough to keep you interested, like Herod. Because you dabble with sin, and live in sin all the while. Sin is murky, sticky footing that can weaken you to death.

For that, the remedy...Christ our Lord.
Born in poverty. And the Heavens rejoiced.
Rejected and unrecognized, but God delivers.
Look for the ignored ones this time.
Look for the forgotten. That is how you will be led to Christ.
With Him as our Light, we shall find Him among us.
Emmanuel, Jesus.
Jesus Emmanuel.
These two names mean:


I got a little gift for you....
but I know you can make it beautiful and big,
its not much, I really have tried to make it to your liking,
I know you know what it is Father, Lord, it is something you gave me
many years ago, from my mother's womb, where you knit me.
It is my heart God, my Father. I pray for grace upon grace, as I have done so for all those who have welcomed us into their homes..
A tremendous gift from Heaven.
Love yoU!

For those of you that don't know, I was born on December 25th. My birthday gets lost in His birthday. And that is right.
What does it feel like?
This Christmas, this year, my siblings have all left the state on vacation, one even out of the country. I joke "everyone is leaving me on my birthday".
No gifts, no hugs, no warm wishes, no getting together with them.
Forgotten I say. I understand they are trying new things and wish to be away with their families. I'm not speaking ill or down. All things in my2cents are to relate to our Lord.
I pray for them to go to Christ Mass. I asked them to please go wherever they go to Christ's Mass.

Do not leave Him alone. Everyone else gets something but Him. Show our Father a little love! That was my prayer just prayed.
My thought of Heaven seems to me, that one day, you will go closer and closer to the light, until...there is a point of no return, you are not you anymore, you become one Holy with Him.
That is a banquet of Love. God serves Himself on the table for you to feast, for you to live, for you to Love. For you to be what you eat, in the Holy Eucharist. Less of you, more of Him.

My Lord, I pray for everyone reading this right now, may they let their stress, and anxieties lay down for a moment, and let your grace in. Let the grace of Heaven grace us in this world, even in this dark moment we go through. We await you with great joy and expectation too. We celebrate you Lord. For being the King of poverty, of humility. For not forcing yourself on the world, but soothing us and healing us, little by little, keeping us broken enough to let you in, little by little.

What would it have been like to hold you like Mother Mary? She gazed for hours and hours upon your perfect face, keeping you warm, feeding you of herself, devoting herself completely to you Lord, all throughout, she loved you so much God, you were hers 100% and she was yours 100%. Who will hold you with warmth and feed you today? In the asylums? In the empty homes? In the homeless? Teach us Lord your ways, and guides us to that purity that you desire Holy in Heaven.....


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Random Bible Verse 1

Thessalonians 5:23
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Thank You Lord

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