Thursday, December 26, 2019

⛪ . Do Not Worry about . .. .⛪

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The Greatest Love We Have Known

Think of someone you truly love or have loved. What is the power of that love that draws you to that person? Do you love that person because you have to or because you want to? Does the attraction of love with that person draw you beyond yourself in such a way that if you stopped loving that person, something real and tangible would die, perhaps the spiritual bond of love between you? If you have had an experience of love, then you have had some insight into the Trinity of love. In fact, by loving another person you have been—yes, believe it or not—caught up in the Trinity of love. The Trinity is not three men at a tea party. It is a mystery of relationships—giving, receiving and sharing love. When we say "God is love" we are saying that God is a mystery of persons-in-love. The mystery of God's love is like ever-deepening love. Within that loving embrace of God, our lives are brought into being and sustained in being. As we have been loved into birth, so, too, we are called to mirror God's love for others so as to birth God anew in creation. For that is how God, the tremendous lover of life, delights in his creation.

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


† Saint Quote
"In a world gone astray from God there is no peace, but it also lacks charity, which is true and perfect love... Nothing is more beautiful than love. Indeed, faith and hope will end when we die, whereas love, that is, charity, will last for eternity."

— Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

†Meditation of the Day

"We might say the whole mystery of our redemption in Christ, by his incarnation, his death and his resurrection, consists of this marvelous exchange: in the heart of Christ, God has loved us humanly, so as to render our human hearts capable of loving divinely. God became man so that man might become God—might love as only God is capable of loving, with the purity, intensity, power, tenderness, and inexhaustible patience that belong to the divine love. It is an extraordinary source of hope and a great consolation to know that, by virtue of God's grace working in us (if we remain open to it by persevering in faith, prayer, and the sacraments), the Holy Spirit will transform and expand our hearts to the point of one day making them capable of loving as God loves."

— Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 67-8

An Excerpt From Interior Freedom

† Verse of the Day

"Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name."

1 Peter 4:16


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St. Stephen (1st. c.) was one of the Church's first deacons in Jerusalem and an eloquent preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to Sacred Scripture he was "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost" and "full of grace and fortitude." The account of his martyrdom is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. After boldly preaching against the Jewish leaders for their rejection of the promised Messiah, he was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death by an angry mob. The man who would later become St. Paul the Apostle, while he was persecuting the Church before his conversion, was among the mob as an approving witness. St. Stephen's name comes from the Greek word meaning 'crown,' fitting as he was the first Christian to earn the martyr's crown. St. Stephen's feast day is celebrated on December 26th.

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Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr
Lectionary: 696

Reading 1 Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
"Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God."
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16bc and 17

R.(6) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Alleluia Ps 118:26a, 27a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD:
the LORD is God and has given us light.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 10:17-22

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved."


Mass Reading & Meditation for December 26, 2019

Meditation: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Saint Stephen, The First Martyr (Feast)

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. (Acts 7:59)

Think about all the gift giving that happened yesterday. We all understand that "it's the thought that counts" more than the gift itself. It's the token of affection embodied in the gift that has the most impact, along with the way you have put a little bit of yourself into the gift. Your hope, after all, is that the gift will help the recipient remember you fondly. You might say, in fact, that when we give a gift, it's like saying, "Receive my spirit."

This is one way to look at the final words of St. Stephen, the Church's first martyr. As challenging as his last day on earth must have been, what Stephen wanted most was for God to accept the offering of his life. Stephen wanted to give Jesus the gift of his own dedicated heart, out of gratitude for all Christ had done for him.

Every day, courageous men and women around the world are offering their lives as a gift to the Lord—and it's not just the martyrs. It can be everyday people like yourself as well. Think of all the ways you sacrifice for your loved ones. You put aside your preferences and defer to your spouse or your friends. You get up early to make sure things run smoothly, and sometimes you lose sleep praying for and worrying about the people in your life who are struggling. You bite your tongue, you change your plans, you forgive and forbear. And as you do each of these things, you can follow Stephen's example and say to the Lord, "Receive my spirit."

Of course, you're not perfect. But if you are trying to show love through your words and actions, the people around you will notice, and it will have an effect on them. And if you need more grace, don't be afraid to ask Jesus. He is interceding for you before the Father—just as St. Stephen saw him doing.

Here's the best news: when you give your spirit to God as a gift, he receives it! He takes it, fills it with his grace, and gives it back to you transformed. God sees your sacrifices and your gifts, and each gift, each sacrifice, fills him with joy.

"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit—today and every day."

Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17
Matthew 10:17-22



The need to get parenting right has become an obsession for many of us. But we can make some simple changes and bring some fun and sanity into our lives. We can love being moms again. We can sit. We can laugh with our kids. We can love life and enjoy our wonderful kids.

—Dr. Meg Meeker from The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers


"Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people."
To this day.
To this day what was written remains true.
Miracles and wonders exist. Wonder workers and signs exist. A sign for the love of God. And you can be that too.


Today we pray:
"Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

How many of us commend ourselves to the Spirit?
I believe we do...but not always as we should.
A certain lack of trust exists....a certain amount of fear. What if this is caused by sin? A distrust in the Lord. Scary thought...but that is infidelity from the Genesis of our lives.


Our Lord spoke prophecy til this day: "Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans."
Witness to them...pagans.
I will be honest...I didn't really know paganism existed as before...but it still does.
What I mean is...the belief in other gods than the one of our 3 main religions. I seen tattoos of other Gods on people I met and was told about another who admires other gods.
But pagans span all non believers. Who will witness to them? And how?
With our lives. Let the truth speak. Let Christ live in you.
How? Become His pure our Blessed Morher!
Can I divulge a Christmas miracle that happened on my birthday yesterday?
In the morning g the kids were up before dawn opening gifts excitedly. I woke to get ready for Christ Mass which we'd need to arrive by 830am for choir warm up.
I see its 7:25 am already. The bathroom lights switched to on made for a weird dimmed color. Hmmm. Strange. I turn the faucets only to realize there is no water. Oh boy. The joy of living out in the country...water wells. And I have two, one to backup another because of low volume of water available.
I tell my wife I have to go work on the water.
I put my jacket and gloves and boots on. I get my voltmeter and tools from truck. Time is ticking...getting close to 8am by the time I'm on the well. Something strange was my diagnosis. Only half power to the wells. I trace the problem to our electric pole from the utility company. I called them. It's now 8 something. They said itd be 930am to arrive. Mass is at 9am and my arrival is 830am.
I prayed more. I got an idea...maybe my ground wire was bad and I could make a new one.
I rushed to get a stake. I got a hammer and was hammering away when suddenly I heard a buzzing sound...the electricity! I felt something tell me "it's on just go! I ran into the house. The kids said "the heater is on! I asked as i ran "is there water?"
I turned it on...Yesss!
Thank you Jesus.
We made it to Mass.
After the humble Christ Mass, and after eating at my mom's my bday cake, a worker checked out what the electric company had said in a hand written note and voicemail in a nutshell "...your meter base is'll have to call us back to turn off power until you replace your part.." meanwhile only lights no water or central heat.
After seeing the damage...really there was no reason for us to have had water for a few minutes before Mass.
It was a miracle.
For the rest of the day we worked on the wells and couldn't figure them out until this morning.

I took off yesterday to travel 6hrs to see my wife's cousin who woke up from a coma...another miracle as he was not expected to live after being unplugged from life support about a week ago.

What does this do for your faith?
Is it signs and wonders of God?
Or do you choose te pagan dismissal saying it all means nothing?
Every day God gives you something.
What do you give to God....every day?

Random bible verse

MT 5 46
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,1 what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


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Thank You Lord

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