Thanksgiving focuses on God's gifts. Our challenge is to take nothing for granted, but to appreciate every blessing. Thanksgiving is a way of life. Indeed, the prayer of thanksgiving characterizes a eucharistic people. Our gratitude centers on the greatest gift of all—Jesus. This gift, and all the other gifts through God's providence, are expressions of God's love. How fitting and just it is that we always and everywhere express our gratitude to the Lord.
—from the book Living Prayer: A Simple Guide to Everyday Enlightenment by Robert F. Morneau
†Saint Quote NOVEMBER 26, 2020 "Would that I could exhaust myself in acts of thanksgiving and gratitude towards this Divine Heart, for the great favor He shows us, in deigning to accept our help to make Him known, loved and honored; He reserves infinite blessings for all those who devote themselves to this work." — St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "If you stay united with Christ, each one of you will be able to do great things. This is why, dear friends, you must not be afraid to dream with your eyes open of important projects of good and you must not let yourselves be discouraged by difficulties. Christ has confidence in you and wants you to be able to realize all your most noble and lofty dreams of genuine happiness. Nothing is impossible for those who trust in God and entrust themselves to Him." — Pope Benedict XVI AN EXCERPT FROM Pope Benedict XVI
†VERSE OF THE DAY "But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful." Luke 6:35-36
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ST. JOHN BERCHMANS
St. John Berchmans (1599-1621) was born in Flanders, Belgium, the eldest of five children of a shoemaker. He was a virtuous and well-liked child who would often rise early to serve at two or three Masses a day before he reached the age of seven. On Friday evenings he had a custom of making the Stations of the Cross outdoors while barefoot. When he was nine years old his mother suffered from a long and terrible illness, and John faithfully attended her bedside until she died. As a pious young person devoted to the things of God, he enrolled in a Jesuit college where he was known for being an energetic and outgoing student with great academic potential and leadership qualities. He also joined the Society of the Blessed Virgin and prayed her Office daily. He discerned a vocation to the religious life and began priestly formation as a Jesuit. His way of holiness was to perform his ordinary duties with extraordinary fidelity and perfection even in the smallest details, believing that, "If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one." He died tragically of a fever at the age of twenty-two while studying for the seminary in Rome. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death. St. John Berchman is the patron saint of altar servers and young people. His feast day is November 26th.
Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit's life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor.
After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture.
Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported back to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry, and his monastic rule. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Columban is November 23.
Now that public sexual license is becoming extreme, we need the Church's memory of a young man as concerned about chastity as Columban. And now that the comfort-captured Western world stands in tragic contrast to starving millions, we need the challenge to austerity and discipline of a group of Irish monks. They were too strict, we say; they went too far. How far shall we go?
Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 506 Reading 1
RV 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A
I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth became illumined by his splendor. He cried out in a mighty voice:"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a haunt for demons. She is a cage for every unclean spirit, a cage for every unclean bird, a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast."
A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone and threw it into the sea and said:
"With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down, and will never be found again. No melodies of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters, will ever be heard in you again. No craftsmen in any trade will ever be found in you again. No sound of the millstone will ever be heard in you again. No light from a lamp will ever be seen in you again. No voices of bride and groom will ever be heard in you again. Because your merchants were the great ones of the world, all nations were led astray by your magic potion."
After this I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:
"Alleluia! Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."
They said a second time:
"Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever."
Then the angel said to me,
"Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb."
PS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; Give thanks to him; bless his name. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. For he is good: the LORD, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."
Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:9) __ Weddings are wonderful events, but in some ways, it's even more beautiful to witness a couple renewing their wedding vows after twenty-five or fifty years of marriage. They've been through many ups and downs together over the years, but they are still ready to say yes to each other once again—and it means even more.
In a way, we are like that couple every time we celebrate Mass. Jesus is the Bridegroom, and we are his Church, his bride. He already pledged his faithfulness to us on the cross, and he renews his pledge at every Mass when he offers us his Body and Blood. That's when we have the opportunity to renew our side of the covenant as well. As we receive him, we can offer ourselves to him and declare our faithfulness and love.
This beautiful and holy exchange is also a foretaste of heaven. The Church teaches that the liturgy "anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1329). And in today's passage, the angel tells us, "Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9). We are the blessed ones whom God is calling! This means that, as glorious as it is, our experience of Mass is just a foretaste of the great wedding feast that we will celebrate in heaven. It means that we will one day be with all of God's people, as well as all his angels, and we will sing, "Holy, holy, holy!" (Revelation 4:8).
What an incredible gift we have been given, that the God who created the world declares his love to us in such a powerful way! So don't let Mass become routine for you. Don't forget what is actually happening at the liturgy. Instead, think of that married couple who are still deeply in love after many years together. As they would to one another, renew your vows to God. Then as you receive Jesus' Body and Blood, let him show you just how deeply you are loved by your Lord.
"Jesus, thank you for inviting me to the wedding feast!"
Psalm 100:1-5b Luke 21:20-28
Now, while we have time—and the time is ours—let's give our neighbors our best efforts, and God our praise. — St. Catherine of Siena from Sermon in a Sentence Vol III
my2cents: ""Alleluia! Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments."
We pray: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; Give thanks to him; bless his name.
Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb." Remember the many times our Lord has invited us to the banquet, the feast, that the King has prepared.
Our Lord said "...a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people." His wrath is unfurled, for a particular reason. The rejection of the invitation to Himself calls upon a cleansing of the world, like the time of Noah.
And it came upon Jerusalem, when it collapsed along with the temple, died, and God created something new, the new Jew, Jesus and the new temple...me and you. In spanish, the word for God is Dios. If you semantically divide the word into two, it is "Di and Os". It sounds like the words "Say and Us". Say-Us. And in English, it is two also, sounds like "He's Us". We are the temple of Christ. And our Lord invites us to Himself as we are to invite Himself into our lives and see God with each other. Sometimes as the needy, and sometimes as the provider.
Today, the Nation, United States, celebrates Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. Our Nation's forefathers declared a solemnity to be remembered forever. And this is how God created an eternal solemnity...in Christ, an eternal thanksgiving, which means Eucharist. In George Washington's prayer in thanksgiving, He acknowledges thanks to the great Creator, our Father in Heaven. We too are called to be thankful. Thankfulness changes everything. What are you thankful for? I am thankful to have been a part of your life. You are admirable. You are beautiful. You are made in God's image. I thank you that you are unique, but you are not the same. There is something about you that God loves very much and desires. You can love Him in ways that others cannot.
Now, let's think about the turkey. The turkey is sacrificed and all sit at the table and feast. Think Christ who is sacrificed. The Holy Bird, the Holy Spirit comes upon us all when we feast in prayer and we digest His Body and Blood into our souls in the Holy Eucharist. We are fortified with energy, food for the journey, and we need this daily for our Spiritual Journey through this world. We need Christ. We need Light. We need Life.
Thank You Lord for providing Your very body and blood and divinity, an eternal feast, an eternal banquet, and an eternal invitation to Your Holy Self. May we too become food for others. May we bless others with the invitation to yourself for the eternal Feast of Life and Light!
Random Bible verse from online generator Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
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