Juan Diego was running late for Mass on December 9. But as he approached Guadalupe's Tepeyac hill, he heard sweet music, then a voice calling his name, then a beautiful woman he recognized as the Blessed Virgin. She asked him to have a chapel built for her. His bishop was skeptical. When Juan saw Mary again the next day, she said she would provide the bishop with proof. But Juan was unable to come on that day; his uncle, who was like a father to him, was seriously ill. When he returned on December 12, Mary said she would heal his uncle, and told him to pick flowers from the hill—typically, an impossibility in the arid area in December—to take to the bishop. When Juan reached the bishop, the cloak in which he carried the flowers showed an imprint of Mary's face. The church was built within a year. The Americas' first canonized indigenous saint recognized that listening to the lady was even more important than Mass. He reminds us to keep our ears attuned to God rather than keeping our eyes on the clock.
—from the book Brotherhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration by Melanie Rigney
†Saint Quote "May the Holy Spirit enkindle you with the fire of His Love so that you may persevere, unfailingly, in the love of His service. Thus you may merit to become, at last, a living stone in the celestial Jerusalem." — St. Hildegard von Bingen
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience, and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words . . . it is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions. But the apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself! ... We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit give us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfillment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner and by keeping the commandments. " — St. Anthony of Padua, p. 492 AN EXCERPT FROM Witness of the Saints
†VERSE OF THE DAY "The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God." Psalm 92:12-13
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ST. JUAN DIEGO
St. Juan Diego (1474–1548) was a poor and humble peasant of the lowest class of Aztec Indians living in what is today Mexico. His native name was Cuauhtlatoatzin, meaning, "eagle that talks." He was baptized at the age of fifty by a Franciscan missionary priest and received the Christian name of Juan Diego. It was he to whom Our Lady appeared as a pregnant Aztec princess on December 9, 1531—at that time the feast of the Immaculate Conception—on the hill of Tepeyac, in present-day Mexico City, as he was on his way to Mass. To help Juan Diego prove to the bishop that she had truly appeared, the Virgin Mary miraculously left her image on his tilma. This image is now famously known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. St. Juan Diego's tilma still bears the image of Our Lady (miraculously, as the plant fibers normally disintegrate in 15-20 years) and it hangs in one of the most famous Catholic pilgrimage sites of the world, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Juan Diego was canonized in 2002 by Pope St. John Paul II as the first indigenous saint from the Americas. His feast day is December 9th. See More About This Saint >
Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 183 Reading 1
To whom can you liken me as an equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things: He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing! Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know or have you not heard? The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10
R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul! Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. R. O bless the Lord, my soul! He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. R. O bless the Lord, my soul! Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Behold, the Lord comes to save his people; blessed are those prepared to meet him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to the crowds: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 40:25-31
Lift up your eyes. (Isaiah 40:26)
Do you remember the story of Abraham? One night, God took him outside and told him, "Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so . . . will your descendants be" (Genesis 15:5). At the time, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, both advanced in years, were still childless. But here was God promising them countless offspring—an entire nation that would become a blessing to the world.
Fast-forward to today's first reading, and we see Abraham's descendants living in Babylon in shame and exile. They had become numerous indeed, but their sin and unfaithfulness to the Lord had turned them into a laughingstock instead of a blessing.
In the midst of their humiliation, a prophetic voice arises and urges them to follow Abraham's example, look up to the stars, and believe in God's promise. Just as it seemed impossible for Abraham to become the father of a great multitude, so it would seem impossible for God to bring them home. But that's exactly what he did. He forgave all their sins and led them on the long march back to Jerusalem. He even renewed their strength so that they could "run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint" along the way (Isaiah 40:31).
Are you weary? Are there areas in your life that make you feel anxious or fearful? Or maybe there is a pattern of sin that you can't break and that is draining you of your hope or joy. Whatever the case, follow your ancestors in faith and lift up your eyes.
Do it tonight, in fact. Go out and gaze at the stars. Put yourself in Abraham's shoes as he looked up at the sky. Join the exiles in Babylon when they first heard the words in today's reading. As you do, recall God's promises to you in Christ.
Jesus has promised to be with you, to hear you when you call out to him, to wipe every tear from your eyes, and to forgive your every sin. He has promised to nourish you with his Body and Blood so that you can "run and not grow weary" (Isaiah 40:31). And above all else, he has promised to love you—always.
"Lord, as I stand under your stars, I can't help but be in awe of your love."
Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10 Matthew 11:28-30
There is no earthly event, power, or love that can bring peace to a man's heart. — Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. from Advent of the Heart
my2cents: "He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound." Since this is a faith sharing bit, I'm relaying a witness to attest to the Scripture, to make them come alive. When I hear of fainting souls and weak people, and when I hear vigor, I'm thinking of so many right now suffering, physically, and most importantly, spiritually, and it is like Scripture tells us what to do, but so very few actually do! Turn to the Lord! Someone was in my office as I was writing and I heard him say he heard "tell me where you hurt, and I'll tell you where you need to forgive". It is true, that the spiritual becomes physical. I write to you then, to bring healing. I write in prophetic terms in hopes that you will receive the message. And in hopes that I will live the message. When I speak "return" it is meant in every way imaginable, spiritual, all things mental, in the heart, and physically return to the Lord. Our Lord in today's Gospel will say "Come To ME". More on that, but first, let us pray:
"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." I love today's Catholic Wisdom quote: "There is no earthly event, power, or love that can bring peace to a man's heart." I'm involved in many funerals, we're on the third day of the week and I've helped at two funerals already and two more planned in our small town. On one last week I was honored to pray the rosary for a family. There I said "don't look for happiness highs, but seek the Lord for true joy". I hope I said it like that, at least that's what I meant to say, it's not easy speaking sometimes, I was really sweating and nervous, I get like that when I notice some not wanting to pay attention. But there was the shaking buckling knees prophet, trying to do God's will...bringing Him His sheep, as He says "Come To Me".
Our Lord speaks: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."
What a reassuring command/invitation. "Come here, I'll take care of you".
Imagine Him speaking to you right now, just imagine, why would He ask this shaky prophet to write to you, sweating, stressing, handing you the message that I should hear too!
my child, come to Me! says the Lord our God and Father. We on earth, people are under a rule called concupiscence. Due to this fact, we can trust no one with our happiness, our very lives. Only God.
I was in the next office in a meeting before writing and a manager walks towards us and stops at a door and asks, "what is this?" as he looked down at his feet, and we all saw a mouse sitting there, not moving. "Is this a joke?" he asked. The one next to me said 'no it's not, you better step on it" (kill it). And so that manager did and the mouse died. For some, this is not big deal, for others, the value of life would've been real, to the point of arguing and fighting for its life asking "why didn't you catch it and release it?"
What's the point? Notice how easy it is to just "take care of it" and now we bring up many issues, abortion, euthanasia, contraception, all things involving death. And lately, a new death is the new fad, death to marriage. I'm not speaking about divorces, but about not getting married at all. During this pandemic year, I've not had the honor to be asked to sing to a new couple in Holy Matrimony. I was asked to play at a 50 yr. anniversary, huge blessing. What' the point?
God says "Come To ME". For blessings. For grace. For oneness with Him.
You, Prophet my child, you are tasked with this message. Bring souls to Him and firstly bring your very self to Him.
What is the real realms that await us like? Being. Notice everything is about beings. I write to you with a charged message from Heaven. Trust in the Lord. Make a return. Ready the Way. Make way. Make the impossible possible, for the very word can be torn in two "Im-Possible". I AM possible.
Lord, You are the Great I AM. You ask for us to Come to You. Help us make a great return for Your great Love and call!
Random Bible verse from online generator
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
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