The Peace Prayer concludes with a simple reminder: "For it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." More than a mere summary of the prayer's second stanza with its call to kenotic selflessness, this verse points to the resurrection, the foundation of Christian hope knitted into the very sinews of every deciduous ash, aspen, beech, birch, cherry, elm, and hickory tree. Perhaps the ancient Greeks and Romans had intuited God's revelation in the book of nature: the Olympic crown, the perishable wreath referred to by Paul in the first letter to the Corinthians, was woven of evergreen laurel branches, perhaps foreshadowing the imperishable crown of eternity. Life never ends. Never.
—from the book Soul Training with the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis by Albert Haase, OFM
†Saint Quote "Upon receiving Holy Communion, the Adorable Blood of Jesus Christ really flows in our veins and His Flesh is really blended with ours." — St. John Vianney
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The works of her, who was to be the Mother of the God-man, were altogether and in every way most perfect, and even to understand them exceeds the capacity of all human creatures and of the angels. Her interior acts of the virtues were so precious and of such great merit and favor, that they surpass all that the seraphim can do . . . But it is my Will, that during thy pilgrimage in thy mortal body thou place most holy Mary as the beginning of thy joy, and that thou follow her through the desert of renunciation and abnegation of all that is human and visible. Follow her by a perfect imitation according to the measure of thy strength and of the light which thou receivest. Let her be thy guiding star and thy Directress: she will manifest to thee my Will and will let thee find my holy law which is written in her by the power of my right hand: meditate upon it day and night." — Ven. Mary of Agreda, p. 87 AN EXCERPT FROM Mystical City of God
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never forsake you or abandon you." Thus we may say with confidence: "The Lord is my helper, [and] I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?"" Hebrews 13:4-6
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ST. JOHN OF MATHA
St. John of Matha (1154-1213) was born near Provence, France to noble and pious parents, and was dedicated to God from his birth. He learned the arts of a nobleman and advanced in Christian virtue, tending the sick and giving alms to the poor. Through his study of theology at the University of Paris he discerned a call to Holy Orders and became a priest. On the day of his first Mass he had a vision which encouraged him to devote his life to ransom Christians who had been captured by Muslims and forced into slavery. After time spent in prayer and fasting, he went to Rome to gain the Pope's approval for a new religious order dedicated to this purpose. Pope Innocent III deliberated and ordered a fast, afterwards concluding that John's mission was inspired by God. He gave his approval for the foundation of the Order of the Holy Trinity, or the Hospitaler Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of Captives (Trinitarians). The habit of the order, a white scapular with a two-toned blue and red cross on the chest, was chosen according to what St. John saw in his vision. St. John of Matha and the Trinitarians collected alms and traveled to Moor-controlled areas, ransoming and encouraging many Christian captives. His feast day is December 17.
Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 193 Reading 1
GN 49:2, 8-10
Jacob called his sons and said to them: "Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father.
"You, Judah, shall your brothers praise –your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you. Judah, like a lion's whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him? The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people's homage."
PS 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17
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. The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice. He shall defend the afflicted among the people, save the children of the poor. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge! R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 1:1-17
The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)
A family of liars, adulterers, murderers, fornicators, connivers, and blasphemers. What a miserable lot! And yet the most famous member of this family tree isn't known for some gross sin or heinous crime. Quite the opposite, in fact. He is God become man, Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Why do you think God chose such a rogues' gallery of ancestors for his Son? Is this the best he could come up with? Well, in a sense, yes! No matter how good any family may look on paper, they are still fallen, imperfect human beings.
Centuries of biblical history have shown us that God doesn't usually choose the bravest or the strongest or even the holiest people to fulfill his plan. He chooses ordinary, sinful people. And so Jesus was born into an imperfect line—but a line that was made holy by God's grace. That wasn't a problem for God though. He can work with anything. In fact, it delights him to fill us, cracked and leaky vessels though we are, with his love.
Do you feel unworthy of being part of God's plan? You're right, you are! We all are. But however spotty our personal history or family tree may be, it doesn't keep the Lord from offering us a new identity as his sons and daughters. All who are baptized into Christ are grafted into a spotless lineage and given the grace to grow into their new inheritance.
God redeemed a line of misfits and miscreants with his power. And he used this family as an important part of his plan. He is ready to do the same for you. You are more than able to bring Christ into the world, just as David, Solomon, Moses, and all the others did.
So come to the Lord and ask him to show you his plans for you. Does he want you to bring Christ to someone in your life? Will you let him renew your zeal for sharing the good news? Always remember that you are part of a royal line, and nothing is impossible for God!
"Father, help me to take up my role in your plan. Unworthy though I am, let me be your light to the world!"
Genesis 49:2, 8-10 Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17
Both mysteries, that of Advent and that of the Cross, include each other. In her Advent, the Mother participates in advance the spiritual birth-pangs suffered by her Son on the Cross, in such a way that she thereby assumes her feminine role as co-redemptrix. — Adrienne von Speyr from Handmaid of the Lord
my2cents: ""Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father." This is the authority speaking, with the "right to assemble" and we are rightly to assemble before Our Father and listen to the authority that is being proclaimed and has been established, a divine Fathership.
We pray: "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.
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever." And on the Son we continue.
The Holy Gospel begins: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Last night at our first night of Las Posadas, 9 days prayers to our Lord in Mexican Tradition, I brought up our Lord being the "son of David" and how it comes to be, that our Lord God called Jesus the son of David. It so happens that when one speaks in the name of our Lord, the Holy Spirit speaks, that is another reason we pray in Mass "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" and I always think of the priest when this is proclaimed, and now we delve into the Fathership. And it so happens that the Sonship occurs through Fathership. I encouraged some this week in a vigil rosary, "you men, need to be true men of God". There is a real lack of Fathership. For we are baptized PRIESTS in our baptism. Our role is to lead and shepherd the flock to God our Father. And in speaking about the Son of David to the people last night, I said that our Lord promised David an eternal Kingdom, and it didn't come through Solomon with his 1000 wife and eventual idols, but through JESUS the Messiah, the true son of David, and this the Kingship promised to Moses and Abraham.
The fulfillment. The fulfillment of Christ is me and you. We are to fulfill the promise of Christ, and we are to be the living promise of Christ. That is the lineage followed, perhaps the only one ever followed truly and devoutly, and we are in His family. I'm planning my birthday party and it has two fold meaning since I was born on the 25th of December. I plan on inviting my family, of course, blood family, but my Church family is invited too, because we are more importantly, a body of Christ. And for this I've caught flack, and most importantly, most traction in the things of evangelization. You matter. All lives matter. From the unborn, to the frail and forgotten elderly.
Lord, today we learn your supremacy and lead to your infancy. We pray that we too can become small and efficacious for our Lord our God and FATHER!
Random online bible verse: Proverbs 10:12 12 Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
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