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Monday, December 20, 2021

† "..For You Have FOUND . ."

 
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†Saint Quote
"If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in sweetness, patience, humility and charity."
–St. Philip Neri

†Today's Meditation
"Augustine drew out the meaning of the manger using an idea that at first seems almost shocking, but on closer examination contains a profound truth. The manger is the place where animals find their food. But now, lying in the manger, is he who called himself the true bread come down from heaven, the true nourishment that we need in order to be fully ourselves. This is the food that gives us true life, eternal life. Thus the manger becomes a reference to the table of God, to which we are invited so as to receive the bread of God. From the poverty of Jesus' birth emerges the miracle in which man's redemption is mysteriously accomplished."
— Pope Benedict XVI, p. 68

An Excerpt From
Jesus of Nazareth Infancy, p68

†Daily Verse
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
–Isaiah 55:9-11

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St. Dominic of Silos

St. Dominic of Silos (1000–1073 A.D.) was born in Navarre, Spain, to a peasant family. He grew up herding his father's sheep in the Pyrenees mountains. This work endeared in him a love of solitude, leading him to enter the local Benedictine monastery in Navarre. He eventually became its prior, but was driven out when the King of Navarre seized its lands. Dominic then fled to another monastery under the protection of King Ferdinand I of Leon. Though the monastery was dilapidated, he became abbot and restored it both materially and spiritually, turning it into a significant center of scholarship and charity to the poor. The funds of the monastery were used to ransom Christian captives who were enslaved by Muslims. St. Dominic of Silos was known during his life and after death as a miracle worker, making him a popular Spanish saint. The Spanish mother of St. Dominic de Guzm├ín, founder of the Dominican Order, prayed for a son at St. Dominic of Silos' shrine; when she conceived, she named her son after him. St. Dominic of Silos' special patronage became connected with pregnancy, and until 1931 his crozier was used to bless the queens of Spain, and was placed beside their beds when they were in labor. St. Dominic of Silos is also the patron of prisoners and shepherds. His feast day is December 20.

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Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Lectionary: 196
Reading I

Is 7:10-14

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God;

let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,

"I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then Isaiah said:

Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,

must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:

the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and shall name him Emmanuel.

Responsorial Psalm

24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R. (see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;

the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?

or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,

who desires not what is vain.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,

a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,

that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Lk 1:26-38

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."

But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.

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Daily Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. (Luke 1:38)

Today's Gospel reading might call to mind familiar images we see in statues and paintings: Mary, calm and serene, with her head bowed in humility, accepts God's will for her life. She will become the mother of the Messiah. But we should never forget that though she was sinless, Mary was still human. She still had real emotions just like ours.

Take a closer look at Mary's reactions to the angel's appearance and his message. She is "greatly troubled" at first and questions how she could possibly conceive a child when she is a virgin (Luke 1:29). The angel answers, but it's not hard to imagine Mary still having questions, and maybe even some fears, after he left her. Surely she grasped that being the mother of God was not going to be easy. She probably began to think about the problems this unexpected pregnancy could cause with Joseph, her family, and her community. This was not a path Mary expected, and though she accepted it in faith, she still had to walk the path—even when the road became rocky.

We too are going to have mixed feelings when God presents a path for us that is different from the one we expected. Having to move across country and leave family behind. An unexpected pregnancy. A child who rejects the faith. God understands that these situations may make us fearful, angry, or disappointed. He knows that human feelings are not sinful in and of themselves, and so he gives us space to work through them. He also promises to be with us and help us so that we don't allow our emotions to get out of hand and lead us down a sinful path.

Emotions are temporary, but God is eternal. He is always with you, even when you face life's unexpected twists and turns. So try your best to stay close to him as well. Seek out his grace when the unexpected happens. You may not see blessings right away, and they may not all come to pass in your lifetime. But like Mary, you can always trust that God knows the right path for you, and he will help you follow it.

"Lord, I want to be your servant. In every challenge I face, 'May it be done to me according to your word' (Luke 1:38)."

Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24:1-6

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From Today's Holy Scripture:
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel."
A virgin conceives. Because the virgin believes. Because she knows and she sees...her place and reason for being...God Himself. If ever we were blind, now we can conceive because of this very moment of our Blessed Mother Mary.

psalms

We pray in Psalms:
" Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain."

There was at the mountain of Calvary, Golgotha, what God would consider Zion, a sinless woman, and a forgiven woman, and a most beloved Disciple.
Who can ascend? Those who truly love God...no matter what.

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We heard of our Lord in the Gospel today:
""Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be."

Why was Mother Mary so troubled? She was not afraid, but she could not comprehend the salutation from Heaven. She must have wondered "why me? Why full of grace?", and to this day we call her full of grace...because God said so.

In other words, she was troubled because what she received as a high greeting did not match her lowliness, in her own esteem. She is so humble to this day, and our Lord is said to be even more, if you can imagine. A humble king that asks humbly for humility. Who shall ascend the mountain? The gentle lamb, the gentle shepherd, who is not afraid to obey and Love God with our body. No more animal sacrifices, no more killing of others...now you must give your life to God our Father.

""Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High..."

Mary found favor? Her life would immediately begin a cross bearing as she is to bear the Christ child Himself. Many atrocities were coming her way! Jesus her Son was not even born and she couldn't even find a place to stay, nobody had any room for them. And as soon as our Lord is born, an earthly king seeks to kill him and kills all baby boys in the area to try to squash Him like in the book of Revelation. And we heard that she has found "favor" with God?

Is God's favor the cross?

Let me tell you how crazy this works. There are in the world those who truly seek Him and His cross. To Mother Mary this is a great gift. Everything would be a gift...all the good, and all the suffering. In a silly small example, let's say you are ridiculed, mocked, and persecuted for your faith, have you ever found joy? The first saints and apostles did. Many saints do. Sometimes, if I have enough grace, I too rejoice when I'm being ridiculed for Christ. It's like a gift. Crazy. As if to say "I'm being recognized by the evil one for doing good!". But those moments are few because my big head often gets mad, anxious, upset, and resentful, because I am not full of grace, I am not that in tune with God's loving Way. Does this make sense?

"But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"
Mary speaks up in objection asking how in the world is she going to have a baby if she does not have relations with man? Meaning, she is a consecrated virgin, having giving her virginity to God. And He works marvels with this gift of purity. His light is conceived and brought to the word in a pure sense. She tells the world herself, she HAS NO RELATIONS with man, and of her is born the Son of Man...Jesus, meaning, yes born of human origins, but He Himself is not originated by mankind, He is God, from God, to the world, God's Son. The true Man is born.

"Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

And these words always strike me because they take me to the garden of Gethsemane, when our Lord prays as He sweats blood "Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done..."

And so, we all pray with our Lord's words, and with Mother Mary's words, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done".

Let's pray.
Lord Father God,
Your will is one of unity with Thy Holy Trinity.
May Thy Holy will become my holy will, to carry out Your mission, that we may become one with Thee, both now and in eternity....Amen.

from your brother in Christ,
Adrian

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Random bible verse generator:

Ps 100

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the LORD is good;

his steadfast love endures forever,

and his faithfulness to all generations.

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God Bless You! Peace

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