"We must always remember that God does everything well, although we may not see the reason of what He does." St. Philip Neri
†Today's Meditation "Prayers are God-filled words in which our love and God's love are joined. That love embraces the people for whom we are praying, and love always changes people and situations. This doesn't mean that we will always get what we want, but Jesus does promise that we will get what we need." — Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p. 14 Cover image from the book, Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit, p14 An Excerpt From Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit, p14
"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" Psalm 139:23-24
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The Holy Innocents (1st c.) are the children mentioned in the account of Jesus' birth in Matthew's Gospel (2:16-18). When the Magi came to Jerusalem to find and adore the Baby Jesus, the newborn King of the Jews, King Herod requested that they inform him of the Child's location under the pretense of offering Him adoration, too. After paying the Child homage and offering Him their gifts, the Wise Men were warned in a dream not to betray Jesus' location, and departed for their home country by another route. Meanwhile the Holy Family was warned by an Angel to flee into Egypt. King Herod fell into a jealous rage over the Magi's failure to report back to him. He ordered all the baby boys aged two years and under to be killed, according to the appearance of the Bethlehem Star to the Three Wise Men, in an attempt to kill the Baby Jesus. These baby boys died not only for Christ, but in his stead. The Church venerates them as martyrs. It it is uncertain how many children were killed, whether a small number, or in the thousands. The Latin Church instituted the feast of the Holy Innocents in the fifth century. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome is believed to possess the bodies of several of the Holy Innocents. Their feast day is commemorated on December 28th.
Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
Lectionary: 698 Reading I
1 Jn 1:5—2:2
Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare. Had not the LORD been with us— When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive, When their fury was inflamed against us. R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare. Then would the waters have overwhelmed us; The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters. R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare. Broken was the snare,
and we were freed. Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth. R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Alleluia See Te Deum R. Alleluia, alleluia. We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 2:13-18
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him. (Matthew 2:13)
It's only three days after Christmas, and already we are witnessing a violent reaction to Jesus' coming. Even though Jesus is still a helpless, vulnerable child, he poses a threat to the powers that be.
But it's not just Herod's power that Jesus threatens; it's the power of evil itself. Herod's massacre of the infants in Bethlehem represents just one episode of a much larger story. From the moment Satan rebelled against God and the other angels, he has pursued one goal: to corrupt the goodness of God's creation. He tempted our first parents to turn against their Creator, and has been tempting people ever since. Now all of humanity is burdened with the inclination to sin against their heavenly Father.
God knew that the only remedy against evil and sin was through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. Jesus' birth, then, was the opening salvo of God's ultimate rescue operation. So we shouldn't be surprised that our great enemy, the devil, sought to fight back when Jesus came to earth—even if it meant the death of so many innocent children.
As Jesus' disciples, we are still in the midst of this battle. While Jesus' death and resurrection was a victory over the powers of evil, the final battle won't be won until he comes again to establish his heavenly kingdom on earth. The sad truth is that until that day comes, we will still experience suffering and loss. We may even face sorrow as deep as the mothers' grief in today's Gospel (Matthew 2:18).
But let us not become discouraged by today's Gospel reading, especially not after the joy of Christmas Day. God loves his creation more than we could ever imagine, and he will not let Satan destroy it. That's why our Father went to such extreme lengths to save us—by sending his very own Son into the world to become one of us. In the end, evil will be defeated once and for all, and what began with Jesus' birth will culminate in the glorious kingdom of God reigning over the whole earth!
"Father, may your kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
1 John 1:5–2:2 Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin."
I myself fight sin and temptations all the time. I always wish to hear the words that our Lord told to Nathanael in John 1:47: ""Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him." In other translations it says: " in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!" How I wish for perfection because our Lord's desire for us to be perfect. But I can't do it...alone. I need grace. I need prayer. Don't we all? Let's go there now.
We pray in Psalms: "Had not the LORD been with us. When men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive, When their fury was inflamed against us. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare." The stupidity of man is to trust in man. To trust in kings of the world, rulers of the world. We cannot trust anyone with our whole entire life and heart and at the same time expect that they will not ever let us down. We need therefore, complete confidence, in giving our lives to God, our hearts even moreso.
We heard in the Gospel today: "When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." And the dream came true, Herod did indeed come to destroy all the toddlers of the day. It is the fulfillment of the book of Revelation, when lights of the dark sky were hurled by a dragon as the Virgin was with her King child.
Why do innocent people have to pay with their blood? It could be said to this day that many innocent people are dying, leaving many atheists and agnostics blaming everyone but themselves. They blame believers. They blame people. They blame everyone but themselves. Last night at a funeral vigil, I let the few there praying there rosary, know that God sets the bar. We don't get to set the bar of truth, or of rules. He has set them. Too many have set up their own religion and lead many astray, to a world of separation, and deprivation. What are people deprived of ? The fullness of the truth. And now we are leading to our Lord.
You see, Herod's spirit still exist. There are rulers in the world fueling abortion, with money, propaganda and so forth. The world is missing hundreds of millions of people, and the population will soon be dwindling, and the few left will be left to extremes of good or evil, a purification if you will. And so it begins now.
Herod was afraid to lose power. Those tempted to abort, kill their child, are afraid to lose power. There are some movie stars that are proud of their abortion touting in headlines "if it weren't for abortion, I wouldn't be who I am today". A child sacrifice is what it took to be popular. It took their blood to glorify a human. Stupid human egos. There is only one fire to fuel, and it is the fire of Jesus Christ who wishes the world to be on fire with Love for Him.
So where are we to flee today? To safety. To a safe place. I told the people last night what I tell you now, that Jesus is there on the altar with open arms. Run to Jesus. Flee to His arms. It would only take his finger to cast darkness out forever. They say everything is light in Heaven. That is my dream. A surrender to light. Where evil has no hold. Where man, ego, and the stupidity of darkness causing people to say and do the dumbest of things one earth and call it normal, I look forward to the light, the truth, as I look to our Lord's face in faith.
Let's pray: Lord, Father, We need you and we love you. Help us love you as we ought. Help us overcome our weakness. Help us with You grace. We can never be perfect without more and more of you in our hearts.... In Your Name Lord we pray. Amen.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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