Thursday, June 23, 2022

† "... neighbors and relatives heard . .. ."


†Saint Quote
"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."
–St. Thomas Aquinas

†Today's Meditation
"I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things . . . Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light."
—C.S. Lewis, p. 149

An Excerpt From
Mere Christianity

†Daily Verse
"He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness* was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven."
–Colossians 1:18-20


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St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More (1478–1535) was born in London, the son of a lawyer and judge. He was educated in the finest schools and became a brilliant English statesman. He served in parliament, on the King's council, as a diplomat, and in many other prominent positions in public administration. He was highly esteemed for his unfailing moral integrity, sharpness of mind, humor, and extraordinary learning. He was also a faithful Catholic, a loving husband, and a devoted father. For his great abilities he was promoted by his friend King Henry VIII to the high office of Lord Chancellor, second in position to the king. He resigned from this post when the king, in open defiance of Church teaching, sought to divorce his wife in order to marry another woman, and to declare himself sovereign of the Church in England. Thomas More, a defender against heresy, refused to condone the king's actions. After trying unsuccessfully to persuade his friend to approve of what he was doing, King Henry VIII imprisoned More in the Tower of London. At his trial, More testified boldly for Church autonomy over the state, for the authority of the pope as head of the Church, and for the indissolubility of marriage in the eyes of God. He was eventually condemned and beheaded, dying as a martyr for the Catholic faith. Thomas More is the patron saint of statesman, politicians, lawyers, civil servants, and large families. His feast day is June 22nd.


Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Mass during the Day

Lectionary: 587
Reading I

Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O coastlands,

listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,

from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword

and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,

in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,

Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,

and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,

my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken

who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him

and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,

and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,

to raise up the tribes of Jacob,

and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm

139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:

you know when I sit and when I stand;

you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,

with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;

you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;

wonderful are your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;

nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,

when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading II

Acts 13:22-26

In those days, Paul said:
"God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.
From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'

"My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent."


See Lk 1:76

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
"No. He will be called John."
But they answered her,
"There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name,"
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
"What, then, will this child be?"
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 49:1-6

I will make you a light to the nations. (Isaiah 49:6)

In much of the Northern Hemisphere, today's feast coincides with the time fireflies first appear. It's a fitting connection because although John the Baptist's birth ushered in a whole new age in salvation history, his beginning was just a spark that was as hard to catch as a lightning bug.

It was clear to Zechariah and Elizabeth's neighbors that something special was afoot when John was born: this formerly childless couple was too old to be having a baby. And his name—not Zechariah like his father—was unexpected. Then, after being mute for nine months, Zechariah amazed them all by bursting into praise at his son's naming. What were they to make of it all?

Only eyes of faith could see in this infant the mighty prophet God had sent to prepare his people for the Messiah. John was destined to be the spark that would bring light to the nations. But his beginning was small indeed.

In a similar way, our understanding of God's ways often begins with just a glimmer. And that's a mercy. It's easier on our eyes than if God were to suddenly shine the full brightness of his light on us.

This side of heaven, none of us will fully understand the mysteries of who God is and how he works with his people. We may catch glimpses and occasional flashes of light. But unlike captured fireflies whose light swiftly dims, these glimpses build and grow in intensity as we treasure them and savor and explore them.

So don't be discouraged if you catch only a glimpse of God's love and his plan. Rejoice in what you do grasp, and ask the Holy Spirit to shed more light to deepen your understanding.

Here's a way to begin. Slow down and reread today's Scriptures. Is there a word or phrase that ignites your interest or resonates with your spirit? Stop there. Linger with that spark and see where it leads you.

"Lord Jesus, lead me ever closer to you, for you are the Light of the World and the light of my life."

Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Acts 13:22-26
Luke 1:57-66, 80


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God."

The beauty of sowing seeds is God's word, and you will perhaps never know in this lifetime where those seeds went and how they grew. Some physical seeds may be dormant for years and years but are still viable, and they give life unexpectedly and in the most unexpected places at times, like a tree growing out of a side of a cliff, flowers and such. It is not for you to know when or how or even IF the seed will give fruit. This is where faith comes in. For you yourself are a fruit of a seed, and the first seed was God and is in God. You are worth more than you will ever know. This should sprout leaves for Love to receive light.


We pray in Psalms:
"Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made."


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
"What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel."
Today we celebrate St. John the Baptist's birthday. And this day they named Him, a changed name from the normal naming after the father.

There's meaning in a name and they say that John means "God is Gracious" and another says something like "God will protect us".
What will this child be then?
John was the predecessor then of the littles in God's Kingdom. And then our Lord took over when John the Baptist was slaughtered in the name of pride in a drunken promise over a provocative dance in front of government officials.
And not even 3 years later our Lord too would be brutally assaulted and tortured and basically murdered on a cross, in the name of pride, in front of government officials.

The littles though, are the meek, and our Lord has promised that these will inherit the earth.
The seeds of life are among us. Only He has the power over life...eternal. And this is where everything matters.

I told a salesman manager today "look, when someone comes with work issues, say yes sir. And when someone calls you names, it's another yes sir." He laughed, but I hope the message sinks in. And now I hope you know what I mean.
Turning the cheek, submitting to God's will, forgiveness and mercy. It's all the message of what will be of this child...the seed of God's light.
And you were made in His image.
Be what Your Father created You to be. True self giving and light. Consider the source.


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Random bible verse generator:

Proverbs 13:20
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,

but the companion of fools will suffer harm.


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God Bless You! Peace

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