Friday, December 16, 2022

† ". Burning and Shining. . "


†Saint Quote
"Let us love the Cross and let us remember that we are not alone in carrying it. God is helping us. And in God who is comforting us, as St. Paul says, we can do anything."
–St. Gianna Molla

†Today's Meditation
"I love the mystical body metaphor because it helps us understand so many Catholic doctrines. It provides a brilliant way for understanding how the Church is not primarily an institution but a living, spiritual organism that Jesus lives in and continues to work through in order to carry out this saving mission in the world. Through this metaphor, we learn that Jesus continues His saving mission on earth through incorporating – embodying into his mystical body – men and women who allow themselves to become His members and co-workers…The mystical body metaphor shows us that there are many members of the body of Christ, and because it is the body of Christ, it is permanent. Each member of the body has a particular function to perform, and each member is unique and important.
—Donald H. Calloway, p. 70-71

An Excerpt From
Under the Mantle

†Daily Verse
"Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality."
–Colossians 3:23-25


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St. Adelaide of Burgundy

St. Adelaide (931-999 A.D.) was the virtuous daughter of King Rupert II of Burgundy, France. She became the Queen of Italy after being given in marriage to the future King of Italy. When her husband died, she was imprisoned for refusing a second politically-driven marriage. However, when the German Emperor Otto came to rule Italy, she accepted his rescue and offer of marriage. They had four children, the future Otto II and three daughters, two of whom became nuns. Pope John XII crowned Otto the Holy Roman Emperor in 962 A.D., and Adelaide was crowned as the Holy Roman Empress. When her son, Otto II, succeeded her husband as Emperor, she was driven from court by her jealous daughter-in-law. When they both died, Adelaide returned to court to rule the empire as regent Queen until her grandson was of age. She used her position, power, and influence to help the poor, evangelize her people, and to build and restore monasteries and churches. She afterwards retired to a convent in Germany, spending her remaining days in prayer. St. Adelaide is the patroness of princesses, empresses, second marriages, widows, parenthood, brides, exiles, and abuse victims. Her feast day is December 16.


Friday of the Third Week in Advent

Lectionary: 191
Reading 1

Is 56:1-3a, 6-8

Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.
Blessed is the man who does this,
the son of man who holds to it;
Who keeps the sabbath free from profanation,
and his hand from any evildoing.
Let not the foreigner say,
when he would join himself to the LORD,
"The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."

The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
ministering to him,
Loving the name of the LORD,
and becoming his servants–
All who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
Them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer;
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
For my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord GOD,
who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
Others will I gather to him
besides those already gathered.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
The earth has yielded its fruits;
God, our God, has blessed us.
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Lord, bring us your peace
that we may rejoice before you with a perfect heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Jn 5:33-36

Jesus said to the Jews:
"You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept testimony from a human being,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
John was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me."


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8

Blessed is the man who . . . keeps the sabbath. (Isaiah 56:2, 6)

If someone tells you something that could benefit you, you should pay attention, right? And if they say it twice, it's probably pretty important. Well, in today's first reading, the Lord twice tells us that whoever keeps the Sabbath is blessed, not only Jews, but even "foreigners" (Isaiah 56:6). God promises to bless everyone who sets apart time to honor him.

As we approach the final Sunday of Advent, it's good to remember that God makes the same promise to us.

The whole season of Advent is a kind of Sabbath, a time "set apart" for the Lord. Unfortunately, the demands of holiday gift shopping and wrapping, cooking, and decorating can leave you anxious, overtired, or short-tempered. It can crowd out your "set-apart time" with the Lord and the joy he offers.

What should you do about it? You know that refraining from those activities isn't the answer. God wants you to enjoy the goodness of the season. He wants you to be happy. That's what the word "blessed" means here. The Giver of all good gifts loves it when you give gifts to people. He loves celebrations. He wants you to enjoy his blessings and to share them with those around you. And so he created a simple way for you to be "blessed": you can treat this season as a "sabbath."

That doesn't mean you have to stay home or spend hours in church for the next ten days. Just try to carve out some time. Rest with him, especially on Sunday, but on other days too. Turn off the screens for a bit and read the infancy narratives in the Gospels. Sit quietly and listen to Christmas carols. Reflect on the words and let them speak to you. You might keep them playing as you crank out those dozens of cookies. Or maybe you could ponder God's gift of his Son while you wrap your own gifts.

As you give the Lord such "sabbath" time, you will become more peaceful. Stress levels will fall. You might even find yourself becoming more encouraging and hopeful. It can be challenging, but know that God is at your side to bless you. He wants to give you the rest that only he can give.

"Father, thank you for the gift of your Son. Help me to honor you as I celebrate his birth."

Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8
John 5:33-36

greater tha

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"All who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
Them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer;
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar..."

The book of Heaven states that many are those who go to church or are praying, and their offerings are just about useless. I am paraphrasing of course, but think about the sincerity we offer to God. I know it is hard to focus, believe me, I'm super active and actively involved with many things going at once. But, I fight mostly to stay focused. Why? For sincerity, yes, but mostly...because you might miss the mark...and this means to sin, because this is the actual old definition of the very ancient word of sin. And to miss the mark is to miss then...our Lord Himself, what He was saying...what He is offering.


We pray today;
"O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation."


In the Gospel today we heard our Master and Teacher:
"John was a burning and shining lamp..."

And then our Lord says "...I have testimony greater than John's."

His light is greater than John's, and how, or why? Because, our Lord is the pure form of God from Heaven, the pure light.

What did everyone like about St. John the Baptist? He was calling out all the wrongs of the current "church", but in a loving way, asking for all to repent of their evil ways. He was indeed a shining light in the dark.
And it is evident by his martyrdom.
And so our Lord comes in shining even more of a light on the world, and this is HIS giving of HIS life to all of us.
Isn't it strange that our Lord had to die in order for the world to receive Him more abundantly?
Not really. Because once He died, the Holy Spirit took over...God Himself...Jesus Himself, in ways that are more mind boggling than we care to take the time to imagine.
Think about it, He is only a whisper away now, even a thought. HE can live, move, and work inside of a soul that is willing to make Him alive inside themselves.
This is mind boggling. And it only takes the human act of the will.

Do I desire God to do as He pleases with my life? Or do I only desire to follow my whims and fancies?

Advent is calling us to a holy prepare for the King of Peace...and the very Light in the dark.

My Lord, Jesus, how precious You are in the sight of a world for sore me Love Thee as I ought, treating You as the most precious jewel and treasure ever in existence...



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Random Bible Verse 1
1 Kings 8:56

[1 Kings 8]

56 "Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.


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