Thursday, December 22, 2022

† ". For He Remembered. . . "


†Saint Quote
"We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way."
–St. Francis of Assisi

Today's Meditation
"Mary remained with the donkey at the very entrance of the street while Joseph sought a lodging in the nearest houses—in vain, for Bethlehem was full of strangers, all running from place to place. Joseph returned to Mary, saying that as no shelter was to be found there, they would go on farther into the town. He led the donkey on by the bridle, and the Blessed Virgin walked beside him. When they came to the beginning of another street, Mary again stopped by the donkey, and Joseph again went from house to house in vain seeking a lodging, and again came sadly back. This happened several times, and the Blessed Virgin often had long to wait. Everywhere the houses were filled with people, everywhere he was turned away … Joseph led the Blessed Virgin to [a] tree, and made her a comfortable seat against its trunk with their bundles, so that she might rest while he sought for shelter in the houses near. … At first Mary stood upright, leaning against the tree. Her ample white woolen dress had no girdle and hung around her in folds: her head was covered with a white veil. Many people passed by and looked at her, not knowing that the Redeemer was so near to them. She was so patient, so humble, so full of hopeful expectation. Ah, she had to wait a long, long time; she sat down at last on the rug, crossing her feet under her. She sat with her head bent and her hands crossed below her breast. Joseph came back to her in great distress; he had found no shelter. His friends, of whom he had spoken to the Blessed Virgin, would hardly recognize him. He was in tears and Mary comforted him."
—Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, p.185
The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary

†Daily Verse
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful."
–James 5:16

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St. Zeno of Nicomedia

St. Zeno of Nicomedia (d. 303 A.D.) was a Roman soldier and commander living in Nicomedia (modern-day Turkey) during the reign of Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. During their fierce persecution of the Church they were condemning many Christians to death, including any soldiers who professed faith in Jesus Christ. In Nicomedia alone, as many as 20,000 Christians were burned alive as they gathered inside a cathedral on Christmas Day. Standing nearby when the Emperor was offering a sacrifice to a Roman deity, St. Zeno, a Christian, mocked his devotion to a soulless god. St. Zeno was immediately seized and put to death, giving him a martyr's crown. St. Zeno's feast day is December 22nd.


Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Reading I 1 Sm 1:24-28

In those days,
Hannah brought Samuel with her,
along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine,
and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh.
After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull,
Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:
"Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,
I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."
She left Samuel there.

Responsorial Psalm 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

R. (see 1a) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.*
"My heart exults in the LORD,

my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;

I rejoice in my victory."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"The bows of the mighty are broken,

while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,

while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,

while the mother of many languishes."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"The LORD puts to death and gives life;

he casts down to the nether world;

he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich,

he humbles, he also exalts."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"He raises the needy from the dust;

from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles

and make a glorious throne their heritage."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:46-56

Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

for he has looked upon his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

and has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever."

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months
and then returned to her home.

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From this day all generations will call me blessed. (Luke 1:48)

Imagine how Mary felt when the angel invited her to be mother of the Messiah! It would have been like a dream come true for a young Hebrew woman. What a privilege to cradle the Promised One in your arms, to teach him to pray, and to watch him grow strong and compassionate under your guidance. Yes, she was blessed indeed.

But surely these blessings came with a generous dose of challenges. A heavily pregnant Mary suffered the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. When her time came to give birth, she found herself in a stable with no experienced midwife. As a refugee in Egypt, she had to adapt to a new language and culture far from home. She and Joseph experienced one of a parent's worst fears when they lost Jesus in Jerusalem for three days. Then, as Jesus began his ministry, she must have felt deeply every attack against her cherished son. It all culminated at the foot of the cross.

As Simeon had prophesied, a sword pierced Mary's heart in many ways through her life (Luke 2:35). Clearly being blessed didn't insulate her from sadness or perplexity. It also didn't include a full understanding of how each difficult piece fit into the plan.

So how did Mary remain convinced that she was blessed? Luke tells us, "Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). She wasn't afraid to question God and ask for greater understanding. And as she waited for his answers, she clung to what she knew: God had chosen her for a special purpose, and he would continue to hold her in his loving care.

Each of us is truly blessed. Like Mary, elements of that blessing leap out at us, and we respond with joy. But also like Mary, there are many moments when we have trouble discerning that blessing. Yet God is still with us through it all—and that's the greatest of all blessings.

Take a moment right now to thank God for the ways he has blessed you. Then think of a blessing that didn't look like a blessing at first. Surely he will always care for you!

"Lord, you have done great things for me. I am blessed indeed."

1 Samuel 1:24-28
(Psalm) 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8

He remembered promise

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."

The mother of Samuel, made a promise, and she kept it. She made sure of it, that the child would be dedicated to the Lord. How do you do this? Nowadays, you raise a child in the church and half of them wonder off and away! How do you dedicate a child? It begins before they are born. Dedication begins. Consecration begins. And God's will begins to come into the very body.


We pray today;
""My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in my victory." My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior"
Did you know that when you talk you are being a horn making a song and sounds with the air inside of you through the pipes God gave you? That's how we talk. And what are you saying? What are you wasting your breath in saying? Yesterday I was tempted to sing a worldly song just walking around at work, and I thought, no, I rather pray using this breath.

Everything matters.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior."

Did you know that Mary represents basically all of mankind in a sense? We are whom God comes to dwell in and make fruit. We are called to be a pure vessel of His divine Will. Does your soul proclaim the greatness of the Lord? It can. Does your spirit rejoice in God our Savior? It should. Our dwelling place can house dark things or things of light. My point of writing is that we dispel the darkness and let our house shine bright. Our Lord wants to.
Do you?
He wants to what? Dwell in me? Yes. Work in me? Yes. Love through me? Yes. He wants to live in you, work through you, and let the fruit of the two be amazing, you and Him, me and Him.

Mother of God, pray that I may become a pure vessel of divine honor and glory for God. He deserves everything because everything is His. I am honored to be touched by His love. Let me let Him love Himself in return in all His fullness, and if possible...even more.



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Leviticus 20:7–8

7 Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.


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God Bless You! Peace

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