Thursday, December 29, 2022

† ". . this child is destined . . . "


†Saint Quote
"Remember the sufferings of Christ, the storms that were weathered... the crown that came from those sufferings which gave new radiance to the faith... All saints give testimony to the truth that without real effort, no one ever wins the crown."
–St. Thomas Becket

†Today's Meditation
"Let us pass on now to the other question—namely, what you can do to strengthen your resolutions and make them succeed? There is no better mean than to put them into practice. But you say that you are still so weak that, although you often make strong resolutions not to fall into the particular imperfection of which you want to cure yourself, no sooner does the occasion present itself than down you go. Shall I tell you why we are still so weak? It is because we will not abstain from food that does not agree with us. It is as if a person who wished to be free from pains in the stomach were to ask a physician what he should do. The doctor replies, 'Do not eat such and such food, because it brings you pain'; and yet the person will not abstain from it. We do the same. For example, we should like to love reproof, and yet we obstinately cling to our own opinions. That is foolishness. You will never be strong enough to bear reproof courageously while you are nourishing yourself with the food of self-esteem. I wish to keep my soul recollected, and yet I will not restrain all sorts of idle thoughts: the two things are incompatible. Ah! How much I wish that I could be steadfast and regular in my religious exercises; at the same time I wish not to find them so trying—in fact, I want to find the work done for me. That cannot be in this life, for we shall always have to labor."
—St. Francis de Sales, p. 97
The Art of Loving God

†Daily Verse
"So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin."
–James 4:17


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St. Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket (1118-1170), also known as St. Thomas of Canterbury, was the son of a prosperous London merchant. Being a well-educated youth, he was appointed as clerk to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was later made Archdeacon. In this role he met and became close friends with King Henry II of England. The King promoted Becket to the office of Lord Chancellor, and, when the Archbishop of Canterbury died, made Becket the new Archbishop in 1162, the most powerful ecclesiastical position in all of England. King Henry II supposed that having his close friend in such a position would enable him to enforce his will on the Church. However, in his new role as priest and archbishop, Thomas Becket experienced a religious conversion and transferred his ultimate allegiance to the Church. This led to frequent conflicts over the rights of the Church between the King of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, resulting in Becket's exile. When Becket returned to England, he was murdered by four knights, the king's lackeys, as he was offering Mass at the Canterbury Cathedral altar on December 29, 1170. St. Thomas Becket's feast day is December 29th.


The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Reading I 1 Jn 2:3-11

The way we may be sure that we know Jesus
is to keep his commandments.
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.
Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you
but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.
The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
And yet I do write a new commandment to you,
which holds true in him and among you,
for the darkness is passing away,
and the true light is already shining.
Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
he walks in darkness
and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Responsorial Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;

sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;

among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;

praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Alleluia Lk 2:32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles
and glory for your people Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
"Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce)
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."


Daily Meditation: Luke 2:22-35

. . . awaiting the consolation of Israel. (Luke 2:25)

Have you ever noticed those people at the airport who hold up a sign with someone's name on it? They are waiting for someone whom they have never seen to step off an airplane. But even with the sign, they are still looking at every person and asking themselves, Is he the one? Is she the person I'm waiting for?

That's a little like what Simeon was doing in this passage—only he didn't have a sign. He went to the Temple all the time, looked around at all the people there, and asked the Holy Spirit, Is this one the Messiah?

And then one day he spotted a couple with a baby, and he knew that this child was the consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25).

How did Simeon know? Was it because he was "righteous and devout" (Luke 2:25)? That may have played a part. But more importantly, he was expectant. The Holy Spirit had told Simeon that he would see the Messiah before he died, and Simeon took that promise seriously. So he kept coming to the Temple, asking the Spirit to open his eyes so that he would recognize the Lord when he appeared.

Even though we aren't waiting to see Jesus in the Temple, we can still have this same expectant attitude every day as we wait for him to reveal himself to us. We can look for his peace in an otherwise tumultuous situation. We can try to recognize his hand at work when a door opens to share our faith. Or we can find him present in the kindness of a friend who reaches out to spend time with us. And most important, we can find him in the quiet of our prayer and the joy of our Eucharistic celebrations.

Wherever you find yourself today, try to be like Simeon. Even if you are really busy or confronted with unexpected happenings, keep looking and waiting for Jesus to reveal himself. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and to help you be attentive. And even if you forget and get caught up in the activities of the day, you can always take a minute before bedtime and ask the Lord to show you the ways in which he was present. The more expectant you are in looking and waiting for him, the more you'll see his hand in your life.

"Lord, thank you for helping me to recognize your presence today."

1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"for the darkness is passing away,
and the true light is already shining.
Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness."

Darkness is passing away. The birth of our Lord is celebrated on the "darkest" day of the year, or just about, meaning something...the birth of the sun, the birth of light, taken from the pagan's celebrations so they would understand the light of Christ, and the light grows forever.


We pray today;
" Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!"


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel."

Why is there so much talk about lights? The prophet in the temple, Simeon, who foretold what this child would be...the end of things as we knew and the new things that are to be. Lights make everything seen, and somethings cannot be seen with natural light, but only with the light of God. Wouldn't you like to see more then? More of what God sees? What does this mean? It is an invitation to see things His way, not our ways. To know His thoughts, and not rely on our own thoughts. To trust in Him, therefore, to have faith, and to love Him.

From Bishop Barron Today:
Friends, today's Gospel tells the story of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple.
The Presentation of Jesus, perfected on the cross, is re-presented every time the Mass is celebrated. The Mass is certainly a festive meal, the moment when God feeds his people with his very Body and Blood; but the Mass is also a sacrifice, for it involves the offering of Jesus' Body and Blood to the Father. _
The Son, bearing the sins of the world, is presented to the Father: "Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever." Does God need this sacrifice? Of course not; God needs nothing. But our salvation is effected through this Presentation, for we are brought back to the Father through the Son._
. . .
Why do I try to go to Holy Mass every day? Because, our Lord is offering Himself in the most special way imagineable, and in this offering, we can offer ourselves united to Him, to God our Father. It is mind boggling how this works, but it is in short, the moment when Heaven meets the earth. Like in incarnation. Like in the birth. Like in the moment we decide to let Him be the light of our world.
In the presentation of the Lord's mystery, it is about the obedience of Mary presenting herself and our Lord, and the fruit of the mystery in the rosary is obedience. We pray that we too can obey God like Mary, and live our life like Jesus.

Lord, may we learn to love obedience, to fulfill Your words in Your prayer, that it may be done on it is in Heaven.



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Random Bible Verse 1
Acts 2:36

[Acts 2]

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."


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