Tuesday, December 12, 2023

†.."That what was spoken to you by the...."


†Quote of the Day
"Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did." St. Maximilian Kolbe

†Today's Meditation
"Write: I am Thrice Holy, and I detest the smallest sin. I cannot love a soul which is stained with sin; but when it repents, there is no limit to My generosity toward it. My mercy embraces and justifies it. With My mercy, I pursue sinners along all their paths, and My Heart rejoices when they return to Me. I forget the bitterness with which they fed My Heart and rejoice at their return. Tell sinners that no one shall escape My Hand; if they run away from My Merciful Heart, they will fall into My Just Hands. Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them, that I listen intently to the beating of their heart . . . when will it beat for Me?"
—Jesus to St. Maria Faustina, 1728
Cover image from the book, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska - Divine Mercy in My Soul
An Excerpt From Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska - Divine Mercy in My Soul

†Daily Verse

"By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible." Hebrews 11:3
Our Lady of Guadalupe


Our Lady of Guadalupe

St. Juan Diego, a humble Aztec peasant, saw the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Hill of Tepeyac near present-day Mexico City on December 9, 1531, the feast of the Immaculate Conception at the time. After a request by the bishop to prove her identity, Our Lady asked Juan Diego to gather the roses which he found growing on the hill, which were neither native to the area nor in season, and take them to the bishop. Juan Diego did so and placed the roses in his tilma (or cloak). Upon opening the tilma to reveal the miraculous roses to the bishop, there was something even more miraculous present—an image of the Virgin Mary dressed as a pregnant Aztec princess. The various design elements on the tilma read like a codex to the Aztecs, revealing to them the truth of the Catholic faith preached by the missionary priests. Millions quickly converted to the Catholic Church as a result. This apparition and image is venerated under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the first Marian apparition in the New World, and the only one where Our Lady produced an image of herself. The perfectly preserved tilma is venerated at her basilica and shrine in Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas, the New Evangelization, and unborn children. Her feast day is December 12th.


Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Lectionary: 690A
Reading 1

ZEC 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.


Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

God's temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.

She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed."

Responsorial Psalm

JUDITH 13:18BCDE, 19

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.


Lk 1:39-47

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior."

mother speaks

Daily Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. (Luke 1:38)

Gabriel packs quite a bit of startling news in his announcement to Mary! He informs her that she has found favor with God, tells her that she will be the mother of the Son of the Most High, and then explains how it will happen. Finally, he adds a prophecy concerning her cousin Elizabeth, that she is now six months pregnant. That's a lot to take in! Mary, at first "greatly troubled," responds in a way that we can all learn from: "May it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:29, 38).

We could paraphrase Mary's words this way: This is all very surprising, but I surrender my plans to God. I want his will to be done, not mine, even if it means a future full of unknowns. And with this response, Mary becomes our model of humility. While we all have hopes and dreams and plans, our deepest desire should be for a wholehearted disposition of yes to God and his plans for us.

Today, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we celebrate Mary's apparitions to St. Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. She who once said yes to God's plan for her life saw this same disposition in Juan Diego. Calling him "the most humble of my sons," she relied on him to communicate her request to the local bishop for a church to be built. Juan Diego obediently relayed her message, even though some of the people rejected and mocked him. The Lord honored his humility, and the miracle of Mary's image imprinted on his tilma won over the bishop and Juan Diego's critics.

Today, tell the Lord that you, too, want to be humble as Mary and St. Juan Diego were. Tell him that you want simply to do his will, and ask him to help you overcome any obstacle, like fear or rejection, that would keep you from carrying it out. As it did for Juan Diego, God's plans will bear good fruit as you respond with a wholehearted yes to him.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray that I may grow in humility. I want to see God's will be done in me and through me."

Zechariah 2:14-17
(Psalm) Judith 13:18-19


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth......."_ end of verse.
. . .

The Book of Revelation is full of symbolism and imagery that can boggle one's imagination. Those who have left the original Christian Church, the Catholic Church are baffled with the last book of the bible, and they are always making new ideas on what it could mean for the end times of the world. I sat once with a large group of Protestants, 200 men strong in a nearby city in their weekly bible study. This time around, they were studying the book of Revelation. We gathered in the large room, ate finger food and lots of people mingled. I felt like an odd ball, new to the meeting, but went because a friend, "Doc" seemed he really wanted me to go. I'm up for some ecumenism, so I went in the spirit of love. After a few words, a spontaneous prayer by the leader, the sent us off into classrooms in groups to discuss the subject and scripture for the day. It was interesting to see that there were no real teachings, mostly talking points, and the pervasive question went around "well, what do you think it meant?". And it seemed it was on purpose, that on my turn, I explained the image of our Lady of Guadalupe. I said "I believe much of revelations has already been revealed, like the lady clothed with the sun happened hundreds of years ago to convert millions to Christ". I don't think they were expecting that kind of answer. You see, the Catholic faith already has the important questions answered, and, like the bible, it all boils down in the end to faith, and the willingness of a truly convert.


We pray today:
"Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God, the creator of heaven and earth.
You are the highest honor of our race......."
end of psalm.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her......"
end of Gospel verse.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, today we celebrate the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. What followed the apparition of Mary at Tepeyac is one of the most astounding chapters in the history of Christian evangelization.
Though Franciscan missionaries had been laboring in Mexico for twenty years, they had made little progress. But within ten years of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, practically the entire Mexican people, nine million strong, had converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe had proved a more effective evangelist than Peter, Paul, St. Patrick, and St. Francis Xavier combined! And with that great national conversion, the Aztec practice of human sacrifice came to an end. She had done battle with fallen spirits and had won a culture-changing victory for the God of love.
The challenge for us who honor her today is to join the same fight. We must announce to our culture today the truth of the God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, the God of nonviolence and forgiving love. And we ought, like Our Lady of Guadalupe, to be bearers of Jesus to a world that needs him more than ever. . . . . ." end quote Bishop Barron.

This morning, we were singing to our Lady of Guadalupe and we had a large group of women and children dancing as "Los Matachines" resembling the Aztec Indian dancers that danced to Our Lady of Guadalupe. We had a beautiful Mass and then they danced some more. During the Mass, I've been singing a song by David Kauffman "Behold" or "Mirad" in spanish ( and after a while of singing I get choked up singing "Holy is Your Name, my soul exalts you behold My Lord, who's mercy lies on me". She sings the magnificat. "My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in my Savior. He looks at me with kindness as if with holy eyes of blindness and all will call me Blessed".
After the powerful drumming, the loud traditional music we sang, this soft song struck a chord of serenity, of grace, at just the right time, and at the right place.

Such was the time she struck with her appearance, at the darkest moment of time, as the Aztecs sacrificed all including children, some say even pulling out their live beating hearts to offer to the sun god. But Mary revealed that her son was greater than the sun. The "eagle that talks" is the meaning of Juan Diego, his Indian name, and the eagle that talks is John, who says that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was made flesh, and he who believes in Him would be saved.

And so it happened. The Aztecs were conquered. The Kingdom of God is at hand. And til this day they dance and sing for the Glory of God.
The Angel Gabriel says: "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
She believed. She became the ark of the new covenant. And she is forever remembered as such. She appears as a pregnant Indian girl that is to give birth to the King of Kings. Was she really pregnant at that time? The picture is of her when she was young, probably about 15 years old they say. She is forever remembered at that moment in time, in the book of Revelation, and to the Aztecs too.

And I say this because a particular moment in time doesn't cease to exist. Like the offering of Christ on the cross. It's not a moment that passed, but a moment that is captured in the forever realms of eternity. Everything we do can be snapshot and held forever in history. Wouldn't you like to have good things taken a snapshot of forever...from here on out? The more the better? Like what you may ask? Acts of true sacrificial love for God and neighbor, His creation. To honor Him with, these memories forever and ever.

Pray with me:
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose,
make intercession for Holy Church,
protect the sovereign Pontiff,
help all those who invoke you in their necessities,
and since you are the ever-Virgin Mary
and Mother of the true God,
obtain for us from your most holy Son
the grace of keeping our faith,
of sweet hope in the midst
of the bitterness of life of burning charity,
and the precious gift of final perseverance.


20231212 051522

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Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 73:28

28 But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,

that I may tell of all your works.


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