Friday, December 22, 2023

†.."The Promise He Made....


†Quote of the Day
"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

An Excerpt From
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
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska - Divine Mercy in My Soul (Leather Cover)


†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.


Friday 3rd Week of Advent

Reading 1 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.


Daily Meditation: 1 Samuel 1:24-28

Now I . . . give him to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:28)

After praying so fervently for a son, why did Hannah then leave him at the Lord's temple at Shiloh as soon as her prayers were answered? The obvious answer is that she had made a vow. In her desperation for a child, Hannah had promised God that if she bore a son, she would follow an ancient tradition and "give him to the Lord all the days of his life" (1 Samuel 1:11).

This was quite an act of faith! But Hannah's action teaches us something deeper than the value of fulfilling vows. As anyone who receives a long-awaited blessing from the Lord will tell you, it's not easy to let it go. Maybe we landed our dream job or found a perfect home for our family. Maybe we met our future spouse or, like Hannah, conceived a longed-for child. It's easy to want to hold tightly to these gracious gifts. It takes wisdom and trust to accept that they were given for a purpose that may very well go beyond our own desires. Sometimes, like Hannah, we need to be willing to release our grip and let God control the outcome.

Hannah likely experienced tension between trust and fear as she prepared to give Samuel to the Lord. But it's a tension that each one of us faces as we realize that we don't have complete ownership over the blessings God has given us. Think of the family leaving behind friends or loved ones to move to a different city. Or a father walking his daughter down the aisle as she begins a brand-new life.

So was Hannah tempted to hang on to her son Samuel? We don't know for sure. But we see that she ultimately did leave him at the temple. Which tells us that Hannah was willing to entrust his future—and hers—to the Lord. And once she did, she felt free enough to lift her voice in praise to God (1 Samuel 2:1-10). And Samuel? He became a mighty prophet and leader in Israel.

Hannah is an example to us all. We can trust God's plan for the gifts he gives us. So rejoice in the graces God has freely bestowed on you. Enjoy his gifts! But don't hold onto them too tightly.

"Thank you, Lord, for all your gifts to me. Show me the times when I need to loosen my grip on them."

(Psalm) 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Luke 1:46-56


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"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.
....." end of verse.

Mother Mary also prayed for her part, to help usher in the Messiah. She belonged to the lineage that would bring in the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior. And so did Joseph. And our Lord heard the prayers of His will being prayed for.


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......"
end of psalm.

LOL, I remember my protestant brothers reading about a dragon with horns in the book of Revelation, and they literally imagined a monster with horns on its head. This is not the horn they mean in the bible. It means more. It means a proclamation, and in the case of Mary, an exultation. Think of announcements and commands, on a bullhorn if you will.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his lowly servant......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

These words of Mother Mary have not ceased to exist. Until today, she proclaims the greatness of the Lord. She magnifies Him, she makes Him known.
Until today, she still rejoices in God our Savior.

And what about her being His lowly servant?
She is.
In the last major apparitions, she comes as a messenger. The horn that exalts God our savior. She has come desiring for all to turn to our Lord, the King of the world that is so often rejected.

And, until today, He is hurt by daily insults and blasphemies. With a people that desire other gods and kings rather than the one who offers true peace, instead of a false peace like the prince of the world offers.
I too fall for that thinking "If I can just make so much more money, then we will be alright!"
Lies. It is a lure that falls into a trap.

We have already enough. Enough faith. Enough light if we so desire it. Who prays for faith? Who prays to magnify the Lord? Who prays to be His servant? Who prays to be God's slave? Who prays to rejoice daily in Him daily? Mother Mary does.
And we can join her hand in hand with choirs of angels. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Pray with me:

Lord, I do believe in the Christ and the Mass, the Christ-Mass. The offering, the gift from Heaven to us on earth. There on the manger of the altar, there the child is offered, the Son of God, the being of God, the very love of God our Father. Help me Love You and receive You worthily and be that light which we are to receive!


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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 15:9
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,

but he loves him who pursues righteousness.


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