Tuesday, January 2, 2024

†.."Why then do you...


†Quote of the Day

"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."
–St. Basil the Great

†Today's Meditation

"Christians long ago concluded that each individual human being has his or her own particular guardian angel. Though the Church has never defined the teaching about individual guardian angels, the Catechism of the Catholic Church sums up the matter this way, quoting St. Basil: 'From infancy to death human life is surrounded by [the angels'] watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life'. In this light, we can turn to our guardian angels for help in spiritual warfare, especially to resist the temptations of the Enemy. Yet angels are more than guardians; they are also warriors."
—Paul Thigpen, p. 30 An Excerpt From
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

†Daily Verse

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
–Isaiah 40:31


†St. Basil the Great
St. Basil (330 – 379 A.D.) was born to wealthy and pious parents in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). His family was renowned for their great sanctity; his grandfather was martyred under the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian, and his grandmother, mother, and several siblings are all numbered among the saints. St. Basil became a monk and founded several monasteries, famously writing a monastic rule of life which has proved to be the most lasting of those in the East. He studied under the finest teachers and was a respected man of great learning, as well as a zealous defender of orthodoxy against many heresies that threatened the Catholic faith, especially Arianism. He was appointed the bishop of Caesarea and in this role became one of the most influential saints in Church history. His life of deep prayer, austerities, and humility, combined with his uncommon preaching and teaching gifts, guided him in leading one of the most politically and ecclesiastically important Sees of the day, for which he earned the name "the Great." He is a Doctor of the Church, and one of the group of three saints called the Cappadocian Fathers, together with his brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and his lifelong friend, St. Gregory of Nazianzus. St. Basil's feast day is celebrated on January 2nd, a shared feast day with his close friend St. Gregory Nazianzus.


Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church

Lectionary: 205
Reading 1

1 JN 2:22-28

Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.
Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you,
then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
I write you these things about those who would deceive you.
As for you,
the anointing that you received from him remains in you,
so that you do not need anyone to teach you.
But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false;
just as it taught you, remain in him.

And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.

Responsorial Psalm

98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.


HEB 1:1-2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In times, past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets:
in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jn 1:19-28

This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, "Who are you?"
he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
"I am not the Christ."
So they asked him,
"What are you then? Are you Elijah?"
And he said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."
So they said to him,
"Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?"
He said:
"I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
'Make straight the way of the Lord,'
as Isaiah the prophet said."
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
"Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?"
John answered them,
"I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.


I am the voice of one crying out in the desert. (John 1:23)

The Pharisees wanted to know if John the Baptist claimed to be the second coming of one of Israel's great prophets. Maybe some of them were even aware of the angel's promise to his father, that John would go before the Lord "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17). But instead of pridefully citing his credentials, John deflected the attention away from himself and toward Jesus, declaring, "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert" (John 1:23).

John's claim may not have been boastful, but it was far from timid. The passage he quoted would have made it clear to his listeners that the One he was announcing was the long-awaited Messiah.

Many people today live in a spiritual desert, a desolate landscape of fear and hopelessness. And God has called you to be a voice that calls out to them and leads them to his side. You might think, "But I'm no John the Baptist!" Of course you're not. But remember John's own words: I am no Messiah! (see John 1:20).

John knew he was not as important as Jesus, but neither did he downplay his own significance or that of his mission. The same is true for you. You may not be John the Baptist, but you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. That means you really can direct people toward the way of healing, forgiveness, and eternity.

When an opportunity to share the gospel arises, remember that you are not required to be the answer to someone's deepest longings and needs. All God is asking is that you share the answer with them. And that answer is Jesus Christ. He can bring healing. He can relieve guilt. He can give hope.

So don't be overwhelmed by the task of fixing everyone's problems. Like John, just show the way to the One who can. And don't be discouraged if you run up against your own shortcomings or sinfulness. Remember that imperfect people can still point the way to a perfect God. In fact, they're probably the best pointers because they're on the same path as everyone else! You can be a beacon, lighting the way to the one true source of hope, joy, and salvation.

"Lord, give me the boldness of John the Baptist!"

1 John 2:22-28
Psalm 98:1-4


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie." ....." end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Why, when we first hear of the adult John the Baptist, is he out in the desert and not in the temple, where you would expect the son of a priest to be? Well, in John's time, the temple was mired in very messy politics.
What is drawing people into the desert to see him? He is offering what the temple ought to be offering but wasn't: the forgiveness of sins. This was the importance of John's baptism.
But here's the odd thing: he did not draw attention to himself. Rather, he presented himself as a forerunner, preparing the way of the Lord: "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize." He was pointing toward the one who would be the definitive Temple.
And therefore how powerful it was when, upon spying Jesus coming to be baptized, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." No first-century Israelite would have missed the meaning of that: behold the one who has come to be sacrificed. Behold the sacrifice, which will sum up, complete, and perfect the temple.....". end quote Bishop Barron.

John said the truth that persists until today:
"there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."
This is astounding, that our Lord is made flesh and continues to dwell among us. The biggest atrocity of our time is not allowing Him to do as He desires with ourselves. We fight, we cry, and we want things OUR way. We want perfect health, we want just enough wealth, we want all to be just fine, and if not, then complain to no end. I say this as a forerunner to the following line: The Body of Christ exists, and in the flesh, and inside of us, and the atrocity is to make Him do something He does not wish...namely evil, and to live life in vain, that is...for nothing. He offers everything, yet we choose vanity. He offers Himself, yet we choose other gods, of pleasure, gods of vanity, gods of alluring powers, and of self.

This year, it is time for a real faith. Last year was more of the same humdrum, the same sins, the same atrocity of martyrs across the world from the godless, to the would-be faithful. In other parts of the world, they are lighting priests on fire and bombing churches with the faithful inside. They are martyrs for Christ. In the 1st world countries, the attacks are more horrendous though, they hide, they chide, and they wear two masks. Who are the wolves in lamb disguises? Is it them? Or is it me? They will be known by their fruit, both here now and forever.

I live in a desert. Our lands are dry, the 7th most dry year since 1930 they say, with little to no rain. I am a voice out in the desert. I am proclaiming God's word to you. He is coming. For some, sooner than not. But to all, we will meet the Truth, the one who said "I AM the Way". He said in John 14: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!"
I can attest to this fact, for the time I was caught up in a moment never to be broken by time during Divine Mercy Prayers in a Cursillo in front of the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord took me to the darkest moment in History, the Lamb of God on the Cross, and I absolutely knew in my heart, nobody told me, I just knew I was in the presence of Our Father. I seen Him at the most precious moment never to be forgotten.

What disfigured Him was our sin. And we continue to disfigure Him. This is what Jesus our Lord knew when He was sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane the night before being arrested. It wasn't a quick torture and death, no! He knew it was going to be a forever thing. He was at that moment, pouring out Himself to God, heart, mind, body, and soul.
Repentmy child, pour yourself out, so that He can pour Himself in. Less of me, all of Him in me.

Pray with me:
My Father, Our Father, I am not worthy to unstrap Thy sandal my Lord, and much less am I worthy to receive Thee under my roof, but only say the Word, and my whole being will be illuminated with sanctifying grace forever!


Click To Hear

Random Bible Verse 1
Numbers 23:19
19 God is not man, that he should lie,

or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?


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