Thursday, January 4, 2024

†.."What are you looking...


†Quote of the Day

"What was the first rule of our dear Savior's life? You know it was to do His Father's will. Well, then, the first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly to do it in the manner He wills; and thirdly, to do it because it is His will."
–St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Today's Meditation

"Let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts, and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. When she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard."
—Blessed Pope Pius IX,
An Excerpt From
Manual for Marian Devotion

Daily Verse

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways."
–James 1:5-8


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774–1821) was born in New York City to a wealthy, virtuous, and influential family. She married a businessman, and together they lived on Wall Street. They attended an Episcopalian church where Elizabeth was very active in charitable works to the poor. When her father-in-law died, she became like a mother to her husband's six younger siblings, in addition to her own five children. During a trip to Italy she was introduced to Catholicism, and she converted to the Catholic Church following the death of her husband. After losing her family fortune, Elizabeth spent her life working to improve education and provide for the poor, as well as the needs of her family. She established the first Catholic school in the nation, and also founded the Sisters of Charity, the first American religious community. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be declared a saint. She is also the patron of widows and those who have lost parents or children. Her feast day is January 4th.
Find a Devotional for This Saint


Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious [In the Dioceses of the United States]

Reading 1 1 Jn 3:7-10

Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
No one who is begotten by God commits sin,
because God's seed remains in him;
he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 7-8, 9

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.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy before the LORD.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD comes;
he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Alleluia HEB 1:1-2

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

Gospel Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher),
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter.


Daily Meditation: John 1:35-42

What are you looking for? (John 1:38)

As followers of John the Baptist, Andrew and John had just heard their teacher testify to this new rabbi from Nazareth. Naturally, they were intrigued and wanted to learn more. But Jesus, a master of the probing question, ends up making the first inquiry: "What are you looking for?" (John 1:38). He gets to the heart of the matter with just a few words.

Taken aback by Jesus' question, the two disciples work up the courage to ask where he is staying. They sense that a brief introduction won't be enough to satisfy them. Jesus, again with just a few words, responds with an invitation that is brimming with possibility: "Come, and you will see" (John 1:39). Grateful that he is offering them more than just a few minutes, they follow and spend the day with him.

And what a difference that day with Jesus makes! Andrew comes away convinced that he has just met the Messiah. He goes to tell his brother Simon, and the course of history begins to change.

What would your day with Jesus look like? Or, to put it another way, what would happen if you got to spend a whole day alone with the Lord? What would you talk about with him? What are you looking for? For example, you may be unsure of what the new year will bring. Perhaps you are in a post-holiday funk or discerning a decision or worried about a person close to you. Or maybe you just want to become a better disciple.

Whatever you're seeking, consider setting a day aside for a personal retreat. If that's too much, maybe dedicate a Saturday morning to the Lord. Put it on the calendar, and approach it like treasured time with a close friend. Pour some coffee, put on some quiet music, and choose a Scripture passage and maybe some inspirational reading. As you settle in, imagine Jesus turning his gaze toward you and asking, "What are you looking for?" Reflect on that question with him, and answer him honestly. Tell him what's on your heart. Share your burdens with him. He has been so looking forward to this time with you!

"Jesus, help me find the time to be with you, to seek you, and to hear your voice."

1 John 3:7-10
Psalm 98:1, 7-9


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Fernando Torres, CMF spanish reflection:
"Today's Gospel has reminded me of the story of the fool, the finger and the moon. They pointed out the moon to the fool but he stayed looking at the finger. Thank God, that did not happen to John's disciples. At his words – "This is the Lamb of God" – they had no hesitation in abandoning John and going after Jesus. They wanted to know him, to know who was the one that John said was the "Lamb of God." They wanted to go beyond the finger, they really wanted to reach the moon, to Jesus himself. First conclusion: it is necessary to have a little curiosity in life, to be open, to not stop at what we are told but to approach ourselves and try to know directly what things and people are like. It is a curiosity that has to open a way for us beyond prejudices.
The second thing I would like to point out is Jesus' response to the two disciples: "Come and you will see." It is another invitation to direct knowledge, to a calm encounter. The Gospel says that the two disciples went with Jesus and stayed with him that day. It is not true because in reality they stayed with him that day and many more days. They went from being disciples of John to being disciples of Jesus. They heard him talk to people, tell parables, talk about the Kingdom, care for the sick, reach out to the poor and marginalized. They also saw him confront the priests, the scribes and the Pharisees. They did not spend a day and a night with him but many days and many nights. They learned from him, they heard his words, they saw him act. Some things they didn't understand well. Until the moment of the cross came, they ran away without understanding what was happening. Until they saw him resurrected and the light became present in his heart.

This is how we have to know Jesus. Because the child we saw born in Bethlehem, in that smelly block, is going to grow up. We have the whole year and every year to get closer to him, to understand and open our hearts to an always surprising presence. Little by little we will discover what it means for Jesus to be the "Lamb of God." We don't have to get discouraged. It's not about understanding it or living it all on the first day. We have time. It is about following Jesus and letting ourselves be fascinated by him, even if sometimes we do not fully understand him.....". end quote Bishop Barron.

Back in the day, the people of faith expected and anticipated the coming of the Messiah, the savior, the Christ.

But some did not accept Him at his coming.
Why? He was not what they expected. He was not what they had formed in their minds to be. He was not a warrior that came to defeat empires and tyrannicidal rule with brute force and conquering nations as they were accustomed.

He came to conquer in other ways. And this is what we should be opened to...not our ways, but His way. The Way of self sacrifice to God. The way of giving of self and going the extra mile. It is the way less taken. The way of true love.

I'm looking back at people in my life. Those I affectionately recall are those who have given me that look, that look of affirmation, of love, of compassion, and comforting me in their life by welcoming me in their life. More souls would be saved if we took to the way of Christ. And so Peter and Andrews followed the Way, and eventually, to their own crucifixions. It wasn't easy, but they were made perfect by allowing God's will to persist until the end.

They left everything for Jesus, and they gained everything and more.

Pray with me:
Lord, Savior, my Christ, My Lord, My King, My Love, My All, how can I love thee as I ought? Help us desire Your holy will in our lives above all loves.


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Random Bible Verse 1
John 15:12–14

12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.


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