Monday, January 8, 2024

†.."You Are My....


†Quote of the Day

"Trials, tribulation, anguish, anxiety are permitted by the very One Who gives peace."
–Fulton Sheen

Today's Meditation

Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them. On entering the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in this people's unique, priestly vocation: … The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood." "The holy People of God shares also in Christ's prophetic office," above all in the supernatural sense of faith that belongs to the whole People, lay and clergy, when it "unfailingly adheres to this faith . . . once for all delivered to the saints," and when it deepens its understanding and becomes Christ's witness in the midst of this world. Finally, the People of God shares in the royal office of Christ. He exercises his kingship by drawing all men to himself through his death and Resurrection. Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for he came "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." For the Christian, "to reign is to serve him," particularly when serving "the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder." The People of God fulfills its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ.
—The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 783-786

An Excerpt From
Catechism of the Catholic Church

Daily Verse

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
–Matthew 3:13-17


Baptism of the Lord

The Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord is closely connected with the Solemnity of the Epiphany; both are biblical manifestations of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. On the occasion of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan river at the hands of St. John the Baptist, the voice of God was audibly heard to declare to the gathered crowd, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." At his baptism Jesus sanctified the earth's waters, giving water the power to beget sons of God through the Sacrament of Baptism. Through the cleansing waters of baptism Jesus heals our sinful nature and clothes us with his own Divine life, bringing us into the Kingdom of God. It is by imitating Our Lord in his Baptism that a person becomes a Christian, the first sacrament of initiation into the Church. The feast of the Baptism of the Lord marks the end of the Christmas season on the new liturgical calendar.
See More About Today's Feast


St. Apollinaris Claudius

St. Apollinaris Claudius (2nd c.), also called St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis, was a bishop in what is today Turkey. He became famous for his polemical writings against the heretics of his day, showing that their theological errors were taken from the pagans. His most famous work was an Apologia for the Christians addressed to Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the year 177 A.D. In it he reminded the Emperor of a miracle he received because of the Christians: when his army was nearly defeated in an attempt to conquer the Germanic barbarians, it was the prayers of the Christians among his soldiers which obtained the needed relief and the military victory, even though Christianity was illegal. In light of this miracle, Apollinaris requested the Emperor's protection of Christians from persecution. St. Apollinaris' work earned him the moniker, "Apollinaris the Apologist." His writings are largely lost, and what we know of his work comes to us from other early Christian writers including St. Jerome and Eusebius. His feast day is January 8th.


The Baptism of the Lord

Lectionary: 21
Reading I

Is 42:1-4, 6-7

Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.


Is 55:1-11

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread,
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of nations,
so shall you summon a nation you knew not,

and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
because of the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Acts 10:34-38

Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered
in the house of Cornelius, saying:
"In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.
You know the word that he sent to the Israelites
as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,
what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him."


1 Jn 5:1-9

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one who testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
So there are three that testify,
the Spirit, the water, and the blood,
and the three are of one accord.
If we accept human testimony,
the testimony of God is surely greater.
Now the testimony of God is this,
that he has testified on behalf of his Son.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,

give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;

adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,

the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;

the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,

and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;

the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.


Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;

I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,

and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water

at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;

among the nations make known his deeds,

proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;

let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,

for great in your midst

is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.


Cf. Jn 1:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
John saw Jesus approaching him, and said:
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 1:7-11

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."


Daily Meditation: Mark 1:7-11

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1:8)

If you were standing in line at the River Jordan and heard John the Baptist say these words, what would you have thought? Perhaps you would have been confused—what did John mean? But what if you had actually witnessed Jesus coming out of the water, and "the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him" (Mark 1:10)? Then you might have understood that Jesus was the One who was being baptized in the Spirit and who would, in turn, baptize his followers.

The word "baptize" in Greek means to "immerse" or to "plunge." As the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus was already united with the Spirit. But this "plunging" at the beginning of his ministry empowered him to go out and preach, teach, and heal—and eventually to fulfill his mission to offer his life on the cross and reconcile us to his Father. As he promised, after his resurrection, he would send the Spirit to his disciples and all who would believe in him (John 14:15-17).

That's what happened to you at your Baptism, even if you were too young to remember it. You received the Holy Spirit. But Baptism is just the beginning of our journey with the Lord. In order to follow Jesus, we all need to be immersed in the Spirit again and again. That's because, as he himself told us, "It is the spirit that gives life" (John 6:63).

How does the Spirit give us life? He fills us with joy and animates our prayer and worship. He helps us see our sin and repent. He gives us the strength and grace to be a disciple. And he gives us the gifts we need to share the good news.

Jesus said that God "does not ration his gift of the Spirit" (John 3:34). God always has more for us. There's no limit to how many times you can ask to be immersed into the life of the Spirit. Today, on this feast celebrating the Baptism of the Lord, ask the Holy Spirit to once again plunge you more deeply into his life. Pray expectantly, and believe that the One who gives all good gifts—especially the gift of the Spirit—will give you what you ask for!

"Holy Spirit, fill me with more of your life today."

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, on this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, let us meditate on John the Baptist. Young John, the son of the priest Zechariah, grew up in and around the temple, acquainted with its rituals. And he sensed that the true Messiah was on the horizon. And so he went away from the old temple, but he continued to act as a priest of a new Temple.
John was baptizing people in the Jordan. Why this ritual? Well, in the Jerusalem temple, a pilgrim would cleanse himself in a mikvah, a ritual bath, before he entered to make sacrifice. John was acting as a priest, and the River Jordan was his mikvah. But what—or, better, who—was the new Temple? Jesus, who came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John. The heavens were torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descended on him.
This is temple talk. When the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies, he was entering into the heavenly realm. The Holy of Holies was the place where the "heavens were torn open" and a humble human being could enter. So the point is that Jesus is himself the new Holy of Holies." end quote Bishop Barron.

Isn't it amazing that we are baptized in the waters of salvation brought to us by the baptism of our Lord in Heaven? From water to fire, from body to soul forever, born again in the Holy Spirit.

We are not 'renewed', because what we were before is not what we are after. Or how can you say someone without the Holy Spirit is the same as one that has been anointed with this fire?
Or how can we say it is the same as never being baptized?

These actions are actual transformations. And this is why there is much debate about unbaptized babies and if they go to Heaven. It is not spelled out, and we say like all the rest of the unbaptized souls "it is in God's hands" and we depend on His grace.
Do you know anyone that is not baptized? Pray for them! Help them get baptized! It is the most amazing gift on earth.

There is a big difference, the Holy Spirit works from within when one is baptized. This is also why it is possible to be confirmed and baptized as a baby in a remote village.
And then the Voice from Heaven speaks:
"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Wouldn't it be appropriate to say then, that through our Lord Jesus, our soulmate, our very bodies made one with Him in the Eucharist, to say that these very words from Heaven could apply to me and you baptized souls in Christ Jesus? To hear the words:
"You are my beloved Child; with you I am well pleased."

This then becomes an invitation to live the Love of God in every single way possible. All else is secondary and temporary. I'm noticing as our kids grow up, there's a few that I can count on one hand as to how much longer they will live with us. And so, I'm focusing on how to cope with that, as we are very intimately united, and so, I can think of only one thing: Heaven. Our whole focus as pilgrims on earth should be to attain Heaven, that we should not be separated for no reason. This is what our Lord Jesus came to do, as supreme Lover, in the Father's Spirit, and in the flesh, to show us the way to Himself. And it happens through His Body, His fire, His water of salvation.

Do what He says, and we live in love and forever.

Pray with me:
Thank You Lord for such an amazing gift...a baptism with Thee and for an eternity.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 84:11

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

the LORD bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does he withhold

from those who walk uprightly.


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God Bless You! Peace

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