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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Genesis, Chapter 21, Verse 14-18
14 Early the next morning Abraham got some bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. Then, placing the child on her back, he sent her away. As she roamed aimlessly in the wilderness of Beer-sheba, 15 the water in the skin was used up. So she put the child down under one of the bushes, 16 and then went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away; for she said to herself, “I cannot watch the child die.” As she sat opposite him, she wept aloud. 17 God heard the boy’s voice, and God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven: “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not fear; God has heard the boy’s voice in this plight of his. 18 Get up, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.”


Hagar was the servant of Sarah. Hagar was also the mother of Abraham’s firstborn illegitimate son Ishmael. The situation here was horrendous, due to Sarah’s practical nature; she gave her slave to Abraham to raise as a son to give his inheritance, too. According to Islamic sources it was Ishmael that Abraham tried to offer as a sacrifice to God at the Dome of the rock in Jerusalem. A war ensued between the mother of Ishmael and the mother of Isaac. Now that Sarah had her own son--Hagar and her son was a threat to Sarah and Sarah wanted her and her son dead. Fear is the root of the evil between Sarah and Hagar. Sarah and Hagar feared the loss of life and property for their son’s; and unfortunately, this in-house squabble continues today with the descendants of Abraham (The Jews and the Arabs). Here we see God sends his angel to pronounce to Hagar, dying of thirst and having to watch her son die of thirst, to not be afraid. Legend has it that the angel produced life giving water for Hagar and Ishmael and the courage to continue. Blood feuds are the worst and are usually caused by fear which leads to puffed up pride and envy. Pride and envy are a slow poison to avoid. Today would be a good day to reflect if we have given in to this type of poison.

Each person “is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life.” We are all called to that great life, to the communion of heaven where “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue[stand] before the throne and before the Lamb. That Lamb, Christ, showed us that the very life of God is love, and love requires something of each of us. We pray that the reader will join us in striving for the end of racism in all its forms, that we may walk together humbly with God and with all of our brothers and sisters in a renewed unity. For there is no place for racism in the hearts of any person; it is a perversion of the Lord’s will for men and women, all of whom were made in God’s image and likeness. We end by adopting the words of St. Paul: Brothers and sisters, “be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. 
Your every act should be done with love”[1]

Advent[2]

It may seem strange that in a calendar with only one annual cycle of readings, two of the Sundays share virtually the same Gospel; and it may seem stranger still that these two Sundays occur consecutively. The Gospel for the Last Sunday of Pentecost, taken from St. Matthew, contains Christ's twofold description of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the world. That same speech reemerges the following week on the First Sunday of Advent, though in the abridged form that appears in the Gospel of Luke. Why this redundancy? The answer to this question teaches us much about the season of Advent. Advent (from the Latin word for "coming") is generally considered to be the sober yet joyful time of preparation for the Lord's nativity, and rightfully so. This is the beginning of the Church year that corresponds to the ages before Christ, when the world pined away in darkness, waiting for the Messiah. It is also why the closer we come to the Feast of the Nativity, the more we are called by the liturgy to reflect on the events that led up to it, e.g., the Annunciation, the Visitation, and so on. And it is why the season of Advent is marked by an ever-greater urgency in its prayers, begging the Lord to come and tarry not. Yet like the closing Sundays after Pentecost, which strike a predominantly apocalyptic note, the season of Advent also goads us to prepare for the glorious Second Coming of the Lord at the end of time. That is why the last and first Sundays of the liturgical year have the same divine admonition: one is picking up where the other left off. This focus remains throughout Advent, despite the season's increased attention on the Christ Child: in fact, during Advent the traditional Roman Rite frequently speaks of both in the same breath. This double commemoration of the first and second Comings makes sense, since the prophets themselves never distinguished between the two. Yet there is a more profound reason behind the conflation. The Church is teaching us that in order to be ready for the Lord's triumphant return as Judge of the living and the dead, we must prepare as our holy fathers once did for His nativity. The lessons we learn from the season of Advent are to be applied throughout our lives in preparation for our soul's Bridegroom. By liturgically preparing for the Nativity of our Lord, soberly and vigilantly, we prepare ourselves for the Final Judgment. Thus, Advent is a season marked by a pious gravitas. Yet it should not be overlooked that it is also a time of restrained joy. The more we are prepared for our Lord's coming, the more we will truly welcome it, moving beyond our well-deserved sense of unworthiness to an exultation in His arrival. In the collect for the Vigil of the Nativity, for example, we read: "Grant that we who now joyfully receive Thine only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, may also, without fear, behold Him coming as our Judge." The goal that the Church holds up for us during this important season is to have our hearts so ready for Christ that they will do nothing but leap for joy when we appear before Him. Let us therefore prepare for our Redeemer and our beloved Judge by heeding St. Paul's advice through Advent, casting off the works of darkness, putting on the armor of light, and draping ourselves in the virtues and graces poured forth upon us by almighty God.


French Toast Day[3]

There’s a blend that just makes our morning fantastic, and it’s a blending of eggs, milk, and cinnamon with bread dipped in. There’s something about the savory sweet smell of it, and the anticipation of having it painted with butter and drizzled with syrup, with a side of breakfast sausage and a tall glass of orange juice that’ll get us out of bed on even the worst of days. French Toast Day is honoring this amazing breakfast delight and encourages you to enjoy it for breakfast with a few friends. The breakfast favorite French toast goes by many names depending on where it’s being served up – eggy bread, German toast, poor knights’ pudding, Bombay toast – but it’s always made of the same key ingredients. Egg, milk – or cream – and bread. This delicious sweet snack is often served with sugar or syrup and fruit and consists of bread slices fried in a mixture of milk and egg. In France, its name is ‘pain perdu’, which literally means ‘lost bread’, because it would often be made with stale or old bread. Although we tend to call it French Bread, the dish isn’t known to have come from France. Some ancient Latin recipes from the 4th century mention soaking bread in milk before frying, and in fourteenth Century Germany the term ‘poor knights’ pudding’ was coined for the sweet treat because it was seen as an affordable meal for those without too much money to spend. Today, it’s eaten across the world as a breakfast meal or a sweet snack. In Italy, there’s a savory version, called ‘mozzarella en carrozza’, which sees the egg-soaked bread sandwiching slices of mozzarella cheese before it is fried. Its name literally means ‘mozzarella in a carriage’. So you can have eggy bread for your main meal, and your pudding!
How to Celebrate French Toast Day
So how can you celebrate French Toast Day? If you’ve got any stale bread in the kitchen, this is a great way to use it up. The recipe tends to call for bread that’s at least a day old because older slices will be able to soak up the tasty egg and milk mixture without falling apart. Then, once you’ve fried it up, you can slather on as much jam, syrup, fruit or honey as you like. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, why not pop a swirl of cream on top?
49 Godly Character Traits[4]

As we near the Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:

Alertness vs Unawareness

Being aware of that which is taking place around me, so I can have the right response to it (Mark 14:38)

2742 "Pray constantly…always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father." St. Paul adds, "Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints." For "we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing." This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love.

The Way[5] Heart

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

Go, generously and like a child ask him: 
'What can you mean to give me when. you ask me for "this"?

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood




[4]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/
[5]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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