DAY 49 - MARY, QUEEN OF PEACE, PRAY FOR US
LIVE A SUPERNATURAL LIFE
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
First Sunday After Christmas
THE HOLY FAMILY--FEAST OF ST. JOHN
Genesis, Chapter 15, Verse 6
Abram put his FAITH in the LORD, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness.
Abraham’s act of faith in God’s promises was regarded as an act of righteousness. St. Paul makes Abraham’s faith a model for Christians:
· Abraham’s life was an exercise in acting upon faith unseen. Abraham’s faith was not simply intellectual. It was a response of his whole being and the bedrock of all his major decisions in life.
· Abraham only knew that there was one God who desired him to do right, shun evil, and follow his calling. The works of Abraham were works of faithfulness—living in response to the promises of God not yet realized.
· Abraham teaches us that faith demands a relationship with God in faithfulness. It requires going back to what God commands even after losing one’s way. It requires attentiveness to God’s calling despite not seeing its ultimate benefits, because, as we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, “faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen”
of the Mass.
WHILE all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thy almighty Word, O Lord, leapt down from heaven, from Thy royal throne (Wis. xviii. 14, 15). “The Lord has reigned; He is clothed with beauty; the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself” (Ps. xcii. 1).
eternal God direct our actions so as to be pleasing to Thee, that, in the name
of Thy beloved Son, we may deserve to abound in good works.
Gal. iv. 1-7.
long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be
lord of all: but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father:
so we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the
world. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent His Son, made of a
woman, made under the law, that He might redeem them who were under the law,
that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God hath
sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Therefore,
now he is not a servant, but a son. And if a son, an heir also, through God.
we to understand the words, “God sent His Son, made under the law, that He
might redeem them who were under the law?”
here speaks to such Christians among the Galatians as were formerly Jews, and
who supposed themselves yet bound to keep the observances of the Law of Moses;
he shows them that by His death on the cross He dispensed with the Law, abolished
its types and ceremonies, and redeemed the Jews from the curse and bondage to
which it subjected them, delivering them thereby from sin and eternal death. We
have received still greater favors than the Jews, because in our ancestors we were
converted from Paganism to Christianity, and from children of the devil were
made by faith heirs of God. Let us show how we value such blessings by living
as children of God, in faith, love, confidence, patience, and innocence,
shunning sin as the only real evil; unless we would forfeit our name and privileges
as Christians, and voluntarily become a second time the slaves of the devil.
Mary and Joseph wonder at these things?
They were filled with joyous wonder
that Simeon was enabled by divine inspiration to recognize the child Jesus as the
promised Messiah, and to say such great things of Him.
it mean to bless?
To give or wish something good to anyone;
in the first of these senses God alone blesses, because all goods of soul or
body which we have, or wish to have, come from Him; in the second sense, angels
and men may bless us, in wishing us whatever is good, and in praying for it to
examples of blessing in Scripture?
Yes, an angel blessed Jacob (Gen. xxxii. 29); Jacob, when dying, blessed his children and grandchildren (Gen. xlviii. 15); Melchisedech blessed Abraham (Gen. xiv. 19); Rebecca was blessed by her brother (Gen. xxiv. 60); and the priests blessed the people. Our Savior also blessed His disciples with up lifted hands.
good for parents to bless their children?
Yes, for God fulfils blessings of good parents, as He did those, for example, of the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob. “The father’s blessing establisheth the houses of the children, but the mother s curse rooteth up the foundations”; (Eccles. iii. 11).
virtue is there in the priest’s blessing?
Very great virtue: because it is given
in the name of the Church, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and comes from God
Himself, whose ministers and stewards the priests are. Parents should see that
their children are blessed by the priests who may come to visit them, as the
children were brought to Our Savior, that He might lay His hands on them, and
bless them (Matt. xix. 13).
Christ the fall and resurrection of many in Israel?
He is the fall, that is, the
damnation, of those who do not receive Him, though they know Him to be the Savior
of the world; and of those also who believe in Him, and receive His holy teaching,
but do not live according to it. “If Christ had not come and spoken to them,
they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin”; (St. John
xv. 22). He is the resurrection or salvation of those who believe in Him, receive
His doctrine, and live according to it.
the meaning of, “He is a sign which shall be contradicted?”
This was a prophecy that Jesus Christ,
His life, works, teaching, and institutions should be the object of continual
contradiction on the part of sensual and worldly wisdom. It was fulfilled in
the blasphemies and persecutions of the Jews and gentiles, and is confirmed by
infidels of all ages, as well as by those Christians who, as St. Bernard says,
contradict His humility by their pride, His poverty by their avarice, His
fasting by their intemperance, His purity by their impurity, His zeal by their
sloth; thus, confessing Him with their lips, but denying Him by their deeds.
They are not faithful and sincere towards Jesus, and do not love Him, for they
do not obey His holy will; they are Christians only in name, of whom Christ is
not the resurrection, but the fall, for they are yet the slaves of sin.
meant by those words, “thy own soul a sword shall pierce?”
That Mary would have to suffer inexpressible pains and sorrows that would pierce her heart as with a sword.
Time made this plain; for how often was not her beloved Son pursued and persecuted?
Yet the greatest grief she felt must
have been when she saw her Son in His sufferings and death, hanging, like a
malefactor, on the cross.
is to be learned from this gospel?
First, widows may learn from Anna, who
departed not from the temple, how to serve God, by fasting and prayer, “for the
widow that liveth in pleasures is dead while she is living (i. Tim. v. 6).
Secondly, parents may learn to be careful that their children increase not only
in skill and wealth, but rather in the grace of God, by living pious, edifying,
and peaceable lives before God and men.
Today is the
last Sunday in the year. Ponder with care on the truths and doctrines which the
holy Church has laid before thee in the epistles and gospels; thank God with
thy whole heart for the great favors and benefits which thou hast received in
the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ; examine thyself also whether thy
faith is living and efficient, that thou mayest have the hope of being a child
and heir of God; ask thyself whether, during the past year, Christ has been thy
fall or thy resurrection? hast thou confessed Him in heart and deed, or hast
thou been a Christian only in name? With such exercises and examinations occupy
thy mind until the New Year, that thou mayest be prepared to begin it worthily.
Feast of the Holy Family
According to the Mosaic Law, a Hebrew boy was not part of the family until he was circumcised eight days after his birth; only then was he given his name, i.e., his identity as an individual and as a son of Abraham. But there is a deeper reason as well. Paradoxically, it is only after we have contemplated the various revelations of the Light to both Jew and Gentile that we can appreciate the period of Jesus' life that is shrouded in obscurity. It is because we now know who the boy Jesus truly is that we can understand the importance of His family and the excellence of His so-called hidden life. Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, we now recognize Him as the Messiah for whom the Jews yearned; like the Magi, whose gifts bespoke their convictions, we now recognize Him as a King worthy of gold, as God worthy of frankincense, and as the Suffering Servant to be one day buried with myrrh. And like the Blessed Virgin, who -- as we learn from the Gospel on this feast-- kept all these things in her heart, we are now in a position to appreciate the unique role of His Holy Family in the economy of our salvation. The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph holds up the domestic life of Jesus, his mother, and foster father as the perfect model for all Catholic households. As Pope Leo XIII explains, there is a lesson in this family for everyone: for fathers, for mothers, for children; for nobility (the Holy Family was from the royal house of David), for the poor (they gave up their possessions in fleeing to Egypt), and so on. There are no prescribed or uniform customs for the feast, but that does not mean no observances were made. The following is an account from Father Weiser of Holy Family Sundays at our own parish, Holy Trinity German Church, in the 1940s.
The annual Holy Childhood procession, on the feast of the Holy Family, is one of the most attractive ceremonies. In former years this procession was called the "Shepherds' Procession" as the children marched through the church dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses -- a lovely relic of popular medieval piety (Holy Trinity Parish, 1844-1944, p. 37).
This feast is also an ideal time to pray any of the devotions to the Holy Family that are given in the Raccolta, the Church's old official list of indulgences. The fact that many of these prayers are no longer indulgenced does not make them any less meaningful or worthy of use. Let us reflect that the Holy family was holy because of how they interacted with each other and the world.
A good practice during the twelve nights of Christmas would be to turn off the TV and to rest and have joyful prayer with the family. It is good to remember that Christ’s primary teachers in the faith were Joseph and Mary. We also should remember to not rely on schools to bring up our children in devotion to the Lord and that we are the primary teachers of Faith, Hope and Love in our families (Especially in light of COVID 19)
Things to Do
· Let us imitate the Holy Family in our Christian families, and our family will be a stronghold and a prefiguration of the heavenly family. Say a prayer dedicating your family to the Holy Family. Also pray for all families and for our country to uphold the sanctity of the marriage bond which is under attack.
· Read the explanation of Jesus' knowledge in the activities section. Read Pope Pius X's Syllabus of Errors which condemns the modernist assertion that Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.
· Have the whole family participate in cooking dinner. You might try a Lebanese meal. Some suggestions: stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage rolls, lentils and rice, spinach and meat pies, chicken and dumplings, hummus, Lebanese bread, tabbouleh — a Lebanese salad and kibbi, a traditional Lebanese dish of specially ground meat mixed with spices and cracked wheat. This is the same kind of food that Mary served Jesus and St. Joseph. It's healthy and delicious.
Read: Today, we honor the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Take time to read Pope Francis's homily on the Feast of the Holy Family in 2014. The ideas and messages he presented are still relevant today.
Reflect: "Christmas celebrates the fruit of Mary and Joseph's trust in God. The long-awaited Messiah, sent to save us from our sins and win back the eternal blessedness lost by Adam's sin, is born. The Son of God is like us in all things but sin. We learn from the Incarnation that our success is in God's hands. Without the Father's love, we would be lost for all eternity. Mary and Joseph sacrificed greatly to make the arduous journey to Bethlehem, to obey God's directive to flee into Egypt, and to go to Nazareth to raise Jesus. Ambiguity, uncertainty, and brokenness touched the Holy Family. Their lives teach us that we cannot understand God's designs. This wonderful lesson urges parents to put their families in God's hands and trust that their efforts will bear fruit. Faithful parents are examples for us, single or married. We, too, are to put ourselves in God's hands. In so doing, God's grace helps us realize better the depths of who we are and what we are called to become."
Pray: Pray for families.
Act: "A few minutes can be found each day to come together before the living God, to tell him our worries, to ask for the needs of our family, to pray for someone experiencing difficulty, to ask for help in showing love, to give thanks for life and for its blessings, and to ask Our Lady to protect us beneath her maternal mantle." —Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, no. 318
At the start of this
New Year, make a commitment to pray together as a family every day.
Feast of St. John, the Apostle
JOHN, the brother of St. James the Greater, was a son of Zebedee, a fisherman of Galilee, and of Salome, a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matt. iv. 21). He was the youngest of the apostles, and, with Peter and James, was the most trusted of the disciples of Jesus, by Whom he was most tenderly loved, on which account he is called the Disciple of Love. Of this Jesus gave the most convincing evidence when, at the Last Supper, He allowed that disciple to lean upon His breast, and when, from the cross, He committed to the care of John His own Mother. After the ascension John preached the Gospel in Palestine; afterwards went to Asia Minor, fixed his residence in Ephesus, and established many churches there. He was, with the other apostles, taken prisoner and scourged by the Jews, and in the year 95, under the Emperor Domitian, before the Latin Gate, at Rome, was thrown into a vessel of boiling oil. Having endured this torture without injury, he was then banished to the island of Patmos, where, by command of the Lord, he wrote the Apocalypse, or Revelation, concerning the fortunes of the Church. On returning from his banishment, he again governed the churches of Asia Minor as chief pastor, as he had done before, and, at the age of nearly one hundred years, died at Ephesus a peaceful arid natural death.
The Introit of the Mass reads: “In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth, and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him with a robe of glory. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy name, O Most High.”
Mercifully illustrate Thy Church, O Lord, that, enlightened by the doctrines of Thy blessed apostle and evangelist St. John, she may arrive at gifts everlasting.
“He that loves wisdom,” saith the Holy Ghost, “will obtain it, for it will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins” (Wis. i. 4). St. John was from his childhood an angel of purity, on which account he was particularly be loved by Jesus, and endowed by the Holy Ghost with such wisdom and knowledge that, as St. Augustine has remarked, he begins his gospel in a manner more lofty and sublime than the other three evangelists. For while they walk with the God-man upon earth, speaking comparatively little of His divinity, St. John, as if despising the world, soars beyond the vault of heaven, above the hosts of angels, and comes to Him by Whom all things are made, saying, “In the beginning was the Word.” At the Last Supper he was permitted to lean on the bosom of Jesus, but what he there drank in secretly he imparted openly. Apply thyself, therefore, to purity of heart, and thou shalt be like St. John, a beloved disciple of Jesus, and shalt be filled with heavenly wisdom.
Feast of St John
The Feast of St. John the Apostle commemorates his life. He was one of Jesus' 12 disciples. He was one of the three disciples, which included Peter and James, who were involved in some of the most important events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, including Jesus' crucifixion and transfiguration.
St John Facts
· John was a fisherman before he began following Christ. He was the brother of St. James the Greater. Jesus gave the brothers the name, sons of thunder. (Mark 3:17)
· When Jesus was dying on the cross, he asked John to take care of his mother (John 19:25-27).
· In the Gospel of John, he frequently refers to the most beloved disciple. Some theologians believe he is referring to himself, while others believe the reference is used for the reader to insert himself into the role.
· Besides Paul, John was the most prolific writer in the New Testament. His body of work includes 'The Revelation of John' and three epistles.
· The Feast Day for St. John the Apostle is held in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations on December 27, the third day of Christmas. In the Orthodox Church, it is called the Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, which is held September 26. This feast shouldn't be confused with the Feast of St. John the Baptist, which is held in both faith traditions on June 24.
St John Top Events and Things to Do
· Read the Gospel of John. It is different than the other three Gospels and was thought to be the last written of the four books in the New Testament.
· Read the Revelation of John, thought to be written by the apostle. The rich symbolism has been thought to foretell the end of the world, but many biblical scholars believe it was written to offer hope to Christians persecuted by Rome.
· St John is the Patron Saint of Turkey. Consider visiting this beautiful country - or take a virtual tour with Google Maps.
· St. John answered the call to be an apostle of Jesus. Have you listened for Jesus's call in your life?
· Pray today to know your own vocation.
Bless your wine for the new year.
Blessing of the Wine
Traditionally wine is blessed on the Feast of St. John. Wine if used in moderation is a good thing. Yet sometimes it may cause an increase in our fears or make us fool hardy when speaking, giving us a false sense of courage. So, blessing our wine is a good idea to dedicate its use for our good and not our detriment.
St. John's Day (December 27)
Saint John was the only Apostle who did not suffer martyrdom, though several attempts were made on his life. One of these involved giving him a glass of wine that had been poisoned. The saint, however, suffered no harm because he blessed it before he drank. It is in honor of this deliverance that the blessing and drinking of wine on St. John's Day was once a popular custom. People had a bottle of wine blessed after the Saint's Mass and then drank it at the family dinner (notice how easily this can still be done). The special blessing for this occasion from the Roman ritual sums up the meaning of this custom:
% Blessing for the 1st Cup
Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God! You willed that Your Son, equal to You in agelessness and substance should descend from heaven and in the fullness of time be born of the most holy Virgin Mary. Thus, He could seek the lost and wayward sheep and carry it on His shoulders to the sheepfold, and could cure the man fallen among robbers of his wounds by pouring in oil and wine. Deign now to bless and sanctify this wine which You produced for man's drink. Whoever drinks of it on this holy feast, grant him life in body and soul. By Your goodness, let it be to him strength to prosper him on the way, that his journey may come to a blessed end. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
% Blessing for the 2nd Cup
O Lord God deign to
bless and consecrate with Thy right hand this cup of wine and of whatever
drink: and grant that through the merits of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist,
all who believe in Thee and who drink from this cup may be blessed and
protected. And as blessed John drank from the cup of poison and remained
completely unharmed, may, through his merits, all who drink from the cup on
this day in honor of blessed John be rescued from every sickness of poison and
from every kind of harm; and, offering themselves up body and soul, may they be
delivered from all fault. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
% Blessing of the 3rd Cup
Bless, O Lord, this creature of drink: that it may be a remedy of salvation for all who consume it: and grant through the invocation of Thy holy name that whoever will have tasted of it may, through Thy giving, experience health of the soul as well as of the body. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
% Blessing of the 4th Cup
Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit descend upon this creature of wine and of whatever drink and remain forever. Amen.
Today, on the day honoring the disciple who lay closest to Christ the High Priest during the first Mass, was the festival for priests.
The wine drunk or blessed on this day is called "St. John's Love" (Johannesminne) or St. John's Wine. When the wine has been blessed by a priest, it becomes a sacramental, and is kept in the house throughout the year as a good thing for a newlywed couple to drink on their return from church, as an aid for travelers before a long trip, and as succor for the dying after they have received the sacraments. In the Catholic Cookbook, William Kaufman includes a recipe for St. John's Wine:
1-quart red wine
3 whole cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes (after which point the alcohol is virtually evaporated). (Serve hot. 8-10 servings).
Three French Hens
Today is traditionally the third day of Christmas and the Three French Hens from the song the 12 days of Christmas represent the three cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Let us talk to the Lord today and ask Him how we are doing in these three virtues and how we may improve in them.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.