Saturday, December 23, 2023

 



Ember Saturday

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 65-75

65 Then FEAR came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.69 He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, 70 even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old:71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant 73 and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that,74 rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 

In today’s secular America we also need to have freedom, so we may worship Him without fear.

Ember Saturday[1]"Holy impatience" over the coming of the Lord, both in the manger and in glory at the end of time.

Psalm 147:12, 16-17 "Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion. Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes. He sendeth his crystal-like morsels: who shall stand before the face of his cold?"

Advent Calendar

Read: Have you blessed your Christmas tree yet? Prepare to do so before Advent is over.

Reflect: "To be fully a disciple of Jesus means not only accepting and believing his message, but also taking up and participating in the mission of encountering and inviting others to join our pilgrim journey to his heavenly kingdom."

Pray: Add this "O Antiphon" to your daily or meal-time prayer today: "O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!" (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, 77)

·         Decide which Mass you will attend at midnight, dawn, or day.

The Three Feasts of the Nativity[2]

When we celebrate Christmas, we are commemorating the three nativities of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the reason for the three Masses celebrated. The first is the eternal begetting of God the Son from all eternity within the mystery of the Blessed Trinity by the Father, “You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.”

·         This FIRST NATIVITY was before the seven days of Creation, when everything was darkness. This is why the first Mass is at midnight to recall the darkness that prevailed during that first eternal birth of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

o   The first nativity reminds us of the Spirit of poverty, the Spirit that tells us that all the things God created is His, to be used for His glory and not for man’s enjoyment. Even man was to use himself for the glory of God. This represents the six days of creation. If Adam, being the head of creation, had observed the spirit of poverty and used all of creation for the glory of God, then he would have entered into the Sabbath, God’s rest… i.e. eternal happiness. But Adam messed up everything. And the consequence: the whole of mankind could not enter God’s rest. 


·         The SECOND NATIVITY, or birth, of the Second Person of the Trinity is commemorated on Christmas day when He became man, born of the Virgin Mary, in Bethlehem. For the world, the darkness was beginning to be dispelled. This is why the second Mass is celebrated at dawn when the dawn is beginning to dispel the darkness.

o   The second nativity reminds us of the Spirit of chastity. That Spirit reminds us to give up all physical comforts, pleasure and conveniences. And Christ in the manger is a clear example of this. It is a continuous reminder that true happiness can only be found in God and that we are on earth to seek God. All the rest will come with that find. True rest can only be found in God. 


·         The THIRD NATIVITY of Christ is when He is born in our souls, through His in-dwelling, when man, through grace, becomes enlightened. Thus, the third Mass is celebrated during the day when the sun is bright. For man is truly enlightened when he has Christ in his soul.

o   The third nativity reminds us of the Spirit of obedience. It is only when we can say, “Not my will but Your will be done,” can Christ be born in our souls. The apostolic commission at the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel reiterates this, reminding us of the role of the Church and the men of the Church: “… teach all My commands and how to observe them.”


Christmas reminds us of one lesson. Christ was born to die. For us the message is clear. We are born to die to oneself. And to die to oneself means reaching a point in our lives when we no longer do our own will but the will of the Father in heaven. This is to lose one’s life in order to find it. If we have learned the lessons of the first nativity, if we have learned the lesson of the second nativity, our reward is the third nativity, when Christ is born in our souls…. indeed, our eternal Christmas. This is truly a Merry Christmas.

Excerpted from Fr. Odon de Castro, Bo. San Isidro, Magalang, Pampanga, Philippines

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

                        CHAPTER ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

Article 6-MORAL CONSCIENCE

1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment.... For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.... His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Increase in the Religious and Consecrated Life.

·         Jesse Tree ornament: Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 Symbols: crown, scepter

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Round Steak and Mushrooms

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Christmas Novena

·         Festivus

·         Rosary




[2]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-12-15









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Friday, June 7, 2024

Monday, June 3, 2024

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Monday, October 3, 2022

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Friday, May 31, 2024

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Thursday, May 27, 2021