Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Mary, Mother of God....Let us begin the Year 2017 with the Love of Mother Mary to be loving all through the Year
[Numb. 6:22-27; Gal. 4:4-7; Lk. 2:16-21]
After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman's house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward and her
two hands were supporting an object. The collapsed house had crashed her back and her head.
With many difficulties, the leader of the rescuer team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman's body. He was hoping that this woman could still be alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away. He and the rest of the team left this house and went to search the next collapsed building.
For some reasons, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruin house of the dead woman. Again, he knelt down and used his hand through the narrow cracks to search the little space under the dead body.
Suddenly, he screamed, "A child! There is a child!"
The whole team worked together, carefully they removed the piles of ruined objects around the dead woman. There was a 3 months old little boy wrapped in a flowery blanket under his mother's dead body. Obviously, the woman had made an ultimate sacrifice to save her son. When her house was falling, she used her body to make a cover to protect her son.
Today we celebrate the sacrifice of a teenager to submit herself to the plan of God to be the mother all human race. Mary is called "Theotokos", or "God-Bearer". The word in Greek "Theotokos" was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church.
Mary submitted completely to God's will. When Mary was only a teen-ager, she was confronted with the challenge to be completely submitted to God's will. When Gabriel gave her the angelic message that she was to carry the Christ, Mary was stunned. Yet her response was "I am the Lord's servant. May it be done to be according to your word." From that moment Mary never wavered from her complete submission to God's will. She was nervous. She was unsure of her own abilities. She was anxious about the prophecy. But Mary was there at the Incarnation, Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of God Incarnate. She was there throughout the "hidden years" in Nazareth. In the life of the Redeemer.
Mary was like any parent here. She wanted only the best for her child. So she fled with her son to Egypt. She came back and lived silently in Nazareth. She worked with Joseph to provide the best for her son. Through out her life she was fully aware that life happens, and not all of life is pleasant. She was fully aware of her limitations. But she never allowed any of the personal things to be a hindrance to provide the best for her son and to be with him at every crucial point of his life.
Dr. Benjamin Carson, renowned surgeon at Johns Hopkins, tells a moving story about his mother. Mrs. Carson insisted that Ben and his brother Curtis write a book report every couple of weeks. This wasn't for school - this was for their mom. Ben and Curtis dutifully obeyed.
About the time he was in junior high, Ben finally realized something quite shocking. His mom couldn't read. For years Ben had read books and scratched out reports, assuming that his mom was checking every word. But she didn't have a clue what he was saying.
Ben grew up to be a world-famous surgeon and was the author of several books. Though she was illiterate she gave her boys what she had - interest, accountability, and the courage to work hard.
As a mother called by God she never relinquished the title. She stood by him till the foot of the cross. The truth of Simeon's prophecy at the birth of Jesus came true. The cross cut deeply into Mary's heart. She crumpled at the cross. She fell down to the depths there, moaning and wailing and begging the God of heaven to protect her son.
You'll find mothers like that in the halls of children's hospitals, in funeral homes and in the counselors' offices. Mothers never relinquish the title, even if the child is disabled, rebellious, harsh, or cruel. Her heart just will not allow it. Not when she is called by God. We should recognize and honour all our mothers for the sacrifice they make in their life.
Today it is January 1st. Another day and another year has begun. With all the news in the media during the past year on riots, wars and natural disasters, many must have thought that they would never see the arrival of this year. But the dawn of the New Year offers us Hope in the darkness of the chaos in the world. God promises a future filled with hope. The life and example of Mary should inspire us to keep our hopes alive and live optimistically.
"May God fill you with joy and peace in this new year.
After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you for Herod will soon be looking for the child in order to kill him.”
Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. In this way, what the Lord had said through the prophet was fulfilled: I called my son out of Egypt.
When Herod found out that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years old or under. This was done in line with what he had learned from the wise men about the time when the star appeared.
In this, what the prophet Jeremiah had said was fulfilled: A cry is heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation: Rachel weeps for her children. She refuses to be comforted, for they are no more.
The Church celebrates the memory of the young male children in Bethlehem and its neighborhood aged two or under whom Herod ordered killed in his attempt to kill the young child whom the wise men from the east had come to recognize and adore. The Church celebrates them as among the very first martyrs for the Lord.
They have been followed by a great host of martyrs for their Christian faith and love of Christ and defense of Christian values, many formally canonized as saints and blessed. Surely many more, though not declared as saints or blessed, have given their lives in defense of the faith and of Christian values.
The two Filipinos canonized as saints, Sts. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila (d 1630) and Pedro Calungsod (1654 – 1672) were martyrs for the faith, one martyred in Japan and the other in Guam.
As Jesus said at the Beatitudes, “Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. This is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.” (Mt 5: 11 -12)
We pray the Opening Prayer at Mass for the Feast of the Holy Innocents, “O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in you which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of life.”
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
I found this article in national catholic Register
(1) “We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another,” said St. Teresa of Calcutta.
Mother Teresa, the beloved icon of charity, understood that Christmas is a time to relish in the beauty of love – not just the endless clamor of “stuff.” It is also a time to focus on intimate matters of the heart and do some deep “soul-searching.” The Advent and Christmas seasons are times when God shines tremendous rays of mercy and grace upon His people, and we don't want to miss out!
2) “Christ is born, so that by His birth He might restore your nature,” St. Peter Chrysologus said. Most of us are painfully aware of our limitations and weaknesses on a daily basis. At Christmas-time, we can be filled with hope of the restoration promised to us by Christ. What a joy!
(3) “During the whole Christmas period our eyes will rejoice at the mystery of the Holy Family, just as children rejoice when they look at the crib, recognizing in it a kind of prototype of their own family, the family within which they came into the world,” Pope St. John Paul II said. This insightful quote, so telling of this great Pope's wise and meditative nature, reminds us to be in wonder at Christmas. Yes, Christmas-time is meant to call us to be an awe-struck people, fascinated by the charm of Emmanuel – the God who became one entirely with the “dust of the earth,” with the people He bought by shedding His own blood. What a gorgeous challenge to tackle...why wait until next year to take it on?
(4) "All days from the treasure of this bright day gain blessings... Great is this day above all days, for in it came forth mercy for sinners. A medicine chest is Your great day, because on it shone for the Medicine of life to the wounded. A treasure of helpful graces is this day, because on it, Light gleamed forth on our blindness," St. Ephraem the Syrian said. Thinking of Christmas as a balm for one's wounds is beautiful! Christmas can bring healing to the lost sinner, the sad and lonely one, or the broken heart in ways that no other feast can. This Christmas, let us bring Him our sorrows and our hurts.
5) "For me, Christmas has always been about this: Contemplating the visit of God to His people,” Pope Francis said. Christmas just has a way of calling us to a more authentic spiritual life – at least for time. Even inactive Catholics who do not normally go to Mass feel an urge to spend Christmas with the Christ Child in the Eucharist, and make it to a Christmas service somehow. It truly is the “night of miracles,” a feast that calls upon us to see the living mercy of God-made-man, so radiant, so impossible to miss.
(6) “In this night of reconciliation, let none be angry or gloomy. In this night that stills everything, let nothing threaten or disturb. This night belongs to the sweet One; let nothing bitter or harsh be in it. In this night that belongs to the meek One, let there be nothing high or haughty. In this day of pardoning, let us not exact punishments for trespasses. In this day of gladness, let us not spread sadness,” St. Ephraem the Syrian said. As we celebrate the full Octave of the Feast of Christmas, we have plenty of time to examine our consciences. Is there anyone who needs our forgiveness? Are there any grudges we have been nursing, or any revenge we have been seeking? Christmas is the feast of forgiveness because it is the celebration of the birth of the king of all mercy, who lives and reigns forever!
Sunday, December 25, 2016
of his home. The man had compassion on the bird, and he went outside, hoping to bring it in.
the wondrous gift is given;
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven!
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still
the dear Christ enters in.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Five days to Christmas......the Christmas spirit is in the Air.....Angels and Carollers announcing sweetly
From the 1st Reading: Is 7: 13 - 14