This week in the life – Advent Week 2
On Monday December 6, 2021
Advent Day purple / white
[Saint Nicholas, Bishop]
Is 35: 1-10 / Luke 5: 17-26 (181)
We begin his week’s Advent meditations on the feast day of Jolly ol ‘St. Nicholas. Over the years he has grown from a holy bishop helping poor children to a legendary craftsman of mind-blowing miracles such as the resurrection of slain carved children into an entire people once again with all their members reattached. It is not that far-fetched that it can actually perform miracles. Our Lord healed a crippled man in today’s gospel. But more importantly, he healed his soul by forgiving his sins. Saint Nick heals souls by bringing them the joy of Christ in their hearts.
Most people today associate him with the mythical figure of Santa Claus who lives at the North Pole and flies around the world on Christmas Eve with a sleigh filled with toys made by his army of skilled elves. In the Catholic world, not only is he a saint, but he is the model for some who feel that aggressive force is needed against heretics. But if there is one thing that you take away from this short meditation, it is that St. Nick was a real person and has a truth which is stranger than fiction. And this life is worth knowing.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the White Church
Is 40: 1-11 / Mt 18: 12-14 (182)
December 7 1965 – Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I simultaneously revoked the mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054. The Catholic Church made peace with the Orthodox Church after about a millennium. This is something that Jesus had wanted them to do since 1054. He wants to unite the church as one. Just as he wants to reunite the lost sheep that has strayed from the flock.
Sometimes it seems that some of the sheep in our lives have left the flock for what they thought was greener pastures and might never return to the safety of the Shepherd. But, maybe one day these lost sheep will return in a spirit of mutual love, forgiveness, reconciliation, acceptance and understanding. And maybe someday the separated brethren of those churches that’s separated from the Catholic Church will reunite with her and we’ll be one body in Christ again.
Today is also the anniversary of the Japanese attack on America at Pearl Harbor. He launched our nation into one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Today our two nations are at peace. God speaks tenderly to his children and wants to restore peace and end the war. The fact that two warring nations can move from hatred to peaceful coexistence is only a sign of what God will someday do for all mankind.
Wednesday 8 December , 2021
THE IMMACULATE DESIGN OF THE
HOLY VIRGIN MARY
(Patron Day of the United States of America)
Solemnity [Holyday of Obligation]
Gen 3: 9-15, 20 / Eph 1: 3-6, 11-12 / Luke 1: 26-38 (689)
Mary was created in the usual way. She was conceived when Saint-Joachim’s sperm hit his wife, Sainte-Anne, resulting in Marie’s existence. But God did something different with Mary than he had done since Adam and Eve. He did something he wouldn’t repeat afterwards. He silently and miraculously stopped the transmission of original sin in Mary. The stain of separation from God did not touch her. God the Father has granted his favor to his beloved child so that he can prepare a suitable place for his only child, God the Son, so that she can be his mother. God the Holy Spirit enveloped Mary in an act of appearance that had not been seen since the creation of the universe. When Mary the mother was conceiving, she renounced the usual act of physically legitimate pleasurable self-giving. She would conceive of Jesus not in a miraculous spiritual way, but in a miraculous physical way.
Reflect on the Immaculate Exemption | Mark Wilson (patheos.com)
Thursday December 9 , 2021
Advent Day purple / white
[Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin]
Is 41: 13-20 / Mt 11: 11-15 (184)
Saint Juan Diego is originally from Mexico and has the honor of being the first indigenous Catholic saint in the Americas. OLOG visited him five times on Tepeyac Hill, then a rural area but now within the borders of Mexico City. It is reported that she told him in her native language Nahuatl (the language of the Aztec empire)…
My son, I love you. I want you to know who I am. I am the Eternal Virgin Mary; mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is everywhere. He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth and I desire a church in this place where your people can experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask for my help in their work and in their troubles will know that their mother is near here. Here I will see their fears and I will console men and they will be at peace.
In order to prove her authenticity as the mother of God, she left her identity card printed on a Tilma in which Saint Juan had used flowers harvested out of season to report to her bishop as proof of the heavenly visit of the Blessed Mother. . This mantle or clock bearing the effigy of OLG can be found today in the Basilica of Guadalupe, located at the foot of Tepeyac. The Basilica of Guadalupe is today one of the main pilgrimage centers for Catholics in the world, receiving 22 million visitors in 2010.
This apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe changed the face of the Church and radically renewed it. Choosing a Native American as God’s messenger meant that all Native Americans were important. There was a new and unheard of dignity for the natives and the poor. Juan Diego was tasked with going to the local bishop to tell him about the importance of indigenous peoples.
Who is Juan Diego? – Houston Catholic Worker
It is important to note that a few years ago human sacrifice, which was part of Aztec culture, had been banned. It is also interesting to note that on that day in 1979 a group of scientists declared that the deadly disease known as smallpox had been eradicated. MS carries a huge 30 percent chance of death for those who contract it. So far, it is the only infectious disease affecting humans that has been officially eradicated. Thanks to the scientists who made the vaccine that helped save lives. Thank you to the Mother of God who said yes to the living vaccine that was to come into the world to heal us from sin and death. And this same woman helped put an end to the culture of death in the Aztec world. May she do the same in our time.
Friday, December 10, 2021
Advent Day purple / white
[Our Lady of Loreto]
Is 48: 17-19 / Mt 11: 16-19 (185)
The song Mary did you know is a song that I think really meditates on the mystery of Christ and meditates on Mary’s reflections and on the wonder and awe she felt for the role God intended her to have. In this Advent season, we also meditate on Mary in her Immaculate Exemption from the rest of sinful humanity. We can also meditate on his miraculous apparition in Saint Juan Diego on December 9 while Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated on December 12. And Pope Francis gave us a new Marian feast to meditate on on December 10. The feast of Notre-Dame de Lorette.
Tradition has it that a small house in Loreto, Italy originates from Nazareth and is the true home of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Dimensions are very small, one piece measuring 30 x 13 feet. It is composed simply of stones and mortar found in Palestine and chiseled by hand in a style consistent with the time of Jesus. It was believed to be the home of Saints Anne and Joachim, Mary’s parents. The Immaculate Conception took place in this house. It is here that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and with his “Fiat” the Incarnation occurred in this same house. It was also the house that the Holy Family lived in Nazareth after returning from their stay in Egypt. Jesus lived here until the age of 30 and began his public ministry. It is also here that Saint Joseph died.
Since apostolic times, this house was a place of pilgrimage and worship. In 313 AD Constantine built a basilica around the Holy House of Nazareth to protect it. The basilica was destroyed by the Saracens in 1090, but the Holy House has remained intact. Another basilica was built in the 12th century but it was destroyed by the Muslims in 1263 during the Crusades. The Holy House is again unharmed. When Christians were completely driven from the Holy Land in 1291, the Holy House disappeared from Nazareth and suddenly appeared in modern Croatia. It is said that the angels transported him. The house was again moved (by angels) on December 10, 1294 (hence the date of the new optional Memorial), due to the Muslim invasion of Albania. The house first landed in Recanti, Italy, but shortly thereafter moved for the third time to its current location in Loreto, Italy.
Jennifer Gregory Miller The new Advent feast, Notre-Dame de Lorette (Dec 11, 2019)
It is appropriate to celebrate the spiritual miracle of the Blessed Mother at the same time as the physical miracle of her son.
While Mary meditated on these things in her heart, may we meditate on them in ours.
To learn more about the Immaculate Conception, please visit The Immaculate Connections
Saturday December 11 2021
Advent Day purple / white
[Saint Damasus I, Pope]
Sir 48: 1-4, 9-11 / Mt 17: 9a, 10-13 (186)
On this day of 1925 Pope Pius XI presents to the world his papal encyclical Quas primas. The feast of Christ the King was instituted because the good pontiff was very worried because Stalin had risen and seized Russia; the ungodly communists. Of course, Mussolini and the fascists had taken over Italy. Hitler had not quite reached the plenitude of his power at this time. Pope Pius XI saw the problem of this ultimate secular state which sought to drive God out of the public square, making the state supreme. He was calling on people, not just Catholics, around the world to take Jesus Christ as that benchmark and to adhere to him and not to some ungodly principles they developed. And I would say it’s the same game in our culture today. In the sense that it is hostility to faith and hostility to God in the market. We can see the catastrophes that can happen when people’s lives are not referenced to God.
In Matthew’s childhood gospel account we hear that he was born the newborn king of the Jews. He is not only the king of the Jews but the king of the universe. He is also meant to be the king of our hearts and he is made to reign supreme in our lives. And this is how we are connected to Christ the King
Sunday December 12 2021
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT purple or pink
Zep 3: 14-18a / Phil 4: 4-7 / Luke 3: 10-18 (9) Psalm III
Even if this feast day is replaced because it falls on the 2nd Sunday of Advent,
we thought we would honor the day again with a meditative poem on …
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Juan Diego simple convert, Catholic man
I saw someone holier than most of us can
Yes the rose petals slipped from her garment
Just as the bishop looked at him
There he saw a miraculous image
on that poncho where people now pilgrim
December 12, 1531, the day
And all in Mexico stopped to pray
Because there with a native face,
An image of our Mother full of grace
Yes the flower fell on this blessed day
For all of us, thank God for Our Lady of Guadalupe.