he went out, not knowing where he was to go

December 31, 2017 6:00 am

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.” (HEB 11: 8)

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance.” So many holy people did the same; Joseph and Our Lady did the same—invited to become parents of Our Lord. They went out during their lives, “not knowing where they were to go.” They put all their trust in God; they let God’s will “dwell in them richly.” 

“Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

They had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord

December 30, 2017 6:00 am

“When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (LK 2: 39-40) 

We speak about the Holy Family: Mary, Joseph and the Son of God: “they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord.” All of them respected “the law of the Lord.” They never discussed it or looked for exceptions. “The law of the Lord,” is given not to limit us but to make us stronger, wiser and closer to God. 

“A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, and adore the Lord. Today a great light has come upon the earth.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

To walk just as he walked

December 29, 2017 6:00 am

“The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments.  Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.” (1 JN 2: 3-6) 

With every daily meditation, we learn about Our Lord: His life, His meetings, His relationships, and His love for us. We not only learn when we meditate, “keeping his words,” but we also consciously and unconsciously absorb how He lived. “Whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him,” and sooner or later, we will “walk just as he walked;” hopefully sooner than later. 🙂

“A light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity

December 28, 2017 6:00 am

“When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.” (MT 2: 16) 

On one side we see no respect for human life, cruelty and obsession with power and on the other side God, Who became human, gentle and merciful and Who died for us and for our salvation. These are the contrasts of Christmas: God, Who is human, the Child Who is Almighty, the Mother who is a virgin and “all the boys” who became martyrs. This is the time when unconditional love appeared herself and showed us that she is stronger than death.

“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white robed army of martyrs praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

for the life was made visible

December 27, 2017 6:00 am

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life — for the life was made visible;” (1 JN 1: 1-2) 

“What we have heard,” “what we have seen” and what we have “touched”—God, the Word of life became visible. We can imagine the joy of Mary and Joseph, the Angels, the shepherds, the Three Wise Men, the Apostles and now—ours. During every Mass or adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we can see “with our eyes” what, “from the beginning,” others “looked upon and touched with their hands.” 

“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

For my sake as a witness

December 26, 2017 6:00 am

“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.” (MT 10: 17-18) 

During Christmas, just after celebrating the joy of His birth, we need to reflect on Our Lord’s warning: “beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts…” The Church doesn’t want us to forget about joy but to reassure us about the importance of His coming. He came because we desperately needed it. Without Him we were in danger. He invited us to be a part of His mission: “as a witness before them and the pagans.” 

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: the LORD is God and has given us light.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

because of his mercy

December 25, 2017 6:00 am

“When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.” (TI 3: 4-7)

Christmas is the time when we start celebrating mercy: “when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done.” We are unconditionally loved, and God became man to save us. From now on Our Lord will perfectly understand us because He is a human also. 

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

You will conceive in your womb and bear a son

December 24, 2017 6:00 am

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (LK 1: 31-33) 

Our Lady accepted the invitation to be the mother of Our Lord, Who is the “Son of the Most High” and Who “will rule over the house of Jacob forever.” One accepted invitation to follow God’s will changed everything forever, “and of his kingdom there will be no end.” We accepted our vocations—to be a spouse, consecrated person, or priest. Different levels are represented, but the same God’s will and the same God’s love; whatever He does is always directed by His unconditional love. 

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

To turn the hearts of the fathers and the children

December 23, 2017 6:00 am

“Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the day of the LORD comes, the great and terrible day, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with doom.” (MAL 3: 23-24)

“Before the day of the Lord comes,” the most important thing to Our Lord is the relationship between fathers and children, especially the union of their hearts. We are called to be united in our relationships within families—as spouses, as parents, as children and as siblings. 

“O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!” (Gospel Acclamation) 

The mighty and the lowly

December 22, 2017 6:00 am

“He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.” (LK 2: 50-52)

Our Lord has a special penchant for the lowly and “those who fear him in every generation.” He takes care of those who trust in Him not those who are “scattered in their conceit.” He protects all who are weak, in trouble or lost. 

“O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!” (Gospel Acclamation) 

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