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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Nov 25 2009, 12:12


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 20 November 2009
Friday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Edmund the Martyr (841-870)

Saint Augustine : "All the people were hanging on his words"


2nd book of Maccabees 4:36-37.52-59.

Then Judas and his brothers said, "Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it." So the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion. Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight, they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar of holocausts that they had made. On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests' chambers and furnished them with doors. There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed. Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.

1 Chron. 29:10.11-12.

Then David blessed the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, praying in these words: "Blessed may you be, O LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity.
"Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory. For all in heaven and on earth is yours; yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all.
"Riches and honor are from you, and you have dominion over all. In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19:45-48.

Then Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.'" And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon on Psalm 131[130], § 3

"All the people were hanging on his words"


We pray in God's temple when we pray in the peace of the Church, in the unity of Christ's body, because the Body of Christ is made up of the great mass of believers scattered throughout the world... It is in this temple, and not in the material Temple at Jerusalem, that we must pray «in spirit and truth» (Jn 4,23) if we are to be answered. The latter was «a shadow of things to come» (Col 2,17), which is why it fell to ruin... The temple that fell could not be the house of prayer of which it was said that: «My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples» (Mc 11,17; Is 56,7; Jer 7,11).

Was it indeed the case that those who wanted to make of it «a den of thieves» were the cause of its fall? In the same way, neither do those leading a disordered life in the Church and seeking, so far as they might, to make the house of God a den of thieves, neither do those overthrow this temple. The time will come when they will be cast out beneath the blows of their sins. This gathering of the faithful, the temple of God and Body of Christ, has but one voice and sings as one person... If we want, this voice is ours; if we want, when we hear them singing we, too, will sing in our hearts.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Nov 25 2009, 12:12


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 21 November 2009
Saturday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint Pacian of Barcelona : "He is not God of the dead, but of the living"


2nd book of Maccabees 6:1-13.


As King Antiochus was traversing the inland provinces, he heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais, famous for its wealth in silver and gold, and that its temple was very rich, containing gold helmets, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander, son of Philip, king of Macedon, the first king of the Greeks. He went therefore and tried to capture and pillage the city. But he could not do so, because his plan became known to the people of the city who rose up in battle against him. So he retreated and in great dismay withdrew from there to return to Babylon. While he was in Persia, a messenger brought him news that the armies sent into the land of Judah had been put to flight; that Lysias had gone at first with a strong army and been driven back by the Israelites; that they had grown strong by reason of the arms, men, and abundant possessions taken from the armies they had destroyed; that they had pulled down the Abomination which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded with high walls both the sanctuary, as it had been before, and his city of Beth-zur. When the king heard this news, he was struck with fear and very much shaken. Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed. There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow, for he knew he was going to die. So he called in all his Friends and said to them: "Sleep has departed from my eyes, for my heart is sinking with anxiety. I said to myself: 'Into what tribulation have I come, and in what floods of sorrow am I now! Yet I was kindly and beloved in my rule.' But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem, when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver that were in it, and for no cause gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed. I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me; and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land."

Psalms 9(9A):2-3.4.6.16.19.

I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will delight and rejoice in you; I will sing hymns to your name, Most High.
For my enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you.
You rebuked the nations, you destroyed the wicked; their name you blotted out for all time
The nations fall into the pit they dig; in the snare they hide, their own foot is caught.
The needy will never be forgotten, nor will the hope of the afflicted ever fade.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 20:27-40.

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to him, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, 'If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.' Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her." Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called 'Lord' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." Some of the scribes said in reply, "Teacher, you have answered well." And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Pacian of Barcelona (?-c.390), Bishop
Homily on baptism, 6 -7 ; PL 13, 1093

"He is not God of the dead, but of the living"


« Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the earthly one. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man from heaven. » If we thus act, beloved, then we shall nevermore die in time to come. Even though our bodies may decay, we shall be living in Christ as he himself affirmed: «Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.» We are assured, on the witness of our Lord himself, that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the saints are alive. For it was concerning them that our Lord said: «All are alive for him, for he is not God of the dead but of the living.» And the apostle Paul said, speaking of himself: «For me, life is Christ, death gain. I long to depart and be with Christ.» And again: «So long as we are in the body, we are away from the Lord. For indeed, we walk by faith, not by sight.» This is what we believe, my dearest brethren. Besides: «If we have placed our hope in this world only, we are the most pitiable people of all.»


Life in this world, as you yourselves can see, is just the same for animals, wild beasts, birds, and ourselves, and it can even be longer for them. But what is proper to humans is what Christ gives us through his Spirit, provided we sin no more: life without end...: «The wages of sin is death; the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.»

(Biblical references: 1Co 15,49.47; Jn 11,25; Phil 1,21.23; 2Cor 5,6-7; 1Cor 15,19; Rm 6,23)
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Nov 25 2009, 12:13


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 22 November 2009
Our Lord Jesus Christ the King - Solemnity

Today the Church celebrates : St. Cecilia

Origen : «Your kingdom come» (Mt 6,10)


Book of Daniel 7:13-14.


As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Psalms 93(92):1-2.5.

The LORD is king, robed with majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with might. The world will surely stand in place, never to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old; you are from everlasting, LORD.
Your decrees are firmly established; holiness belongs to your house, LORD, for all the length of days.


Book of Revelation 1:5-8.

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever (and ever). Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 18:33-37.

So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
On Prayer, 25 ; GCS 3, 356

«Your kingdom come» (Mt 6,10)



The kingdom of sin cannot coexist with the kingdom of God. If, therefore, we wish to be ruled by God, let not sin rule in any way in our bodies; and let us not obey its commands, when it summons our soul to the works of the flesh and to what is alien to God. Rather, let us put to death the members that are on earth; and let us bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, so that the Lord may, as it were, walk about in us as in a spiritual garden, ruling alone over us with His Christ sitting in us at the right hand of the spiritual power we pray to obtain and seated until all His enemies in us become the stool of His feet and every rule and authority and power is destroyed from us.
For it is possible that this will come to pass for each one of us and that the last enemy, death, will be destroyed, so that also in our case Christ will say, "O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory?". Now, then, let our "corruptible" put on holiness in purity and all spotlessness, and let it put on "incorruption." And let "this mortal," when death has been destroyed, clothe itself with the Father's immortality, so that we who are ruled by God may now be partakers of the good things of regeneration and resurrection.
(Biblical references: Rom 6,12; Col 3,5; Gn 3,8; Mt 26,64; Ps 110,1; 1Cor 15,24.55.26.53-54)
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Nov 25 2009, 12:13


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 23 November 2009
Monday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Clement I, Pope and martyr, St. Columban, abbot (+615)

Blessed Charles de Foucauld : "Those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she... has offered her whole livelihood."


Book of Daniel 1:1-6.8-20.


In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and laid siege to Jerusalem. The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and some of the vessels of the temple of God, which he carried off to the land of Shinar, and placed in the temple treasury of his god. The king told Ashpenaz, his chief chamberlain, to bring in some of the Israelites of royal blood and of the nobility, young men without any defect, handsome, intelligent and wise, quick to learn, and prudent in judgment, such as could take their place in the king's palace; they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans; after three years' training they were to enter the king's service. The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine from the royal table. Among these were men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king's food or wine; so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement. Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain, he nevertheless said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king; it is he who allotted your food and drink. If he sees that you look wretched by comparison with the other young men of your age, you will endanger my life with the king." Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see." He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days; after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table. So the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables. To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams. At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation, the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar. When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king's service. In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom.

Dn 3:52.53.54.55.56.

"Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.
Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:1-4.

When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), hermit and missionary in the Sahara
Meditations on the Gospel, 263

"Those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she... has offered her whole livelihood."


Don't let us despise the poor and little ones...; not only are they our brothers in God but they are the ones who most perfectly imitate Jesus in his outward life. They perfectly symbolize Jesus as workman at Nazareth. These are the firstborn among God's elect and the first to be summoned to the Savior's crib. They were Jesus' constant companions from birth to death; both Mary and Joseph and the apostles belonged to them... Far from despising them, let us honor them, honoring in them the images of Jesus and his holy parents. Instead of spurning them, let us admire them... Let us imitate them and, seeing that theirs is the better state, the one chosen by Jesus for himself and those who belong to him, the one he called first around his crib, the one he showed forth in deed and word..., let us embrace it... Let us become poor workmen like him, like Mary, Joseph, the apostles, the shepherds and, if we should ever be called to the apostolate, let us remain in that life as poor as he himself remained, as poor as a saint Paul did, his «faithful imitator» (cf. 1Cor 11,1).

Let us never stop being poor in everything, brothers to the poor, friends of the poor; let us be the poorest of the poor as Jesus was and, like him, let us love the poor and keep them around us.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Nov 25 2009, 12:14


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : Ss Andrew Dung-Lac, priest, and his companions, martyrs (1745-1862)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria : «When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand » (Lk 21,28)


Book of Daniel 2:31-45.


"In your vision, O king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance as it stood before you. The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron, its feet partly iron and partly tile. While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces. The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. "This was the dream; the interpretation we shall also give in the king's presence. You, O king, are the king of kings; to you the God of heaven has given dominion and strength, power and glory; men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell, he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all; you are the head of gold. Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else. The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile, and the toes partly iron and partly tile, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. The iron mixed with clay tile means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage, but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever. That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain without a hand being put to it, which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold. The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure."

Dn 3:57.58.59.60.61.

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
You heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:5-11.

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he said, All that you see here--the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down. Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church
On Isaiah, III, 1

«When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand » (Lk 21,28)



«You have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the castle of the insolent is a city no more, nor ever to be rebuilt. Therefore a strong people will honor you» (Is 25,2-3). It pertains to Almighty God's «faithful plan» (v.1) and blameless counsels that the «fortified cities» should be overthrown and «reduced to a heap of rubble», that they should be shaken «to their foundations» and without hope of being able to rise again. «It shall never be rebuilt,» the text says. In our opinion these overturned cities are not those we can perceive by our senses nor are they the people living in them. But, it seems to us, it is rather a question of each evil, hostile power and, above all, of Satan, here called a city and a «strong city»...

When Emmanuel appeared and shone upon the world, the impious troop of enemy powers was brought to ruin and Satan was overthrown «to his foundations». He has fallen and is weakened for evermore and can no longer expect to stand again nor raise up his head.

Hence the «poor and the city of the needy in distress will bless you» (LXX). Israel has been summoned to knowledge of God through the instructions of the Law; it has been filled by God with all good things. Yes, it has been saved and has acquired the land of promise as an inheritance. But the great multitude of other nations under heaven were deprived of these spiritual goods... When Christ appeared in person and, driving out the devil's tyranny, led them to his God and Father, then they were enriched by the light of truth, by participation in the divine glory and by the nobility of an evangelical life. That is why they broke forth into hymns of thanksgiving to God our Father: «Yes, Lord, you have fulfilled your wonderful plans of old» (v.1) by recapitulating all things in Christ. You have «shone on those who sat in darkness» (Lk 1,79) by overturning the powers ruling the world (Eph 6,12) as one overturns the fortified cities. «Therefore a poor people will bless you, all the cities will honor you.»
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Nov 25 2009, 12:14


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Gregory the Great : "By your perseverance you will secure your lives"


Book of Daniel 5:1-6.13-14.16-17.23-28.


King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords, with whom he drank. Under the influence of the wine, he ordered the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, to be brought in so that the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers might drink from them. When the gold and silver vessels taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in, and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers were drinking wine from them, they praised their gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace. When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked. Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king. The king asked him, "Are you the Daniel, the Jewish exile, whom my father, the king, brought from Judah? I have heard that the spirit of God is in you, that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom. But I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve difficulties; if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be clothed in purple, wear a gold collar about your neck, and be third in the government of the kingdom." Daniel answered the king: "You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else; but the writing I will read for you, O king, and tell you what it means. you have rebelled against the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels of his temple brought before you, so that you and your nobles, your wives and your entertainers, might drink wine from them; and you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify. By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down. "This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, TEKEL, and PERES. These words mean: MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it; TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

Dn 3:62.63.64.65.66.67.

Sun and moon, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you winds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
[Cold and chill, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:12-19.

Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
A commentary on the book of Job, 10, 47-48 ; PL 75, 946 (trans. breviary)

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives"



«He who is mocked by his neighbour, as I am, will call upon God and he will answer him» (Jb 12,4 Vg)... But sometimes the soul perseveres in good works with a constant heart, and yet is pushed hard by the scoffing of men; it does admirable deeds, and gets only abuse; and he who might have been encouraged to come out of himself by commendation, is repulsed by insults and returns back again into himself. He establishes himself the more firmly in God, as he finds no place else where he may rest in peace: for all his hope is fixed in his creator. Amidst ridicule and abuse, he implores only the interior witness. His soul in distress becomes God's neighbor, in proportion as he is a stranger to the favor of man's esteem. So he pours himself out in prayer and, hard-pressed from without, is refined with a more perfect purity to enter more deeply into all that is interior. Therefore, it is well said at this time, «He who is mocked by his neighbor as I am, will call upon God and he will answer him...» And while the soul of the good strengthens itself, with compunction, in prayer, it is united within itself in the hearing of the most High, in the very act that severs it from the approval of men outside itself...

«For the upright man's simplicity is laughed to scorn» (Jb 12,4) It is the wisdom of this world to conceal one's feelings with pretence, to veil the sense with words; to show things that are false as true, and to make out as fallacious what is true. But on the other hand it is the wisdom of the righteous, to pretend nothing in show, to discover the meaning by words; to love the truth as it is, to avoid falsehood; to set forth good deeds freely, to bear evil more gladly than to do it; to seek no revenge of a wrong, to count ill repute as a gain for the truth's sake. But this simplicity of the righteous is laughed to scorn, because the goodness of purity is taken for folly by the wise men of this world. For doubtless everything that is done from innocence is counted foolish by them, and whatever truth sanctions in practice sounds weak to carnal wisdom.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:35


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Thursday, 26 November 2009
Thursday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

In the USA : Thanksgiving Day
Today the Church celebrates : St. Peter of Alexandria, Bishop & Martyr (+ 311)

Saint John Chrysostom : « Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.» (Mt 24,30)


Book of Daniel 6:12-28.


So these men rushed in and found Daniel praying and pleading before his God. Then they went to remind the king about the prohibition: "Did you not decree, O king, that no one is to address a petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions?" The king answered them, "The decree is absolute, irrevocable under the Mede and Persian law." To this they replied, "Daniel, the Jewish exile, has paid no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you issued; three times a day he offers his prayer." The king was deeply grieved at this news and he made up his mind to save Daniel; he worked till sunset to rescue him. But these men insisted. "Keep in mind, O king," they said, "that under the Mede and Persian law every royal prohibition or decree is irrevocable." So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions' den. To Daniel he said, "May your God, whom you serve so constantly, save you." To forestall any tampering, the king sealed with his own ring and the rings of the lords the stone that had been brought to block the opening of the den. Then the king returned to his palace for the night; he refused to eat and he dismissed the entertainers. Since sleep was impossible for him, the king rose very early the next morning and hastened to the lions' den. As he drew near, he cried out to Daniel sorrowfully, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, has the God whom you serve so constantly been able to save you from the lions?" Daniel answered the king: "O king, live forever! My God has sent his angel and closed the lions' mouths so that they have not hurt me. For I have been found innocent before him; neither to you have I done any harm, O king!" This gave the king great joy. At his order Daniel was removed from the den, unhurt because he trusted in his God. The king then ordered the men who had accused Daniel, along with their children and their wives, to be cast into the lions' den. Before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. Then King Darius wrote to the nations and peoples of every language, wherever they dwell on the earth: "All peace to you! I decree that throughout my royal domain the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared: "For he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be without end. He is a deliverer and savior, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, and he delivered Daniel from the lions' power."

Dn 3:68.69.70.71.72.73.74.

Dew and rain, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Nights and days, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Let the earth bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:20-28.

When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homily on the cross and the thief

« Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.» (Mt 24,30)


Would you like to learn that the cross can be a sign of the Kingdom? This is the sign with which the Lord is to come at his second, glorious coming! That you might learn just how worthy of veneration the cross is, he has made it his title of glory...

As we know, his first coming was effected secretly and that discretion was justified for he came to seek out what was dead. But this second coming is not to happen like that... He will appear suddenly to all and no one will need to ask if Christ is here or there (Mt 24,26)...; we shall not need to find out whether Christ is indeed present. What we shall need to find out is whether he comes with his cross.

When the Son of Man comes «the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light» (Mt 24,29). The splendor of his light will be so great that the most brilliant of the stars must dim before it. «Then the stars will fall from the sky... and the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.» Do you see the power of this sign of the cross? «The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light» but the cross will shine, clearly visible, so that you might know that its splendor is greater than that of the sun and the moon. Just as soldiers heave the royal standards to their shoulders at the king's coming and bear them before him to announce his arrival, so the cohort of angels and archangels at the Lord's descent from heaven, bearing this sign on their shoulders, will warn us of the arrival of that king who is Christ.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:35


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 27 November 2009
Friday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Maximinus

Origen : "Summer is now near"


Book of Daniel 7:2-14.

In the vision I saw during the night, suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea, from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others. The first was like a lion, but with eagle's wings. While I watched, the wings were plucked; it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet like a man, and given a human mind. The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side, and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks. It was given the order, "Up, devour much flesh." After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard; on its back were four wings like those of a bird, and it had four heads. To this beast dominion was given. After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast, different from all the others, terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength; it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed, and what was left it trampled with its feet. I was considering the ten horns it had, when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst, and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it. This horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly. As I watched, Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him. The court was convened, and the books were opened. I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up. The other beasts, which also lost their dominion, were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season. As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Dn 3:75.76.77.78.79.80.81.

Mountains and hills, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
You springs, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:29-33.

He taught them a lesson. "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
1st sermon on Psalm 38[39] (SC 411, p. 355)

"Summer is now near"


«Let me know, O Lord, my end and what is the number of my days, that I may learn what it is I lack» (Ps 38[39],5). If you let me know my end, the psalmist says, and if you let me know the number of my days then by that alone I shall know what it is I am lacking. Or, possibly, he may be indicating this by these words: every occupation has an end; for example, the end of a building business is to build a house; the end of a naval yard is to build a ship capable of surmounting the waves of the sea and resisting the winds' assaults; and the end of every occupation is something similar for which the occupation itself seems to have been conceived. In the same way there may also be a certain end to our life and to the world as a whole for which all that happens in our life takes place or for which the world itself was created or subsists. Concerning this end the apostle Paul is also thinking when he says: «Then comes the end when he hands over the Kingdom to God his Father» (1Cor 15,24). Now to this end we must most certainly hasten since it is itself the reward of the work, it is what we were created by God for.

Just as our bodily organism, which in the beginning is small and reduced at its birth, nevertheless grows and reaches towards its full height as it increases in age; and as our soul, too, ... is first of all given a stammering speech that then becomes more clear so as to come finally to a means of expressing itself perfectly and correctly, so too, certainly, all our life begins now as if stammering among people on earth, but it is brought to completion and attains its full capacity in the heavens with God.

For this reason, therefore, the prophet wants to know the end for which he was made so that by looking towards the end, examining his days and considering his perfection he may see what it is he still lacks regarding the end to which he is moving... It is just as if those who went out from Egypt had said: «Let me know, O Lord, my end», a good and holy land, «and the number of my days» to where I am travelling, «so that I may know what I still lack», how much there remains for me to do before I reach that holy land promised to me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:35


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 28 November 2009
Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. James of the Marches

Saint Aphrahat : "Be vigilant at all times and pray"


Book of Daniel 7:15-27.


I, Daniel, found my spirit anguished within its sheath of flesh, and I was terrified by the visions of my mind. I approached one of those present and asked him what all this meant in truth; in answer, he made known to me the meaning of the things: "These four great beasts stand for four kingdoms which shall arise on the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever." But I wished to make certain about the fourth beast, so very terrible and different from the others, devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws, and trampling with its feet what was left; about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up, before which three horns fell; about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly, which appeared greater than its fellows. For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones and was victorious until the Ancient One arrived; judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, and the time came when the holy ones possessed the kingdom. He answered me thus: "The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all the others; It shall devour the whole earth, beat it down, and crush it. The ten horns shall be ten kings rising out of that kingdom; another shall rise up after them, Different from those before him, who shall lay low three kings. He shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High, thinking to change the feast days and the law. They shall be handed over to him for a year, two years, and a half-year. But when the court is convened, and his power is taken away by final and absolute destruction, Then the kingship and dominion and majesty of all the kingdoms under the heavens shall be given to the holy people of the Most High, Whose kingdom shall be everlasting: all dominions shall serve and obey him."

Dn 3:82.83.84.85.86.87.

You sons of men, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
O Israel, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:34-36.

Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Aphrahat (?-c.345), monk and Bishop near Mosul
The Demonstrations, no.4 (©Cistercian publications; SC 349, p. 316)

"Be vigilant at all times and pray"


My beloved, that a person should do the will of God is what constitutes prayer. That is how prayer seems to me to excel. Above all, be eager for prayer and do not weary in it, as it is written that our Lord said: «Pray and do not weary.» You should be eager in wakefulness and remove far from yourself drowsiness and sleep; you should be watchful both by day and by night and not be disheartened.

Now I shall show you the different occasions for prayer. There is petition, thanksgiving, and praise. In petition one asks for mercy for one's sins, in thanksgiving you give thanks to your Father who is in heaven, while in praise you praise him for his works. At a time when you are in trouble, offer up petition, and when you are well supplied with good things, you should give thanks to the Giver, and when your mind rejoices, offer up praise.

Make all these prayers of yours with discernment to God. See how David was always saying: «I have risen to give thanks to you for your judgments, O Just One.» (Ps 119[118],62). And in another psalm he said: «Praise the Lord in heaven, praise him in the heights» (Ps 149[148],1). Again he says: «I will bless the Lord at all times, and at all times his praises are in my mouth» (Ps 34[33],2). Do not pray using only one kind of prayer, but all separately according to circumstance.
I am convinced, my beloved, that everything people ask for with diligence, God will grant them. But he takes no pleasure in the person who offers up prayer in mockery. As it is written: «This is required of the person who prays, offering up prayer: that he turn over and inspect his offering well, lest some blemish be found on it; only then should he offer it» (cf Mt 5,23-24; Mk 11,25), so that your offering does not remain on earth. What is this offering if not prayer?... Of all offerings pure prayer is the best.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:36


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 29 November 2009
First Sunday of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Saturninus, Bishop and Martyr (+ 250)

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec : "Then they will see the Son of Man coming"


Book of Jeremiah 33:14-16.


The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: "The LORD our justice."

Psalms 25(24):4-5.8-9.10.14.

Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD, who shows sinners the way,
Guides the humble rightly, and teaches the humble the way.
All the paths of the LORD are faithful love toward those who honor the covenant demands.
The counsel of the LORD belongs to the faithful; the covenant instructs them.


First Letter to the Thessalonians 3:12-13.4:1-2.

and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. (Amen.) Finally, brothers, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God--and as you are conducting yourselves--you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:25-28.34-36.

There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand." Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381), Canon Regular
The Spiritual Espousals, 1 (©Classics of Western Spirituality)

"Then they will see the Son of Man coming"


"The bridegroom is coming" (Mt 25,6). Christ our Bridegroom speaks this word in Latin: «venit». This word could be in either the present or the perfect tense and so contains within itself two different times: the time which is past and that which is present. In addition, Christ means the time which is still to come. For this reason we shall have· to consider three comings of our Bridegroom Jesus Christ.

In the first of these comings he became a human being out of love for us. The second coming takes place daily in many and various ways in every loving heart, for he comes with new gifts and new graces according to the measure in which each person is able to receive them. The third coming is that on the Day of Judgment or at the hour of death...

The reason God created angels and human beings was his fathomless goodness and nobility. He wished the blessedness and richness that he is in himself to be revealed to rational creatures so that they might savor him in this temporal world and enjoy him beyond the temporal order in eternity.

The reason God became a human being was his incomprehensible love and the need of all persons, for they had been corrupted through original sin and could do nothing of themselves to change their condition. But there were four reasons why Christ, according to both his divinity and his humanity, performed all his works on earth: first, his divine love, which is immeasurable; secondly, that created love which is called charity and which he had in his soul through his union with the eternal Word and through the perfect gifts which he received from his Father; thirdly, the great need of human nature; and fourthly, the honor of his Father. These are the reason for the coming of Christ our Bridegroom and for all that he did.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:36


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 30 November 2009
Saint Andrew, apostle - Feast

Today the Church celebrates : St. Andrew, Apostle

Pope Benedict XVI: Saint Andrew follows Christ until death


Letter to the Romans 10:9-18.


for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. For the scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring (the) good news!" But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?" Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, did they not hear? Certainly they did; for "Their voice has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world."

Psalms 19(18):2-3.4-5.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft.
One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge.
There is no word or sound; no voice is heard;
Yet their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world. God has pitched there a tent for the sun;


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 4:18-22.

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Pope Benedict XVI
General audience of 14/06/06 (DC n° 2362, p. 664 © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

Saint Andrew follows Christ until death


A later tradition, as has been mentioned, tells of Andrew's death at Patras, where he too suffered the torture of crucifixion. At that supreme moment, however, like his brother Peter, he asked to be nailed to a cross different from the Cross of Jesus. In his case it was a diagonal or X-shaped cross, which has thus come to be known as "St Andrew's cross".

This is what the Apostle is claimed to have said on that occasion, according to an ancient tradition... : "Hail, O Cross, inaugurated by the Body of Christ and adorned with his limbs as though they were precious pearls. Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear. Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift. Believers know of the great joy that you possess, and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared. I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me exultant as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you.... O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord's limbs!... Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me. Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!".

Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality. It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the incomparable means for perfect configuration to the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth (Jn 12,24). Here we have a very important lesson to learn: our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the Cross of Christ, if a reflection of his light illuminates them. It is by that Cross alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:37

DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Tuesday, 01 December 2009
Tuesday of the First week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : Blessed brother Charles of Jesus, Priest (1858-1916), St. Eligius, Bishop (+ 665)

Saint Charles Borromeo : "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see"


Book of Isaiah 11:1-10.


But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Psalms 72:2.7-8.12-13.17.

O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the son of kings; That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment,
That abundance may flourish in his days, great bounty, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.
For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help.
He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor.
May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun, may his name endure. May the tribes of the earth give blessings with his name; may all the nations regard him as favored.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10:21-24.

At that very moment he rejoiced (in) the holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." Turning to the disciples in private he said, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), Bishop
Pastoral Letter (Ed. Lyon 1683)

"Blessed are the eyes that see what you see"


My friends, here is the time we celebrate with such great fervor and, as the Holy Spirit says, the time of favor from the Lord (Is 61,2; Lk 4,19), the season of salvation, peace and reconciliation; a time that was so ardently longed for in former days with urgent desires and longings on the part of the prophets and patriarchs of old and which, at last, was seen by righteous Simeon with overflowing joy (Lk 2,25f.). And since the Church has always celebrated it with such great fervor, we too should spend it in a religious fashion, addressing praise and thanksgiving to the eternal Father for the mercy he has manifested in this mystery.

Because it is relived by the Church each year, we are always being exhorted to recall the memory of such love towards us. This teaches us, too, that Christ's coming has not only benefited those who were living in the days of the Lord but that its power was to be passed on to us as well – at least, if we want to receive the grace it has won for us by means of faith and the sacraments and to direct our lives according to this grace by our obedience to it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:37


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Wednesday, 02 December 2009
Wednesday of the First week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr (4th century)

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec : Christ comes in the sacraments, notably in the eucharist


Book of Isaiah 25:6-10.


On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!" For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, but Moab will be trodden down as a straw is trodden down in the mire.

Psalms 23(22):1-3.4.5.6.

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;
you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.
Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.
You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 15:29-37.

Moving on from there Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over--seven baskets full.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381), Canon Regular
The Spiritual Espousals, 1 (©Classics of Western spirituality)

Christ comes in the sacraments, notably in the eucharist


The second coming of Christ our Bridegroom takes place daily in good persons; indeed, it takes place frequently and repeatedly, with new gifts and graces, in all those who prepare themselves for it to the best of their ability. We do not intend to speak here of a person's initial conversion or of the graces, which were first bestowed when he turned from sin to virtue. Rather, we wish to speak of a day-to-day increase in new gifts and new virtues and of a present, daily coming of Christ our Bridegroom into our soul...


This is [a] coming of Christ our Bridegroom which takes place daily with an increase in graces and new gifts, for when a person receives any of the sacraments with a humble heart and without placing any obstacle in the way of the sacrament's effects, then he receives new gifts and an increase of grace because of his humility and because of the mysterious working of Christ in the sacraments... It is, then, another coming of Christ our Bridegroom which is present to us every day. We should reflect on it with a heart full of desire so that it might take place in ourselves, for this coming is necessary if we are to remain steadfast or go forward into eternal life.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:38


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Thursday, 03 December 2009
Thursday of the First week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Francis Xavier, Priest (1506-1552) - Memorial

Vatican Council II: "Doing the will of my Father"


Book of Isaiah 26:1-6.


On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah: "A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you." Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor.

Psalms 118:1.8-9.19-21.25-27.

Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose love endures forever.
Better to take refuge in the LORD than to put one's trust in mortals.
Better to take refuge in the LORD than to put one's trust in princes.
Open the gates of victory; I will enter and thank the LORD.
This is the LORD'S own gate, where the victors enter.
I thank you for you answered me; you have been my savior.
LORD, grant salvation! LORD, grant good fortune!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the LORD'S house.
The LORD is God and has given us light. Join in procession with leafy branches up to the horns of the altar.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7:21.24-27.

Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

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Commentary of the day :

Vatican Council II
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church in the modern world «Gaudium et spes », § 93

"Doing the will of my Father"


Mindful of the Lord's saying: "by this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35), Christians cannot yearn for anything more ardently than to serve the men of the modern world with mounting generosity and success. Therefore, by holding faithfully to the Gospel and benefiting from its resources, by joining with every man who loves and practices justice, Christians have shouldered a gigantic task for fulfillment in this world, a task concerning which they must give a reckoning to Him who will judge every man on the last of days. Not everyone who cries, "Lord, Lord," will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the Father's will by taking a strong grip on the work at hand. Now, the Father wills that in all men we recognize Christ our brother and love Him effectively, in word and in deed. By thus giving witness to the truth, we will share with others the mystery of the heavenly Father's love. As a consequence, men throughout the world will be aroused to a lively hope-the gift of the Holy Spirit-that some day at last they will be caught up in peace and utter happiness in that fatherland radiant with the glory of the Lord.

Now to Him who is able to accomplish all things in a measure far beyond what we ask or conceive, in keeping with the power that is at work in us-to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, down through all the ages of time without end. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21).




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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:39


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 04 December 2009
Friday of the First week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. John Damascus, Syrian monk and priest (c. 675-749), St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr (3rd century)

Saint Symeon the New Theologian : "And their eyes were opened"


Book of Isaiah 29:17-24.


But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Psalms 27:1.4.13-14.

Of David The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom am I afraid?
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD'S house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD'S beauty, to visit his temple.
But I believe I shall enjoy the LORD'S goodness in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 9:27-31.

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed (him), crying out, "Son of David, have pity on us!" When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, "See that no one knows about this." But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

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Commentary of the day :

Saint Symeon the New Theologian (c.949-1022), Greek monk
Hymn 37 (SC 174, p. 459 rev.)

"And their eyes were opened"


Master, O Christ!, Master who saves souls,
God, Lord of all Powers both visible and invisible,
because you are the Creator of all in heaven
and under the heavens,
of what is under the earth
but also of what is on earth...:
you hold all things in your hand
because it is your hand, O Lord, that is the great power
accomplishing your Father's will,
shaping, forming, creating
and guiding our lives in an inexpressible way.

This, then, is what created me, too,
and called me into being from nothing.
So I was born into this world
yet wholly failed to know you, you my good Master,
you my creator, you who fashioned me.
I was in the world like someone blind
and as though without God since I did not know my God.


Then you, in person, pitied me and looked upon me,
when you shone your light into my darkness, you converted me
and drew me to yourself, O my Creator.
And when you had snatched me out of the depths of the pit...
of this life's pleasures and desires,
then you showed me the way and gave me a guide
who would lead me to your commandments.
I followed him, followed him without a care...
but not only that, when I saw you there – you my Good Master –
together with my guide and my Father,
I experienced inexpressible love and desire.
I was beyond faith, beyond hope
and said: «Now indeed I see the good things to come» (cf. Heb 10,1),
the Kingdom of Heaven is there.
I saw before my eyes those things "that eye has not seen
nor ear heard' (Is 64,3; 1Co 2,9)."
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:39


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 05 December 2009
Saturday of the First week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Sabas, Abbot (439-532)

Saint Bernard : "Curing every disease and every illnes"


Book of Isaiah 30:19-21.23-26.


O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you. The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: "This is the way; walk in it," when you would turn to the right or to the left. He will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground, And the wheat that the soil produces will be rich and abundant. On that day your cattle will graze in spacious meadows; The oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with shovel and pitchfork. Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water. On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall, The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows.

Psalms 147(146):1-2.3-4.5-6.

Hallelujah! How good to celebrate our God in song; how sweet to give fitting praise.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem, gathers the dispersed of Israel,
Heals the brokenhearted, binds up their wounds,
Numbers all the stars, calls each of them by name.
Great is our Lord, vast in power, with wisdom beyond measure.
The LORD sustains the poor, but casts the wicked to the ground.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 9:35-38.10:1.6-8.

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.

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Commentary of the day :

Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church
First sermon for Advent

"Curing every disease and every illnes"


Brethren, you know who it is who is coming, now consider whence he comes and where he is going. He comes from the Father's heart into the womb of the Virgin Mary. He comes from the heights of heaven into the lowest regions of the earth. What, then? Don't we have to live on this earth? Yes indeed, provided he is dwelling there himself, for where will we be at ease without him? «Whom else have I in heaven but you, what can I desire on earth if not you, God of my heart and my portion forever?» (Ps 73[72],25-26).

Some great benefit must have been at stake for so high a majesty to condescend to come down from so far away into a resting place so unworthy of it. Indeed there was a great benefit at stake in that mercy, goodness and charity were revealed there in great and abundant measure. For why did Jesus Christ come?... His words and deeds show us clearly. He came with great speed from the mountains to search for the hundredth sheep who was lost, to make his mercy towards the children of men shine forth.

He came for us. O wonderful condescension of the God who seeks! O wonderful dignity of the man thus sought! Recklessly can we take pride in this: not because we are something of ourselves but because he who has done it has valued us at so great a price! By comparison with this glory, all the riches and glory of the world and all we could possibly aim to achieve are worthless. What is man, O Lord, that you thus raise him up, that you set your heart on him?

It was for us to make our way towards Jesus Christ... Yet a double obstacle stood in our way: our eyes were so feeble and God dwells in inaccessible light (1Tm 6,16). Cripples lying on our stretchers, we were unable to reach a dwelling place so high as that of God. That is why our good Savior and sweet physician of our souls came down from on high where he dwells. He softened the brightness of his light for the sake of our eyes' feebleness.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:42


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 06 December 2009
Second Sunday of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Nicholas of Bari (+ 342)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria : "Prepare the way of the Lord"


Book of Baruch 5:1-9.


Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever: Wrapped in the cloak of justice from God, bear on your head the mitre that displays the glory of the eternal name. For God will show all the earth your splendor: you will be named by God forever the peace of justice, the glory of God's worship. Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children Gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that they are remembered by God. Led away on foot by their enemies they left you: but God will bring them back to you borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones. For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, And that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground, that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God. The forests and every fragrant kind of tree have overshadowed Israel at God's command; For God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.

Psalms 126(125):1-2.3.147(146):4-5.126:6.

A song of ascents. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, then we thought we were dreaming.
Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD had done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were!
Numbers all the stars, calls each of them by name.
Great is our Lord, vast in power, with wisdom beyond measure.
Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, Will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.


Letter to the Philippians 1:4-6.8-11.

praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3:1-6.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. He went throughout (the) whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one crying out in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

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Commentary of the day :

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church
On Isaiah, III, 3

"Prepare the way of the Lord"


«Let the desert and the parched land exult! Let the arid ground rejoice and bloom. Let it bloom with abundant flowers» (Is 35,1). What the inspired Scriptures usually call 'desert' and 'waste' is the Church of the pagans. She already existed in former times among the peoples but had not received her mystical Spouse from heaven, I mean the Christ...Christ came to her, however. Captivated by her faith, he enriched her from the divine river that streams from him – streams because it is the «fountain of life, stream of delight» (Ps 36[35],10.9)... At his presence the Church ceased to be parched and arid; she encountered her Spouse, brought into the world countless children and was adorned with mystical flowers...

Isaiah continues: «A pure way will be there, called the holy way» (v.8). This pure way is the power of the Gospel entering into our lives or, to put it another way, the purifying power of the Spirit. For the Spirit removes the stain imprinted on the human soul, delivers us from our sins and enables us to rise above our uncleanness. Thus this road is very rightly described as holy and pure for it cannot be reached by anyone who has not been purified. Indeed no one is able to live according to the Gospel who has not first been purified by holy baptism, no one, therefore can do so without faith...

Only those delivered from the devil's tyranny can lead the glorious life the prophet describes with these images: «No lion will be there nor beast of prey» (v.9) on that pure way. Indeed, in former times such fierce beasts as is the devil, that inventor of sin, used to attack earth's inhabitants together with the evil spirits. But he was crushed by Christ, driven far away from the flock of believers and stripped of the dominion he used to wield over them. That is why, redeemed by Christ and brought together in faith they will walk united in heart along this pure way (v.9). Forsaking their former ways «they will return to Zion», that is the Church, «with everlasting joy» (v.10) that has no end whether on earth or in heaven, and they will glorify God their Savior.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:43

DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 07 December 2009
Monday of the Second week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church - Memorial

Saint Aelred of Rielvaux : "Who but God alone can forgive sins?"


Book of Isaiah 35:1-10.


The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way; No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.

Psalms 85(84):9-10.11-12.13-14.

I will listen for the word of God; surely the LORD will proclaim peace To his people, to the faithful, to those who trust in him.
Near indeed is salvation for the loyal; prosperity will fill our land.
Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven.
The LORD will surely grant abundance; our land will yield its increase.
Prosperity will march before the Lord, and good fortune will follow behind.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 5:17-26.

One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set (him) in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven." Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins''--he said to the man who was paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, "We have seen incredible things today."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk
Sermon for the Nativity

"Who but God alone can forgive sins?"


Unhappy Adam! What more could you possibly seek than the divine presence? Yet see how thanklessly you ponder your misdeed: «No! I will be like God!» (cf. Gen 3,5). What insufferable pride! You have only just been created out of clay and mud and, in your insolence, you want to be like God?... This is how pride brought forth disobedience, the reason for our misfortune...

What humility is there that could make amends for such a pride? What human obedience is there that could redeem such a fault? Captives that we were, how could we set captives free? Tainted, how could we liberate those stained by sin? Is your creature to die, then, my God? «Have you forgotten pity? Do you in anger withhold your compassion?» (Ps 77[76],10). Ah no! «My thoughts are thoughts of peace, not of woe», says the Lord (Jer 29,11).

O Lord, make haste, come quickly! Behold the tears of the poor; see, «the sighs of the prisoners come before you» (Ps 79[78],11). What a happy time it will be, what a glad and desirable day, when the voice of the Father resounds: «Because of the misery of the wretched and the tears of the poor, now will I arise» (Ps 12[11],6)... Yes, «Come yourself to save us, Lord, for now there are no more saints» (cf. Ps 12[11],2).
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:44


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Tuesday, 08 December 2009
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Solemnity

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint John Damascene : « See I make all things new» (Rv 21,5)


Book of Genesis 3:9-15.20.


The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!" The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me--she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it." The LORD God then asked the woman, "Why did you do such a thing?" The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; On your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel." The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

Psalms 98:1.2.3-4.

Sing a new song to the LORD, who has done marvelous deeds, Whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory.
The LORD has made his victory known; has revealed his triumph for the nations to see,
Has remembered faithful love toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth; break into song; sing praise.


Letter to the Ephesians 1:3-6.11-12.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:26-38.

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 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." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint John Damascene (c.675-749), monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church
Homily for the Nativity of the Virgin, 7, 10 (SC 80, p. 63 rev.)

« See I make all things new» (Rv 21,5)


Today the Creator of all things, the Word who is God, has composed a new work sprung from the Father's heart, to be written as by a pen by the Spirit who is God's tongue... Most holy daughter of Joachim and Anne! you who have evaded the attention of the Principalities and Powers and the «flaming arrows of the Evil One» (Col 1,16; Ep 6,16), you dwelt within the bridal chamber of the Spirit and were preserved undefiled so that you might become the bride of God and God's Mother by nature... God's beloved daughter, the credit of your parents, generation after generation calls you blessed as you yourself so truthfully affirmed (Lk 1,48). Worthy daughter of God, our human nature's beauty, restoration of Eve our first mother! For with your birth she who fell was raised... For if, through the first Eve, «death entered the world» (Wis 2,24; Rom 5,12) because she put herself at the service of the serpent, yet Mary, who made herself servant of the divine will, deceived the deceiving serpent and brought immortality into the world.

You are more to be valued than the entire creation for from you alone the Creator received a share in the firstfruits of our humanity. His flesh was made of your flesh, his blood of your blood; God was nourished by your milk and your lips kissed the lips of God... In his foreknowledge of your dignity the God of all the world has loved you and, in accordance with his love for you, he predestined you and called you into being «in the final time» (1Pt 1,20; Heb 1,2)...

So let wise Solomon shut his mouth and say no more: «Nothing is new under the sun» (Eccl 1,9).
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Wed Dec 09 2009, 09:45


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Wednesday, 09 December 2009
Wednesday of the Second week of Advent

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec : "Come to me... for I am meek anad humble of heart"


Book of Isaiah 40:25-31.


To whom can you liken me as an equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these: He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing! Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Do you not know or have you not heard? The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.

Psalms 103(102):1-2.3-4.8.10.

Of David. Bless the LORD, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, my soul; do not forget all the gifts of God,
Who pardons all your sins, heals all your ills,
Delivers your life from the pit, surrounds you with love and compassion,
Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger, abounding in kindness.
Has not dealt with us as our sins merit, nor requited us as our deeds deserve.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:28-30.

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381), Canon Regular
The Spiritual Espousals 1 (©Classics of Western Spirituality)

"Come to me... for I am meek anad humble of heart"


The third coming of Christ our Bridegroom which is still in the future, is that which will occur at the Judgement or at the hour of death...

The justice of the Judge lies in the fact that it is Christ to whom the judgement and the verdict belong, for he is the Son of Man and the wisdom of the Father, a wisdom to whom all judgement belongs. To this wisdom all hearts are open and manifest, whether they are in heaven, on earth or in hell... The means with which Christ, our bridegroom and judge, makes use at this judgement consist in rewarding and punishing with justice, for he gives to all according to their merits. On the good, and for each good deed carried out in God, he bestows the measureless reward of himself, unmerited by any creature. For indeed, since it is he who collaborates in each of the creature's works, it is all thanks to his power that the creature merits Christ himself as reward in all justice...

The first coming, namely, when God became a human being, lived humbly, and died out of love for us, is one which we should imitate exteriorly through the perfect practice of the virtues and interiorly through charity and genuine humility. The second coming, which is in the present and which takes place when Christ comes with his graces into every loving heart, is one which we should desire and pray for every day, so that we might persevere and progress in new virtues. The third coming, at the Judgment or at the hour of our death, is one which we should await with longing, confidence, and awe, so that we might be released from this present misery and enter the palace of glory.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Thu Dec 10 2009, 12:07


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Thursday, 10 December 2009
Thursday of the Second week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Eulalia, Virgin and Martyr (+ 304)

Saint Gregory the Great : "The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force"


Book of Isaiah 41:13-20.


For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and double-edged, To thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff. When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off and the storm shall scatter them. But you shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel. The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water. I will plant in the desert the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive; I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, That all may see and know, observe and understand, That the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Psalms 145:1.9.10-11.12-13.

Praise. Of David. I will extol you, my God and king; I will bless your name forever.
The LORD is good to all, compassionate to every creature.
All your works give you thanks, O LORD and your faithful bless you.
They speak of the glory of your reign and tell of your great works,
Making known to all your power, the glorious splendor of your rule.
Your reign is a reign for all ages, your dominion for all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in every word, and faithful in every work.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:11-15.

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homily 20 on the Gospels, § 14 (©Cistercian Fathers)

"The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force"


John the Baptist counsels us to perform great works, telling us: «Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance,» and, «He who has two tunics should share with one who has none, and he who has food should do likewise» (Lk 3,8.11). Is it not now evident what Truth means by saying: «From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force»? We must examine these divine words very thoroughly. We must ask how the kingdom of heaven can suffer violence? Who inflicts violence in heaven? And we must also ask why, if the kingdom of heaven can suffer violence, it has endured violence from the days of John the Baptist, but not earlier?

The old Law... as a punishment has struck all sinners, but has not restored them to life through repentance. When John the Baptist became forerunner of our Redeemer's grace, preaching repentance so that a sinner who was dead as a result of his sin might live by being converted, truly from his days the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence. What is the kingdom of heaven but the abode of the righteous?... The humble, the pure, the meek and the merciful reach the joys on high. But when anyone... after sinning turns to repentance, it is as if the sinner is entering a foreign place. And so... in proclaiming repentance to sinners, John teaches them to do violence to the kingdom of heaven.

Dearly beloved, let us think over the evils we have committed; let us give ourselves to continual sorrow. Let us seize by our repentance the inheritance of the righteous which we have not kept by our way of life. Almighty God desires to suffer this kind of violence from us. He desires us to seize by our tears the kingdom of heaven which is not owed us on our merits.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Sun Dec 13 2009, 12:26


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68




Friday, 11 December 2009

Friday of the Second week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Damasus

Latin Liturgy: Be converted to the repeated call of the God who comes


Book of Isaiah 48:17-19.


Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; Your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, Their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence.

Psalms 1:1-2.3.4.6.

Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, Nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.
Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy; God's law they study day and night.
They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers.
But not the wicked! They are like chaff driven by the wind.
The LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:16-19.

To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by her works."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Latin Liturgy
Advent Hymn: Rorate caeli (trans. Luke Connaughton; ©McCrimmon publishing)


Be converted to the repeated call of the God who comes


Be angry, Lord, no more with us;
remember no longer our transgression.
See the city of God laid waste and desolate:
Zion is turned to wilderness,
Jerusalem ravaged and ruined,
your dwelling place and the Holy of holies,
the house of your glory;
silent are those voices now
that once proclaimed your praise.
Pour down, you heavens, from above
and let the skies rain righteousness (cf. Is 64,8f.; 45,8)

We have gone astray;
in the multitude of our sins
we have been made unclean,
fallen, fallen, stricken as the leaves of autumn.
The stormwind carries us away,
the tempest of our evil deeds;
you have turned away from us the face of your mercy,
and our iniquity has crushed us like a potter's vessel.
Pour down, you heavens, from above
and let the skies rain righteousness (cf. Is 64,5f.)

O Lord our God, look upon your people
in their affliction:
be mindful of your promises.
Send us the Lamb who will set up his dominion
from the Rock of the wilderness to Zion,
throned on her mountain.
There is no other whose power
can break our chains and set us free.
Pour down, you heavens, from above
and let the skies rain righteousness. (cf. Rv 5,12; Ps 78[77],15; Is 9,3)

Be comforted, be comforted,
take heart, my people:
you shall quickly see your salvation.
Why do you waste yourself with grief
though you have walked so long with sorrow?
I am your Savior, be afraid no more.
For am I not God, the Lord your God whom you worship,
the Holy One of Israel, come to redeem you?
Pour down, you heavens, from above
and let the skies rain righteousness. (cf. Is 40,1f.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Sun Dec 13 2009, 12:26


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 12 December 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

In the USA: Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast
Today the Church celebrates : St. Valery, Abbot (565-622), St. Finian, Bishop (+ c. 549)

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem : The new Elijah


Book of Sirach 48:1-4.9-11.


Till like a fire there appeared the prophet whose words were as a flaming furnace. Their staff of bread he shattered, in his zeal he reduced them to straits; By God's word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire. How awesome are you, ELIJAH! Whose glory is equal to yours? You were taken aloft in a whirlwind, in a chariot with fiery horses. You are destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD, To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to reestablish the tribes of Jacob. Blessed is he who shall have seen you before he dies,

Psalms 80(79):2-3.15-16.18-19.

Shepherd of Israel, listen, guide of the flock of Joseph! From your throne upon the cherubim reveal yourself
to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Stir up your power, come to save us.
Turn again, LORD of hosts; look down from heaven and see; Attend to this vine,
the shoot your right hand has planted.
May your help be with the man at your right hand, with the one whom you once made strong.
Then we will not withdraw from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 17:10-13.

Then the disciples asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350), Bishop of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church
Baptismal Catechesis 3


The new Elijah


Baptism was the end of the Old Testament as it is also the beginning of the New. Indeed, its promoter was John the Baptist, of whom «among those born of women there has been none greater» (Mt 11,11). John completed the succession of prophets, for «all the prophets and the Law prophesied up to the time of John» (Mt 11,13). And he began the era of the Gospel, as it is written: «The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ... John appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism» (Mk 1,1.4).

Would you contrast him with Elijah the Tishbite who was carried up into heaven? Yet even he was not superior to John. Enoch was transported to heaven but he is not greater than John; Moses was an important lawgiver in Israel; all the prophets were to be admired, but they were not greater than John. It is not a question of comparing one prophet against another. But their Lord and ours, the Lord Jesus, said: «among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist» (Mt 11,11). There is an established similarity between the servant at the top and his fellow servants, but the superiority and grace of the Son besides his servants is without comparison.

So do you notice which man God chose to be the prime beneficiary of this grace? A poor man, who was a friend of the desert without, for all that, being opposed to other people. Eating locusts as he did, he gave wings to his soul. Sustained by honey, he uttered words sweeter and more beneficial than honey. Wearing a garment of camel skin he demonstrated in his own person an example of hard trial. For he had been sanctified by the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb (Lk 1,15). Jeremiah was sanctified yet did not prophesy from the womb of his mother. John alone, imprisoned in the belly of his mother, leaped for joy (Lk 1,44); without as yet seeing with his fleshly eyes he nevertheless, guided by the Spirit, recognized his Lord. For the great grace of baptism a great leader was required.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Sun Dec 13 2009, 12:27


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 13 December 2009

Third Sunday of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr (+ c. 304)

Saint Maximus of Turin : "One mightier than I is coming"


Book of Zephaniah 3:14-18.


Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals. I will remove disaster from among you, so that none may recount your disgrace.

Is 12:2-3.4.5-6.

God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation,
and say on that day: Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!


Letter to the Philippians 4:4-7.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3:10-18.

And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He answered them, "Stop collecting more than what is prescribed." Soldiers also asked him, "And what is it that we should do?" He told them, "Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages." Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
Sermon 88


"One mightier than I is coming"


It was not only in his own time that John was speaking when he proclaimed the Lord to the Pharisees, saying: «Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths» (Mt 3,3), but he cries out in us today, and the thunder of his voice shakes the desert of our sins. Even now, when he is entombed in a martyr's sleep, his voice continues to ring out. Even today he says to us: «Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths»...

John the Baptist, then, commanded the preparation of the way of the Lord. Let us see which road he has prepared for our Savior. He has perfectly marked out and has appointed from start to finish the way for Christ's coming since in everything he was sober, humble, restrained and chaste. It was in description of all these virtues of his that the evangelist said: «John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey» (Mt 3,4). What greater sign could there be of a prophet's humility than his rejection of soft garments to clothe himself in a rough hide? What greater indication of faith than to be always at the ready for all the duties of service, a simple loincloth around his hips? What more stunning sign of his abstinence than his renunciation of the pleasures of this life to feed himself on locusts and wild honey?

In my view, all these different forms of the prophet's behavior were themselves prophetic. When Christ's messenger wore a rough garment of camel skin, didn't this signify simply that Christ, at his coming, would reclothe our human bodies with their heavy covering, roughened by their sins?... The leather belt signifies that our weak flesh which, before the coming of Christ was turned to vice, would be guided by him to virtue.
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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   Mon Dec 14 2009, 16:42


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 14 December 2009
Monday of the Third week of Advent

Today the Church celebrates : St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church (1542-1591)

Saint Thomas Aquinas : Witness to God


Book of Numbers 24:2-7.15-17.


When he raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe, the spirit of God came upon him, and he gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true, The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled: How goodly are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel! They are like gardens beside a stream, like the cedars planted by the LORD. His wells shall yield free-flowing waters, he shall have the sea within reach; His king shall rise higher than. . . . and his royalty shall be exalted. Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true, The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured and with eyes unveiled. I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel, That shall smite the brows of Moab, and the skulls of all the Shuthites,

Psalms 25(24):4-5.6-7.8-9.

Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, LORD.
Remember your compassion and love, O LORD; for they are ages old.
Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me only in light of your love.
Good and upright is the LORD, who shows sinners the way,
Guides the humble rightly, and teaches the humble the way.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 21:23-27.

When he had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" Jesus said to them in reply, "I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John's baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?" They discussed this among themselves and said, "If we say 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin,' we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet." So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know." He himself said to them, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Dominican theologian, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint John's Gospel, 4, 1

Witness to God


Every creature has been made to witness to God since all creatures are, as it were, evidence of his goodness. The greatness of creation bears witness in its own way to the divine strength and almighty power, and its beauty to the divine wisdom. Some people receive a special mission from God: they not only bear witness to God from a natural point of view, by the fact of their existence, but even more from a spiritual one through their good works... However, those who, not content with receiving divine gifts and carrying out good deeds by God's grace, pass on these gifts to others by word, encouragement and admonition are even more particularly God's witnesses. One of these witness was John; he came to spread God's gifts and proclaim his praises.

This mission of John's, his role as witness, is of unsurpassing greatness since no one can bear witness to something except insofar as they participate in it. Jesus said: «We speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen» (Jn 3,11). To bear witness to divine truth presupposes that one knows that truth. That is why Christ also possessed this role of witness: «For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth» (Jn 18,37). However Christ and John possessed this role in different ways. Christ possessed this light in himself – more, he was this light – whereas John merely participated in it. That is why Christ bears a witness that is complete; he fully manifests the truth. John, and the other saints, only do so in the measure that they receive this truth.

John's sublime mission implies his participation in the light of God and his likeness to Christ who, himself, carried out this mission.



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