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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-24-08, Mass in the Morning
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 12-24-08 | New American Bible

Posted on 12/23/2008 8:36:05 PM PST by Salvation

December 24, 2008

                            Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

                                 Mass in the Morning

 
 
 
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Gospel

Reading 1
2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”
Nathan answered the king,
“Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you.”
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?

“‘It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel
Lk 1:67-79

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”




TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; catholic; catholiclist
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 12/23/2008 8:36:06 PM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation

Last day of Advent 2008!


2 posted on 12/23/2008 8:37:37 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Alleluia Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 12/23/2008 8:38:57 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
The Christmas Novena

Today is Day Nine of the Christmas Novena.



4 posted on 12/23/2008 8:42:07 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Advent Reflections for 2008

Bringing our fallen-away relations back to Church during Advent
History and Symbolism of the Advent Wreath

Rediscovering Advent in the (St.) Nick of Time
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
Mary's Gift of Self Points the Way, "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 1 of 4
The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 2 of 4
Theotokos sums up all that Mary is: "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 3 of 4

Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent
Renewing the Mystery of Advent, Part Two: The Witness of John the Baptist
Why “Gaudete?”, Part Three (Third Sunday of Advent)
Sunday before Nativity
Holy Mary and the Death of Sin - "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 4 of 4

Catholic Liturgy - Rose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete Sunday
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Advent 2007 -- Day by Day
Making Advent a Reality (the seasons are out of whack)

The Advent Workshop -- lots of information and activities
Jesse Trees (genealogy of Jesus activity for families)
Advent Wreath & Candles (Prayers for the Family)
Advent Overview
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent

Celebrating Christ’s Advent [Archbishop Raymond Burke]
Praying through Advent -- 2006
The Paradox of Advent
Experience the Joy of Advent
Advent: the Reason for the Season

The Advent Wreath
Advent Activity - The Jesse Tree
That incredible shrinking Advent-Christmas season (Christmas should start, not end, Dec. 25)
Advent Thoughts: Some of the Church Fathers on the Divinity of Christ
The Relationship Between Advent and the Change in the Seasons (Dom Guéranger)

5 posted on 12/23/2008 8:44:53 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
 

6 posted on 12/23/2008 8:46:10 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. >From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.


The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


7 posted on 12/23/2008 8:55:08 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


8 posted on 12/23/2008 8:57:43 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

9 posted on 12/23/2008 8:58:42 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
immaculate_conception.jpg (155743 bytes)

December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior and hers, was preserved from all stain of original sin. This age-old belief of the Church was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.

Mary was in need of redemption and she was indeed redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner of Mary's redemption, however, was unique. Instead of being freed from original sin after having contracted it, she was preserved from contracting it. This was a most fitting favor for the Mother of the Redeemer.

INVOCATION
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

TO THE VIRGIN IMMACULATE
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to. me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, , but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen.

PRAYER OF PRAISE
O pure and immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe, thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises. We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, 0 holy and inviolate Virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil. Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgment; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope, most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honor and glory, majesty and dominion for ever and ever world without end. Amen.   
Saint Ephrem the Syrian

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII
This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud
Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)

The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us

U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception

Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)

Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

10 posted on 12/23/2008 9:00:48 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
DECEMBER 2008
General:
That in the face of a spreading of a culture of violence and death the Church through her apostolic and missionary activity may promote with courage the culture of life.
Mission:
That especially in mission countries Christians may show with acts of fraternal love that the Child born in the stable at Bethlehem is the luminous Hope of the world..


11 posted on 12/23/2008 9:01:44 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: All
From: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

Nathan's Prophecy About the Dynasty
--------------------------------------------------------
[1] Now when the king dwelt in his house, and the LORD had given him rest
from all his enemies round about, [2] the king said to Nathan the prophet, "see
now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent." [3] And
Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart; for the LORD is with
you."

[4] But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, [5] "Go and tell
my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell
in?

[8b] "'I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be
prince over my people Israel; [9] and I have been with you wherever you went,
and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great
name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.  [10] And I will appoint
a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own
place, and be disturbed no more: and violent men shall afflict them no more, as
formerly, [11] from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I
will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that
the LORD will make you a house. [12] When your days are fulfilled and you lie
down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come
forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. [14a] I will be his father,
and he shall be my son. [16] And your house and your kingdom shall be made
sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.'"

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

7:1-17. Nathan is a court prophet will also appear in later accounts connected
with Solomon and Bathsheba, his mother (cf. 2 Sam 12:1-25 and 1 Kings 1:11-
40). As prophet he is God's spokesman (he twice uses the classic formulation,
"Thus says the Lord": vv. 5 and 8); here he has to oppose the king's plans (vv.
5-7); he proclaims a message which cannot but have its effect on the listener
because the word of God is true and it always comes to pass.

Nathan's prophecy is particularly important: it decides who will succeed David,
and it has to do with the Messiah, who will be a descendant of David. What he
says has all the formality of an oracular statement; it confirms the dynastic suc-
cession and specifies the role of the temple among God's chosen people.

For pagan peoples (Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian etc.) the temple was the cen-
ter of their world and the focus of their religious spirit; it was there that they kept
their gods. In Israel, on the other hand, the temple will have quite a different role.
It is based on the fact that the true God is not content with a temple; he has no
need of a house in which to dwell (cf. 1 Kings 8:27). If he allows there to be
sanctuaries or shrines (cf. Gen 28:20-22), the desert tabernacle or tent (cf. Ex
33:7-11) and later the temple of Jerusalem (cf. 1 Kings 8:1-66), these are only
signs of his presence among the people, not a habitation that he in any sense
needs. Nathan's prophecy shows that it is not so much the temple as the Davi-
dic dynasty that is the sign of divine presence and protection that God has set
up from the start. Hence the play on words between "house of God" (temple)
and "house of David" (dynasty).

The hereditary monarchy, then, is the center of Nathan's prophecy. If Michal's
sterility cut off the line of succession from Saul, the prophecy assured that Da-
vid's line would endure. From the central part of the prophecy (vv. 13-16) we can
see that every descendant of David, the figure of the future Messiah, will have
the following qualities:

a) He will be a son to God (v. 14a). This is not natural, human, sonship; it refers
to the closeness of the relationship between God and the king (cf. Ps 2:7; 89:26-
27), so that the person and rule of the king will symbolize the presence of God
and the active role he plays in the life of the people. The king's sonship to God,
then, is an expression of the covenant established between God and David's line.
God commits himself to act towards the king as a good father to his son. Jesus
will bring these words and this covenant to full fruition, for he is the "eternal Son
of God" made man (cf. Gal 4:4). Whereas he is the Son of God by natural gene-
ration, all the baptized are "sons in the Son": "For this is the very reason why
the Word became flesh, why the Son of God became the Son of man: so that
man, by entering into communion with the Word and thereby partaking of divine
filiation, might be converted into a son of God" (St Irenaeus, "Adversus Haereses",
3, 19, 1;  cf. "Catechism of the Catholic Church", 460).

b) He will be punished when necessary, but the punishment will be only tempo-
rary (14b-15), that is, David's line will not be cut off as happened to Saul, nor will
any dethronement last, because the love of God will always win out. In the light
of this oracular statement, any misfortunes of the people, even the exile in Ba-
bylon, despite being punishment for their sins, will be above all a proof of God's
mercy. The death of Jesus on the cross, though caused by the sins of men, is
above all a proof of the love of God who gave up his Son (cf. Rom 8:32), and of
the love of Jesus who gave himself up on men's behalf (cf. Rom 4:25; Eph 5:25).

c) The Davidic dynasty will endure forever (vv. 12-13, 15-16). The title "son of
David" will refer not only to genealogical descent but also to the fact that the
holder is the beneficiary of this promise and of the Davidic covenant (cf. 1 Kings
8:25; Ps 132:10-18; Jer 17:24-27; Ezek 34:23-24; etc.). After the exile this is
the title which is most often applied to the Messiah, and the writers of the New
Testament, of course, are at pains to point out that Jesus is the "son of David"
(cf. Mt 1:1; 9:27; Rom 1:3). The liturgy of the Solemnity of St Joseph, Husband
of the Blessed Virgin, includes this text, because it is he who is the guarantor
of the Davidic descent of Jesus (Mt 1:20) through being "of the house of David"
(Lk 1:27).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

13 posted on 12/23/2008 9:09:13 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:67-79

The Benedictus


[67] And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied,
saying, [68] “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed
his people, [69] and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his
servant David, [70] as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
[71] that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who
hate us; [72] to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember
his holy covenant, [73] the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, [74] to
grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him
without fear, [75] in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our
life. [76] And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will
go before the Lord to prepare his ways, [77] to give knowledge of salvation to
his people in the forgiveness of their sins, [78] through the tender mercy of our
God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high [79] to give light to those
who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way
of peace.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

67. Zechariah, who was a righteous man (cf. v. 6), received the special grace of
prophecy when his son was born—a gift which led him to pronounce his canticle,
called the “Benedictus”, a prayer so full of faith, reverence and piety that the
Church has laid it down to be said daily in the Liturgy of the Hours. Prophecy
has not only to do with foretelling future events; it also means being moved by
the Holy Spirit to praise God. Both aspects of prophecy are to be found in the
“Benedictus”.

68- 79. Two parts can be discerned in the “Benedictus”: in the first (vv. 68-75)
Zechariah thanks God for sending the Messiah, the Savior, as he promised the
patriarchs and prophets of Israel.

In the second (vv. 76-79) he prophesies that his son will have the mission of
being herald of the Most High and precursor of the Messiah, proclaiming God’s
mercy which reveals itself in the coming of Christ.

72-75. Again and again God promised the patriarchs of the Old Testament that
he would take special care of Israel, giving them a land which they would enjoy
undisturbed and many descendants in whom all the peoples of the earth would
be blessed. This promise he ratified by means of a covenant or alliance, of the
kind commonly made between kings and their vassals in the Near East. God,
as Lord, would protect the patriarchs and their descendants, and these would
prove their attachment to him by offering him certain sacrifices and by doing
him service. See, for example, Genesis 12:13; 17:1-8; 22:16-18 (God’s promise,
covenant and pledge to Abraham); and Genesis 5:11-12 (where he repeats these
promises to Jacob). Zechariah realizes that the events resulting from the birth of
John his son, the Precursor of the Messiah; constitute complete fulfillment of
these divine purposes.

78-79. The “dawning”, the “dayspring”, is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, coming
down from heaven to shed his light upon us: “the son of righteousness shall rise,
with healing on its wings” (Mal 4:2). Already in the Old Testament we were told
about the glory of the Lord, the reflection of his presence—something intimately
connected with light. For example, when Moses returned to the encampment
after talking with God, his face so shone that the Israelites “were afraid to come
near him” (Ex 34:30). St John is making the same reference when he says that
“God is light and in him there is no darkness” (1 Jn 1:5) and that there will be no
light in heaven “for the glory of God is its light” (cf. Rev 21:23; 22:5).

The angels (cf. Rev 1:11) and the saints (cf. Wis 3:7; Dan 2:3) partake of this
divine splendor; our Lady does so in a special way. As a symbol of the Church
she is revealed to us in the Apocalypse as “clothed with the sun, with the moon
under her feel, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (12:1).

Even when we live in this world, this divine light reaches us through Jesus Christ
who, because he is God, is “the true light that enlightens every man” (Jn 1:9), as
Christ himself tells us: “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not
walk in darkness” (Jn 8:12).

Such is Christians’ share in this light of God that Jesus tells us: “You are the
light of the world” (Mt 5:14). Therefore, we must live as children of the light (cf.
Lk 16:8), whose fruit takes the form of “all that is good and right and true” (Eph
5:9); our lives should shine out, thereby helping people to know God and give
him glory (cf. Mt 5:16).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


14 posted on 12/23/2008 9:10:31 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16 ©
Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’
But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’
Psalm or canticle: Psalm 88:2-5,27,29
Gospel Luke 1:67-79 ©
John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel
for he has visited his people, he has come to their rescue
and he has raised up for us a power for salvation
in the House of his servant David,
even as he proclaimed,
by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times,
that he would save us from our enemies
and from the hands of all who hate us.
Thus he shows mercy to our ancestors,
thus he remembers his holy covenant
the oath he swore
to our father Abraham
that he would grant us, free from fear,
to be delivered from the hands of our enemies,
to serve him in holiness and virtue
in his presence, all our days.
And you, little child,
you shall be called Prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord
to prepare the way for him,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins;
this by the tender mercy of our God
who from on high will bring the rising Sun to visit us,
to give light to those who live
in darkness and the shadow of death
and to guide our feet
into the way of peace.’

15 posted on 12/23/2008 9:13:02 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Advent Weekday
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Luke 1:67-79

Christ came to cure our wounds; but since all do not search for the remedy, therefore, He cures those who are willing; He does not force the unwilling. God, for His part, really wills us to be save; otherwise, it would be impossible for us to obtain health and eternal life.

-- St. Alphonsus Liguori


16 posted on 12/23/2008 9:15:34 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


17 posted on 12/23/2008 9:16:45 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 102 (103)
Praise of the compassionate Lord
My soul, bless the Lord!
 All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
 Never forget all he has done for you.

The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
 who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
 who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
 who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
 who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Psalm 102 (103)
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
 full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
 he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
 he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.

As high as the sky above the earth,
 so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
 so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
 so the Lord cares for those who fear him.

For he knows how we are made,
 he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
 he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
 no trace of him remains.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Psalm 102 (103)
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
 to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
 for those who keep his covenant,
 for those who remember his commandments
 and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
 and his rule shall extend over all.

Bless the Lord, all his angels,
 strong in your strength, doers of his command,
 bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
 his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
 in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless the Lord!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Reading Isaiah 51:17-52:2,7-10 ©
Awake, awake!
To your feet, Jerusalem!
You who from the Lord’s hand have drunk
the cup of his wrath.
The chalice of stupor
you have drained to the dregs.

She has not one to guide her
of all the sons she has borne,
not one to take her by the hand
of all the sons she has reared.

These two calamities have befallen you
– who is there to mourn for you?
Devastation and ruin, famine and sword
– who is there to console you?

Your sons lie helpless
(at every street corner)
like an antelope trapped in a net,
sodden with the wrath of the Lord,
with the threats of your God.

Listen then to this, prostrated one,
drunk, though not with wine.
Thus says your Lord, your God,
defender of your people.

See, I take out of your hand
the cup of stupor,
the chalice of my wrath;
you shall drink it no longer.
I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
of those who said to you,
‘Bow down that we may walk over you’;
while of your back you made a pavement,
a street for them to walk on.
Awake, awake!
Clothe yourself in strength, Zion.
Put on your richest clothes,
Jerusalem, holy city;
since no longer shall there enter you
either the uncircumcised or the unclean.
Shake off your dust; to your feet,
captive Jerusalem!
Free your neck from its fetters,
captive daughter of Zion.

How beautiful on the mountains,
are the feet of one who brings good news,
who heralds peace, brings happiness,
proclaims salvation,
and tells Zion,
‘Your God is king!’

Listen! Your watchmen raise their voices,
they shout for joy together,
for they see the Lord face to face,
as he returns to Zion.

Break into shouts of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord is consoling his people,
redeeming Jerusalem.

The Lord bares his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

Reading A sermon of St Augustine
Truth has arisen from the earth and justice has looked down from heaven
Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.
You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened ‘to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.
Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.
He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.
Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of the Virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.
Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.
Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.
Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory,” but of God’s glory: for justice has not come out of us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.
For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.
For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.
Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become son of God?
Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

Concluding Prayer
Hurry, Lord Jesus, do not delay.
 We put our trust in your loving kindness:
 may your coming bring us consolation and support.

You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

18 posted on 12/24/2008 8:21:50 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings (on USCCB site):
» December 24, 2008
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Collect: Come Lord Jesus, do not delay; give new courage to your people who trust in your love. By your coming, raise us to the joy of your kingdom, where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Month Year Season
« December 24, 2008 »

Christmas Eve
Old Calendar: Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord #cal_links li { padding: 0px; }

+Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

In the General Roman Calendar, this date is the last day of Advent, Christmas Eve, and also (beginning with the vigil Mass) is the first day of Christmas time. The liturgical texts express wholehearted confidence in the imminent coming of the Redeemer. There is much joyous expectation. Most families have their own observances, customs that should be preserved from generation to generation. Today is the last day of our Christmas Novena.

Christmas Eve at Church
The entire liturgy of Christmas Eve is consecrated to the anticipation of the certain and sure arrival of the Savior: "Today you shall know that the Lord shall come and tomorrow you shall see His glory" (Invitatory of Matins for the Vigil of the Nativity). Throughout Advent we have seen how the preparation for Jesus' coming became more and more precise. Isaiah, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mother appeared throughout the season announcing and foretelling the coming of the King. We learn today that Christ according to His human nature is born at Bethlehem of the House of David of the Virgin Mary, and that according to His divine nature He is conceived of the Spirit of holiness, the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity.

The certitude of His coming is made clear in two images. The first is that of the closed gate of paradise. Since our first parents were cast forth from the earthly paradise the gate has been closed and a cherubim stands guard with flaming sword. The Redeemer alone is able to open this door and enter in. On Christmas Eve we stand before the gate of paradise, and it is for this reason that Psalm 23 is the theme of the vigil:

Lift up your gates, O princes,

Open wide, eternal gates,

That the King of Glory may enter in. . . .

Christmas Eve at Home
It must be so that the grown-ups may devote themselves with a quiet mind, unhindered by any commotion, to these great mysteries of the Holy Night, that in most Catholic countries the giving of gifts has been advanced to Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve is an appropriate time for the exchange of gifts, after the Christ-Child has been placed in the manger, and the special prayers before the crib — and a round of Christmas carols — are over. If the gifts are given out before the Midnight Mass, the children can concentrate more easily on the great mystery which is celebrated, when the Greatest Gift is given to all alike, even those who have received no material expression of Christmas love. And then, too, Christmas Day with its two additional Masses can be devoted more to the contemplation of the Christmas mystery and the demands of Christmas hospitality.

The opening of the eternal gates through which the King of Glory may enter is indicated by the wreath on the door of our homes at Christmastide. The Advent wreath, which accompanied the family throughout the season of preparation may be taken down. The violet ribbons are removed, and it is gloriously decorated with white and gold. It is then placed upon the door as a symbol of the welcome of Christ into our city, our home and our hearts. On Christmas Eve the whole house should be strewn with garlands and made ready for the Light of the World. The crib is set in a special place of honor, for tonight the central figure of the Nativity scene is to arrive.

Today is Day Nine of the Christmas Novena.



19 posted on 12/24/2008 8:29:11 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 107 (108)
Praise of the Lord and a plea for help
My heart is ready, O God –
 my heart is ready.
 I shall sing and make music.
Awake, my glory!
 Rise up, harp and lyre!
 We will awaken the dawn.

I will proclaim you to the peoples, O Lord,
 sing of you to the nations:
for your kindness is great, it reaches the heavens;
 great is your faithfulness, high as the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
 let your glory stretch over the earth.
Give deliverance to your beloved,
 let your right hand bring safety – answer my prayer!

God has spoken from his holy place:
“I shall triumph, dividing Shechem,
 measuring off the vale of Succoth.
Gilead is mine, mine is Manasseh;
 Ephraim my helmet, Judah my sceptre.
But Moab shall be my wash-basin,
 on Edom I will place my sandal;
 I will cry in triumph over the Philistine.”

Who shall lead me to the fortified city?
 Who shall lead me to Edom?
Surely you, God – although you rejected us.
 Will you not come out, O God, with our armies?
Give us help in our troubles,
 for vain is the help of man.
With God we shall triumph –
 he will trample our enemies.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Canticle Isaiah 61-62
The prophet rejoices over the new Jerusalem
I will rejoice with joy in the Lord,
 and my spirit shall be joyful in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation
 and wrapped me round with the robe of justice,
like a bridegroom decked with a crown,
 like a bride adorned with her jewels.

Just as the earth sends up its shoots,
 and the garden makes its seeds to sprout,
so the Lord God will make justice spring up
 and praise before all the nations.

For Sion’s sake I will not be silent,
 for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be still
until her justice comes forth as brightness,
 and her salvation is lit up like a torch.

And the Gentiles shall see your justice,
 and all the kings see your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
 chosen by the mouth of the Lord.
You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord,
 a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

No longer called “Forsaken,”
 your land no longer called “Desolate,”
you will be called “My pleasure in her,”
 and your land “The Wedded”;
for the Lord has been well pleased with you,
 and your land will receive its bridegroom.

For as a young man takes a virgin to wife,
 so will your sons take you;
and as a husband takes joy in his spouse,
 so your God will rejoice at you.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Psalm 145 (146)
The blessedness of those who hope in the Lord
Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life, make music to my God as long as I exist.

Do not trust in princes to save you, they are only sons of men.
One day their breath will leave them, they will return to the ground; on that day perish all their plans.

Happy the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth and all that is in them,
who keeps faith for ever, who gives justice to the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord frees prisoners, he gives light to the blind, he raises the fallen.
The Lord loves the upright, cares for strangers, sustains orphans and widows; but the wicked he sends astray.

The Lord will reign for all ages, your God, O Sion, from generation to generation.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Short reading Isaiah 11:1-3 ©
A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots: on him the spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is his delight.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones, his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies and all who hate us, to take pity on our fathers,
to remember his holy covenant and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
that he would give himself to us, that we could serve him without fear – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him, for all of our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High: for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation, so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God, one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness, who live in the shadow of death;
to lead our feet in the path of peace.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions ?
Christ our redeemer is coming in glory and power. Let us pray to him with devotion, dearly beloved brethren, and humbly call on him:
Come, Lord Jesus.
Christ and Lord, you will come throned in great power: look kindly on our lowliness
and raise us up, to be worthy of your gifts.
You came to show the Good News to mankind:
give us the grace to proclaim your salvation always.
Blessed and living Lord, you reign over all things:
grant that we may joyfully await your hoped-for glorious coming.
We breathlessly await the grace of your coming:
keep us strong with your divine presence.
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
 hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
 and forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.

Hurry, Lord Jesus, do not delay.
 We put our trust in your loving kindness:
 may your coming bring us consolation and support.

You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.
A M E N

20 posted on 12/24/2008 8:34:26 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:67-79

I will give you rest from all your enemies. (2 Samuel 7:11)

When God promised to “establish a house” for David, chances are that David and his descendants were thinking in terms of a military leader who would keep the kingship of Israel in the family line—a dynasty, in other words. This “son of David” to succeed him would be like David himself: a mighty warrior, a godly man vanquishing all of Israel’s military and political foes. He would bring freedom through the use of conquest and power.

As we stand on the brink of Christmas, with the manger before us, we can tell that this is not all that God intended. In fact, Zechariah’s prophecy in today’s Gospel reading touches on the deeper issues of freedom that God promised to the house of David. It was not only freedom from external enemies; it was the freedom to worship fearlessly, the freedom to stand before God holy and righteous.

Jesus, the ultimate Son of David, came to bring us this freedom by defeating the foes within us—sin and death. Far from giving us simply an external peace characterized by a lack of conflict, he came to give us the deeper and more substantial peace that comes as our internal struggles are calmed and the effects of sin are healed. These are the real tyrants, for they are the enemies that give rise to every external conflict we face, both in our lives and in the world at large.

Born in humility and weakness, Jesus beckons us to join him at the stable. He beckons us tonight to a place where our enemies are blocked at the door. He invites us to leave our sin and fears behind, and—miracle of miracles!—he does it by taking all of these obstacles upon himself and putting them to death by his cross.

On this holy night, let’s ask Jesus to bring us into his freedom. Let’s ask him to give us confidence that he will defeat everything in us that is opposed to him. Let’s rejoice in his promise of freedom and rest from our enemies—the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive!

“Lord Jesus, you are the true Son of David. Come this night, and give us all your freedom!”

2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16; 
 Psalm 89:2-5,27,29


21 posted on 12/24/2008 8:37:47 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Vespers -- Evening Prayer

Vespers (Evening Prayer)

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 138 (139)
The Lord knows all things
Lord, you have examined me, you know me:
 you know when I sit down and when I rise.
From far away you know my thoughts:
 you know every step I take,
 when I walk, when I lie down:
 you have seen all that I do.
Before a word even reaches my lips,
 you know, Lord, all that I will say.

You are close in front of me and close behind me:
 you have laid your hand upon me.
Your knowledge is beyond my understanding:
 it is too high, I cannot reach it.

Where shall I go, to escape your spirit?
 Where shall I go, to flee your face?
If I rise to the heavens, you are there.
 If I sink to the depths, you are there.
If I put on the wings of the dawn itself –
 if I make my abode beyond the farthest sea –
 it is still your hand that will lead me there,
 it is still your right hand that will hold me.
If I say “May the shadows cover me:
 let there be no light around me” –
the shadows will not hide me from you,
 and the night will shine like the day:
for shadows and light are the same to you.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Psalm 138 (139)
For you created my innermost being
 as you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you, for you made me so wonderfully:
 so wonderful are your works,
 so perfect your knowledge.

Even my bones were not hidden from you
 as I was being created in secret,
 put together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw me before ever I was completed.
 All my days were written in your book
 before any of them came into being.
Your thoughts, O God, are precious to me:
 precious above all things and too many to count.
If I try to count them, they are more than the sand:
 if I come to an end, still I am with you.

Look into me, God, and know my heart:
 examine me and know my paths.
See if I am wandering on ways that lead nowhere,
 and set my feet on the path to eternity.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Canticle (Colossians 1)
Christ, firstborn of all creatures and firstborn from the dead
Let us give thanks to God the Father, who has made us worthy to share in the light that is the saints’ inheritance.
He has rescued us from the power of the shadows and brought us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation,
for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
thrones and dominations, principalities and powers.

All things were created through him and for him: he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And he is the head of the body, the Church. He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, and so he is pre-eminent above all.
For it was the Father’s will that the fullness of God should dwell in him, and that through him all things should be reconciled to himself.
Through the blood of the Cross he brought peace to all things, both on Earth and in the heavens.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Short reading 1 John 2:3-6 ©
We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments. Anyone who says, ’I know him’, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, refusing to admit the truth. But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.

Canticle Magnificat
My soul rejoices in the Lord
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God, my salvation.
For he has shown me such favour –
 me, his lowly handmaiden.
Now all generations will call me blessed,
 because the mighty one has done great things for me.
His name is holy,
 his mercy lasts for generation after generation
 for those who revere him.

He has put forth his strength:
 he has scattered the proud and conceited,
 torn princes from their thrones;
 but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
 the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
 he has remembered his mercy as he promised to our fathers,
 to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions ?
Let us acclaim the eternal Father, whose compassion for his people is too great to be measured:
Lord, may all who hope in you rejoice.
Lord, you sent your Son into this world not to judge the world but so that it should be saved by him:
may his glorious death bear abundant fruit in us.
You have made your priests ministers of Christ and celebrants of his sacred mysteries:
give them the gifts of faithfulness, knowledge and love.
May those whom you have called to chastity for the sake of your kingdom
follow your Son fearlessly and with faith.
From the beginning you created mankind male and female:
give all families a true and enduring love.
Through Christ’s sacrifice you took away the sins of mankind:
grant remission of sins to all those who have died.
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
 hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
 and forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.

Hurry, Lord Jesus, do not delay.
 We put our trust in your loving kindness:
 may your coming bring us consolation and support.

You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.
A M E N

22 posted on 12/24/2008 3:19:26 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Compline -- Night Prayer

Compline (Night Prayer)

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.


This is an excellent moment for an examination of conscience. In a communal celebration of Compline, one of the penitential acts given in the Missal may be recited.

A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.


Psalm 30 (31)
Trustful prayer in time of adversity
O God, protect me; be my refuge.
In you, Lord, I put my trust: may I never be put to shame.
 In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
 make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
 keep me safe.

For you are my strength and my refuge:
 you will lead me out to the pastures,
 for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
 for you are my strength.

Into your hands I commend my spirit:
 you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.
O God, protect me; be my refuge.

Psalm 129 (130)
Out of the depths
Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord.
Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord: Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears listen out for the voice of my pleading.

If you took notice of our transgressions, Lord – Lord, who would be left?
But with you is forgiveness, and for this we revere you.
I rely on you, Lord, my spirit relies on your promise;
my soul hopes in the Lord, more than the watchman for daybreak.

More than the watchman for daybreak, let Israel hope in the Lord:
for with the Lord there is kindness and abundant redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all its transgressions.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.
Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord.

Reading Ephesians 4:26-27
Be angry if you must, but do not sin: do not let your anger outlast the sunset: do not give the Devil his chance.

Short Responsory ?
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
- Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed us, Lord, God of faithfulness.
- Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
- Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Canticle Nunc Dimittis
Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
 You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
 the glory of your people Israel.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen.

Prayer
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, you lay a gentle yoke upon those who follow you. Meek and humble, you give them a light burden to carry. Receive the work and the prayers we have offered to you today; and give us rest, to make us more eager to serve you, who live and reign for ever and ever, Amen.

May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
A M E N
An antiphon to Our Lady should be recited here.

23 posted on 12/24/2008 3:27:33 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Gesu%20bambino.jpg

December 24

Collect at the Hours and at the Mass in the Morning

Come quickly, we beseech You, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, so that those who trust in Your loving mercy may be lifted up by the consolations of Your coming.

Come, Lord Jesus

Today, in the last Collect of Advent -- at Vigils, Lauds, Tierce, Holy Mass, Sext, and None -- the Church addresses the Lord Jesus. It is as if she can no longer contain her longing; she compelled to utter His Holy Name. The last Collect of Advent is inspired by the last page of the Bible. There, Our Lord speaks, saying, "Surely I am coming soon." And the Church, His Spouse, replies, "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (Ap 22:20).

Domine Jesu

Whereas all throughout Advent the Church, according to her custom, has, for the most part, addressed the Father in her prayers, today she appeals to the Son directly. She calls the Son by his human Name -- Jesus -- and to that Name revealed by the Angel she adds the divine vocative: Lord, Domine Iesu. Hers is a prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit, for the Apostle says, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord'; except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 12:3).

Do Not Linger on the Way

Today's Collect is remarkably concise. Three lines only. The first line is inspired, not only by the final cry in the Apocalypse of Saint John, but also by Psalm 39:18: "Do not tarry, O my God"; or, as the Douai translation puts it, "O my God, be not slack!"; Ronald Knox translates the same with a certain courtesy: "My God, do not linger on the way."

Expectans Expectavi

The two words borrowed from Psalm 39 -- ne tardáveris -- should make us want to review the whole psalm. What do we discover? That the psalm begins with a verse that sums up the whole Advent experience. Expectans, expectavi! -- "With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and He was attentive to me" (Ps 39:1).

The Consolations of His Coming

The second part of the Collect is: "so that those who trust in your loving mercy may be lifted up by the consolations of your coming." Where our English translation gives "may be lifted up," the Latin text uses sublevéntur, a verb that is wonderfully rich in meaning. It means not only to be lifted up, but also to be relieved of a heavy burden, to be assuaged.

Trust in His Merciful Goodness

What must we do in order to be lifted up? The Collect says that we have only to trust in the pietas of the Lord Jesus, in His tenderness, His lovingkindness, His unwavering divine affection for us. Qui in tua pietate confidunt.

Weakness No Obstacle

Weakness is no obstacle to a holy Christmas. A mediocre Advent is no obstacle to a holy Christmas. The grace of Christmas is not earned; it is freely given. The grace of Christmas will prevail even over our sins, provided that we trust in the pietas of the Infant Christ, in the tender pity of him who comes to us, comes for us already in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist. O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in Thy merciful goodness!


24 posted on 12/24/2008 8:55:42 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Heaven Holds the Key
December 24, 2008
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY



Father Barry O’Toole, LC

Luke 1: 67-79
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Introductory Prayer:  I believe in your loving presence with me, Lord, and I tremble as I consider the immense love you have for me. I do not deserve your grace, and yet I cannot live without it. You have called me to rise above my sin and misery and to live in your love as one of your children. I truly want to show you my love.

Petition: Lord, help me to seek you and find you through silence.

1. Silence for Reflection.
Zechariah had been in silence (a silence imposed by God) for over nine months. Perhaps at the beginning, he had felt frustrated at not being able to communicate normally with others. As time goes on, that frustration turns into resignation and reluctant acceptance. Through perseverance and prayer, suddenly he begins to love the trial God had imposed on him, embracing it wholeheartedly and willingly. When we see someone who is suffering, be it in a hospital, a nursing home or even on the street or at work, we need to bring them this message of hope. Suffering has a meaning, a redemptive value, if we unite our sufferings to those of Christ.

2. Silence for Union with Our Lord.
We see that Zechariah’s 9-month “retreat” has provided him the opportunity for a closer contact with God. Through prayer he has been brought to a deeper and experiential knowledge of God, which has converted him into an apostle in his desire to share this experience with others. As his wife’s period of waiting results in her giving birth to a prophet, so Zechariah’s “incubation” period also turns him into a prophet: He foretells that salvation for his people is near at hand. We will have words of wisdom and encouragement for others when we have discovered how to be alone with God in the secret depths of our hearts. Silence is a vehicle for achieving this intimacy.

3. Silence for Praise.
At some moment during his tribulation, Zechariah would recall the angel’s words, “you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place” (Luke 1:20). Hope would invade his heart. The day is coming when he would be able to speak again! He has nine months to prepare his speech. The first words he utters as his tongue is loosened are not a curse against God for having made him suffer, but a hymn of praise for his mercy on a sinful humanity. He has experienced this mercy in his own flesh. We are meant to communicate truth through speech, and the greatest truth is what God has done for each of us and wishes to do for every single person. When our speech is a result of what we have first meditated on profoundly, our words will bear fruit. Does my speech normally edify others? Do my words ordinarily come from the good I have experienced in God’s company? Am I aware of how much we can build up others through good conversations?
 
Conversation with Christ:  Lord, your birth comes tonight. I want to have a proper place prepared for you. Please help me to make it warm and comfortable for you. Make up for what is lacking in my poor efforts to please you. O King of Glory, may my every thought, word and deed of this day be a fitting homage for your coming.

Resolution:  Today, I will strive to edify others though my words.
 


25 posted on 12/24/2008 9:02:35 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Homily of the Day

He Has Given Us the Hope That Lasts

December 24th, 2008 by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

2 Sm 7:1-5, 8-11,16; Lk 1:67-79

Our life-span is so short. As the scripture says, we spring up like the grass in the morning, and by nightfall we have withered and died. Yet, as our lives proceed, individual hours, days, weeks and years can seem interminable because we can see in them no clear direction, no great purpose or grand conclusion. What a contradiction, life too short and too long at the same time!

That is the great anomaly, the great contradiction, whose answer and resolution we are about to celebrate in the feast of Christmas. Jesus broke into this world of ours and shared our humanity, with no special privileges. In the fullest sense, He became one of us. In doing so, He gave us hope by showing us the way out of the trap that seemed inescapable.

Jesus confirmed beyond all shadow of a doubt that we are loved and cherished by the good Father who made us, that our life here has real purpose, and that we have a destiny that is grand beyond all imagining.

As we begin the year 2009, we have a great and wonderful hope to share with all of God’s people, a hope given to us by our dear brother Jesus. Let us not fail to share it!


26 posted on 12/24/2008 9:10:31 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

1


<< Wednesday, December 24, 2008 >>
Saint of the Day
 
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
View Readings
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29 Luke 1:67-79
 

THE TIME OF FULFILLMENT

 
"Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, uttered this prophecy..." —Luke 1:67
 

On this Christmas Eve, we stand at the threshold of the fulfillment of amazing prophecies. We may have been waiting for months or years for this, and this Christmas season will be the awaited time. Most of these prophetic promises of God may seem no closer to being fulfilled now than they have been for years. Some of these revelations you can hardly remember. It's been so long since you first heard them. Nonetheless, now you are on the threshold, although you know this only by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Today, in these last few hours before the Christmas season begins, pray, fast, repent, read the Bible, and be quiet. Choose the better part (Lk 10:42). Don't be so busy about the details of hospitality (Lk 10:40). Sit at Jesus' feet and listen to His words (Lk 10:39). Prepare the way of the Lord (Is 40:3). He "will surely come." His prophetic revelation "will not be late" (see Hab 2:3).

"We possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable. Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place until the first streaks of dawn appear and the morning star rises in your hearts" (2 Pt 1:19).

 
Prayer: Father, rekindle my faith that You will keep the promises which have been unfulfilled for years.
Promise: "Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever." —2 Sm 7:16
Praise: After seeking forty years for God, John found his lost faith during Advent, died shortly thereafter, and was home in heaven by Christmas.

27 posted on 12/24/2008 9:12:31 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Lk 1:67-79
# Douay-Rheims Vulgate
67 And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost. And he prophesied, saying: et Zaccharias pater eius impletus est Spiritu Sancto et prophetavit dicens
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people. benedictus Deus Israhel quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebi suae
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant. et erexit cornu salutis nobis in domo David pueri sui
70 As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning. sicut locutus est per os sanctorum qui a saeculo sunt prophetarum eius
71 Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us. salutem ex inimicis nostris et de manu omnium qui oderunt nos
72 To perform mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy testament. ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris et memorari testamenti sui sancti
73 The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us. iusiurandum quod iuravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum
74 That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear: daturum se nobis ut sine timore de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati serviamus illi
75 In holiness and justice before him, all our days. in sanctitate et iustitia coram ipso omnibus diebus nostris
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt, go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways: et tu puer propheta Altissimi vocaberis praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias eius
77 To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins. ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi eius in remissionem peccatorum eorum
78 Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us: per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri in quibus visitavit nos oriens ex alto
79 To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace. inluminare his qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis

28 posted on 12/25/2008 7:08:55 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
67. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people.

AMBROSE; God in His mercy and readiness to pardon our sins, not only restores to us what He has taken away, but grants us favors even beyond our expectations. Let no one then distrust Him, let no one from consciousness of past sins despair of the Divine blessing. God knows how to change His sentence, if you have known how to correct your sin, seeing he that was long silent prophesies; as it is said, And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit.

CHRYS. That is, "with the working of the Holy Spirit;" for he had obtained the grace of the Holy Spirit, not in any manner, but fully; and the gift of prophecy shone forth in trim; as it follows, And he prophesied.

ORIGEN; Now Zacharias being filled with the Holy Spirit utters two prophecies, the first relating to Christ, the second to John. And this is plainly proved by those words in which he speaks of the Savior as present and already going about in the world, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited, &c.

CHRYS. Zacharias, when he is blessing God, says, that He has visited His people, meaning thereby either the Israelites in the flesh, for He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; or the spiritual Israel, that is, the faithful, who were worthy of this visitation, making the providence of God of good effect towards them.

THEOPHYL; But the Lord visited His people who were pining away as it were from long sickness, and by the blood of His only begotten Son, redeemed them who were sold under sin. Which thing Zacharias, knowing that it would soon be accomplished, relates in the prophetic manner as if it were already passed. But he says, His people, not that when He came He found them His own, , but that by visiting He made them so.

69. And has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.

THEOPHYL. God seemed to be asleep, disregarding the sins of the multitude, but in these last times coming in the flesh, He has risen up and trodden down the evil spirits who hated us. Hence it is said, And he has raised up an horn of salvation to us in the house of his servant David.

ORIGEN; Because Christ was born of the seed of David, according to the flesh, it is said, A horn of salvation to us in the house of his servant David; as it has also elsewhere been said, A vineyard has been planted in a horn, i.e. in Jesus Christ.

CHRYS. Now by a horn he means power, glory, and honor, deriving it metaphorically from the brute creatures, to whom God has given horns for defense and glory.

THEOPHYL; The kingdom of our Savior Christ is called also the horn of salvation, because all our bones are clothed with flesh, but the horn alone stretches beyond the flesh; so the kingdom of Christ is called the horn of salvation, as reaching beyond the world and the delights of the flesh. According to which figure David and Solomon were consecrated by the horn of oil to the glory of the kingdom.

70. As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began.

THEOPHYL. That Christ was born of the house of David, Micah relates, saying, And you, Bethlehem, are not the least in the city of Juda, for out of you shall come a governor who shall rule my people Israel. But all the prophets spoke of the Incarnation, and therefore it is said, As he spoke by the month of his holy prophets.

GREEK EX. Whereby he means that God spoke through them, and that their speech was not of man.

THEOPHYL; But he says, Which have been since the world began. Because all the Scriptures of the Old Testament were a constant prophecy of Christ. For both our father Adam himself, and the other fathers, by their deeds bore testimony to His dispensation.

71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.

THEOPHYL; Having first briefly said, He has raised up a horn of salvation to us, he goes on to explain his words, adding, of salvation from our enemies. As if he said, He has raised up to us a horn, i.e. He has raised up to us salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us.

ORIGEN; Let us not suppose that this refers to our bodily enemies, but our ghostly. For the Lord Jesus came mighty in battle to destroy all our enemies, that He might deliver us from their snares and temptation.

72. To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73. The oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
74. That he would grant to us.

THEOPHYL; Having announced that the Lord, according to the declaration of the Prophet, would be born of the house of David, he now says, that the same Lord to fulfill the covenant He made with Abraham will deliver us, because chiefly to these patriarchs of Abraham's seed was promised the gathering of the Gentiles, or the incarnation of Christ. But David is put first, because to Abraham was promised the holy assembly of the Church; whereas to David it was told that from him Christ was to he born. And therefore after what was said of David, he adds concerning Abraham the words, To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, &c.

ORIGEN; I think that at the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, both Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were partakers of His mercy. For it is not to be believed, that they who had before seen His day, and were glad, should afterwards derive no advantage from His coming, since it is written, Having made peace through the blood of his Cross, whether in earth or in heaven.

THEOPHYL. The grace of Christ extends even to those who are dead, because through Him we shall rise again, not only we, but they also who have been dead before us. He performed His mercy also to our forefathers in fulfilling all their hopes and desires. Hence it follows, And to remember his holy covenant, that covenant, namely, wherein he said, Blessing, I will bless you, and multiplying, I will multiply you. For Abraham was multiplied in all nations, who became his children by adoption, through following the example of his faith. But the fathers also, seeing their children enjoy these blessings, rejoice together with them, just as if they received the mercy in themselves.

Hence it follows, The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant to us.

BASIL; But let no one, hearing that the Lord had sworn to Abraham, be tempted to swear. For as when the wrath of God is spoken of, it does not signify passion but punishment; so neither does God swear as man, but His word is in very truth expressed to us in place of an oath, confirming by an unchangeable sentence what He promised.

74. That we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear.

CHRYS. Having said that a horn of salvation had risen up to us from the house of David, he shows that through it we are partakers of His glory, and escape the assaults of the enemy As he says, That being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve him without fear. The two things above mentioned will not easily be found united. For many escape danger, but fail of a glorious life, as criminals discharged from prison by the king's mercy. On the other hand, some reap glory, but are compelled for its sake to encounter dangers, as soldiers in war embracing a life of honor are oftentimes in the greatest peril. But the horn brings both safety and glory. Safety indeed as it rescues us from the hands of our enemies, not slightly but in a wonderful manner, insomuch that we have no more fear, which are his very words; that being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we might serve him without fear.

ORIGEN; Or in another way; Frequently are men delivered from the hands of the enemy, but not without fear. For when fear and peril have gone before, and a man is then plucked from the enemies' hand, he is delivered indeed, but not without fear. Therefore said he, that the coming of Christ caused us to be snatched from the enemies' hands without fear. For we suffered not from their evil designs, but He suddenly parting us from them, has led us out to our own allotted resting place.

75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

CHRYS. Zacharias glorifies the Lord, because He has made us to serve Him with full confidence, not in the flesh as Judah did with the blood of victims, but in the spirit with good works. And this is what he means by in holiness and righteousness. For holiness is, a proper observance of our duty towards God, righteousness of our duty towards man; as, for example, when a man devoutly performs the Divine commands, and lives honorably among his fellow men. But he does not say "before men," as of hypocrites desirous to please men, but "before God," as of those whose praise is not of men, but of God; and this not once or for a time; but all the days of their life, as it is said, all our days.

THEOPHYL; For whosoever either departs from God's service before he dies, or by any uncleanness stains either the strictness or purity of his faith, or strives to be holy and righteous before men, and not before God, does not yet serve the Lord in perfect freedom from the hand of his spiritual enemies, but after the example of the old Samaritans endeavors to serve equally the Gods of the Gentiles, and his Lord.

76. And you, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.

AMBROSE; In prophesying of the Lord he rightly addresses the prophet, showing that prophecy also is a gift of the Lord, in order that he might not, while enumerating public benefits, seen to be so ungrateful as to be silent of his own. Hence it is laid, And you, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest.

ORIGEN; The reason I suppose that Zacharias hastened to speak to his son, was because he knew that John was shortly about to be a sojourner in the wilderness, and that he himself should see him no more.

AMBROSE; Now perhaps some may think it an absurd extravagance of the mind to address a child of eight days old. But if we keep our eyes fixed upon higher things, we surely can understand that the son might hear the voice of his father, who before he was born heard the salutation of Mary. The Prophet knew that there were certain organs of healing in a Prophet which were unclosed by the Spirit of God, not by the growth of the body. He possessed the faculty of understanding who was moved by the feeling of exultation.

THEOPHYL; Unless indeed Zacharias be supposed to have wished as soon as he was able to speak, to proclaim for their instruction who were present, the future gifts of his son, which he had long before learnt from the Angel. Let the Arians however hear that our Lord Christ, whom John went before prophesying of Him, Zacharias calls "the Most High," as it is said in the Psalms, A man was as born in her, and the most highest has established her.

CHRYS. But as kings have their companions in arms, who stand nearest to them, so John, who was the friend of the Bridegroom, went before Him nigh to His coming. And this is what follows, For you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. For some prophets have preached the mystery of Christ at a distance, but he preached it nearer the time, that he might both see Christ, and declare Him to others.

GREG. But all they who by preaching cleanse the hearts of their hearers from the filth of their sins, prepare a way for the coming of wisdom into the heart.

77. To give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins.

THEOPHYL. For the manner in which the forerunner prepared the way of the Lord he explains, adding, To give knowledge of salvation. The Lord Jesus is salvation, but the knowledge of salvation, i.e. of Christ, was given in John, who bore witness of Christ.

THEOPHYL; For as if desiring to explain the name of Jesus, i.e. the Savior, he frequently makes mention of salvation, but lest men should think it was a temporal salvation which was promised, he adds, for the forgiveness of sins.

THEOPHYL. For in no other way was He known to be God, but as having forgiven the sins of His people. For or it is of God alone to forgive sins.

THEOPHYL; But the Jews prefer not to receive Christ, but to wait for Antichrist; for they desire to be delivered not from the dominion of sin within, but from the yoke of man's bondage without.

78. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high has visited us.

THEOPHYL. Because God has forgiven our sins not for our works sake, but through His mercy, it is therefore fitly added, Through the tender mercy of our God.

CHRYS. Which mercy we find not indeed by our own seeking, but God from on high has appeared to us, as it follows; Whereby (i.e. by His tender mercy) the day-spring from on high (that is, Christ) has visited us, taking upon Him our flesh.

GREEK EX. Abiding on high yet present upon the earth, suffering neither division nor limitation, which thing neither can our understanding embrace, nor any power of words express.

79. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

THEOPHYL; Christ is rightly called the Day-spring, because He has disclosed to us the rising of the true light, as it follows; To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

CHRYS. By darkness he means not material darkness, but error or and distance from the faith, or ungodliness. BASIL; For in thick darkness were the Gentile people sitting, who were sunk deep in idolatry, until the rising light dispersed the darkness, and spread abroad the brightness of truth.

GREG. But the shadow of death is taken to mean the forgetfulness of the mind. For as death causes that which it kills to be no longer in life, so whatever oblivion touches ceases to be in the memory. Hence the Jewish people who were forgetful of God are said to sit in the shadow of death. The shadow of death is taken also for the death of the flesh, because as that is the true death, by which the soul is separated from God, so that is the shadow of death by which the flesh is separated from the soul. Hence in the words of the martyrs it is said, the shadow of death has come over us. By the shadow of death also is represented the following of the devil, who is called Death, in the Revelations, because as a shadow is formed according to the quality of the body, so the actions of the wicked are expressed according to the manner of their following him.

CHRYS. He rightly says sitting, for we were not walking in darkness, but sitting down as having no hope of deliverance.

THEOPHYL. But not only does the Lord at His rising give light to those who sit in darkness, but he says something further as it follows, to direct our feet in the way of peace. The way of peace is the way of righteousness, to which He has directed our feet, i.e. the affections of our souls.

GREG. For we guide our steps in the way of peace, when we walk in that line of conduct wherein we depart not from the grace of our Maker.

AMBROSE; Mark also, in how few words Elisabeth prophesies, in how many Zacharias, and yet each spoke filled with the Holy Spirit; but this discipline is preserved, that women may study rather to learn what are the Divine commands than to teach them.

Catena Aurea Luke 1
29 posted on 12/25/2008 7:09:31 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Birth of John the Baptist

Tintoretto

c. 1554
Oil on canvas, 181 x 266 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

30 posted on 12/25/2008 7:10:06 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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