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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 06-23-14, SOL, Nativity of .St John the Baptist, Vigil Mass
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 06-23-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 06/23/2014 7:31:44 PM PDT by Salvation

June 24, 2014

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Vigil Mass

 

 

Reading 1 Jer 1:4-10

In the days of King Josiah, the word of the LORD came to me, saying:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

“Ah, Lord GOD!” I said,
“I know not how to speak; I am too young.”
But the LORD answered me,
Say not, “I am too young.”
To whomever I send you, you shall go;
whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Have no fear before them,
because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,

See, I place my words in your mouth!
This day I set you
over nations and over kingdoms,
to root up and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab and 17

R. (6) Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

Reading 2 1 Pt 1:8-12

Beloved:
Although you have not seen Jesus Christ you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation,
prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours
searched and investigated it,
investigating the time and circumstances
that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated
when he testified in advance
to the sufferings destined for Christ
and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you
with regard to the things that have now been announced to you
by those who preached the Good News to you
through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels longed to look.

Gospel Lk 1:5-17

In the days of Herod, King of Judea,
there was a priest named Zechariah
of the priestly division of Abijah;
his wife was from the daughters of Aaron,
and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in the eyes of God,
observing all the commandments
and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren
and both were advanced in years.
Once when he was serving
as priest in his division’s turn before God,
according to the practice of the priestly service,
he was chosen by lot
to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.
Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside
at the hour of the incense offering,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him,
standing at the right of the altar of incense.
Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you shall name him John.
And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth,
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
John will drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,
and he will turn many of the children of Israel
to the Lord their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah
to turn their hearts toward their children
and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous,
to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”



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

1 posted on 06/23/2014 7:31:44 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
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2 posted on 06/23/2014 7:34:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Jeremiah 1:4-10

The Lord calls Jeremiah


[4] Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
[5] “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
[6] Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am
only a youth.” [7] But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you you shall go,
and whatever I command you you shall speak.
[8] Be not afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you.
[9] Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord
said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
[10] See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build up and to plant.”

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

1:1-19. The book of Jeremiah is a collection of the prophet’s oracles arranged
more by subject than in chronological order and interspersed with stories about
his life. The heading (vv. 1-3), as in most of the prophetical books, introduces the
prophet and tells when he lived. Then, as an introduction to the book, comes an
account of the call of Jeremiah (vv. 4-10) along with two visions that give a good
description of the man (vv. 11-12 and 13-19).

1:4-10. This account of the call of Jeremiah gives a very good idea of the myste-
rious nature of every divine call – a call from all eternity and involving no merit on
the part of the person called, in which God makes known to a soul the why and
wherefore of his or her life. No one comes into being by accident, for everything
that happens is part of God’s providence (v. 5). God’s action in creating a person
is described graphically – “formed” you in the womb – a word used to describe
what a potter does when he models something in clay. The Lord “knew” Jere-
miah—a reference to his choosing him for a specific mission (cf. Amos 3:2; Rom
8:29); God has a plan for each person, and he endows each with talents that
equip him or her to put that plan into effect. The passage also talks of a “conse-
cration”, that is, the earmarking of a person or thing for the service of God. God’s
plan for someone, made before the person is born, emerges in due course, when
he or she is old enough to take on the assignments that God has been preparing
him for. Glossing this passage, St John Chrysostom, has God say this: “I am
the one who knit you together in your mother’s womb. Your life is not a work of
nature, nor the fruit of suffering. I am the origin and cause of all things: you should
obey and offer yourself to me,” and he adds: “It does not begin with I consecrated
you: first, I knew you; then I consecrated you. Thus is the original choice shown,
and after the original choice, the particular calling” (Fragmenta in Ieremiam, 1).

When the mystery of a person’s calling begins to be revealed, their initial reac-
tion can be one of fear, because they are very conscious of their limitations and
feel that they are not up to the tasks that the Lord entrusts them with. Jeremiah,
for example, argues that he is too young (v. 6). We do not know how old he was
at the time, for the word he uses to describe his age (na’ar) is imprecise. He
was probably only an adolescent (cf. Gen 37:2; 1 Sam 2:18; 3:1-21). In respon-
ding to a vocation, one needs to listen, above all, to God who calls, who never
leaves his chosen ones on their own, and who always gives them the wherewi-
thal to carry out the mission he is charging them with (vv. 7-8).

The Lord’s symbolic gesture of putting out his hand to touch Jeremiah’s mouth,
as if to fill it with divine words, is similar to other gestures found in accounts of
the calling of prophets (cf. Is 6:7; Ezek 2:8-3:3; Dan 10:16). It is to tell the man
not to be concerned: he can rest assured that God will give him the right words
to express himself. It is a promise similar to that made by Jesus to his disci-
ples: he assured them of the Holy Spirit’s help when the time came for them to
bear witness to him (cf. Mt 10:19-20).

The assignment given to Jeremiah implies a heavy responsibility; he will need
fortitude if he is to carry it out (v. 10). It involves in the first place doing destruc-
tive things (plucking up, breaking down, destroying and overthrowing) and only
then come constructive roles (building and planning). St Gregory the Great will
apply the same idea to the attention that is called for in the pastoral care of the
faithful: “One cannot build up if what disturbs the foundation has not been des-
troyed. In other words, the sweet words of good preaching are sown in vain if
the thorns of self-love have not first been plucked from the hearts of listeners”
(Regular pastoralis, 3, 34).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


3 posted on 06/23/2014 8:03:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Peter 1:8-12

Praise and Thanksgiving to God


[8] Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you
believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. [9] As the outcome of
your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls. [10] The prophets who prophe-
sied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation;
[11] they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within
them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. [12] It
was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things
which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news
to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to
look.

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

3-12. This passage, a hymn of praise and gratitude to God, developing what is
proclaimed in v. 2, is more explicit about the action of each Person of the Bles-
sed Trinity: by making his choice of Christians, God the Father has destined us
to a marvellous heritage in heaven (vv. 3-5); to attain this we need to love and be-
lieve in Jesus Christ our Lord (vv. 6-9); the Holy Spirit, who earlier proclaimed sal-
vation by the mouth of the Old Testament prophets, is now, through those who
preach the Gospel, announcing that salvation has arrived (vv. 10-12).

3. God brought about the work of Redemption “by his great mercy”. For God,
who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we
were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:
4-5). And just as the work of Creation is a manifestation of God’s omnipotence,
so his new Creation is an expression of his mercy (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, II-II,
q. 30, a. 4; cf. note on 2 Cor 5:17).

“Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”: the resurrection of our
Lord marks the climax of his salvific work, for it assures men of their redemption
and their own resurrection. In its Easter liturgy the Church joyfully reminds of this:
“He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed
our death; by rising he restored our life” (”Easter Preface”, I).

10-12. These verses of thanksgiving (vv. 3-12) end with a reference to the role of
the Holy Spirit in salvation: he acted in the Old Testament through the prophets
by announcing salvation, and now, through preachers of the Gospel, he reveals
that it has come about.

The passage is a clear acknowledgment of the unity and continuity of the Old
and New Testaments: in the Old the sufferings and subsequent glorification of
Christ are proclaimed, in such a way that “what the prophets predicted as future
events,” says St Thomas, “the Apostles preached as something which had come
true” (”Commentary on Eph” 2:4). “The economy of the Old Testament was deli-
berately orientated to prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ,
Redeemer of all men, and of the messianic Kingdom (cf. Lk 24:44; Jn 5:39; 1 Pet
1:10) [...]. God, the inspirer and author of the books of both Testaments, in his
wisdom has so brought it about that the New should be hidden in the Old and that
the Old should be made manifest in the New. For although Christ founded the New
Covenant in his blood (cf. Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25), still the books of the Old Testa-
ment, all of them caught up into the Gospel message, attain and show forth their
full meaning in the New Testament (cf. Mt 5:17; Lk 24:27; Rom 16:25-26; 2 Cor
3:14-16) and in their turn, shed light on it and explain it” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”,
15-16).

These verses show the Holy Spirit’s role as cause and guide of the evangelizing
activity of the Church. In the early days of the spread of Christianity, as des-
cribed in Acts, the action of the third Person of the Blessed Trinity was palpable.

12. The Greek word translated at the end of this verse as “look” contains the
idea of bending over carefully in order to get a better look. This metaphor, then,
depicts the angels in heaven contemplating with joy the mystery of salvation. St
Francis de Sales, referring to this passage, exclaims: “Now in this complacency
we satiate our soul with delights in such a manner that we do not yet cease to
desire to be satiated [...]. The fruition of a thing which always contents never les-
sens, but is renewed and flourishes incessantly; it is ever agreeable, ever desira-
ble. The perpetual contentment of heavenly lovers produces a desire perpetually
content” (”Treatise on the Love of God”, 5, 3).

*********************************************************************************************
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


4 posted on 06/23/2014 8:04:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:5-17

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold


[5] In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of
the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name
was Elizabeth. [6] And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. [7] But they had no child,
because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

[8] Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
[9] according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the tem-
ple of Lord and burn incense. [10] And the whole multitude of the people were pra-
ying outside at the hour of incense. [11] And there appeared to him an angel of
the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [12] And Zechariah was
troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. [13] But the angel said to him,
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will
bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. [14] And you will have joy and
gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; [15] for he will be great before the
Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Ho-
ly Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. [16] And he will turn many of the sons of
Israel to the Lord their God, [17] and he will go before him in the spirit and power
of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to
the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

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

6. After referring to the noble ancestry of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the evangelist
now speaks of a higher type of nobility, the nobility of virtue: “Both were righteous
before God.” “For not everyone who is righteous in men’s eyes is righteous in
God’s; men have one way of seeing and God another; men see externals but
God sees into the heart. It can happen that someone seems righteous because
his virtue is false and is practiced to win people’s approval; but he is not virtuous
in God’s sight if his righteousness is not born of simplicity of soul but is only si-
mulated in order to appear good.

“Perfect praise consists in being righteous before God, because only he can be
called perfect who is approved by Him who cannot be deceived” (St. Ambrose,
“Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

In the last analysis what a Christian must be is righteous before God. St. Paul is
advocating this when he tells the Corinthians, “But with me it is a very small thing
that I should be judged by you or by any human court. It is the Lord who judges
me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes,
who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the pur-
poses of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God” (1
Corinthians 4:3ff). On the notion of the just or righteous man, see the note on
Matthew 1:19.

8. There were twenty-four groups or turns of priests to which functions were allo-
cated by the drawing of lots; the eighth group was that of the family of Abijah (cf.
1 Chronicles 24:7-19), to which Zechariah belonged.

9-10. Within the sacred precincts, in a walled-off area, stood the temple proper.
Rectangular in form, there was first a large area which was called “the Holy
Place”, in which was located the altar of incense referred to in verse 9. Behind
this was the inner sanctum, called “the Holy of Holies”, where the Ark of the
Covenant with the tablets of the Law used to be kept; only the high priest had
access to this, the most sacred part of the temple. The veil or great curtain of
the temple separated these two area from one another. The sacred building was
surrounded by a courtyard, called the courtyard of the priests and outside this,
at the front of the temple, was what was called the courtyard of the Israelites,
where the people stayed during the ceremony of incensing.

10. While the priest offered incense to God, the people in the courtyard joined
with him in spirit: even in the Old Testament every external act of worship was
meant to be accompanied by an interior disposition of self-offering to God.

With much more reason should there be this union between external and inter-
nal worship in the liturgical rites of the New Covenant (cf. “Mediator Dei”, 8), in
the liturgy of the Church. Besides, this consistency befits the nature of man,
comprised as he is of body and soul.

11. Angels are pure spirits, that is, they have no body of any kind; therefore,
“they do not appear to men exactly as they are; rather, they manifest themselves
in forms which God gives them so that they can be seen by those to whom He
sends them” (St. John Damascene, “De Fide Orthodoxa,” 2, 3).

In addition to adoring and serving God, angelic spirits act as God’s messengers
and channels of His providence towards men; this explains why they appear so
often in salvation history and why Sacred Scripture refers to them in so many
passages (cf., e.g. Hebrews 1:14).

Christ’s birth was such an important event that angels were given a very promi-
nent role in connection with it. Here, as at the Annunciation to Mary, the arch-
angel St. Gabriel is charged with delivering God’s message.

“It is no accident that the angel makes his appearance in the temple, for this an-
nounces the imminent coming of the true Priest and prepares the heavenly sacri-
fice at which the angels will minister. Let it not be doubted, then, that the angels
will be present when Christ is immolated” (St. Ambrose, “Expositio Evangelii
Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

12. “No matter how righteous a man be, he cannot look at an angel without fee-
ling afraid; that is why Zechariah was alarmed: he could not but quake at the pre-
sence of the angel; he could not take the brightness that surrounded him” (St.
John Chrysostom, “De Incomprehensibili Dei Natura”). The reason for this is not
so much the angels’ superiority to man as the fact that the grandeur of God’s ma-
jesty shines out through the angel: “And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Bles-
sed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said
to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him,
but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your
brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God’” (Revelation 19:9-10).

13. Through the archangel God intervenes in an exceptional way in the married
life of Zechariah and Elizabeth; but the message he brings has much wider refe-
rence; it has significance for the whole world. Elizabeth is already quite old but
she is going to have a son who will be called John (”God is gracious”) and he
will be the forerunner of the Messiah. This showed that “the fullness of time” (cf.
Galatians 4:4) was imminent, for which all righteous people of Israel had yearned
(cf. John 8:56; Hebrews 11:13).

“Your prayer is heard,” St. Jerome comments, “that is to say, you are given more
than you asked for. You prayed for the salvation of the people, and you have been
given the Precursor” (”Expositio Evangelium Sec. Lucam, in loc.”). Our Lord also
sometimes gives us more than we ask for: “There is a story about a beggar mee-
ting Alexander the Great and asking him for alms. Alexander stopped and instruc-
ted that the man be given the government of five cities. The beggar, totally con-
fused and taken aback, explained, ‘I didn’t ask for that much.’ And Alexander re-
plied, ‘You asked like the man you are; I give like the man I am” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ Is Passing By”, 160). Since God responds so generously and gives us
more than we ask for, we should face up to difficulties and not be cowed by them.

14-17. The archangel St. Gabriel gives Zechariah three reasons why he should
rejoice over the birth of this child; first, because God will bestow exceptional ho-
liness on him (verse 15); second, because he will lead many to salvation (verse
16); and third, because his whole life, everything he does, will prepare the way
for the expected Messiah (verse 17).

In St. John the Baptist two prophecies of Malachi are fulfilled; in them we are told
that God will send a messenger ahead of Him to prepare the way for Him (Mala-
chi 3:1; 4:5-6). John prepares the way for the first coming of the Messiah in the
same way as Elijah will prepare the way for His second coming (cf. St. Ambrose,
“Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”; St. Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on
St. Matthew”, 17, 11, “in loc.”). This is why Christ will say, “What did you go out
to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom
it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, who shall prepare
Thy way before Thee’” (Luke 7:26-27).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


5 posted on 06/23/2014 8:04:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:


First reading

Jeremiah 1:4-10 ©

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

before you came to birth I consecrated you;

I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’

I said, ‘Ah, Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am a child!’

But the Lord replied,

‘Do not say, “I am a child.”

Go now to those to whom I send you

and, say whatever I command you.

Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to protect you –

it is the Lord who speaks!’

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me:

‘There! I am putting my words into your mouth.

Look, today I am setting you

over nations and over kingdoms,

to tear up and to knock down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.’


Psalm

Psalm 70:1-6,15,17 ©

My lips will tell of your help.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;

  let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me, free me:

  pay heed to me and save me.

My lips will tell of your help.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,

  a mighty stronghold to save me;

  for you are my rock, my stronghold.

Free me from the hand of the wicked.

My lips will tell of your help.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,

  my trust, O Lord, since my youth.

On you I have leaned from my birth,

  from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your help.

My lips will tell of your justice

  and day by day of your help.

O God, you have taught me from my youth

  and I proclaim your wonders still.

My lips will tell of your help.


Second reading

1 Peter 1:8-12 ©

You did not see Jesus Christ, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.

  It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn1:7;Lk1:17

Alleluia, alleluia!

He came as a witness,

as a witness to speak for the light,

preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Luke 1:5-17 ©

In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron. Both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.

  Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.

  Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense. The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you must name him John. He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink. Even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the disobedient back to the wisdom that the virtuous have, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.’

These readings are for the day of the feast itself:


First reading

Isaiah 49:1-6 ©

Islands, listen to me,

pay attention, remotest peoples.

The Lord called me before I was born,

from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.

He made my mouth a sharp sword,

and hid me in the shadow of his hand.

He made me into a sharpened arrow,

and concealed me in his quiver.

He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel)

in whom I shall be glorified’;

while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,

I have exhausted myself for nothing’;

and all the while my cause was with the Lord,

my reward with my God.

I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,

my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken,

he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him,

to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,

to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;

I will make you the light of the nations

so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’


Psalm

Psalm 138:1-3,13-15 ©

I thank you for the wonder of my being.

O Lord, you search me and you know me,

  you know my resting and my rising,

  you discern my purpose from afar.

You mark when I walk or lie down,

  all my ways lie open to you.

I thank you for the wonder of my being.

For it was you who created my being,

  knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I thank you for the wonder of my being,

  for the wonders of all your creation.

I thank you for the wonder of my being.

Already you knew my soul,

  my body held no secret from you

when I was being fashioned in secret

  and moulded in the depths of the earth.

I thank you for the wonder of my being.


Second reading

Acts 13:22-26 ©

Paul said: ‘God deposed Saul and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”

  ‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you.’


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Lk1:76

Alleluia, alleluia!

As for you, little child, you shall be called

a prophet of God, the Most High.

You shall go ahead of the Lord

to prepare his ways before him.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Luke 1:57-66,80 ©

The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.

  Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.

  Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.


6 posted on 06/23/2014 8:16:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 06/23/2014 8:17:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 06/23/2014 8:17:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve, June 21 to July 4, 2014
9 posted on 06/23/2014 8:18:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

10 posted on 06/23/2014 8:20:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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.

3.  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.

4. (3) 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)

5. 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 ever shall be, world without end. 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.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

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.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

11 posted on 06/23/2014 8:21:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ 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,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 06/23/2014 8:22:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


13 posted on 06/23/2014 8:23:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought its mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushed beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests. 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

Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.


14 posted on 06/23/2014 8:24:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June 2014 Year A

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity.

For Evangelization: That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.

15 posted on 06/23/2014 8:25:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist - Solemnity

Commentary of the day
The Syrian Liturgy
Hymn attributed to Saint Ephrem (c. 306-373), deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church

«There was a man sent by God ; his name was John... he came as a witness, to bear witness to the light» (Jn 1, 6-7)

It is you, John, we recognise to be a new Moses, since you have seen God, no longer in symbol but clearly. It is you we see to be a new Joshua: you did not cross the Jordan from one side to the other but, with the water of the Jordan, you enabled people to cross from one world to another... It is you, the new Samuel, who did not anoint David but baptized David's Son. It is you, the new David, who were not persecuted by the evil king, Saul, but who were killed by Herod. It is you, the new Elijah, who were fed in the desert, not with bread by a raven but with locusts and wild honey by God. It is you, the new Isaiah who said, not: “Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a son” (7,14), but who declared before all: “Behold, she has brought forth the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1,29)...

Blessed are you, John, chosen of God; you who put your hand on your Lord, who took into your hands the flame whose brightness makes angels tremble! Morning star (cf Nb 24,17), you have shown the true morning to the world; joyful dawn (cf. Ps 29[30],6), you have made known the day of glory; shining lamp (Jn 5,35), you have pointed to the Light without compare. Messenger of the Father's great reconciliation (Is 9,5 LXX), the archangel Gabriel was sent before you to announce you to Zachary, like a fruit in advance of its expectation... The greatest of the sons of men (Mt 11,11), you precede Emmanuel, he who is greater than all creatures; firstborn of Elizabeth, you precede the Firstborn of all creation (Col 1,15).


16 posted on 06/23/2014 8:35:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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If I had to advise parents, I should tell them to take great care about the people with whom their children associate . . . Much harm may result from bad company, and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is better.

~~St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

17 posted on 06/23/2014 8:40:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

18 posted on 06/23/2014 8:44:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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. 


19 posted on 06/23/2014 8:45:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Saint John the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist
Birth: June 24th

June 24th
Solemnity

Nativity of John the Baptist - 1523 - Rome
from The Book of Gospels, Midwest Theological Forum (see links page)

 

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist: Born six months before our Lord, Saint John the Baptist was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, our Lady's couin. He was the last and greatest of the prophets. As the forerunner of the Savior, he had the mission of preparing the Jews for the coming of Christ. When Jesus had come, Saint John bore witness to Him before his own followers and encouraged them to follow Him.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Readings for the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Collect:
O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a polished arrow, in His quiver He hid me away. And He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified." But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God."

And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel might be gathered to Him, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength-- He says: "It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
In those days, Paul said, God raised up David to be their king; of whom He testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after My heart, who will do all My will.' Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. Before His coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. No, but after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.'

"Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:57-66, 80
Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Vigil Mass Readings for the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Collect at the Vigil Mass:
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that your family may walk in the way of salvation
and attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged,
may come safely to the One he foretold,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
'Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."

Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:8-12
Without having seen Him you love Him; though you do not now see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:5-17
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."


20 posted on 06/24/2014 6:46:40 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Information: Birth of St. John the Baptist

Feast Day: June 24

21 posted on 06/24/2014 6:50:31 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

The Birth of John the Baptist

Feast Day: June 24
Born: (a few months before Jesus) :: Died: (around) 30

John's parents were Elizabeth the cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Zachary a temple priest whose job was to burn incense. Zachary and Elizabeth were quite old when one day an angel of God appeared to Zachary in the temple. The angel told him that his wife would bear a son who would be filled with the Holy Spirit at his birth. The child should be named John.

Zachary found this difficult to believe and God punished him by taking away his voice. He remained dumb until after John’s birth. Eight days after John was born his parents took him to the temple where he would be named Zachary, after his father. But both Elizabeth and Zachary asked for the child to be named John. Immediately, Zachary’s tongue was loosened and got back his voice.

John had a special job to do for God. He was going to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. So when he was still young, about twenty-seven, he went into the desert to prepare himself with silence, prayer and penance. He wore a tunic of camel hair with a leather belt and lived on wild honey and locusts (the locust tree is an evergreen that has edible bean like pods).

Soon crowds started to come to him. They realized he was a holy man. He warned them to be sorry for their sins and asked them to change their lives. He baptized them with water and gave them the baptism of repentance.

One day, Jesus himself came to John. He wanted to be baptized with John's baptism to begin making up for our sins. On that day, John told the crowds that Jesus was the Messiah, the one they had been waiting for. He told them and everyone else to follow him.

Later on, St. John learned that King Herod had married Herodias a woman who already had a husband and a daughter. This king was the son of the King Herod who had murdered all those little boys in Bethlehem. St. John told him that it was wrong for him to live with that woman.

King Herod was angry and humiliated. He locked John up in prison and John remained in a dark, damp dungeon for a long time. Then on Herod’s birthday Herodias’s daughter danced beautifully at his banquet. The delighted Herod said he would grant her any she wished. At her mother’s request, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

The shocked Herod had not choice and sent his executioner to kill John and bring back his head. When his disciples heard about it, they immediately came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Jesus said, “I am the Truth” and John died for the truth.

St. John's motto was, "Jesus must become more and more. I must become less and less." He said that he was not even worthy to loosen the strap of Jesus' sandal.


22 posted on 06/24/2014 6:53:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
25 Years a Priest. A Wondrous Answer to a question both ancient and modern
Pope at Mass: John the Baptist a model for the Church John the Baptist: In the Spirit and Power of Elijah (Sunday is the Solemnity of John the Baptist!)
A brief primer on St. John the Baptist, Forerunner...

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Living Faith: John the Baptizer teaches us the Way to Happiness and Freedom
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST THE PRECURSOR
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist, an Enduring Model of Fidelity to God
Birth of John the Baptist by St Augustine
Birth of St. John the Baptist, Feast: June 24
Homilies preached by Father Robert Altier on the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist
Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist, June 24
Saints John The Baptist, Zachary and Elizabeth [THE BIRTH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST]

23 posted on 06/24/2014 9:21:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, June 24

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St.
John the Baptist. When an angel foretold
John's birth to his father Zechariah, he
doubted the angel. For doubting the power of
God, Zechariah was unable to speak until
after his son's birth.

24 posted on 06/24/2014 2:14:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Day 191 - What is eternal happiness? // What is freedom and what is it for?

What is eternal happiness?

Eternal happiness is seeing God and being taken up into God's happiness.

In God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit there is unending life, joy, and communion. To be taken up into it will be an incomprehensible, infinite happiness for us men. This happiness is the pure gift of God's grace, for we men can neither bring it about ourselves nor comprehend it in its magnitude. God would like us to decide in favor of our happiness; we should choose God freely, love him above all things, do good and avoid evil insofar as we are able.


What is freedom and what is it for?

Freedom is the God-given power to be able to act of one's own accord; a person who is free no longer acts under the influence of someone else.

God created us as free men and wills our freedom so that we might decide wholeheartedly in favor of the good, indeed for the greatest "good"in other words, for God. The more we do what is good, the freer we become. (YOUCAT questions 285, 286)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1720-1724) and other references here.


25 posted on 06/24/2014 2:47:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Part 3: Life in Christ (1691 - 2557)

Section 1: Man's Vocation — Life in the Spirit (1699 - 2051)

Chapter 1: The Dignity of the Human Person (1700 - 1876)

Article 2: Our Vocation to Beatitude (1716 - 1729)

III. CHRISTIAN BEATITUDE

1027
(all)

1720

The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to which God calls man:

16.

Cf. Mt 4:17.

17.

Mt 5:8; cf. 1 Jn 2; 1 Cor 13:12.

18.

Mt 25:21-23.

19.

Cf. Heb 4:7-11.

20.

St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 22,30,5:PL 41,804.

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1721

God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise. Beatitude makes us "partakers of the divine nature" and of eternal life.21 With beatitude, man enters into the glory of Christ22 and into the joy of the Trinitarian life.

21.

2 Pet 1:4; cf. Jn 17:3.

22.

Cf. Rom 8:18.

1028
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(all)

1722

Such beatitude surpasses the understanding and powers of man. It comes from an entirely free gift of God: whence it is called supernatural, as is the grace that disposes man to enter into the divine joy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." It is true, because of the greatness and inexpressible glory of God, that "man shall not see me and live," for the Father cannot be grasped. But because of God's love and goodness toward us, and because he can do all things, he goes so far as to grant those who love him the privilege of seeing him. ... For "what is impossible for men is possible for God."23

23.

St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,20,5:PG 7/1,1034-1035.

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2519
(all)

1723

The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement — however beneficial it may be — such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love: All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. ... It is a homage resulting from a profound faith ... that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. ... Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world — it may be called "newspaper fame" — has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration.24

24.

John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Saintliness the Standard of Christian Principle," in Discourses to Mixed Congregations (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1906) V, 89-90.

1724

The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the apostolic catechesis describe for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom of heaven. Sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we tread them, step by step, by everyday acts. By the working of the Word of Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of God.25

25.

Cf. the parable of the sower: Mt 13:3-23.


26 posted on 06/24/2014 2:48:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:June 24, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Baptist Cakes

o    Chiresaye (Cherry Pudding Decorated with Flowers)

o    Empanadas

o    Empanadas de Orno

o    Finnish Pancakes

o    Tacos

o    Tortillas de Harina

o    Welsh Rarebit

o    Winster Wake Cakes

ACTIVITIES

o    Bonfire for the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

o    Customs of the Vigil and Birth of St. John the Baptist

o    Door Decoration for the Eve of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

o    Family and Friends of Jesus Scrapbook Album

o    Feasts of Saint John the Baptist

o    Hymn: Ut queant laxis (text)

o    Ideas for the Feast of the Birth St. John the Baptist

o    Johannesfeuer

o    Namedays

o    Religion in the Home for Preschool: June

o    St. John the Baptist's Day

o    St. John's Eve

o    St. John's Eve Bonfire

o    The Birth of Saint John the Baptist

o    The Story of St. John the Baptist

o    Ut queant laxis hymn description

o    What is a Nameday?

PRAYERS

o    June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

o    Blessing of a Bonfire on the Vigil of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist from Roman Ritual

o    Litany of St. John the Baptist

LIBRARY

o    John the Baptist, an Enduring Model of Fidelity to God | Pope John Paul II

o    Martyrdom of St John the Baptist | Pope Benedict XVI

·         Ordinary Time: June 24th

·         Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

Old Calendar: Nativity of St. John the Baptist ; Other Titles: Johannistag

This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today's feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today's observance in the following words:

"Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior's birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God's chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace."

In other words, today's feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ's Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

The Christmas season has for its object the mystery of God-become-Man, to which there is reference only now and then during the remaining part of the year, e.g., on Marian feasts, especially that of the Annunciation (March 25) and today's feast in honor of the Baptist. In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ's incarnation today. The birth of Jesus is observed on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice, while the birth of His forerunner is observed six months earlier at the time of the summer solstice. Christmas is a "light" feast; the same is true today. The popular custom centering about "St. John's Fire" stems from soundest Christian dogma and could well be given renewed attention. St. John's Fire symbolizes Christ the Light; John was a lamp that burned and shone. We Christians should be the light of the world.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


St. John the Baptist

We are given the story of the ministry of John the Baptist, called the Precursor or Forerunner of the Lord, with some variation of detail, in the three synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as well as in the Book of John. Luke tells us of the birth of John the Baptist in a town of Judaea, about six months before the birth of the Saviour. The attendant circumstances, which we have already recounted under the headings of and , his parents, suggest the miraculous and wonderful. The New Testament tells us nothing of John's early years, but we know that his pious, virtuous parents must have reared the boy with care, conscious always of the important work to which he was appointed, and imbuing him with a sense of his destiny.

When John began final preparations for his mission, he was probably in his thirty-second year. He withdrew into the harsh, rocky desert beyond the Jordan to fast and pray, as was the ancient custom of holy men. We are told that he kept himself alive by eating locusts and wild honey and wore a rough garment of camel's hair, tied with a leathern girdle. When he came back to start preaching in the villages of Judaea, he was haggard and uncouth, but his eyes burned with zeal and his voice carried deep conviction. The Jews were accustomed to preachers and prophets who gave no thought to outward appearances, and they accepted John at once; the times were troubled, and the people yearned for reassurance and comfort. So transcendant was the power emanating from the holy man that after hearing him many believed he was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. John quickly put them right, saying he had come only to prepare the way, and that he was not worthy to unloose the Master's sandals. Although his preaching and baptizing continued for some months during the Saviour's own ministry, John always made plain that he was merely the Forerunner. His humility remained incorruptible even when his fame spread to Jerusalem and members of the higher priesthood came to make inquiries and to hear him. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,"-this was John's oft-repeated theme. For the evils of the times his remedy was individual purification. "Every tree," he said, "that is not bringing forth good fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire." The reformation of each person's life must be complete—the wheat must be separated from the chaff and the chaff burned "with unquenchable fire."

The rite of baptism, a symbolic act signifying sincere repentance as well as a desire to be spiritually cleansed in order to receive the Christ, was so strongly emphasized by John that people began to call him "the baptizer." The Scriptures tell us of the day when Jesus joined the group of those who wished to receive baptism at John's hands. John knew Jesus for the Messiah they had so long expected, and at first excused himself as unworthy. Then, in obedience to Jesus, he acquiesced and baptized Him. Although sinless, Jesus chose to be baptized in order to identify Himself with the human lot. And when He arose from the waters of the Jordan, where the rite was performed, "the heavens opened and the Spirit as a dove descended. And there came a voice from the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased" (Mark i, 11).

John's life now rushes on towards its tragic end. In the fifteenth year of the reign of the Roman emperor, Tiberias Caesar, Herod Antipas was the provincial governor or tetrarch of a subdivision of Palestine which included Galilee and Peraea, a district lying east of the Jordan. In the course of John's preaching, he had denounced in unmeasured terms the immorality of Herod's petty court, and had even boldly upbraided Herod to his face for his defiance of old Jewish law, especially in having taken to himself the wife of his half-brother, Philip. This woman, the dissolute Herodias, was also Herod's niece. Herod feared and reverenced John, knowing him to be a holy man, and he followed his advice in many matters; but he could not endure having his private life castigated. Herodias stimulated his anger by lies and artifices. His resentment at length got the better of his judgment and he had John cast into the fortress of Machaerus, near the Dead Sea. When Jesus heard of this, and knew that some of His disciples had gone to see John, He spoke thus of him: "What went you to see? A prophet? Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say to you, amongst those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist" (Matthew xi, 10-12).

Herodias never ceased plotting against the life of John, who was not silenced even by prison walls. His followers now became even more turbulent. To Herodias soon came the opportunity she had long sought to put an end to the trouble-maker. On Herod's birthday he gave a feast for the chief men of that region. In Matthew xiv, Mark vi, and Luke ix, we are given parallel accounts of this infamous occasion which was to culminate in John's death. At the feast, Salome, fourteen-year-old daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod and his guests so much by her dancing that Herod promised on oath to give her anything that it was in his power to give, even though it should amount to half his kingdom. Salome, acting under the direction and influence of her wicked mother, answered that she wished to have the head of John the Baptist, presented to her on a platter. Such a horrible request shocked and unnerved Herod. Still, he had given his word and was afraid to break it. So, with no legal formalities whatever, he dispatched a soldier to the prison with orders to behead the prisoner and return with it immediately. This was quickly done, and the cruel girl did not hesitate to accept the dish with its dreadful offering and give it to her mother. John's brief ministry was thus terminated by a monstrous crime. There was great sadness among the people who had hearkened to him, and when the disciples of Jesus heard the news of John's death, they came and took the body and laid it reverently in a tomb. Jesus, with some of his disciples, retired "to a desert place apart," to mourn.

The Jewish historian Josephus, giving further testimony of John's holiness, writes: "He was indeed a man endued with all virtue, who exhorted the Jews to the practice of justice towards men and piety towards God; and also to baptism, preaching that they would become acceptable to God if they renounced their sins, and to the cleanness of their bodies added purity of soul." Thus Jews and Christians unite in reverence and love for this prophet-saint whose life is an incomparable example of both humility and courage.

Excerpted from Lives of the Saints, Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.

Patron: Baptism; bird dealers; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; hail; hailstorms; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Maltese Knights; lovers; monastic life; motorways; printers, spasms; tailors; Genoa, Italy; Quebec; Sassano, Italy; Diocese of Savannah, Georgia; Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Diocese of Portland, Maine.

Symbols: Lamb; lamb on a book of seven seals; locust; camel's hair tunic; girdle; his head on a charger; scroll with words Ecce Agnus Dei or with Vox Clamantis in deserto; long, slender cross-tipped staff; open Bible; banner of victory.

Things to Do:

At the same time with the temporal cycle, the Sanctoral cycle (from the Latin sanctus which means saint) progresses. The Church honors Mary, Mother of God "with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son" (CCC 1172). Then the memorials of martyrs and other saints are kept by the Church. They are held up to us as examples "who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors" (CCC 1173).

This is one of the few saint feast days that is connected with the temporal calendar, not the sanctoral calendar, because John the Baptist was intimately involved in Christ's work of redemption. Charting or making your own liturgical calendar would be a great family project.

St. John is the protector of lovers, so for fun, young country girls in Brazil will roll up scraps of paper, each bearing a name of a single girl and place them into a bowl of water. The first one which unfolds indicates the girl who will marry first.


27 posted on 06/24/2014 3:07:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST [LUKE 1:57-66,80]

Zechariah and Elizabeth

Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted so much to have a child, especially as they watched their neighbors’ families grow. But as deep as their desire was, God wanted their faith in him to become deeper still. This is, in part, the fruit of their long years of waiting of the the Lord to fulfill their dreams. Day by day, as they prayed for a child, they were challenged to continue to hope in God. Every day, they faced the question, “Is God trustworthy? Does He love us? Will He provide for us?” And, every time they answered “yes” to these questions, their faith grew a little stronger.

When Zechariah was struck mute by the angel (Luke 1:20), he entered an intense time of blessing from the Lord. God wanted to teach him so that Zechariah could then teach his son what it meant to rely on God. When John was born, Zechariah’s response bore witness to the fruit of his nine months of silence. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he proclaimed God’s faithfulness and prophesied great blessings over his son.

YOHANES PEMBAPTIS DIBERI NAMA - 000

How important this time was for Zechariah – and for the whole of salvation history! John was destined to spend years alone in the desert, listening to God and awaiting the time when he should appear and announce the Messiah’s coming. Then, when he was imprisoned by Herod and awaiting his fate, John again needed to be sustained by all that God had promised. Where did he learn such patience and trust, if not from Zechariah and Elizabeth?

We all have unfulfilled desires and hopes. As beloved children of God, we must never give up hope. We can place our full confidence in the One who called us by name and hears every prayer that springs from our hearts. As we wait on the Lord, let us ask Him to mold our characters and make us more like Him. In the end, we will find that His plan was far better than our own. We will be able to proclaim with Zechariah that it was not by human power but by divine power that wonderful things have taken place in our lives.

28 posted on 06/24/2014 3:28:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for June 24, 2014:

John the Baptist leapt in the womb when Mary greeted his mother, Elizabeth. What a joyful scene! Pray for couples expecting children today, and for those who await this blessing.

29 posted on 06/24/2014 3:35:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

John: A Burning and Shining Lamp

Monday, 23 June 2014 17:55

Ah, I Cannot Speak

At Matins today, the stammering words of the prophet Jeremias are placed in the mouth of the Saint John the Baptist: “Ah, ah, ah, Lord God; behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child” (Jeremias 1:6). At Holy Mass, the words of the prophet Isaias are used in the same way. This is the liturgy’s way of telling us that John is the greatest of the prophets, greater than Isaias and Jeremias put together, and that he is more than a prophet.

Called From the Womb

John’s mysterious greatness in the plan of salvation is no mere human choice; it is something divine in origin. Saint John himself said, “A man cannot receive any thing, unless it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27). “The Lord,” he says, “hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother he hath been mindful of my name” (Is 49:1). This certainty makes the Baptist very humble. He does not want to be mistaken for more than he really is. “You yourselves do bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not Christ, but that I am sent before him’” (John 3:28).

And Thou, Child

From his tender childhood John knows that he is sent before One who is greater than himself. John’s father, the priest Zacharias, must have repeated to him many times over what he sang under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the eighth day after his birth: “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” (Luke 1:76-77). In the monastic tradition, the same text is chanted at the clothing of a novice. John the Baptist remains, for all time, the model of the monk: child, prophet, herald, and friend of the Bridegroom.

I Knew Thee in the Desert

Saint Luke tells us that John grew and became strong in spirit and lived hidden in the wilderness, anticipating the moment set by God for his appearance to Israel. We can only wonder what transpired between the young prophet and the God of Israel during those years of hidden life in the desert. John, like Jesus, is prepared for his mission by years of silence, far from the multitudes and the tumult of the cities. We are reminded of the words of Osee, “Thou shalt know no God but me, and there is no Saviour beside me. I knew thee in the desert, in the land of the wilderness” (Osee 13:4-5). The earliest hermits and monks of the Church looked to Saint John the desert-dweller as their model and advocate. John is the friend of all those who seek the Face of God in silence; he is the friend of those who live a humble life, “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

The Great Responsory at First Vespers plays on the word eremus; it means both desert and hermitage or monastery. It suggests that the role of Saint John the Baptist remains actual, especially in the context of the eremitical or cenobitical monastic life. His is “the voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (Mark 1:3).

Silence and Adoration

When, after years of preparation in the desert, John speaks, he does so out of a profound interior silence, and it is that causes his words to flash like fire bringing sinners to repentance. In Orientale Lumen, Pope Saint John Paul II insisted on the necessity of silence for all Christians:

We must confess that we all have need of this silence, filled with the presence of Him who is adored; in theology, so as to exploit fully its own sapiential and spiritual soul; in prayer, so that we may never forget that seeing God means coming down the mountain with a face so radiant that we are obliged to cover it with a veil (cf. Exodus 34:33), and that our gatherings may make room for God’s presence and avoid self-celebration; in preaching, so as not to delude ourselves that it is enough to heap word upon word to attract people to the experience of God; in commitment, so that we will refuse to be locked in a struggle without love and forgiveness. This is what man needs today; he is often unable to be silent for fear of meeting himself, of feeling the emptiness that asks itself about meaning; man who deafens himself with noise. All, believers and non-believers alike, need to learn a silence that allows the Other to speak when and how he wishes, and allows us to understand his words. (OL 16)

The Desert: A School of Humility

Silence prepared and sustained the preaching of Saint John the Baptist; and it was in silence, in the mysterious encounter with the Lord of the desert that John became profoundly humble. Humility is not an attitude that can be improvised and cultivated from without. Humility blossoms from within. True humility, Christian humility is the fruit of the experience of God, an experience that throws us to the ground with our foreheads in the dust, an experience that fills us with the spirit of adoration. The link between humility and adoration cannot be emphasized enough. The adoring soul will be humble; the humble soul will adore. John emerges from the silence of the desert a profoundly humble man. In the desert he came face to face with God and everything in him became adoration.

Friend of the Bridegroom

Saint John insists that his mission is one of humble preparation: “I am not he whom you think me to be: but behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose” (Acts 13:25). The people are impressed by this wild-looking prophet who comes out of years of silence and austerity in the desert. John dispels all ambiguity concerning his own person. “I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom” (John 3:29). Even when admiring crowds gather around him and respond to his word, John remains utterly lucid. His humility is not swayed; he is at the service of the Bridegroom, and to the Bridegroom alone belongs the bride.

Joy Fulfilled

Saint John gives himself the most beautiful title to which a servant of Christ, especially a priest, can aspire. John is the friend of the Bridegroom. “The friend of the bridegroom,” he says, “who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice. This my joy, therefore, is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30).

A Burning and Shining Lamp

The vocation of John, the humble friend of the Bridegroom, was to be visible only for a time. “He was a burning and shining lamp,” says Our Lord, “and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light” (John 5:35). John’s shining light was to be hidden away in the darkness of a prison cell. The Bridegroom had arrived; the Friend of the Bridegroom had to disappear. The voice of John the Baptist had been heard crying in the wilderness, denouncing sin, calling men to justice and sinners to repentance. But, then, the voice of the Eternal Father was heard, coming from heaven: “Thou art my Son, the Beloved; with thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). After this, the voice of the Baptist was heard less and less, until finally, it was silenced by death, a cruel and ignominious death not unlike the immolation of the Lamb which it prefigured.

Witness to the Light

Today’s solemnity confirms and deepens the monastic call to silence and to humility. Graced from the womb of his mother in view of an extraordinary mission, Saint John the Baptist served the designs of the Father for the length of time and in the place determined by the Father’s loving providence. “Sent from God, he came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light” (John 1:6-8).

Mysterious and Unexpected Turns

John the Baptist knew that he was destined to return to the hidden life, to a life of silence and obscurity, like the grain of wheat which falls into the earth and dies in order to bear much fruit (Jn 12:24). He shows us that every vocation is subject to mysterious and unexpected turns and yes, every vocation is subject to the mystery of the Cross, sometimes in dramatic ways, but more often in the humble obscurity of day to day existence. These things are necessary if we are to decrease and allow the Lord Jesus to increase. To each one of us, Saint John the Baptist says: “Prepare to disappear.”

The Imprint of the Lamb

Saint John the Baptist shows us that the hidden and silent life is a necessary and inescapable part of discipleship. A vocation that is not marked with the sign of the Cross is suspect. A life that is without its moments of obscurity, silence and apparent uselessness, does not bear the imprint of the Lamb. The more a soul is surrendered to the love of the Bridegroom, the more deeply will that soul be marked by the Cross.

Marked By the Cross

Ultimately, the sign of the authenticity of the mission of Saint John the Baptist is his participation in the Passion and Cross of Jesus, in Jesus’ paschal humiliation, in Jesus’ going down into the valley of the shadow of death. And the sign that any vocation is blessed by God is that it is marked by the Cross.


30 posted on 06/24/2014 4:24:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

I set thee apart for myself

Monday, 23 June 2014 18:11

“I claimed thee for my own before ever I fashioned thee in thy mother’s womb; before ever thou camest to birth, I set thee apart for myself” (Jeremias 1:5).

The Word of God, Alive and Full of Energy

This word from God uttered in mystery long ago, and received in faith by the prophet Jeremias, and applied, by a splendid intuition of the Church to Saint John the Baptist, becomes today, by the singular grace of this Holy Mass, a word addressed to each of us, to you and to me.

The word of God is not uttered once and for all, and then, locked away, as it were, in some sort of sacred archive. When the word of God is proclaimed in the sacred liturgy, it rises to newness of life; it is invested with a wondrous energy; it becomes efficacious, doing in us that for which it comes forth from the mouth of God. Thus do we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “God’s word to us is something alive, full of energy; it can penetrate deeper than any two-edged sword, reaching the very division between soul and spirit, between joints and marrow, quick to distinguish every thought and design in our hearts: (Hebrews 4:12). I beg you, then, in the words of the psalmist: “Would you but listen to his voice today! Do not harden your hearts” (Psalm 94:8).

Claimed and Set Apart by God

It is to you, then, that the Word of God comes today. It is addressed directly to each of you, a blazing arrow shot from the heart of God into your hearts: “I claimed thee for my own before ever I fashioned thee in thy mother’s womb; before ever thou camest to birth, I set thee apart for myself” (Jeremias 1:5).

Vocation

What is a vocation? It is the unfolding of a mysterious design of God and a gracious summons of His mercy. Implicit in the Church’s doctrine of the universal call to holiness — that is, that you and I are called to be saints, nothing less than saints — are these astonishing truths: God claimed you — you — for His own before ever he fashioned you in your mother’s womb. Before ever you came to birth, God set you apart for Himself. This is the divine message that shapes one’s journey through life, and gives it meaning.

The Call to Holiness

Holiness cannot be stereotyped. Holiness comes in a splendid variety of forms, and colours. There is no age, no state in life, no occupation, no background, no place, nor race, nor culture that is, of itself, foreign to holiness. We, therefore have no excuse. God would have each us become a saint. To resist the call to holiness is to resist the will of God. “This is the will of God,” says the Apostle, “your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

Under the Hand of God

We heard, concerning John the Baptist, in the Holy Gospel: “And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel” (Luke 1: 66, 80). Submit, then, to the hand of the Lord today, by placing yourselves humbly and willingly under the immense, and tender, and powerful liturgy of His Church. Open your eyes, your ears, and all your senses to every word uttered, to every note sung, to every gesture, and movement, and to the sacred silence which envelops this Mass and allows for the penetration of its particular grace into the most secret place of your souls.

Ready to Appear Openly

It will happen with you, as it happened with Saint John the Forerunner. You will grow up into holiness. Your spirit will mature. At the hour prepared by God, you will be ready to appear openly, not to Israel, as did Saint John over two-thousand years ago, but to Ireland today, just as it is, beset by dire predictions of the end of Catholicism — as men and women called to nothing less than holiness. “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

To the Altar of the Lamb

All of this begins — and all of it must return — to the altar of the Holy Sacrifice. There, the Lamb is immolated; there the Lamb is offered; there the Lamb is given us as food and drink. It is time to hasten to the altar, for I hear the voice of the Baptist, the “Friend of the Bridegroom” (John 3:29), saying, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:36).


31 posted on 06/24/2014 4:31:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayer for Life

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of Holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my prayer, offered with deep-felt confidence to beg this favor...

O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to thee under the glorious Aztec title of "Guadalupe"--the Virgin who crushed the serpent.

Queen of Martyrs, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Invoke the Holy Spirit of Wisdom to fortify my will to frequent the Sacraments so that, thus enlightened and strengthened, I may prefer God to all creatures and shun every occasion of sin.

Help me, as a living branch of the vine that is Jesus Christ, to exemplify His Divine charity always seeking the good of others. Queen of Apostles, aid me to win souls for the Sacred Heart of my Savior. Keep my apostolate fearless, dynamic and articulate, to proclaim the loving solicitude of Our Father in Heaven so that the wayward may heed His pleading and obtain pardon, through the merits of your merciful Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


32 posted on 06/24/2014 5:18:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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