St. John Damascene

St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family. When his father died, he became the governor of Damascus. At this time, the emperor made a law. It forbade Christians from having statues or pictures of Our Lord and the saints. St. John Damascene knew the emperor was wrong. He joined with many others to defend this practice of the Christians. The pope himself asked John to keep telling people that it is a good thing to have statues and holy pictures. They make us think of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother and the saints. But the emperor would not give in to the Holy Father. He continued to forbid statues to be put in public places. St. John bravely wrote three letters. He told the emperor to give up his wrong ideas.

The emperor became so furious that he wanted revenge. John decided he should resign as governor. He gave away all his money to the poor and became a monk. He kept on writing marvelous books to defend the Catholic religion. At the same time he did all kinds of humble work in the monastery. One day he even went to sell baskets in the streets of Damascus. Many of those who had known him before were mean enough to laugh at him. Here was the man who had once been the great governor of the city now selling baskets. Imagine how St. John must have suffered. But he knew that the money received would be put to good use at the monastery. He thought of Jesus, the Son of God, who wanted to be born in a stable. Then he felt happy to imitate Our Lord's humility.

St. John died a peaceful, happy death in the year 749.

Reflection: Although St. John was a very intelligent and educated person, he possessed a deep humility, shown in a line he once wrote, calling himself "a lowly and useless servant, who would do better to confess his sins to God than to become involved in theological and political matters."

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St. Anno II

 A pious child. As a young man Anno became a soldier, and considered a military career; however, with the help of his uncle, the canon of Bamberg, he answered the call to religious life. He had a background in literature as well as theology, was an eloquent speaker, and considered quite handsome by writers of the day. Priest. Bishop and then archbishop of Cologne, Germany in 1055.

Anno became a member of the court of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III where he was known for his life of prayer. At one point he became so influential that he drew the reprimand of Pope Nicholas II for excess involvement in civil matters. Following the emperor's death, Anno was made regent for the young Henry IV. Henry rebelled against Anno's strict discipline and had him removed. However, the young Henry's companions were so corrupt that reform was required; in 1072 they were all thrown out, and Anno was brought in as regent again.

Anno supported the reforms led by Saint Peter Damian, and helped found monasteries in the region. He was involved in the disputes between Pope Alexander II and anti-pope Honorius II, supporting the legitimate Alexander and drawing the ire of many countrymen. Anno had his nephew, Cunon, chosen bishop of Trier, Germany; Cunon was opposed and then murdered by Count Theodoric. Anno spent his final years in Michaelsberg Abbey in Siegburg, Germany, praying and doing penance for this incident and others.

Born : c.1010. Died : 4 December 1075 in Siegburg, Germany of natural causes

Canonized : 1183 by Pope Lucius III

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St. Osmund of Salisbury

 Son of Henry, count of Seez, Normandy, France. He received a good education, and became count of Seez in his own turn. Companion of William the Conqueror, and part of the force that invaded England in 1066.

Following the Battle of Hastings, he was made royal chaplain and Earl of Dorset. Helped prepare the Domesday Book, an analysis of the resources of England. Chancellor of England in 1072. Between his duties of chaplain and chancellor, he received a great education in administration and management.

Bishop of Salisbury, England in 1078. He took his duties seriously, concerned for the good of his diocese, even if many considered it conquered territory. His cathedral administration became a model for cathedrals throughout England. Believed to have initiated the Sarum Rite in England. May have written a biography of Saint Aldhelm of Sherborne, which has not survived, and approved his beatification in 1078. Knew and sought the guidance of Saint Anselm. Enjoyed copying and binding books.

His areas of patronage derive from the miraculous healings that occurred at his tomb, and which paved the way for his canonization.

Born : at Seez, Normandy, France. Died : • 4 December 1099 at Salisbury, England of natural causes. • buried in his cathedral at Old Sarum. • relics translated to Salisbury in 1226. • relics later translated to the new cathedral and deposited in the chapel of Our Lady in the church in 1457. • shrine was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. • bones still interred in the same chapel, covered with a marble slab.

Canonized : • 1456 by Pope Callistus III. • his cause had been pursued since 1228.

 

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Text Box: Reading 1 	            IS 2:1-5


This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come,
The mountain of the LORD's house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
"Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths."
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!


Responsorial Psalm          122:1-2, 3-4B, 4CD-5, 6-7, 8-9


R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city 
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up, 
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel, 
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats, 
seats for the house of David. 
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! 
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls, 
prosperity in your buildings. 
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my relatives and friends
I will say, "Peace be within you!"
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Alleluia SEE PS 80:4

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come and save us, LORD our God;
Let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.



Gospel			   MT 8:5-11



When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
"Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." 
He said to him, "I will come and cure him." 
The centurion said in reply,
"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." 
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
"Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."

 Prayer  for All Souls

Text Box: Meditation:		  
 Are you ready to feast at the Lord's banquet table? God’s gracious invitation extends to all - Jew and Gentile alike - who will turn to him with faith and obedience. Jesus used many images or pictures to convey what the kingdom of God is like. One such image is a great banquet feast given at the King's table (Matthew 8:11 and Luke 13:29). Jesus promised that everyone who believed in him would come and feast at the heavenly banquet table of his Father. Jesus told this parable in response to the dramatic request made by a Roman centurion, a person despised by many because he was an outsider, not one of the "chosen ones" of Israel. In Jesus' time the Jews hated the Romans because they represented everything they stood against - including foreign domination and  pagan beliefs and practices.

The power to command with trust and respect 
Why did Jesus not only warmly receive a Roman centurion but praise him as a model of faith and confidence in God? In the Roman world the position of centurion was very important. He was an officer in charge of a hundred soldiers. In a certain sense, he was the backbone of the Roman army, the cement which held the army together. Polybius, an ancient writer, describes what a centurion should be: "They must not be so much venturesome seekers after danger as men who can command, steady in action, and reliable; they ought not to be over-anxious to rush into the fight, but when hard pressed, they must be ready to hold their ground, and die at their posts." 
Faith in Jesus' authority and power to heal 
The centurion who approached Jesus was not only courageous, but faith-filled as well. He risked the ridicule of his cronies as well as mockery from the Jews by seeking help from a traveling preacher from Galilee. Nonetheless, the centurion approached Jesus with great confidence and humility. He was an extraordinary man because he loved his slave. In the Roman world slaves were treated like animals - something to be used for work and pleasure and for bartering and trade. This centurion was a man of great compassion and extraordinary faith. He wanted Jesus to heal his beloved slave. Jesus commends him for his faith and immediately grants him his request. Are you willing to suffer ridicule in the practice of your faith? And when you need help, do you approach the Lord Jesus with expectant faith?

Christ comes to establish God's kingdom of peace where all peoples can feast at his table
The prophet Isaiah foretold a time of restoration for the holy city Jerusalem and for its remnants (see Isaiah 4:2-6) and also a time of universal peace when all nations would come to Jerusalem to "the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob" and "beat their swords into plowshares" (Isaiah 2:2-4). Jesus fulfills this prophecy first by restoring both Jew and Gentile to friendship with God through the victory he won for us on the cross. When he comes again he will fully establish his universal rule of peace and righteousness (moral goodness) and unite all things in himself (Ephesians 1:10). His promise extends to all generations who believe in him that we, too, might feast at the heavenly banquet table with the patriarchs of the Old Covenant (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) who believed but did not yet see the promised Messiah. 
Do you believe in God's promises and do you seek his kingdom first in your life? The season of Advent reminds us that the Lord Jesus wants us to actively seek him and the coming of his kingdom in our lives. The Lord will surely reward those who seek his will for their lives. We can approach the Lord Jesus with expectant faith, like the centurion in today's Gospel reading (Matthew 8:5-11), knowing that he will show us his mercy and give us his help.

"Lord Jesus, you feed us daily with your life-giving word and you sustain us on our journey to our true homeland with you and the Father in heaven.  May I never lose hope in your promises nor lag in zeal for your kingdom of righteousness and peace."

 

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Text Box: The Bible in one year:  DECEMBER

01 Wisd of Sol 15–16, 1 Macc 15:1–15, 1 Pet 3, Ps 135:15–21
02 Wisd of Sol 17–18, 1 Macc 15:16–41, 1 Pet 4–5, Ps 136:1–7
03 Wisd of Sol 19, 1 Macc 16, 2 Pet 1, Ps 136:8–14
04 Sirach Pro–3, 2 Macc 1:1–11, 2 Pet 2, Ps 136:15–21
05 Sirach 4, 2 Macc 1:12–36, 2 Pet 3, Ps 136:22–26
06 Sirach 5–6, 2 Macc 2:1–15, 1 John 1, Ps 137
07 Sirach 7–8, 2 Macc 2:16–32, 1 John 2, Ps 138
08 Sirach 9–10, 2 Macc 3:1–24, 1 John 3, Ps 139:title–5
09 Sirach 11:1–14, Sirach 11:17–12:18, 2 Macc 3:25–40, 1 John 4, Ps 139:6–12
10 Sirach 13–14, 2 Macc 4:1–24, 1 John 5, Ps 139:13–19
11 Sirach 15:1–16:14, Sirach 16:17–30, 2 Macc 4:25–50, 2 John, 3 John, Ps 139:20–24
12 Sirach 17, 2 Macc 5:1–14, Jude, Ps 140:title–8
13 Sirach 18:1–19:17, Sirach 19:20–30, 2 Macc 5:15–27, Rev 1, Ps 140:9–13
14 Sirach 20, 2 Macc 6, Rev 2:1–13, Ps 141
15 Sirach 21:1–22:8, Sirach 22:11–27, 2 Macc 7:1–17, Rev 2:14–29, Ps 142
16 Sirach 23–24, 2 Macc 7:18–42, Rev 3–4, Ps 143:title–3
17 Sirach 25:1–26:18, Sirach 26:28–29, 2 Macc 8:1–15, Rev 5, Ps 143:4–12
18 Sirach 27, 2 Macc 8:16–36, Rev 6, Ps 144:title–4
19 Sirach 28–29, 2 Macc 9, Rev 7–8, Ps 144:5–11
20 Sirach 30–31, 2 Macc 10:1–10, Rev 9, Ps 144:12–15
21 Sirach 32–33, 2 Macc 10:11–38, Rev 10–11, Ps 145:title–9
22 Sirach 34–35, 2 Macc 11:1–13, Rev 12, Ps 145:10–16
23 Sirach 36–37, 2 Macc 11:14–38, Rev 13, Ps 145:17–21
24 Sirach 38, 2 Macc 12:1–15, Rev 14, Ps 146
25 Sirach 39, 2 Macc 12:16–45, Rev 15–16, Ps 147:1–7
26 Sirach 40–41, 2 Macc 13:1–10, Rev 17, Ps 147:8–14
27 Sirach 42–43, 2 Macc 13:11–26, Rev 18, Ps 147:15–20
28 Sirach 44–45, 2 Macc 14:1–25, Rev 19, Ps 148:1–8
29 Sirach 46–47, 2 Macc 14:26–46, Rev 20, Ps 148:9–14
30 Sirach 48–49, 2 Macc 15:1–19, Rev 21, Ps 149
31 Sirach 50–51, 2 Macc 15:20–39, Rev 22, Ps 150

 

Text Box:  "Many will sit at table in the kingdom of God"

Today’s Bible Readings

Latin Rite                            1st Reading       IS 2:1-5        Responsorial Psalm  122:1-2, 3-4B, 4CD-5, 6-7, 8-9

                                            2nd Reading                                    Gospel             MT 8:5-11

Syro-Malabar Rite              1st Reading    GAL 3:9-14                Gospel             LK 9:37-43

Syro-Malankara Rite         1st Reading    LK 1:67-80                Gospel             ACTS 13:17-25

 

Volume 99, Monday, December  4, 2017.

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Prayer of St. Gertrude the great dictated by Our Lady to release 1,000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extend to include living sinners which would alleviate the indebtedness accrued to them during their lives.

“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

St. Gertrude the Great was born in Germany in 1263. She was a Benedictine Nun, and meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought floods of tears to her eyes. She did many penances, and Our Lady appeared to her many times. Her holy Soul passed away in 1334. November 16 is her Feast Day.

Weekly Guide for Daily prayer

 

First Week of Advent

 

Daily Prayer This Week

Text Box: Monday of the First Week of Advent

 

St. John Damascene

 

Saint Anno II

St. Osmund of Salisbury