Thursday, December 27, 2018

Saint December 28 : Holy Innocents : #Martyred by Herod in Search of #BabyJesus


Today, December 28, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents—those male babies put to death by a jealous Herod shortly after the birth of Christ, following his visit with the Magi. The fourth day of Christmas commemorates these baby boys, who are considered martyrs -- the very first martyrs. (Saint Stephen, whose Feast we celebrated 2 days ago, was the first martyr of the Church Age). As Herod ordered the death of children two years or less, in or around the small town of Bethlehem, the number of these Holy Innocents was probably no more than 25. Nonetheless, these innocent babies are glorious martyrs who died not only for Christ, but in His place.
 1  Matthew 2: 1-18:
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote of the Holy Innocents:
“Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today's feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven's blessing stream down upon them.
"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present.
 The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.”
As we contemplate the martyrdom of the holy innocents, our Christmas joy is tempered by sadness. We are reminded of the sacrifice and suffering that love sometimes requires, and look to this army of “infant martyr flowers” who now sit in the glory and presence of the Lord!
Father,
the Holy Innocents offered you praise by the death they suffered for Christ. May our lives bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
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Pope Francis to Taize Youth "promote a culture of encounter" to become builders of bridges between Churches, religions and peoples.


Pope urges Taizé European youth to fraternity
Some 15,000 young people are being hosted by 170 parishes in Madrid, Spain, from December 28 to January 1, for the 41st European Youth Meeting, organized by the Ecumenical Community of Taizé.
By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis is challenging the young people of the Taize Community to hospitality, inviting them to open the door of their heart to the Lord and to His Word and to "promote a culture of encounter", welcoming one another, respecting their differences.

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin has sent a message on the Pope’s behalf to the ecumenical community that is holding its annual year-end European Youth Meeting in Madrid, Spain, December 28 to January 1.

In the message to the 41st edition of the event, which is on the theme, “Let us not forget hospitality”, the Pope recalls his message for World Youth Day 2018 and encourages the young people of Taizé to never lose the desire to enjoy “the taste of encounter, of friendship, of dreaming together and of walking with others.”  This, he explains, is because “authentic Christians are not afraid to open themselves to others, to share their living spaces, transforming them into spaces of fraternity .”

Create a better world
Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians from some 30 countries make up the ecumenical community that was founded during World War II in 1940 in Taizé, France.   Keeping this in mind, Pope Francis says that as friends of Jesus, it is possible to live hospitality generously, learning to be enriched by the differences of others and make our talents fruitful in order to become builders of bridges between Churches, religions and peoples. 

The Pope therefore asks the Holy Spirit to help the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox youth to welcome the differences of others as "a journey of communion" and invites them to use their talents, energies and strength to improve the world and to ensure that each person can find his or her place within the great human family. 

Mary as model
Pointing to Mary as a model whose "love is full of audacity and all oriented towards the gift of self", the Holy Father urges the young people in Madrid to stimulate themselves to live concretely "this charity that impels us to love God above all things and ourselves and to love the people with whom we share daily life".

Among several other leaders who have sent messages to the Taizé European Youth Meeting in Madrid are Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Secretary General of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev. Olav Fykse-Tveit, Secretary General of the World Lutheran Federation, Rev. Martin Junge, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres and the Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News va

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Novena to Saint John the Apostle - Prayers to SHARE - Patron of Authors, Theologians, Publishers, Friendships, and Painters



Novena Prayer to Saint John the Apostle:
I. My most loving Saint, St. John the Apostle, behold me kneeling at thy feet, beseeching thee with all the affection of my heart to grant me thy special protection, particularly when in danger of offending God. O my dear and holy advocate, remember me before the throne of the most holy Trinity, and obtain for me from the infinite goodness of God, the virtues of humility, purity, obedience, and the grace to fulfill exactly the duties of my state.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory

II. O my dear Saint, St. John the Apostle, I renew to the Lord, through thee, the holy resolutions which I have frequently made of intending to love and serve Him faithfully. I am resolved to detach myself from every earthly thing, and I desire ardently to unite myself to Him, as my first beginning, last end, and sovereign good. My dear Saint, I beseech thee to offer to the most holy Trinity the sacrifice of my whole being, particularly of my judgment and will, in order to conform fully to God most holy, because I desire nothing else besides His grace and His holy love.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory

III. My sweet and holy Protector, St. John the Apostle, behold me again full of love for thee and full of confidence, beseeching thee to cast thyself on thy knees before the throne of the most holy Trinity, and entreat most ardently that God, through His infinite goodness, may grant me the grace to fly sin, and the gift of final perseverance. Thou knowest, O my dear St. John the Apostle, how great are the temptations to which man is subject, and how continual are the perils I run of being lost; do thou assist me with thy efficacious prayers.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory
Say these prayers for 9 Days

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday December 27, 2018 - #Eucharist in #ChristmasTide























Feast of Saint John, Apostle and evangelist
Lectionary: 697

Reading 11 JN 1:1-4

Beloved:
What was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon
and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life —
for the life was made visible;
we have seen it and testify to it
and proclaim to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was made visible to us—
what we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

Responsorial PsalmPS 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12

R. (12) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are around him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Alleluia See Te Deum

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 20:1A AND 2-8

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we do not know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.