Monday, December 23, 2019

Saint December 24 : St. Charbel of Lebanon a Mystic and Hermit who Loved the Eucharist

St. Charbel Makhlouf

May 8, 1828, Bekaa Kafra (North Lebanon)
December 24, 1898
October 9, 1977 by Pope Paul VI

 Youssef Antoun Makhluf was born on May 8, 1828, one of five children born to Antoun Zaarour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. They lived in the village of Bekaa Kafra. He became a Maronite monk at Annaya Abbey at the age of twenty. As a monk and took the name Charbel, after a Christian martyr in Antioch from the 2nd century. He was even renowned among his Islamic neighbors. He possessed miraculous abilities and loved the Holy Eucharist. Charbel died in 1898. He was beatified in 1965 and canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI (r. 1963-1978).
Novena to St. Charbel : Miracle Prayer to the Wonderworker -

Free Movie : The Bells of St. Mary's : Stars Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) 126 min - Drama | Family - 21 February 1946 (Sweden) At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building. Director: Leo McCarey Writers: Dudley Nichols (screenplay), Leo McCarey (story) Stars: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers | 

The Best Way to Prepare your Heart for Christmas and the New Year is Confession! Don't be Afraid - Here is an Easy Guide to Share!

This year make your Christmas or New Year's special by going to Confession which is also known as the sacrament of reconciliation. This a great way to clean your soul and prepare your heart for Jesus. It is never too late to go to Confession. Even if you have not been for many years - there is always a time for confession!

What is Confession?
By Confession the Church means: to tell your sins (or wrong things you have done) to a Priest, receive a penance (usually a prayer) and receive forgiveness. Confession, also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance, is a sacrament of the Catholic Church; it was instituted by Christ as mentioned in the Bible: 

"Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21 NIV

How often should I go to Confession?
Catholics are obliged to go to Confession at least once per year. However, many people go more often 1 per week, every 2 weeks or every month. The priest is not permitted to reveal your sins to anyone. 
How Should I Make a Confession?
Usually, parishes have scheduled confession times that are written in their bulletins. Or, you might have to approach and ask a priest for a scheduled day and time. If there are regularly scheduled confessions, you might have to line up with others before a confessional and enter when it is your turn. You might enter through a curtain or a small room and kneel down. When you approach as a penitent, the priest might welcome you with words or be silent. Remember: Jesus, the merciful Lord, is present spiritually. 
When ready say "Bless me Father for I have sinned" and make the sign of the cross, saying,
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Then say how long it has been since your last confession.
The priest might say these or similar words or be silent:
May God, who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in his

At this point you confess your sins. (say what you have done wrong; for example sins that are common include: hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, greed, pride, gluttony, laziness, etc.)
If necessary, the priest helps you with questions and suitable advice. He will ask you to perform a penance, which is usually a prayer.
The priest, then, invites the penitent to manifest repentance by reciting the Act of Contrition or another similar formula:
O my God, I am sorry with all my heart for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to amend my life, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen.
Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord, remember your love,
your faithfulness enduring forever.
Do not bear in mind my sins:
remember me in your mercy,
for the sake of your goodness, Lord. (Ps 24:6-7)
The priest, might place his hands upon the head of the penitent, or raise his hands in the penitent's direction.
He says, God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of Holy Spirit.
You respond: Amen.
After absolution the priest continues: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You respond: His mercy endures forever.
The priest then takes leave of you, saying: The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace. You can say: Thank-you, Fr.
How Should I Prepare for Confession?
When asked about what counsels he would give penitents for a good confession, Pope Francis replied, “They should consider the truth of their lives before God, what they feel, what they think. They should be able to observe themselves and their sin with sincerity. And they should feel themselves to be sinners and let themselves be surprised, amazed by God” (Pope Francis, The Name of God Is Mercy,
pp. 58-59).

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Questions to Ask Yourself before you Go to Confession also known as an "Examination of Conscience"
It consists of asking ourselves about the evil committed and the good omitted in relation to God, our neighbor, and ourselves.
In Relation to God
Do I address God only when I am in need?
Do I take part in the Mass on Sundays and days of obligation?
Do I begin and end my day with prayer?
Have I taken the name of God, Mary, or the saints in vain?
Have I been ashamed to be seen as a Christian?
What do I do to grow spiritually? How? When?
Do I rebel against God’s designs?
Do I expect Him to do my will?
In Relation to Our Neighbor
Am I able to forgive, show compassion for, and help my neighbor?
Have I defamed, robbed, or disdained children and the defenseless?
Am I envious, wrathful, or biased?
Do I take care of the poor and the sick?
Am I ashamed of the humanity of my brother or my sister?
Am I honest and just to everyone or do I foster the “culture of casting aside”?
Have I incited others to do wrong?
Do I observe the Gospel’s moral teaching on marriage and the family?
How do I handle my educational responsibilities towards my children?
Do I honor and respect my parents?
Have I refused newly-conceived life?
Have I extinguished the gift of life?
Have I helped to do so?
Do I respect the environment?
In Relation to Ourselves
Am I a bit worldly and a bit of a believer?
Do I exaggerate in eating, drinking, smoking, and entertainment?
Am I too concerned about my physical health and my possessions?
How do I use my time?
Am I lazy? Do I want to be served?
Do I love and cultivate purity of heart and in thoughts and actions?
Do I think about revenge or hold grudges?
Am I meek and humble, a builder of peace?
Image Source: Google Images :
Tommy Canning

Bishops of N. Ireland Pro-Life Statement Calling for Conscientious Objection "All Christians and people of good will are obliged in conscience not to cooperate formally..." Full Text

Full text of submission 

A civil law which legitimises the direct and intentional killing of innocent human beings by means of abortion disregards their inviolable right to life. By seeking to establish regulations and procedures to facilitate the killing of unborn children, which society exists to protect and care for, such a law undermines the common good and the equality of all persons before the law. Therefore, this law cannot be regarded as possessing any authentic juridical validity or any morally binding force.
For this reason, we the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland wish to make clear that the new abortion law established under the provisions of the Northern Ireland Act 2019, is an unjust law. As a consequence, no one is obliged in conscience to cooperate with any action permitted by this law which directly and intentionally leads to the killing of an unborn child. Indeed, everyone is morally obliged to oppose this law by conscientious objection.
Conscientious Objection
Direct and intentional abortion is an unjust act against the innocent human life of an unborn child. The injustice inherent in such an act exists regardless of the unborn child’s stage of development, state of health, or the circumstances in which he/she was conceived.  To refuse to participate in committing such an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right that should be acknowledged and protected by civil law.
We understand that the new regulatory framework will provide a statutory right for health care professionals to conscientiously object to participating in the provision of treatment relating to abortion services.
The provision of this statutory right must ensure that health professionals will not be required to perform any action that constitutes participation in direct and intentional abortion.  With regard to the circumstances in which such a right can be exercised, we wish to draw attention to the following:
  1. All Christians and people of good will are obliged in conscience not to cooperate formally in abortion services, even if permitted by civil legislation.
  2. Since the  Abortion Act 1967 as amended by  the Human Embryology Act 1990 was enacted , a ‘conscience clause’ establishing that ‘no person’ would be ‘under any duty’ of ‘participation’ in any ‘treatment’ or ‘activity’ was authorised. 
The Supreme Court interpreted the concept of ‘participation’ narrowly in the Doogan case[1], excluding many of the ancillary and managerial roles associated with an abortion procedure.  The Abortion Act does not apply to Northern Ireland and opposition to its introduction is opposed by the main political parties.  The Secretary of State now has an opportunity to properly consider the question of conscience, particularly having regard to article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  Any clause should make appropriate provision for ‘reasonable accommodation’ and address the issue that was not directly considered by the Supreme Court in Doogan.  Further, such a clause should have proper regard for the views of the people of Northern Ireland in relation to abortion.  The statutory right to exercise conscientious objection, envisaged by the New Regulatory Framework in Northern Ireland, should provide all health professionals including midwives, nurses and ancillary staff working in hospitals and other community settings with the opportunity to refuse to participate in any aspect of the delivery of abortion services such as consultation, administration, preparation, in addition to the direct and intentional act of abortion itself.
  1. Pharmacists working in hospitals and pharmaceutical outlets in the wider community should also be free to exercise conscientious objection when asked to provide or stock medications designed to assist another person in carrying out an abortion.  This co-operation in abortion services can never be justified either by invoking the freedom of others or appealing to the fact that civil law permits or requires it.
  2. With regard to those who exercise conscientious objection on grounds of religious belief, account ought to be taken of the relevant equality impact requirements imposed specifically on Northern Ireland by Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and in particular Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  3. Referral to another health professional who does not have a conscientious objection to abortion services, is not an option for a health provider who is a Christian, since in those circumstances, he or she would still be co-operating  in the process  to access abortion services. Therefore, the New Regulatory Framework needs to make provision for an alternative referral procedure when health professionals with a conscientious objection to abortion find themselves in a situation where the woman has decided that she wants access to abortion services.
  4. Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected from legal penalties, disciplinary proceedings, discrimination or any adverse impact on career prospects.  Obstetrics and Gynaecology must not become the domain of only those doctors and other medical staff who are willing to participate in abortion services.
  5. In the case of an emergency arising as a direct result of an abortion, medical staff who conscientiously object to direct and intentional abortion are still morally obliged to provide whatever care is necessary to save the mother’s life, when requested to do so.  Further, the Catholic Church recognises that in intervening to save the life of a mother, where there is no intention to destroy the life of the unborn child, the unintended consequence of such an intervention may result in the death of the child. Such an intervention that results in the unintended death of the unborn child is in no way comparable with the direct and intentional destruction of the child in the womb.
Health and Safety
In the introduction to the Consultation document, ‘A New Legal Framework for Abortion Services in Northern Ireland’, the Secretary of State underlines the focus of the consultation process when he says, ‘…the health and safety of women and girls, and clarity and certainty for the medical profession are at the forefront of the Government’s consideration’.
With regard to health and safety of women and girls, the Catholic Bishops wish to express the following concerns:
  • It is our view that the proposal to provide unrestricted access to abortion up to 12/14 weeks will in effect amount to abortion on demand.
  • We understand that a range of options are being considered with regard to where abortion services will be provided for women and girls. We wish to make it clear that we are completely opposed to all attempts to include any school premises as an option for the provision of abortion pills or any other abortion service. Apart from the obvious health and safety concerns, we object on grounds of medical and social ethics to any school being regarded as an appropriate setting for abortion services. With regard to Catholic Schools, central to our school ethos is the promotion of the dignity and life of every human being. The provision of abortion services in our schools would be contrary to  everything a Catholic School stands for with regard to respect for all citizens and the promotion of the common good. Similarly, any inclusion within the school curriculum of information about how to access abortion services would fundamentally undermine the Catholic Ethos of our schools.  As the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland we are totally committed to ensuring that the Catholic Ethos is promoted and protected in all aspects of pastoral care, curriculum content and delivery.
  • Respondents to the consultation are not asked for their views on what a Care Plan for women should contain when requesting access to abortion services. Many women seek abortion services for a range of reasons.  Often they are distressed and in a state of panic. In such circumstances, the pressure and stress they experience can lead them to make a premature decision that many regret rather than taking the time to consider all their options. It is our view that urgent consideration be given to the inclusion of appropriate counselling services and a significant time period be provided for careful reflection on the serious nature of a decision to abort the unborn child .
  • There is no reference in the consultation document to services that would encourage women to proceed with their pregnancy to birth rather than seek an abortion. Factors such as poverty, relationship difficulties, housing, child care, safeguarding etc., are well known to influence women who are considering an abortion. It is our view, that existing services which address these and other factors should be made known to women who are considering abortion.
  • A significant number of women require a range of services after having had an abortion. This fact is not acknowledged in the consultation document. There are no questions which address the need to provide post-abortion services or the form that such provision might take. It is our view, that existing post-abortion services should be made known to all women seeking abortion services.
  • The risks associated with abortion are not acknowledged in the consultation document.  Respondents are not asked about how information concerning the inherent risks could be best communicated to women and girls seeking an abortion. It is our view that every woman who is considering abortion has a right to receive accurate and appropriate  information regarding the risks involved in abortion as well as the range of mental and physical conditions that can emerge as a result of having had an abortion.
  • Guidance on the collection of accurate data, including the reasons why women seek to have an abortion, should be provided within the New Regulatory Framework.  This data shall be essential if there is to be meaningful public scrutiny.
All of the above concerns relate directly to the health and safety of women and girls wishing to access abortion services.  Therefore, in the interests of the well-being of every woman or girl who might consider having an abortion, we would appeal to those responsible for the New Regulatory Framework to give serious consideration to the issues that underpin our concerns.
[1] Doogan [2014] UKSC 68

Are you Traveling? Prayer to St. Christopher for Safe Travels and Motorists - #Driving Prayers to Share!

Saint Christopher Prayer"Motorist's Prayer:" Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by. Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company from the evils of fire and all calamity.Teach me to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed. The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me, and lead me safely to my destiny.
Saint Christopher's Protection Prayer
 Dear Saint Christopher, protect me today in all my travels along the road's way. Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear. Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs From out of the blue. Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen.


 St. Christopher's Prayer
O Glorious St. Christopher you have inherited a beautiful name, Christbearer, as a result of the wonderful legend that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus. Teach us to be true Christbearers to those who do not know Him. Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always. Amen.

New Bishop Appointed by Pope for Diocese of Antigonish, NS - Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick Auxiliary of Toronto

Bishop Appointed for the Diocese of Antigonish

Ottawa – Today, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Most Reverend Wayne Kirkpatrick Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Kirkpatrick was serving as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Bishop Kirkpatrick will assume the pastoral governance of the Diocese from the Most Reverend Brian Dunn, who currently serves as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Antigonish and Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.

Bishop Kirkpatrick was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, on 5 June 1957. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) from St. Jerome's College at the University of Waterloo (1980) prior to entering St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto from which he obtained a Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) and a Masters of Divinity (1984). He later obtained a Licentiate in Canon Law from Saint Paul University in 1990. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of St. Catharines on 1 September 1984 and, following his ordination, served as associate pastor and pastor for parishes within the diocese from 1984 to 2005. His pastoral ministry also included serving as Chaplain for the Niagara Detention Centre (1986-1988), Associate Judicial Vicar of the Toronto Regional Tribunal for the St. Catharines Branch (1990-1995), Diocesan Vice Chancellor (1990-1995) and Chancellor (1995-2012), Judicial Vicar of the St. Catharines Diocesan Tribunal (1995-2012), Diocesan Finance Officer (1995-2000), Diocesan Consultor (1995-2012), Moderator of the Curia (2005-2012), Diocesan Administrator (2010), and Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (2005-2012). He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto on 18 May 2012 and ordained Bishop at St. Catharines on 25 July 2012. As Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, Bishop Kirkpatrick served the pastoral needs of the faithful in the Northern Pastoral Region. He likewise served as the Episcopal Vicar for religious institutes of men and women for the Archdiocese and as Episcopal Vicar for the Francophone community.

As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Kirkpatrick currently serves as the CCCB episcopal representative with the National Christian Muslim Liaison Committee, Bishop ponens with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC) and member of the Roman Catholic-United Church of Canada Dialogue.

The Diocese of Antigonish has 94 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 117,860 served by 80 diocesan priests, seven priests who are members of institutes of consecrated life, 10 permanent deacons, and 161 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life.

RIP Fr. Giancarlo Politi, PIME Missionary, who built bridges with the Church in China - Death of Priest at the age of 77

Fr. Giancarlo Politi, bridge builder with the Chinese Church, has died

Milan (AsiaNews) – Fr. Giancarlo Politi, PIME missionary (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) died last night at 0.15 am. He worked for a long time in Hong Kong and China, weaving strong and stable links with Chinese bishops and Catholic communities. He was also formerly editor of "Mondo e Missione", the monthly magazine of PIME, and of AsiaNews.

Fr. Politi died at the age of 77; he had been a PIME priest for 53 years. In the last stage of his life he had retired to Rancio di Lecco, the home for elderly missionaries, due to his suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The funeral Mass will be celebrated tomorrow in the chapel of the PIME house in Rancio di Lecco at 9.30 am. Then his body will be buried in the PIME cemetery in Villa Grugana.

Born in Abbiategrasso (MI) on March 19, 1942, after attending Milan diocesan seminary, in 1961 he joined PIME in Villa Grugana for a year of formation. He professed his vows on June 25, 1965 and was ordained on June 28, 1966 in Milan by Card. Giovanni Colombo.

Initially placed in charge of vocations and youth movements (1966-67), in 1969 he obtained a license in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University following a period of study of the English language in London. He was then sent to India where he was assigned an assistant in the parish in Mumbai and attended the theological faculty of the Pontifical University of Pune.

Unable to obtain a permanent visa for India, he was transferred to Hong Kong. For several years he was assistant cooperator in Tsuen Wan. Fr. Politi was then called to Italy to be part of the preparatory commission for the General Chapter, and in 1977 he was brought to Milan as deputy director and administrator of the Missionary Center.

In 1981 he returned to Hong Kong, first as parish priest of Yuen Long (N.T.), then, in 1986, with letter from the superior general, he was appointed Director of the HK Press Office and of the AsiaNews Agency. Recalled to Italy in 1993, he was appointed Director of the Missionary Center in Milan and in 2001 he was requested by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) as an expert on Chinese questions. After the expiry of his mandate in 2003, he was appointed spiritual director in the PIME theological seminary in Monza and from 1 April 2012 to 30 April 2014 he was the legal representative of PIME in Italy.

In 2017, for health reasons, he moved to the Rancio community, have become aware of his illness - Alzheimer's disease. In a long interview, in a project promoted by the Alzheimer Italy Federation, he reaches out to people who are living his same condition saying: “You are fathers and mothers, or brothers and sisters, even when you are sick. Don't weep over yourself. Medicines are only part of our life. What matters is the beauty of being alive".
FULL TEXT Source: AsiaNewsIT

Traditional Christmas Novena Prayers : Official from Raccolta with Plenary Indulgence - 7

Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

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

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.

Day 7 Prayers

The Presentation
O most sweet infant Jesus, presented in the temple
by the Virgin Mary, embraced by Simeon, and revealed
to the Jews by Anna the prophetess. 

Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...

Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 4:
Day 5:
Day 6:
Day 7:
Day 8:
Day 9: 

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

US Bishops' Pro-Life Chairmen Urge US Congress to Stand Against Assisted Suicide - Full Text Official Release

Pro-Life and Domestic Justice Chairmen Urge Congress to Stand Against Assisted Suicide

December 20, 2019
WASHINGTON –This week, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged the House of Representatives to support H. Con. Res. 79. . . , a resolution introduced this week describing assisted suicide as a “deadly, discriminatory and non-compassionate practice.”

The bishops shared the following statement:

“Assisted suicide fractures the human family by targeting its most vulnerable members, including the elderly and persons with disabilities, suggesting that their lives are not worth living. We must do what we can to uphold the dignity of life, cherish the lives of all human beings, and work to prevent all suicides. We urge the U.S. Congress to do all it can to protect Americans from this cruel practice, and to ensure those who are ill, disabled, or facing the end of life receive comprehensive medical and palliative care instead of a facilitated suicide.”

---Source: USCCB

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, Deceber 23, 2019 -#Eucharist in Advent

Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Lectionary: 199 
1MAL 3:1-4, 23-24
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,1
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner's fire,
or like the fuller's lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Lo, I will send you
Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the LORD comes,
the great and terrible day,
To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
the land with doom.

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5AB, 8-9, 10 AND 14

R.(see Luke 21:28)  Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church;
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 1:57-66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
"No. He will be called John."
But they answered her,
"There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name,"
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
 and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
"What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him."