Tag Archives: virgin

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Presentation Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos [Orthodox/Catholic Caucus]
The Protoevangelium of James
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [November 21]


Information: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: November 21


Holy Spirit Interactive Kids: A Saint a Day

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: November 21

When she was only three years old, her parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne, took Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem.

There she would be educated in the service and the law of God so that she would be protected against the sins of the world.

Mary’s whole life was to belong to God as He had chosen her to be the Mother of his Son, Jesus. And St. Joachim and St. Anne were pleased to offer their saintly little girl to God. They knew that God had sent her to them.

In the Temple, the high priest received the child Mary, where she was placed among the girls who were dedicated to prayer and Temple service. The high priest kissed and blessed the holy child. He realized that the Lord had great plans for her.

Mary was happy to begin serving God in the Temple. She did not weep or turn back to her parents but came so happily to the altar that everyone in the Temple loved her at once.

St. Joachim and St. Anne went back home. They praised God for their blessed daughter. And Mary remained in the Temple, where she grew in holiness.

She spent her days reading the Bible, praying and serving the Temple priests. She made beautiful linens and wonderful vestments (robes that the priests wear). All the other girls loved Mary because she was so kind.

Mary tried to do each of her duties well, to please God. She grew in grace and gave great glory to the Lord.

Note to Parents: “Parents, God does not simply want you to offer your children to Him in the temple, but requires you to take care to keep them pure and holy, as living temples which have been consecrated in Baptism.”

 


CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, November 21

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. This feast day was celebrated
as early as 1166. In 1585, Pope
Sixtus V extended the Feast of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin to
the whole Church.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: November 21st

Memorial of the Presentation of Mary

Old Calendar: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of the Presentation of Mary. The three feasts of the birthday of Our Lady, the holy Name of Mary and her Presentation in the Temple correspond in the Marian cycle with the first three feasts of the cycle of feasts of our Lord: namely, Christmas, the Holy Name of Jesus, and His Presentation in the Temple (February 2).


Presentation of Mary
“Sacred Scripture contains no text concerning the event commemorated in today’s liturgy. For something of a historical background one may consult the apocryphal works, particularly the Protoevangel of St. James (ch. 4:1ff). After an angel had revealed her pregnancy, Anna is said to have vowed her future child Mary to the Lord. Soon after birth the infant was brought to the sacred precincts at which only the best of Israel’s daughters were admitted. At the age of three she was transferred to the temple proper (7:2). According to legend, here she was reared like a dove and received her nourishment from the hand of an angel (8:1).

“In the East, where the feast, celebrated since the eighth century, is kept as a public holiday, it bears the name, ‘The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple’. It was introduced at Rome by a Cypriotic legate to the papal court of Avignon in 1371. In 1472, Sixtus IV extended its observance to the whole Church. Abolished by Pius V, it was reintroduced some years later (1585).”

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Things to Do:

  • Meditate on the mystery of Mary’s temporary dwelling in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant as a preparation for the approaching season of Advent.
  • Locate the order of contemplative nuns closest to you and visit their monastery (you may want to request their prayers and you might consider supporting them financially), they are the privileged souls who, by the grace of their vocation, are even here below dwellers in the house of the Lord.
  • Spend 30 minutes reading the Bible.
  • Learn more about Mary in the Byzantine Liturgy and say one of the beautiful prayers of the Eastern liturgy in honor of Mary.

The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 19:1-10

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

Zacchaeus . . . was seeking to see who Jesus was. (Luke 19:2, 3)

There’s a lot of seeking and looking going on in this story. First, Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree because he was “seeking to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). Then Jesus looks up at Zacchaeus and invites himself to the man’s house. Then, having heard Zacchaeus declare his intention to change his life, Jesus declares that he has come “to seek and to save what was lost” (19:10).

Both Jesus and Zacchaeus were seeking each other out, but with different intentions. Zacchaeus wasn’t trying to make contact with Jesus. He just wanted to see him, but he was too short. There are plenty of other people in Luke’s Gospel who either cry out to Jesus or interrupt his dinner or reach out and grab his robe (Luke 17:11-19; 7:36-38; 8:43-44). Zacchaeus could have taken any of these approaches. Instead, he chose a hiding place that would give him a good, but safe, view. We don’t know if he was just curious, if he felt too sinful to meet Jesus, or if he was some kind of celebrity watcher trying to get a glimpse of this famous rabbi.

But where Zacchaeus was “seeking to see,” Jesus had come “to seek and to save” (Luke 19:3, 10). Zacchaeus wanted to stay at a safe distance, but Jesus wanted to be close to him. Zacchaeus wanted to disappear into the crowd, but Jesus wanted to single him out and spend time with him.

And look what happened! Simply by standing in Jesus’ presence, Zacchaeus was moved from wanting to see him to wanting to follow him. He was so changed that he “received him with joy” (Luke 19:6).

Zacchaeus shows us what happens when we open the door to Jesus just a little bit. He invites himself in and softens our hearts. He soothes our fears. He moves us to confess our sins and feel the freedom of his love. He doesn’t call us a “sinner” but a spiritual “descendant of Abraham” (Luke 19:7, 9).

Jesus has the power to change our lives. He wants to change our lives. He is eager to change our lives. Even the smallest glimpse from us is enough for him to come and touch our hearts. Isn’t this a comforting message?

“Here I am, Lord!”

2 Maccabees 6:18-31
Psalm 3:2-7


Regnum Christi

November 21, 2017 – Jesus Is My Guest

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith.

1. Zacchaeus up a Tree: Yesterday and today’s Gospel passages speak eloquently of the need to encounter Christ at all costs. The blind man we read about yesterday would not stop shouting until he was brought to the Lord. Today a short and very unpopular man named Zacchaeus runs back and forth among the crowd until finally, in his determination to encounter Christ, he breaks all protocol and scrambles up a tree. Jesus wastes no time in entering decisively this tax collector’s life and transforming it. This resembles our own encounter with Christ. At times different obstacles stand in our way and prevent us from seeing Our Lord and his action in our lives. Above all we lack determination. How easy it is to craft excuses: “I am just too short,” “Maybe Jesus is too busy,” “I am just a sinner.” If we really want Our Lord to stay at our house, he will, but there may be trees that we need to climb first.

2. Welcoming Jesus: Few people ever welcomed Jesus with the joy and exuberance as did this little man. He came down from the tree, gave half of his wealth to the poor, and promised to restore any fraudulent transactions four times over. Zacchaeus has truly been like that merchant in search of fine pearls (see Matthew 13:45-46). He is willing to sell all he has to buy the pearl of great price: friendship and intimacy with the Lord. How many times has Jesus looked up at us and asked us to remain with him? How many times have we had the immense grace of receiving the King of kings into our hearts in the Blessed Eucharist? Do we offer merely a corner of our hearts for him or do we reserve the presidential suite? How pure do we maintain our souls for our Guest?

3. Of Sinners and Saints: What makes someone a saint and someone else a sinner? Certainly it is not the grumbling of the jealous crowd who are unwilling to climb up the tree to see Jesus yet are quick to criticize anyone who does. In fact, everyone is a sinner. St. Paul writes, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet St. Paul, Zacchaeus, you and I all go from being sinners to saints when we encounter Christ and are faithful to his friendship. Salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house when Jesus entered it, and salvation comes to us through the graces received at baptism, renewed in the Sacrament of Penance, and nurtured in the Eucharist.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to be willing to do whatever it takes to grow in a deeper friendship with you. Don’t allow me to worry about the murmurings of the crowd, but only to listen to your voice and respond to it with generosity.

Resolution: I will make a point to go to confession at the next possible opportunity asking Jesus to forgive me my sins and to help me to turn from being a sinner into being a saint. I will make it a real encounter with Jesus.


Homily of the Day

According to tradition, at the age of three, Mary was brought by her parents Joachim and Anne to the Temple at Jerusalem to present and consecrate her to the service of the Lord. She remained there in prayer and service until she was betrothed to Joseph. Today we pray for the men and women in monasteries and hermitages who serve the Lord and the Church through prayer and quiet work.

Today we also reflect on the responsibilities of parents for their children. Joachim and Anne took special care of their unique daughter Mary, teaching her what love and service of God are. What Christian values do we teach our children? How do we
do it? Hopefully by word and example. At the rite of baptism parents are reminded of their obligation to teach and rear their children and that they are their first teachers, and hopefully their best teachers.

Mary and Joseph, the mother and the foster-father of Jesus, did the same for the child Jesus and helped him grow “in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor.” (Lk 2:52) How have we done in the growth and development of our children?

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Photograph taken by Céline, in three poses, in the sacristy court yard. This is the third pose, which Thérèse sent to Bellière, as we read in the last paragraph of her letter LT-258. The pictures from her breviary that Thérèse holds sum up her name:the Infant Jesus
and the Holy Face.Date: June 7th, 1897.The 47 photos of Thérèse

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October 1 – Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux’s Story

“I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul.”

These are the words of Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun called the “Little Flower,” who lived a cloistered life of obscurity in the convent of Lisieux, France. And her preference for hidden sacrifice did indeed convert souls. Few saints of God are more popular than this young nun. Her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, is read and loved throughout the world. Thérèse Martin entered the convent at the age of 15 and died in 1897 at the age of 24.

Life in a Carmelite convent is indeed uneventful and consists mainly of prayer and hard domestic work. But Thérèse possessed that holy insight that redeems the time, however dull that time may be. She saw in quiet suffering a redemptive suffering, suffering that was indeed her apostolate. Thérèse said she came to the Carmel convent “to save souls and pray for priests.” And shortly before she died, she wrote: “I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth.”

Thérèse was canonized in 1925. On October 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church, the third woman to be so recognized in light of her holiness and the influence of her teaching on spirituality in the Church.

Her parents, Louis and Zélie, were beatified in 2008, and canonized in 2015.


Reflection

Thérèse has much to teach our age of the image, the appearance, the “self.” We have become a dangerously self-conscious people, painfully aware of the need to be fulfilled, yet knowing we are not. Thérèse, like so many saints, sought to serve others, to do something outside herself, to forget herself in quiet acts of love. She is one of the great examples of the gospel paradox that we gain our life by losing it, and that the seed that falls to the ground must die in order to live.

Preoccupation with self separates modern men and women from God, from their fellow human beings, and ultimately from themselves. We must re-learn to forget ourselves, to contemplate a God who draws us out of ourselves, and to serve others as the ultimate expression of selfhood. These are the insights of Saint Thérèse, and they are more valid today than ever.


Saint Thérèse is the Patron Saint of:

Florists
Missionaries
Pilots
Priests


franciscanmedia.org

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On St. Thérèse of Lisieux

On Praying for Priests (Thoughts from St. Thérèse of Lisieux)
Tens of thousands expected to venerate St. Therese relics at Westminster Cathedral [Catholic Caucus]
The Little-Known St. Thérèse (Catholic Caucus)
All Is Grace
Three Novenas to Saint Therese of Lisieux/St. Therese of the Child Jesus (Prayer Thread)
Catholic Caucus: The Little-Known St. Thérèse
Catholic relic (of St. Therese of the Child Jesus) nicked from Toronto church [Catholic Caucus]
Leonard Porter’s St. Therese (magnificent)
Blessed Mother… and Father, Too (parents of St. Therese beatified) [Catholic Caucus]
“A Shower of Roses” [Catholic Caucus]
The Christmas Conversion of St. Thérèse

Benedict XVI Welcomes Relics of St. Thérèse – Urges Faithful to Love Scripture as She Did
St. Therese of The Little Flower – Following Her Road Map & Compass To God (Card Sean Titular Chrch)
St. Therese and the Little Way
Today we remember the Little Flower

New Film on the Life of St. Thèrése of Lisieux Screened for the Roman Curia
St. Therese and Her Little Way
Saint Therese of Lisieux-Excerpts from autobiography:STORY OF A SOUL
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
The Little Way of St. Therese [Long]
Catholic Caucus – St. Therese of Lisieux


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: October 1st

Memorial St. Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and Doctor of the Church

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

Old Calendar: St. Remigius, bishop, confessor (Remi) ; Other Titles: The Little Flower; Theresa of the Child Jesus; Teresa of the Child Jesus; Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face; Therese of the Infant Jesus; Thérèse Lisieux; Theresa Lisieux; Therese Lisieux

Today is the memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, more popularly known as “the Little Flower.” Although just an obscure cloistered Carmelite nun, she has had universal appeal since her death in 1897. St. Thérèse is the patroness of all foreign missions and patroness of France. Her feast day was formerly October 3.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Remigius, bishop and confessor, who died in 533. He baptized King Clovis, bringing the Frankish nation to Christianity. He is one of the patrons of France.

 


St. Thérèse
Marie Thérèse Martin was born at Alençon, France on January 2, 1873, the youngest of five daughters. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker, and her mother, Zelie, who died of breast cancer when Thérèse was four, was a lace maker. She was brought up in a model Christian home. While still a child she felt the attraction of the cloister, and at fifteen obtained permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux. For the next nine years she lived a very ordinary religious life. There are no miracles, exploits or austerities recorded of her. She attained a very high degree of holiness by carrying out her ordinary daily duties with perfect fidelity, having a childlike confidence in God’s providence and merciful love and being ready to be at the service of others at all times. She also had a great love of the Church and a zeal for the conversion of souls. She prayed especially for priests. She died of consumption on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24, and was canonized in 1925. She has never ceased to fulfill her promise: “I will pass my heaven in doing good on earth.” Her interior life is known through her autobiography called Story of a Soul. Pope John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997.

Patron: florists; foreign missions; missionaries; pilots; against tuberculosis; AIDS sufferers; illness; loss of parents; Australia; France; Russia; Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska; Diocese of Fresno, California; Diocese of Juneau, Alaska; Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado.

Symbols: roses; discalced Carmelite nun holding roses; Carmelite nun with roses at her feet; Carmelite nun holding images of the Child Jesus and Holy Face of Jesus; Carmelite nun holding a crucifix and roses; book.

Things to Do:

 


St. Remigius
Also known as Remi, he was born at Laon, the son of Count Emilius of Laon and St. Celina. He became known for his preaching, and in 459, when he was only twenty-two, he was appointed bishop of Rheims. He was ordained and consecrated and reigned for more than seventy years, devoting himself to the evangelization of the Franks. In 496, Clovis, pagan King of northern Gaul, supposedly in response to a suggestion by his wife, Clotildis, a Christian, invoked the Christian God when the invading Alemanni were on the verge of defeating his forces, whereupon the tide of battle turned and Clovis was victorious. St. Remigius, aided by St. Vedast, instructed him and his chieftains in Christianity, and soon after baptized Clovis, his two sisters, and three thousand of his followers. Remigius was a zealous proponent of orthodoxy, opposed Arianism, and converted an Arian bishop at a synod of Arian bishops in 517. He was censured by a group of bishops for ordaining one Claudius, whom they felt was unworthy of the priesthood, but St. Remigius was generally held in great veneration for his holiness, learning, and miracles. He was the most influential prelate of Gaul and is considered the apostle of the Franks. He died at Rheims on January 13. — Dictionary of Saints, John J. Delaney

Patron: France.

Symbols: Oil stock; dove with Holy Ampulla in its beak; birds; veil of St. Veronica; font; broken fetters.
Often Portrayed As: Dressed as a bishop with a miter and staff with a cross and is holding the oil of the sacred phial in his right hand with a dove hovering over. For centuries the events at the crowning of Clovis I became a symbol used by the monarchy to claim the divine right to rule.

Things to Do: Things to Do:

  • Learn about Rheims, France and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Rheims where King Clovis was baptized.
  • Find out what the divine right of kings means.
  • Offer reparation by prayers and good works for the losses resulting from the infidelity of France (the eldest daughter of the Church) as well as much of Europe, who has departed from the faith on which their culture was built.
  • Read Pope John Paul’s Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in Europa.

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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 9:51-56

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

They entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there. (Luke 9:52)

Maybe you’ve heard this expression: “The Queen thinks the world smells of fresh paint.”

No, there’s nothing wrong with the Queen of England’s nose. It’s just that, when she visits a town, her people make sure the locals work hard to spruce things up. The landscaping is freshly groomed. Highways are swept clean. Painters splash color onto walls. Everyone tries to look their best for their monarch.

Contrast this with Jesus. When he sent messengers ahead into Samaria, he didn’t instruct them to beautify it—not even to renovate the local religious practices. He simply told them to proclaim good news: Jesus the King was coming to visit (Luke 9:6).

But when James and John encountered opposition in one particular village, their tempers flared. They had missed that Jesus was prepared to enter these villagers’ messy lives with the power to heal them.

Just like the messengers in today’s Gospel, Jesus is sending you out “ahead” of his coming. Your assignment is to help prepare the people around you for his reception. It’s not as hard as you might think.

First, focus on loving people right where they are. Don’t wait for them to renovate their lives. And don’t pressure or nag them either. Trust that Jesus can use your small acts of kindness and love to prepare them for a deeper relationship with him.

Second, bring good news. When the time is right, share about the difference Jesus has made in your life.

Finally, don’t be offended if people aren’t ready to hear about Jesus. After all, Jesus didn’t hold a grudge against the Samaritans. He even healed a Samaritan leper (Luke 17:16)! Then, after Jesus’ resurrection, his disciples went again into Samaria to proclaim the gospel (Acts 8:25).

So keep sowing seeds of love in the people around you. And pray for a harvest! In time, they will be ready to receive their King.

“Lord, please use my small acts of love to prepare your way.”

 

Zechariah 8:20-23
Psalm 87:1-7

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Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part
October 1, 2019 “To live out of love is to give one’s self.” – St. Therese. Make a conscious effort to give yourself to your family today, through your time, prayers, and acts of service.

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Regnum Christi

October 1, 2019 – Heavenly Helpers

Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Luke 9: 51-56

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

Introductory Prayer: In you, Lord, I find all my joy and happiness. How could I offend you by chasing after fleeting success and lifeless trophies? I believe in you because you are truth itself. I hope in you because you are faithful to your promises. I love you because you have loved me first. I am a sinner; nevertheless, you have given me so many blessings. I humbly thank you.

Petition: Lord Jesus, make me meek and humble of heart.

  1. An Unpopular Strategy: Jesus was like the general of an army. His wasn’t a visible enemy, though; his enemy was the hidden forces of evil itself. Jesus waged war on the devil until the bitter end. “This was the purpose of the appearing of the Son of God, to undo the work of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Jesus marched on toward Jerusalem, and this Gospel described his march with a military term: “resolutely”. Nevertheless, even though he was engaged in fierce combat, Jesus didn’t show it in a way the world understood. Our Lord approached his battle in Jerusalem like a sheep being led to the slaughter. His strategy was humility. Humility was the atomic bomb that he would drop on Satan’s designs and plans. He thus undid the pride and arrogance of Lucifer.
  1. A Lesson in Humility: St. John the Evangelist is an active participant in this passage. He himself knew that Jesus’ purpose was to wage war (see 1 John 3:8), and he and his brother dreamed of being well-decorated in Jesus’ battalion. They sought places at his right and left hand in the Kingdom (see Mark 10:35-37), and now they seek to use their rank as apostles to bring down revenge on their opponents. Jesus rebuked them, redefining for them the idea of kingship in his reign. They learned quickly that the weapons of attack were kindness, gentleness, charity and humility.
  1. Mission Oriented: In military standards, a commander-in-chief might have considered the incident in Samaria a defeat. Christ was uprooted from their presence, so humanly speaking, he lost. This, however, is not the case. Had Jesus complained or retaliated against the fanaticism of the Samaritans, that would have been a defeat. Instead, the Gospel tells us: “They journeyed to another village.” Simple as that! Christ won victory because he didn’t waste time on fickle, whimsical and capricious expectations; rather as a true soldier, he forgave, forgot and continued to the next town.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, allow me to understand the bumps and bruises of your “boot camp.” It is hard to understand why life is so taxing for my weak nature, but I know that we are at war with the forces of evil. Seeing you die for this war and winning it gives me greater courage to commit my bit to the war effort. Help me to prefer the virtue of humility over my pride.

Resolution: Today, I will be to the one who does an everyday chore in my house. I will make the coffee for all or wash the dishes to demonstrate to the Lord (and myself) that I can be humble.

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Homily of the Day

]Jesus and his disciples were headed for Jerusalem. This would be his

final destination where he would prepare himself as the “Lamb” for the
Passover Meal. Jesus’ disciples were all witnesses to his great wisdom
and compassion. They also saw him perform great and spectacular
miracles of healing, expelling demons and raising people from the
dead. The disciples indeed had firsthand experience of Divine Power
realized in the person of Jesus.

Naturally though, because they were only human, their tendency was to
think in terms of human wisdom. Human weaknesses dictated impulsive
reactions, more like reflex actions to a given situation. The disciple
brothers James and John had been frustrated with their efforts to
preach the good news in the towns where they had been sent. They
impulsively asked Jesus to call down fire from heaven and burn up
these towns.

Indeed God’s ways are not man’s ways. God is constantly teaching us
this throughout our lifetime. Life daily asks us all sorts of
questions. Our response to these questions will measure our progress.

Great power comes with natural purity. This power describes the Good
News which Jesus wants us to hear. Although convinced by the great
power of God’s word, we must not deal with it as though it were a
human word. Neither should we force others to believe and accept God’s
word right away. The fruits of Love will lead people to recognize that
the message is authentic; by their own free will they will be
convinced to accept willingly and wholeheartedly the truth of God’s
love, the Power that gives Life, Life to the fullest.

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One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Espanol

All Issues > Volume 35, Issue 6

<< Tuesday, October 1, 2019 >> St. Therese of the Child Jesus
 
Zechariah 8:20-23
View Readings
Psalm 87:1-7 Luke 9:51-56
Similar Reflections
 

READY, GET SET, GO

 
Jesus “set His face toward Jerusalem.” �Luke 9:51 (our translation)
 
Jesus “firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51). This was one of the most important decisions in human history. This decision to go to Jerusalem was a crucial moment in God’s plan of salvation, for it ended in Jesus’ saving death and glorious Resurrection.

Immediately after making this decision, Jesus was opposed by Samaritans and had to rebuke James and John to deliver them from the evil one (Lk 9:53, 55). We likewise face serious problems after we make our most important decisions for Jesus. How many people have been rejected by their friends and co-workers after they have decided to give their lives to Jesus! So many Christians have made the decision to be pure, only to face what seemed to be huge temptations, and even abuse, for trying to live a holy life.

After I had “set my face” toward the vocation of the priesthood, the devil tried to talk me out of it by spotlighting many abuses in the Church. Many Christian couples, after they have “set their faces” toward becoming a holy family, experience financial difficulties. Those who set their faces in obedience to God have unsettling experiences.

Nevertheless, we all must keep our faces set towards God’s will in our life. If we do, we will finally rise from the dead after having suffered and died for love of Jesus. Set your face (see Is 50:7).

 
Prayer: Father, may I not move to the right or to the left, but be set in Your ways (Dt 5:32).
Promise: “Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to implore the favor of the Lord.” —Zec 8:22
Praise: St. Therese was reared in an extremely devout Catholic family. She is the child of two canonized Saints, Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin.

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Saint Clare, Virgin & St. Philomena

 

 

Information: St. Clare of AssisiFeast Day: August 11

Born: July 16, 1194, Assisi, Italy

Died: August 11, 1253, Assisi, Italy

Canonized: September 26, 1255, Rome by Pope Alexander IV

Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Clare, Assisi

Patron of: clairvoyance, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embrodiers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, telephones, telegraphs, television

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Information: St. PhilomenaFeast Day: August 11

Major Shrine: Church of Our Lady of Grace in Mugnano del Cardinale

Patron of: Children, youth, babies, infants, lost causes, sterility, virgins, Children of Mary, The Universal Living Rosary Association

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Day by Day — Saints for All, Saint Clare of Assisi, 08-11-18

Franciscan Media

<em>Saint Clare</em> | Monastery of Saint Clare, Cincinnati, OHImage: Saint Clare | original painting for the Poor Clares in Cincinnati, OH

Saint Clare of Assisi

Saint of the Day for August 11

(July 16, 1194August 11, 1253)

 

Saint Clare of Assisi’s Story

One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-woman counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.

The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, Clare was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.

At 18, Clare escaped from her father’s home one night, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed her long tresses to Francis’ scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. Clare clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair, and remained adamant.

Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity, and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order. At age 21, Francis obliged Clare under obedience to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.



The Poor Ladies went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat, and observed almost complete silence. Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor: “Our bodies are not made of brass.” The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade Clare to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness: “I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ.”

Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of Clare’s life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick and washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals, and bishops often came to consult her—Clare herself never left the walls of San Damiano.

Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. Clare was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.

A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. Clare had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens. “Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect.” To her sisters she said, “Don’t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.” The Saracens fled.


Reflection

The 41 years of Clare’s religious life are scenarios of sanctity: an indomitable resolve to lead the simple, literal gospel life as Francis taught her; courageous resistance to the ever-present pressure to dilute the ideal; a passion for poverty and humility; an ardent life of prayer; and a generous concern for her sisters.


Saint Clare is the Patron Saint of:

Eye disorders
Television


Click here for Fr. Don Miller’s thoughts on Saint Clare!

St. Francis of Assisi (and) St. Clare of Assisi [Catholic Caucus]
SAINT CLARE, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE POOR CLARES 1193-1253
Permission has been granted… [Poor Clares in San Antonio] (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Clare’s Advice Defended Assisi Against An Attack By the Mohammedans (My Title)
Boomer Contemplating Faith: touching story as only an encounter with Poor Clares could inspire
St Clare of Assisi (1193-1253)
Saint Clare of Assisi

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Presentation Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos [Orthodox/Catholic Caucus]
The Protoevangelium of James
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [November 21]


Information: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: November 21


Holy Spirit Interactive Kids: A Saint a Day

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: November 21

When she was only three years old, her parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne, took Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem.

There she would be educated in the service and the law of God so that she would be protected against the sins of the world.

Mary’s whole life was to belong to God as He had chosen her to be the Mother of his Son, Jesus. And St. Joachim and St. Anne were pleased to offer their saintly little girl to God. They knew that God had sent her to them.

In the Temple, the high priest received the child Mary, where she was placed among the girls who were dedicated to prayer and Temple service. The high priest kissed and blessed the holy child. He realized that the Lord had great plans for her.

Mary was happy to begin serving God in the Temple. She did not weep or turn back to her parents but came so happily to the altar that everyone in the Temple loved her at once.

St. Joachim and St. Anne went back home. They praised God for their blessed daughter. And Mary remained in the Temple, where she grew in holiness.

She spent her days reading the Bible, praying and serving the Temple priests. She made beautiful linens and wonderful vestments (robes that the priests wear). All the other girls loved Mary because she was so kind.

Mary tried to do each of her duties well, to please God. She grew in grace and gave great glory to the Lord.

Note to Parents: “Parents, God does not simply want you to offer your children to Him in the temple, but requires you to take care to keep them pure and holy, as living temples which have been consecrated in Baptism.”

 


CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, November 21

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. This feast day was celebrated
as early as 1166. In 1585, Pope
Sixtus V extended the Feast of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin to
the whole Church.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: November 21st

Memorial of the Presentation of Mary

Old Calendar: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of the Presentation of Mary. The three feasts of the birthday of Our Lady, the holy Name of Mary and her Presentation in the Temple correspond in the Marian cycle with the first three feasts of the cycle of feasts of our Lord: namely, Christmas, the Holy Name of Jesus, and His Presentation in the Temple (February 2).


Presentation of Mary
“Sacred Scripture contains no text concerning the event commemorated in today’s liturgy. For something of a historical background one may consult the apocryphal works, particularly the Protoevangel of St. James (ch. 4:1ff). After an angel had revealed her pregnancy, Anna is said to have vowed her future child Mary to the Lord. Soon after birth the infant was brought to the sacred precincts at which only the best of Israel’s daughters were admitted. At the age of three she was transferred to the temple proper (7:2). According to legend, here she was reared like a dove and received her nourishment from the hand of an angel (8:1).

“In the East, where the feast, celebrated since the eighth century, is kept as a public holiday, it bears the name, ‘The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple’. It was introduced at Rome by a Cypriotic legate to the papal court of Avignon in 1371. In 1472, Sixtus IV extended its observance to the whole Church. Abolished by Pius V, it was reintroduced some years later (1585).”

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Things to Do:

  • Meditate on the mystery of Mary’s temporary dwelling in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant as a preparation for the approaching season of Advent.
  • Locate the order of contemplative nuns closest to you and visit their monastery (you may want to request their prayers and you might consider supporting them financially), they are the privileged souls who, by the grace of their vocation, are even here below dwellers in the house of the Lord.
  • Spend 30 minutes reading the Bible.
  • Learn more about Mary in the Byzantine Liturgy and say one of the beautiful prayers of the Eastern liturgy in honor of Mary.

The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 19:1-10

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

Zacchaeus . . . was seeking to see who Jesus was. (Luke 19:2, 3)

There’s a lot of seeking and looking going on in this story. First, Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree because he was “seeking to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). Then Jesus looks up at Zacchaeus and invites himself to the man’s house. Then, having heard Zacchaeus declare his intention to change his life, Jesus declares that he has come “to seek and to save what was lost” (19:10).

Both Jesus and Zacchaeus were seeking each other out, but with different intentions. Zacchaeus wasn’t trying to make contact with Jesus. He just wanted to see him, but he was too short. There are plenty of other people in Luke’s Gospel who either cry out to Jesus or interrupt his dinner or reach out and grab his robe (Luke 17:11-19; 7:36-38; 8:43-44). Zacchaeus could have taken any of these approaches. Instead, he chose a hiding place that would give him a good, but safe, view. We don’t know if he was just curious, if he felt too sinful to meet Jesus, or if he was some kind of celebrity watcher trying to get a glimpse of this famous rabbi.

But where Zacchaeus was “seeking to see,” Jesus had come “to seek and to save” (Luke 19:3, 10). Zacchaeus wanted to stay at a safe distance, but Jesus wanted to be close to him. Zacchaeus wanted to disappear into the crowd, but Jesus wanted to single him out and spend time with him.

And look what happened! Simply by standing in Jesus’ presence, Zacchaeus was moved from wanting to see him to wanting to follow him. He was so changed that he “received him with joy” (Luke 19:6).

Zacchaeus shows us what happens when we open the door to Jesus just a little bit. He invites himself in and softens our hearts. He soothes our fears. He moves us to confess our sins and feel the freedom of his love. He doesn’t call us a “sinner” but a spiritual “descendant of Abraham” (Luke 19:7, 9).

Jesus has the power to change our lives. He wants to change our lives. He is eager to change our lives. Even the smallest glimpse from us is enough for him to come and touch our hearts. Isn’t this a comforting message?

“Here I am, Lord!”

2 Maccabees 6:18-31
Psalm 3:2-7


Regnum Christi

November 21, 2017 – Jesus Is My Guest

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith.

1. Zacchaeus up a Tree: Yesterday and today’s Gospel passages speak eloquently of the need to encounter Christ at all costs. The blind man we read about yesterday would not stop shouting until he was brought to the Lord. Today a short and very unpopular man named Zacchaeus runs back and forth among the crowd until finally, in his determination to encounter Christ, he breaks all protocol and scrambles up a tree. Jesus wastes no time in entering decisively this tax collector’s life and transforming it. This resembles our own encounter with Christ. At times different obstacles stand in our way and prevent us from seeing Our Lord and his action in our lives. Above all we lack determination. How easy it is to craft excuses: “I am just too short,” “Maybe Jesus is too busy,” “I am just a sinner.” If we really want Our Lord to stay at our house, he will, but there may be trees that we need to climb first.

2. Welcoming Jesus: Few people ever welcomed Jesus with the joy and exuberance as did this little man. He came down from the tree, gave half of his wealth to the poor, and promised to restore any fraudulent transactions four times over. Zacchaeus has truly been like that merchant in search of fine pearls (see Matthew 13:45-46). He is willing to sell all he has to buy the pearl of great price: friendship and intimacy with the Lord. How many times has Jesus looked up at us and asked us to remain with him? How many times have we had the immense grace of receiving the King of kings into our hearts in the Blessed Eucharist? Do we offer merely a corner of our hearts for him or do we reserve the presidential suite? How pure do we maintain our souls for our Guest?

3. Of Sinners and Saints: What makes someone a saint and someone else a sinner? Certainly it is not the grumbling of the jealous crowd who are unwilling to climb up the tree to see Jesus yet are quick to criticize anyone who does. In fact, everyone is a sinner. St. Paul writes, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet St. Paul, Zacchaeus, you and I all go from being sinners to saints when we encounter Christ and are faithful to his friendship. Salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house when Jesus entered it, and salvation comes to us through the graces received at baptism, renewed in the Sacrament of Penance, and nurtured in the Eucharist.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to be willing to do whatever it takes to grow in a deeper friendship with you. Don’t allow me to worry about the murmurings of the crowd, but only to listen to your voice and respond to it with generosity.

Resolution: I will make a point to go to confession at the next possible opportunity asking Jesus to forgive me my sins and to help me to turn from being a sinner into being a saint. I will make it a real encounter with Jesus.


Homily of the Day

According to tradition, at the age of three, Mary was brought by her parents Joachim and Anne to the Temple at Jerusalem to present and consecrate her to the service of the Lord. She remained there in prayer and service until she was betrothed to Joseph. Today we pray for the men and women in monasteries and hermitages who serve the Lord and the Church through prayer and quiet work.

Today we also reflect on the responsibilities of parents for their children. Joachim and Anne took special care of their unique daughter Mary, teaching her what love and service of God are. What Christian values do we teach our children? How do we
do it? Hopefully by word and example. At the rite of baptism parents are reminded of their obligation to teach and rear their children and that they are their first teachers, and hopefully their best teachers.

Mary and Joseph, the mother and the foster-father of Jesus, did the same for the child Jesus and helped him grow “in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor.” (Lk 2:52) How have we done in the growth and development of our children?

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Presentation Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos [Orthodox/Catholic Caucus]
The Protoevangelium of James
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [November 21]


Information: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: November 21


Holy Spirit Interactive Kids: A Saint a Day

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: November 21

When she was only three years old, her parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne, took Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem.

There she would be educated in the service and the law of God so that she would be protected against the sins of the world.

Mary’s whole life was to belong to God as He had chosen her to be the Mother of his Son, Jesus. And St. Joachim and St. Anne were pleased to offer their saintly little girl to God. They knew that God had sent her to them.

In the Temple, the high priest received the child Mary, where she was placed among the girls who were dedicated to prayer and Temple service. The high priest kissed and blessed the holy child. He realized that the Lord had great plans for her.

Mary was happy to begin serving God in the Temple. She did not weep or turn back to her parents but came so happily to the altar that everyone in the Temple loved her at once.

St. Joachim and St. Anne went back home. They praised God for their blessed daughter. And Mary remained in the Temple, where she grew in holiness.

She spent her days reading the Bible, praying and serving the Temple priests. She made beautiful linens and wonderful vestments (robes that the priests wear). All the other girls loved Mary because she was so kind.

Mary tried to do each of her duties well, to please God. She grew in grace and gave great glory to the Lord.

Note to Parents: “Parents, God does not simply want you to offer your children to Him in the temple, but requires you to take care to keep them pure and holy, as living temples which have been consecrated in Baptism.”

 


CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, November 21

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. This feast day was celebrated
as early as 1166. In 1585, Pope
Sixtus V extended the Feast of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin to
the whole Church.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: November 21st

Memorial of the Presentation of Mary

Old Calendar: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of the Presentation of Mary. The three feasts of the birthday of Our Lady, the holy Name of Mary and her Presentation in the Temple correspond in the Marian cycle with the first three feasts of the cycle of feasts of our Lord: namely, Christmas, the Holy Name of Jesus, and His Presentation in the Temple (February 2).


Presentation of Mary
“Sacred Scripture contains no text concerning the event commemorated in today’s liturgy. For something of a historical background one may consult the apocryphal works, particularly the Protoevangel of St. James (ch. 4:1ff). After an angel had revealed her pregnancy, Anna is said to have vowed her future child Mary to the Lord. Soon after birth the infant was brought to the sacred precincts at which only the best of Israel’s daughters were admitted. At the age of three she was transferred to the temple proper (7:2). According to legend, here she was reared like a dove and received her nourishment from the hand of an angel (8:1).

“In the East, where the feast, celebrated since the eighth century, is kept as a public holiday, it bears the name, ‘The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple’. It was introduced at Rome by a Cypriotic legate to the papal court of Avignon in 1371. In 1472, Sixtus IV extended its observance to the whole Church. Abolished by Pius V, it was reintroduced some years later (1585).”

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Things to Do:

  • Meditate on the mystery of Mary’s temporary dwelling in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant as a preparation for the approaching season of Advent.
  • Locate the order of contemplative nuns closest to you and visit their monastery (you may want to request their prayers and you might consider supporting them financially), they are the privileged souls who, by the grace of their vocation, are even here below dwellers in the house of the Lord.
  • Spend 30 minutes reading the Bible.
  • Learn more about Mary in the Byzantine Liturgy and say one of the beautiful prayers of the Eastern liturgy in honor of Mary.

The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 19:1-10

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

Zacchaeus . . . was seeking to see who Jesus was. (Luke 19:2, 3)

There’s a lot of seeking and looking going on in this story. First, Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree because he was “seeking to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). Then Jesus looks up at Zacchaeus and invites himself to the man’s house. Then, having heard Zacchaeus declare his intention to change his life, Jesus declares that he has come “to seek and to save what was lost” (19:10).

Both Jesus and Zacchaeus were seeking each other out, but with different intentions. Zacchaeus wasn’t trying to make contact with Jesus. He just wanted to see him, but he was too short. There are plenty of other people in Luke’s Gospel who either cry out to Jesus or interrupt his dinner or reach out and grab his robe (Luke 17:11-19; 7:36-38; 8:43-44). Zacchaeus could have taken any of these approaches. Instead, he chose a hiding place that would give him a good, but safe, view. We don’t know if he was just curious, if he felt too sinful to meet Jesus, or if he was some kind of celebrity watcher trying to get a glimpse of this famous rabbi.

But where Zacchaeus was “seeking to see,” Jesus had come “to seek and to save” (Luke 19:3, 10). Zacchaeus wanted to stay at a safe distance, but Jesus wanted to be close to him. Zacchaeus wanted to disappear into the crowd, but Jesus wanted to single him out and spend time with him.

And look what happened! Simply by standing in Jesus’ presence, Zacchaeus was moved from wanting to see him to wanting to follow him. He was so changed that he “received him with joy” (Luke 19:6).

Zacchaeus shows us what happens when we open the door to Jesus just a little bit. He invites himself in and softens our hearts. He soothes our fears. He moves us to confess our sins and feel the freedom of his love. He doesn’t call us a “sinner” but a spiritual “descendant of Abraham” (Luke 19:7, 9).

Jesus has the power to change our lives. He wants to change our lives. He is eager to change our lives. Even the smallest glimpse from us is enough for him to come and touch our hearts. Isn’t this a comforting message?

“Here I am, Lord!”

2 Maccabees 6:18-31
Psalm 3:2-7


Regnum Christi

November 21, 2017 – Jesus Is My Guest

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith.

1. Zacchaeus up a Tree: Yesterday and today’s Gospel passages speak eloquently of the need to encounter Christ at all costs. The blind man we read about yesterday would not stop shouting until he was brought to the Lord. Today a short and very unpopular man named Zacchaeus runs back and forth among the crowd until finally, in his determination to encounter Christ, he breaks all protocol and scrambles up a tree. Jesus wastes no time in entering decisively this tax collector’s life and transforming it. This resembles our own encounter with Christ. At times different obstacles stand in our way and prevent us from seeing Our Lord and his action in our lives. Above all we lack determination. How easy it is to craft excuses: “I am just too short,” “Maybe Jesus is too busy,” “I am just a sinner.” If we really want Our Lord to stay at our house, he will, but there may be trees that we need to climb first.

2. Welcoming Jesus: Few people ever welcomed Jesus with the joy and exuberance as did this little man. He came down from the tree, gave half of his wealth to the poor, and promised to restore any fraudulent transactions four times over. Zacchaeus has truly been like that merchant in search of fine pearls (see Matthew 13:45-46). He is willing to sell all he has to buy the pearl of great price: friendship and intimacy with the Lord. How many times has Jesus looked up at us and asked us to remain with him? How many times have we had the immense grace of receiving the King of kings into our hearts in the Blessed Eucharist? Do we offer merely a corner of our hearts for him or do we reserve the presidential suite? How pure do we maintain our souls for our Guest?

3. Of Sinners and Saints: What makes someone a saint and someone else a sinner? Certainly it is not the grumbling of the jealous crowd who are unwilling to climb up the tree to see Jesus yet are quick to criticize anyone who does. In fact, everyone is a sinner. St. Paul writes, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet St. Paul, Zacchaeus, you and I all go from being sinners to saints when we encounter Christ and are faithful to his friendship. Salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house when Jesus entered it, and salvation comes to us through the graces received at baptism, renewed in the Sacrament of Penance, and nurtured in the Eucharist.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to be willing to do whatever it takes to grow in a deeper friendship with you. Don’t allow me to worry about the murmurings of the crowd, but only to listen to your voice and respond to it with generosity.

Resolution: I will make a point to go to confession at the next possible opportunity asking Jesus to forgive me my sins and to help me to turn from being a sinner into being a saint. I will make it a real encounter with Jesus.


Homily of the Day

According to tradition, at the age of three, Mary was brought by her parents Joachim and Anne to the Temple at Jerusalem to present and consecrate her to the service of the Lord. She remained there in prayer and service until she was betrothed to Joseph. Today we pray for the men and women in monasteries and hermitages who serve the Lord and the Church through prayer and quiet work.

Today we also reflect on the responsibilities of parents for their children. Joachim and Anne took special care of their unique daughter Mary, teaching her what love and service of God are. What Christian values do we teach our children? How do we
do it? Hopefully by word and example. At the rite of baptism parents are reminded of their obligation to teach and rear their children and that they are their first teachers, and hopefully their best teachers.

Mary and Joseph, the mother and the foster-father of Jesus, did the same for the child Jesus and helped him grow “in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor.” (Lk 2:52) How have we done in the growth and development of our children?