Sunday, December 21, 2014

 

Monday 4th Week of Advent

December 22, 2014

Monday 4th Week of Advent 

(O Rex Gentium) 

 

1 Sm 1: 24-28 / 1 Sm 2: 1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd / Lk 1: 46-56

 

Reading: 1 Sm 1: 24-28

When the child was weaned, Hannah took him with her along with a three-year-old bull, a measure of flour and a flask of wine, and she brought him to Yahweh's house at Shiloh. The child was still young. After they had slain the bull, they brought the child to Eli. Hannah exclaimed: "Oh, my lord, look! I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to Yahweh. I asked for this child and Yahweh granted me the favor I begged of him. Now, I think, Yahweh is asking for this child. As long as he lives, he belongs to Yahweh." And they worshiped Yahweh there.         

 

Gospel: Luke 1: 46-56

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior! He has looked upon his servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is his Name! From age to age his mercy extends to those who live in his presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He held out his hand to Israel, his servant, for he remembered his mercy, even as he promised our fathers, Abraham and his descendants forever." Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned home.

 

Reflection:

     In today's first reading, Hannah implored the Lord for a son and a son was granted her. She promptly offered her son to the Lord and she prayed and exalted loud. 

We also have Mary whose praise, thanksgiving and exultation of the Lord never ended.  Notwithstanding her condition, she immediately traveled to the hill country to help her pregnant cousin. Here is shown the missionary spirit of Mary. Elizabeth, upon hearing Mary's greeting, was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried. "Why is this that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Lk 1:43-45)

     In response to her cousin's greeting, Mary sang her Magnificat which came forth from her humility, her faith, her hope, her joy, her thanksgiving. Mary was faithful in knowing the teaching of the past before her. Her song echoes the long ago prayer of Hannah: My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices ... the almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name." Mary teaches us how to pray and how to choose what to say to the Lord.

Mary, help us open our hearts and our mind to the Holy One so that we may listen and do His will in all things. 

 

Prayer Requests:

We pray ...

... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn

... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary

... for families who are in need of healing

... for world peace and reconciliation

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 21, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Advent 
(O Oriens)  

2 Sm 7: 1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/ Ps 89: 2-3, 4-5, 27, 29 (2a)/ Rom 16: 25-27/ Lk 1: 26- 38 

First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 
When the king had settled in his palace and Yahweh had rid him of his surrounding enemies, he said to Nathan the prophet "Look, I live in a house of cedar but the ark of God is housed in a tent." Nathan replied, "Do as it seems fit to you for Yahweh is with you." But that very night, Yahweh's word came to Nathan, "Go and tell my servant David, this is what Yahweh says: Are you able to build a house for me to live in?"  "I took you from the pasture, from tending the sheep, to make you commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, cutting down all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great as the name of the great ones on earth. I will provide a place for my people  Israel and plant them that they may live there in peace. They shall no longer be harassed, nor shall wicked men oppress them as before. From the time when I appointed judges over my people Israel it is only to you that I have given rest from all your enemies. Yahweh also tells you that he will build you a house. When the time comes for you to rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your son after you, the one born of you and I will make his reign secure. I will be father to him and he shall be my son. Your house and your reign shall last forever before me and your throne shall be forever firm."

Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27
Brothers and sisters: He is able to give you strength according to the Good News I proclaim, announcing Christ Jesus. Now is revealed the mysterious plan kept  hidden for long ages in the past.  By the will of the eternal God it is brought to light, through the prophetic books, and all nations shall believe the faith proclaimed to them. Glory to God, who alone is wise, through Christ Jesus, for ever. Amen.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent  from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  The angel came to her and said, "Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the angel said, "Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end." Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be if I am a virgin?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child, and is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible." Then Mary said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." And the angel left her.

Reflection:
     The Gospel narration of the Annunciation is the story of the incarnation of the Word, the Son of God. Only Luke's Gospel gives this account. Did Luke receive this account from Mary herself? Is this a mere "fabrication" by Luke of what must have happened? 
     In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola pictures "the Three Divine Persons looking down upon the whole expanse or circuit of all the earth, filled with human beings. Since They see that all are going down to hell, They decree in Their eternity that the Second Person should become man to save the human race. So when the fullness of time had come, They send the Angel Gabriel to our Lady." Ignatius asks the retreatant to see the people of the earth, "in such diversity in dress and in manner of acting. Some are white, some black; some at peace and some at war; some weeping, some laughing' some well, some sick; some coming into the world and some dying." The blessed Trinity  "look down upon the whole surface of the earth, and behold all nations in great blindness, going down to death and descending into hell." The retreatant is instructed to listen "what the persons on the face of the earth say, that is, how they speak to one another, swear and blaspheme," and to hear the Divine Trinity saying, "Let us work out the redemption of the human race."
Having decided that the Word was to become man, the Angel Gabriel is sent to announce this to the Virgin Mary and to invite her to be the mother of the Incarnate Word. "Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end."
 "How can this be if I am a virgin?" "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born shall be called Son of  God." And Mary accepts with great generosity, "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." The incarnation of the Word of God has sanctified and raised our humanity and has allowed us to share in his divinity.
     After four weeks of hopeful prayer and expectation for the coming of the Lord, we can rejoice with Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, with the angels and all the hosts of heaven, at the birth of the Child Jesus in Bethlehem: "And the Word was made flesh." 

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

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Friday, December 19, 2014

 

Saturday 3rd Week of Advent

December 20, 2014

Saturday 3rd Week of Advent 

(O Clavis David) 

 

Is 7: 10-14 / Ps 24: 1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 / Lk 1: 26-38 

 

Reading: Is 7: 10-14

Once again Yahweh addressed Ahaz, "Ask for a sign from Yahweh your God, let it come either from the deepest depths or from the heights of heaven." But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask, I will not put Yahweh to the test." Then Isaiah said, "Now listen, descendants of David. Have you not been satisfied trying the patience of people, that you also try the patience of my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The Virgin is with child and bears a son and calls his name Immanuel.   

 

Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38 

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.  But the angel said, "Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end." Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be if I am a virgin?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child, and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible." Then Mary said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." And the angel left her.

 

Reflection:

Can you imagine how Mary must have felt during this time? She was very young, a virgin, and not to mention engaged, when an angel of God told her that she would be pregnant with the Son of God. But instead of questioning God or rejecting what the angel said, she immediately accepted it and blindly obeyed God. Can we say that we will do the same?

We must surrender everything that hinders our complete trust in God. Mary had complete and utter faith in what God was doing in her life. She had a very servant-like attitude; I think we should aspire to be like that. When God gives us a difficult or impossible task, will we doubt, or will we listen?

 

Prayer Requests:

We pray ...

... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn

... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary

... for families who are in need of healing

... for world peace and reconciliation

 

... for the eternal repose of the soul - Rozelle Digal, Joseph, John, Jose

 

... for the special intentions of Eliza

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

 

Friday 3rd Week of Advent

December 19, 2014

Friday 3rd Week of Advent 

(O Radix Jesse) 

 

Jgs 13: 2-7, 24-25a / Ps 71: 3-4a, 5-6ab, 16-17 / Lk 1: 5-25 

 

Reading: Jgs 13: 2-7, 24-25a

There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, called Manoah. His wife could not bear children. The Angel of Yahweh appeared to this woman and said to her, "You have not borne children and have not given birth, but see, you are to conceive and give birth to a son. Because of this, take care not to take wine or any alcoholic drink, nor to eat unclean foods from now on, for you shall bear a son who shall be a Nazirite of Yahweh from the womb of his mother. Never shall his hair be cut for he is consecrated to Yahweh. He shall begin the liberation of the Israelites from the Philistine oppression." The woman went to her husband and told him, "A messenger of God who bore the majesty of an angel spoke to me. I did not ask him where he came from nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me: 'You are to conceive and give birth to a son. Henceforth, you shall not drink wine or fermented drinks, nor eat anything unclean, for your son shall be a Nazirite of God from the womb of his mother until the day of his death'." The woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew and Yahweh blessed him. Then the Spirit of Yahweh began to move him when he was in Mahane Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.      

 

Gospel: Luke 1:5-25

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah, belonging to the priestly clan of Abiah. Elizabeth, Zechariah's wife, also belonged to a priestly family. Both of them were upright in the eyes of God and lived blamelessly in accordance with all the laws and commands of the Lord, but they had no child. Elizabeth could not have any and now they were both very old. Now, while Zechariah and those with him were fulfilling their office, it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priests, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. At the time of offering incense all the people were praying outside; it was then that an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. On seeing the angel, Zechariah was deeply troubled and fear took hold of him. But the angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah, be assured that your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John. He will bring joy and gladness to you and many will rejoice at his birth. This son of yours will be great in the eyes of the Lord. Listen: he shall never drink wine or strong drink, but he will be filled with holy spirit even from his mother's womb. Through him many of the people of Israel will turn to the Lord their God. He himself will open the way to the Lord with the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; he will reconcile fathers and children, and lead the disobedient to wisdom and righteousness, in order to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I believe this? I am an old man and my wife is elderly, too." The angel replied, "I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I am the one sent to speak to you and bring you this good news! My words will come true in their time. But you would not believe and now you will be silent and unable to speak until this has happened."  Meanwhile the people waited for Zechariah, and they were surprised that he delayed so long in the sanctuary. When he finally appeared, he could not speak to them and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He remained dumb and made signs to them. When his time of service was completed, Zechariah returned home and some time later Elizabeth became pregnant. For five months she kept to herself, remaining at home, and thinking, "What is the Lord doing for me! This is his time for mercy and for taking away my public disgrace."

 

Reflection:

     The gospel narrates the announcement of the angel to Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth would conceive and bear a son who would prepare a people fit for the Lord.  We know that this child would be St. John the Baptist.  

     If an angel would appear to you now and tell you that you will do great things for God, how will you react? Would you be incredulous like Zechariah, or humble and compliant like Mary? A person in tune with God, who searches for God in his or her life, would normally respond like Mary. Christians are people who await the coming of Jesus in their daily lives, and when Jesus does come through an event or a person, the Christian is overjoyed and humbled by God's kindness and mercy for him. What a grace to be visited by Jesus and that is what Advent is all about, to await with eagerness the Incarnation of Jesus in the world, in our lives.

 

Prayer Requests:

We pray ...

... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn

... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary

... for families who are in need of healing

... for world peace and reconciliation

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Thursday 3rd Week of Advent

December 18, 2014

Thursday 3rd Week of Advent 

(O Adonai)  

 

Jer 23: 5-8 / Ps 72: 1-2, 12-13, 18-19 / Mt 1: 18-25 

 

Reading: Jer 23: 5-8

Yahweh further says, "The day is coming when I will raise up a king who is David's righteous successor. He will rule wisely and govern with justice and righteousness. That will be a grandiose era when Judah will enjoy peace and Israel will live in safety. He will be called Yahweh-our-justice!" "The days are coming," says Yahweh, "when people shall no longer swear by Yahweh as the living God who freed the people of Israel from the land of Egypt. Rather, they will swear by Yahweh as the living God who restored the descendants of Israel from the northern empire and from all the lands where he had driven them, to live again in their own land!" 

 

Gospel: Mt 1:18-25

This is how Jesus Christ was born. Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her. While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him 'Jesus' for he will save his people from their sins." All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel which means: God-with-us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do and he took his wife to his home. So she gave birth to a son and he had not had marital relations with her. Joseph gave him the name of Jesus.

 

Reflection:

     We cannot underplay the role of both Mary and Joseph in our salvation history. What a leap of faith it was for Mary, who was a very young girl at that time of the angel's visit, to accept an illogical message that she was pregnant even without relations with a man!  She knew deep in her heart that this was part of God's divine plan and that she was chosen to have an integral part in it. Even Joseph had his share of shock with the visit of the angel of God in his dream! Despite his natural reaction of planning to divorce Mary, he ungrudgingly and willingly obeyed and brought Mary home as his wife and gave the name of Jesus to his son. We cannot imagine how our salvation history would pan out if either Mary or Joseph had doubts about the message of the angel and refused to follow! We, too, need to be humble and empty ourselves of our own plans, of our own desires which are not aligned to God's will and plan for our lives. Have we ever heard God speak to us through the Holy Spirit and call us to do something, yet we delay since we think it is impossible, or because what He is asking us to do is difficult and outside of our comfort zone? Maybe we are not following God's call because we feel we are not capable of doing it. God only wants what is best for us, so delaying in taking action on His call will mean delay in achieving success.

 

Prayer Requests:

We pray ...

... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn

... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary

... for families who are in need of healing

     * healing and recovery of Susan Sy, Sy Hap Sai and Eufrocina Navarro

... for world peace and reconciliation

 

... thanksgiving and special intentions - Beny Sy

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

 

Wednesday 3rd Week of Advent

December 17, 2014

Wednesday 3rd Week of Advent 

 

Gn 49: 2, 8-10 / Ps 72: 1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17 / Mt 1: 1-17 

 

Reading: Gn 49: 2, 8-10

"Gather round, sons of Jacob. And listen to your father Israel! Judah, your brothers will praise you! You shall seize your enemies by the neck! Your father's sons shall bow before you. Judah, a young lion! You return from the prey, my son! Like a lion he stoops and crouches, and like a lioness, who dares to rouse him? The scepter shall not be taken from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and who has the obedience of the nations.    

 

Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17

This is the account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.  Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron of Aram. Aram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz. His mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed. His mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon. His mother had been Uriah's wife. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Then came the kings: Abijah, Asaph, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah. Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel and Salathiel of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, and Eliakim of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, and Akim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, and Matthan of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ - the Messiah. There were then fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, and fourteen generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of Christ.

 

Reflection:

     Jesus Christ was an Israelite who came from the line of David. He belonged to the people of Israel who were a people specially devoted to God as God was specially devoted to them. Never in the history of the world has God spoken so clearly and directly to a people as He did to Israel. God told Abraham to go to Canaan, gave the ten commandments to Moses, fought David's battles against Israel's enemies, spoke through the prophets, etc. The latter prophesied the coming of a Messiah who will save his people. Jesus indeed comes and is born of the tribe of Judah, one of the sons of Jacob. However, he did not come to establish an earthly kingdom but a spiritual kingdom. He came to save us from our sins and bring us to paradise. So we see how important it is for us to know our Jewish roots because their leaders are our forefathers.     

 

Prayer Requests:

We pray ...

... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn

... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary

... for families who are in need of healing

... for world peace and reconciliation

 

... for the wedding anniversary intentions of Ernie & Puny

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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

These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

 

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Monday, December 15, 2014

 

Tuesday 3rd Week of Advent

December 16, 2014
Tuesday 3rd Week of Advent 

Zep 3: 1-2, 9-13 / Ps 34: 2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23 / Mt 21: 28-32 

Reading: Zep 3: 1-2, 9-13
Woe to the rebellious, the defiled, the city that oppresses. She did not pay attention to the call nor accept the correction; she did not trust Yahweh nor did she approach her God. At that time I will give truthful lips to the pagan nations that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve him with the same zeal. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they will bring offerings to me. On that day you will no longer be ashamed of all your deeds when you were unfaithful to me; I will have removed from your midst the conceited and arrogant and my holy mountain will no longer be for you a pretext for boasting. I will leave within you a poor and meek people who seek refuge in God. The remnant of Israel will not act unjustly nor will they speak falsely, nor will deceitful words be found in their mouths. They will eat and rest with none to threaten them. 

Gospel: Matthew 21:18-32
While returning to the city early in the morning, Jesus felt hungry. He noticed a fig tree by the road, went up to it and found nothing on it but leaves. Then he said to the tree, "Never again bear fruit!" And immediately, the fig tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were astonished and they said, "How did the fig tree suddenly dry up!" Jesus told them, "Truly, I say to you: if you had faith and did not doubt, not only could you do what I have done with the fig tree, but you could even say to that mountain: 'Go and throw yourself into the sea!' and it would be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer full of faith, you will receive." Jesus had entered the Temple and was teaching when the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the Jewish authorities came to him and asked, "What authority have you to act like this? Who gave you authority to do all this?"Jesus answered them, "I will also ask you a question, only one. And if you give me an answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. When John began to baptize, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?" They reasoned out among themselves, "If we reply that it was a work of God, he will say: Why, then, did you not believe him? And if we say: The baptism of John was merely something human, beware of the people: since all hold John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what right I do these things." Jesus went on to say, "What do you think of this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said to him: 'Son, today go and work in my vineyard.' And the son answered: 'I don't want to.' But later he thought better of it and went. Then the father went to the second and gave him the same command. This son replied: 'I will go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did what the father wanted?" They answered, "The first." And Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you: the publicans and the prostitutes are ahead of you on the way to the kingdom of heaven. For John came to show you the way of goodness but you did not believe him, yet the publicans and the prostitutes did. You were witnesses of this, but you neither repented nor believed him.

Reflection:
     Today is the first day of the Misa de Gallo which is a series of novena masses leading to Christmas Day. We go to Mass early in the morning and we can feel that Christmas is in the air. If we have been so preoccupied with buying gifts and attending parties, now is the time to seriously prepare ourselves spiritually for the Birth of our Savior.  
     In the first reading, the prophet Zephaniah talks about a humble and lowly people who will be left in Israel. They are those the Jews called the Anawim, the spiritually poor but ready to submit to God's will.  We think that to be materially deprived is enough to earn the favor of God. No, it is those who are obedient to the Father's will, the Anawim. Jesus and Mary both submitted to God's will totally despite the sufferings their amens cost them. The proud and the braggart, on the other hand, do not listen to others, cannot accept correction, and trust and exalt themselves alone. They are blind to the goodness of others and to God's providence and mercy. It is easier for the poor to enter the kingdom of God because their entry is not based on human endeavor but on their meeting with the Lord in their poverty and weakness. God has large ears eager to listen to our cries, to the cries of the Anawim. He has wide arms to welcome us in our sins.  We need only to cry out and invoke His Name and He will come to our aid. This is the best way to prepare ourselves for Christmas Day.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
     * for the healing of Denden Villanueva
     * for the emotional healing of Gee de Leon
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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Monday 3rd Week of Advent

December 15, 2014
Monday 3rd Week of Advent 

Nm 24: 2-7, 15-17a / Ps 25: 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9 / Mt 21: 23-27 

Reading: Nm 24: 2-7, 15-17a
He looked up and saw Israel camping, tribe by tribe; and the spirit of God came upon him and he uttered his song: "Word of Balaam, son of Beor, the seer, the one who hears the words of God, and beholds the vision of the Almighty, in ecstasy, with eyes unveiled. How goodly are your tents, Jacob, your encampments, Israel! Like valleys stretching far, like gardens beside a stream, like aloes planted by Yahweh, like cedars beside the waters. His buckets are overflowing and his seeds are always watered. His king becomes stronger than Agag, and his kingdom grows. Then Balaam pronounced his oracle: "Word of Balaam, son of Beor, the seer, the one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, and sees the vision of the Almighty, in ecstasy, with eyes unveiled. I see a figure, but not really.

Gospel: Matthew 21: 23-27
Jesus had entered the Temple and was teaching when the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the Jewish authorities came to him and asked, "What authority have you to act like this? Who gave you authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "I will also ask you a question, only one. And if you give me an answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. When John began to baptize, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?" They reasoned out among themselves, "If we reply that it was a work of God, he will say: Why, then, did you not believe him? And if we say: The baptism of John was merely something human, beware of the people: since all hold John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what right I do these things."

Reflection:
     We are in the middle of the Advent season. The readings today call us to remember that this season is one of recognizing anew who Jesus is, the Son of God, the promised Messiah. In the first reading, the prophet Balaam draws our attention to a star that will come from the tribe of Jacob. In the Gospel reading, we hear that the chief priests challenge the authority of Jesus.
     Two approaches to life seem to be represented in these two scripture readings.  In the oracle of Balaam, we have a prophet who is attentive to God. Balaam knows God's presence. He hears God's words and sees what God shows him. Balaam knows with a kind of faith that is sure but which he cannot prove by logic or fact. On the other hand, in the gospel reading we hear the chief priests who focus on the more concrete. They want credentials from Jesus. Balaam speaks of a vision.  In it he sees a star that will come from Jacob. He also sees a staff, representing a leader who will rise from Israel.
     These prophecies probably applied directly to the rise of the house of King David and of the Davidic monarch. However, hearing these words in the spirit of Advent. We can also understand them as a foreshadowing of the rise of the star which the Magi followed, and the staff which could be Jesus leading us back to the Father.
     During the remaining days of our Advent preparation, let us strive to recognize how Jesus is our staff, our leader, and our star. 

Prayer Requests:
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |  distributed free and for personal use only.  
  +================================================+

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

 

Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)

December 14, 2014
Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)

Is 61: 1-2a, 10-11 / Lk 1: 46-48, 49-50, 53-54 / 1 Thes 5: 16-24/ Jn 1: 6-8, 19-28 

First Reading: Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11 
The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those languishing in prison; to announce the year of Yahweh's favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to give comfort to those who grieve. I rejoice greatly in Yahweh, my soul exults for joy in my God, for he has clothed me in the garments of his salvation, he has covered me with the robe of his righteousness, like the bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord Yahweh make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Brothers and sisters:  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give  thanks to God at every moment. This is the will of God, your vocation as Christians. Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise the prophets' warnings. Put everything to the test and hold fast to what is good. Avoid evil, whatever it may be. May the God of Peace make you holy and bring you to perfection. May you be completely blameless, in spirit, soul and body, till the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord; he who called you is faithful and will do it.
 
Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light but a witness to introduce the Light. Levites to ask him, "Who are you?" John recognized the truth and did not deny it. He said, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "Then who are you? Elijah?" He answered, "I am not." They said, "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Tell us who you are, so that we can give some answer to those who sent us. How do you see yourself?" And John said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, "I am the voice crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord." Those who had been sent were Pharisees; so they put a further question to John: "Then why are you baptizing if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?" John answered, "I baptize you with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know; although he comes after me, I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal. This happened in Bethabara beyond  the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
                       
Reflection:
     Today is the third Sunday of Advent known as Gaudete Sunday. The Introit or introductory hymn from Paul's letter to the Philippians reads: "Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Dominus enim prope est. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near."
     The season of Advent is a period of waiting and expectation for the Lord, a period to prepare for the anniversary of his birth and first coming. During this season, the Church urges us to be ready always for his second coming at the end of time and to do so with joy, with joyful hope and expectation for the Lord.
     The first reading from Isaiah summarizes the role and mission of the Messiah: "to bring good news to the poor." Early in his public ministry Jesus will affirm this mission. After reading these lines from the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue at his hometown Nazareth, Jesus solemnly tells his townmates, "Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen."  
     When John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus to inquire, "Are you the one we are to expect, or should we wait for another?" Jesus replied: "Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again the lame walk, lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor are given the good news."
     John's role and ministry as given in the Gospel reading is to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. "I am the voice crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord."
John preached a baptism to represent repentance, forgiveness of sins and change and renewal of ways and of life. He had messages for all, the Pharisees and the leaders of the Jews, soldiers, tax collectors and the common people: "Make straight the way of the Lord." John preached "to introduce the Light so that all might believe through him." 
     The Prologue of John's Gospel goes "the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was already in the world and through him the world was made, the very world that did not know him. He came into his own, yet his own people did not receive him; but to all who have received him he empowers to become children of God for they believe in his Name."
     John's message of repentance, forgiveness of sins and change and renewal of our life and ways is still relevant for us today. His message to tax collectors and soldiers to be fair and not abusive, to all to be kind to others is still valid today, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, we "rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give  thanks to God at every moment," as we  "put everything to the test and hold fast to what is good," as we "avoid evil, whatever it may be . . .  till the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord."
 
Prayer Requests:
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn 
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

  +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |  distributed free and for personal use only.  
  +================================================+

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