Monday, December 22, 2014
Tuesday 4th Week of Advent
December 23, 2014
Tuesday 4th Week of Advent
[Memorial, St. John of Kanty]
Mal 3:1-4, 23-24 / Ps 25: 4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14 / Lk 1: 57-66
Reading: Mal 3: 1-4, 23-24
Now I am sending my messenger ahead of me, to clear the way; then, suddenly, the Lord, for whom you long, will enter the Sanctuary. The envoy of the Covenant which you so greatly desire, already comes, says Yahweh of hosts. Who can bear the day of his coming and remain standing when he appears? For he will be like fire in the foundry and like the lye used for bleaching. He will be as a refiner or a fuller. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them, like gold and silver. So Yahweh will have priests who will present the offering as it should be. Then Yahweh will accept with pleasure the offering of Judah and Jerusalem, as in former days. I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the day of Yahweh comes, for it will be a great and terrible day. He will reconcile parents with their children, and the children with their parents, so that I may not have to curse this land when I come."
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66
When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her and they rejoiced with her. When on the eighth day they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." They said to her, "No one in your family has that name"; and they asked the father by means of signs for the name he wanted to give. Zechariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote on it, "His name is John," and they were very surprised. Immediately Zechariah could speak again and his first words were in praise of God. A holy fear came on all in the neighborhood, and throughout the Hills of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it pondered in their minds and wondered, "What will this child be?" For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.
Today is the feast of St. John of Kanty who was born on June 23, 1390 and canonized in 1767. He is the patron saint of Poland and Lithuania. As a priest, his philosophy in life was to "fight all error but do it with good humor, patience, kindness and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause." His life was a reflection of this philosophy. He was unjustly accused by his rivals in the university because they were envious of his popularity among the students. Not given the possibility to defend himself, he was expelled and assigned to a rural parish. At first, the townspeople were hostile and suspicious of this disgraced priest. For eight years, John showed no anger or impatience but continued to exhibit genuine love and concern for them. When he was exonerated and transferred to Krakow the once hostile parishioners begged him to stay. The saint resumed his work as a professor of sacred scriptures and was well loved by all.
Is it possible for us to forgive and love our enemies? St. John's life is a testimony for us. "If you do have to suffer for doing good, you should count it a blessing (1 Pt 3:13)." So now that Christmas is fast approaching, what can you offer to the Lord? Your love and goodness? Yes. But more than that, your love and goodness to your fellowman. Be generous to the poor and lowly during these remaining days of Advent and you will find yourself suddenly transported to the manger in Bethlehem gazing at the baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph at his side.
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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