Sunday, December 17, 2017

Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11, Luke 1:46-50,53-54, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8, 19-28


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor. Is 16:1 (Lk 4:18)


Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11, Luke 1:46-50,53-54, 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8, 19-28

Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

I thank You for acquiescing to the will of Your Father and in perfect and sublime humility coming into the world through the womb of Mary. You truly became one like us in all things save sin. You came poor so we may become rich. You showed us how we can have plenty in the midst of nothing, to have joy in the midst of sorrow, to laugh in the midst of tears, to know peace in the midst of discord, to walk in the dark valley with confidence because we are not alone. You are always with us.

Today as we look at the world which is as it has always been Beloved, we look at it with hope and confidence knowing that You came into the world and You brought hope, peace, joy, and above all love. We have tasted and seen how good the Lord is and that we will live because You live. You have worn the victory. The reward is eternal life. Death has been trampled and destroyed forever.

Luke 1:46-50,53-54

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Mary has shown us how to truly be happy. Everything we have received comes from the hand of God. We belong to Him. He is our Father, from Him we receive every good and perfect gift - the best of all His Gifts is Yourself as our Brother, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Friend, our Bridegroom. He has taught us that You are our Father and hence will provide for all our needs both spiritual and temporal.

Mary understood this perfectly in her beautiful hymn of praise, the Magnificat. The more we glorify You Beloved, the more we ourselves will understand what it means to live in the Presence and be overshadowed by the Almighty who constantly works in us and for us. Whose favor rests on us. Who desires that we strive to become like Him - holy and perfect. 

Thank You Beloved for also giving us Your Mother - she whom You treasure is now ours to treasure as well.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

St. Paul gives us the formula for joyous living. We are called to rejoice always - our circumstances ought not to prompt our feelings of joy, rather it must be a state of being always. We are called to pray without ceasing which means every thought, every word, every deed must be prayerful and done with the intention of giving God glory and honor. We are called to give thanks in all the circumstances of our lives for nothing that happens to us is without the knowledge of God our Father. 

We are called to live a life in the Spirit allowing Him to guide us always. We are called to be alert and aware of the world around us and the many snares that are set out to trap us. We are called to be innocent yet wise, not foolish and naive. We are called to choose good over evil and to avoid sin in every form. Thank You Beloved for giving us strength and grace to live holy lives through the power of the Sacraments. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who makes His home in us. Thank You for walking with us and being our constant Friend. Thank You for all the help You make available to us and grant us the wisdom to cry to You and ask for Your strength rather than to rely on our own puny efforts. Victory is our all we need to do is claim it.

John 1:6-8, 19-28

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, "Who are you?"
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, "I am not the Christ."
So they asked him,
"What are you then? Are you Elijah?"
And he said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."
So they said to him,
"Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?"
He said:
"I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
'make straight the way of the Lord,'"
as Isaiah the prophet said."
Some Pharisees were also sent. 
They asked him,
"Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?"
John answered them,
"I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,

where John was baptizing.

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