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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 06-24-12, Solemnity, Nativity, St John the Baptist, Vigil
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 06-24-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 06/23/2012 2:36:46 PM PDT by Salvation

June 24, 2012

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Vigil Mass

 


Reading 1 Jer 1:4-10

In the days of King Josiah, the word of the LORD came to me, saying:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

"Ah, Lord GOD!" I said,
"I know not how to speak; I am too young."
But the LORD answered me,
Say not, "I am too young."
To whomever I send you, you shall go;
whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Have no fear before them,
because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,

See, I place my words in your mouth!
This day I set you
over nations and over kingdoms,
to root up and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab and 17

R. (6) Since my mother's womb, you have been my strength.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. Since my mother's womb, you have been my strength.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. Since my mother's womb, you have been my strength.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R. Since my mother's womb, you have been my strength.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. Since my mother's womb, you have been my strength.

Reading 2 1 Pt 1:8-12

Beloved:
Although you have not seen Jesus Christ you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation,
prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours
searched and investigated it,
investigating the time and circumstances
that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated
when he testified in advance
to the sufferings destined for Christ
and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you
with regard to the things that have now been announced to you
by those who preached the Good News to you
through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels longed to look.

Gospel Lk 1:5-17

In the days of Herod, King of Judea,
there was a priest named Zechariah
of the priestly division of Abijah;
his wife was from the daughters of Aaron,
and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in the eyes of God,
observing all the commandments
and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren
and both were advanced in years.
Once when he was serving
as priest in his division's turn before God,
according to the practice of the priestly service,
he was chosen by lot
to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.
Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside
at the hour of the incense offering,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him,
standing at the right of the altar of incense.
Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you shall name him John.
And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth,
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
John will drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb,
and he will turn many of the children of Israel
to the Lord their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah
to turn their hearts toward their children
and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous,
to prepare a people fit for the Lord."


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
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1 posted on 06/23/2012 2:36:55 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 06/23/2012 2:46:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

It’s JohannesTag in Germany. We should all be out partying all night. “The Meistersingers of Nuremburg” is set on JohannesTag.

Our homeschool association has a “Hobbit Reading Club” going on, and we learned yesterday that Bilbo and the dwarves left Rivendell on “Midsummer Day,” which is actually the Feast of John the Baptist (the solstice, unadjusted for jiggers in the space-time continuum) not the actual middle of calendar summer, which would be in the first half of August.

I don’t understand why summer “starts” on the solstice, when it’s been hot for weeks. And winter “starting” in December. I suspect nerds are involved.


3 posted on 06/23/2012 4:30:03 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Spinach at every meal.)
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To: Salvation; sayuncledave; markomalley

I don’t know which Office to post here, this being a vigil. Drop me a line and I’ll get to it tomorrow, or maybe Uncle Dave can post it.


4 posted on 06/23/2012 7:54:03 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Tax-chick

It’s been cold and rainy here. Glad you have the heat.


5 posted on 06/23/2012 7:55:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth. Fuit in diebus Herodis, regis Judææ, sacerdos quidam nomine Zacharias de vice Abia, et uxor illius de filiabus Aaron, et nomen ejus Elisabeth. εγενετο εν ταις ημεραις ηρωδου του βασιλεως της ιουδαιας ιερευς τις ονοματι ζαχαριας εξ εφημεριας αβια και η γυνη αυτου εκ των θυγατερων ααρων και το ονομα αυτης ελισαβετ
6 And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. Erant autem justi ambo ante Deum, incedentes in omnibus mandatis et justificationibus Domini sine querela. ησαν δε δικαιοι αμφοτεροι ενωπιον του θεου πορευομενοι εν πασαις ταις εντολαις και δικαιωμασιν του κυριου αμεμπτοι
7 And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. Et non erat illis filius, eo quod esset Elisabeth sterilis, et ambo processissent in diebus suis. και ουκ ην αυτοις τεκνον καθοτι η ελισαβετ ην στειρα και αμφοτεροι προβεβηκοτες εν ταις ημεραις αυτων ησαν
8 And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, Factum est autem, cum sacerdotio fungeretur in ordine vicis suæ ante Deum, εγενετο δε εν τω ιερατευειν αυτον εν τη ταξει της εφημεριας αυτου εναντι του θεου
9 According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. secundum consuetudinem sacerdotii, sorte exiit ut incensum poneret, ingressus in templum Domini : κατα το εθος της ιερατειας ελαχεν του θυμιασαι εισελθων εις τον ναον του κυριου
10 And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense. et omnis multitudo populi erat orans foris hora incensi. και παν το πληθος ην του λαου προσευχομενον εξω τη ωρα του θυμιαματος
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the alter of incense. Apparuit autem illi angelus Domini, stans a dextris altaris incensi. ωφθη δε αυτω αγγελος κυριου εστως εκ δεξιων του θυσιαστηριου του θυμιαματος
12 And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. Et Zacharias turbatus est videns, et timor irruit super eum. και εταραχθη ζαχαριας ιδων και φοβος επεπεσεν επ αυτον
13 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: Ait autem ad illum angelus : Ne timeas, Zacharia, quoniam exaudita est deprecatio tua : et uxor tua Elisabeth pariet tibi filium, et vocabis nomen ejus Joannem : ειπεν δε προς αυτον ο αγγελος μη φοβου ζαχαρια διοτι εισηκουσθη η δεησις σου και η γυνη σου ελισαβετ γεννησει υιον σοι και καλεσεις το ονομα αυτου ιωαννην
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. et erit gaudium tibi, et exsultatio, et multi in nativitate ejus gaudebunt : και εσται χαρα σοι και αγαλλιασις και πολλοι επι τη γεννησει αυτου χαρησονται
15 For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. erit enim magnus coram Domino : et vinum et siceram non bibet, et Spiritu Sancto replebitur adhuc ex utero matris suæ : εσται γαρ μεγας ενωπιον [του] κυριου και οινον και σικερα ου μη πιη και πνευματος αγιου πλησθησεται ετι εκ κοιλιας μητρος αυτου
16 And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. et multos filiorum Israël convertet ad Dominum Deum ipsorum : και πολλους των υιων ισραηλ επιστρεψει επι κυριον τον θεον αυτων
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people. et ipse præcedet ante illum in spiritu et virtute Eliæ : ut convertat corda patrum in filios, et incredulos ad prudentiam justorum, parare Domino plebem perfectam. και αυτος προελευσεται ενωπιον αυτου εν πνευματι και δυναμει ηλιου επιστρεψαι καρδιας πατερων επι τεκνα και απειθεις εν φρονησει δικαιων ετοιμασαι κυριω λαον κατεσκευασμενον

6 posted on 06/23/2012 7:55:54 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
5. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7. And they had no child, because that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

CHRYS; St. Luke commences the history of his Gospel with Zacharias and the birth of John; relating one marvelous event before another, the less before the greater. For since a virgin was about to become a mother, it had been fore-ordained by grace that the old should previously conceive. He fixes the time, when he says, In the days of Herod, and in the following words adds his rank, king of Judea. There was another Herod, who killed John; he was tetrarch, whereas this one was king.

THEOPHYL; Now the time of Herod, i. c. of a foreign king, bears witness to our Lord's coming, for it had been foretold, The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come. For from the time that our fathers came out of Egypt, they were governed by judges of their own nation, until the Prophet Samuel; and then by kings, until the carrying away to Babylon. But after the return from Babylon, the chief power was in the hands of priests, until the time of Hyrcanus, who was both king and high priest. He was slain by Herod, after which the government of the kingdom was delivered over by the command of Augustus Caesar to this same Herod, a foreigner, in whose thirty-first year, according to the prophecy we have mentioned, Shiloh came.

AMBROSE; Divine Scripture teaches us with respect to those whom we commemorate, that not only the characters of the men themselves, but of their parents also, ought to be praised, that they might be distinguished by an inheritance, as it were, handed down to them of unspotted purity. Now not only from his parents, but also from his ancestors, St. John derives his illustrious descent, a descent not exalted by secular power, but venerable from its sanctity. Complete then is that praise which comprehends birth, character, office, actions, and judgments.

The office was that of the Priesthood, as it is said, A certain Priest of the name of Zacharias.

THEOPHYL; For John was allotted a Priestly tribe, that he might with the more authority herald forth a change of priesthood.

AMBROSE; His birth is implied in the mention made of his ancestors. Of the course of Abia, i.e. of high rank among the noblest families.

THEOPHYL; There were Princes of the Sanctuary or High Priests, both of the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Thamar, whose courses according to their respective services when they entered into the House of God David divided into twenty-four lots, of which the family of Abia (from which Zacharias was descended) obtained the eighth lot. But it was not without meaning that the first preacher of the new covenant was born with the rights of the eighth lot; because as the old Covenant is often expressed by the seventh number on account of the Sabbath, so frequently is the new Covenant by the eighth, because of the sacrament of our Lord's or our resurrection.

THEOPHYL; Wishing to show also that John was legally of Priestly descent, Luke adds, And his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth, for it was not permitted to the Jews to take a wife from any other tribe but their own. Elisabeth by interpretation signifies "rest," Zacharias "the remembrance of the land."

THEOPHYL; John was born of just parents, that so he might the more boldly give precepts of justice to the people, which he had not learnt as novelties, but had received by right of inheritance from his ancestors. Hence it follows, And they were both just before God.

AMBROSE; Here their whole character is comprehended in their justice, but it is well said before God, for a man by affecting a popular good-will might seem just to me, but not be just before God, if that justice instead of springing from simpleness of heart, was a mere presence carried on by flattery. Perfect then is the praise, "that a man is just before God;" for he only is perfect who is approved by Him who cannot be deceived. St. Luke comprehends the action in the commandment, the doing justice in the justification. Hence it follows, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord. For when we obey the command of heaven we walk in the commandments of the Lord, when we observe justice we seem to possess the justification of the Lord. But to be "blameless" we must "provide things honest", not only before God, but also before men; there is no blame when both motive and action are alike good, but a too austere righteousness often provokes censure. A righteous act may also be done unrighteously, as when a man out of ostentation gives largely to the poor, which is not without just cause of blame. It follows, And they had no son, because Elizabeth was barren.

CHRYS; Not only Elisabeth, but the wives of the Patriarchs also, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, were barren, which was counted a disgrace among the ancients. Not that their barrenness was the effect of sin, since all were just and virtuous, but ordained rather for our benefit, that when you saw a virgin giving birth to the Lord, you might not be faithless, or perplexing your mind with respect to the womb of the barren

THEOPHYL; And that you might learn that the law of God seeks not a bodily increase of sons but a spiritual, both were far advanced, not only in the body but in the Spirit, "making ascents in their heart," having their life as the day not as the night, and walking honestly as in the day.

8. And it came to pass, that while he executed the Priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9. According to the custom of the Priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

THEOPHYL; The Lord appointed by the hand of Moses one High Priest, at whose death another was to succeed in due order. This was observed until the time of David, who by the command of the Lord increased the number of the Priests; and so at this time Zacharias is said to have been performing his Priest's office in the order of his course, as it follows: But it came to pass, when Zacharias was performing the Priest's office in the order of his course before God, according to the custom of the Priesthood, his lot was, &c.

AMBROSE; Zacharias seems here to be designated High Priest, because into the second tabernacle went the High Priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and the sins of the people.

THEOPHYL; It was not by a new lot that he was chosen when the incense was to be burnt, but by the old lot, whereby according to the order of his Priesthood he succeeded in the course of Abia.

It follows, And all the multitude of the people, &c. Incense was ordered to be carried into the Holy of Holies by the High Priest, the whole people waiting without the temple. It was to be on the tenth day of the seventh month, and this day was to be called the day of expiation or propitiation, the mystery of which day the Apostle explaining to the Hebrews, points to Jesus as the true High Priest, who in His own blood has entered the secret places of heaven that he might reconcile the Father to us, and intercede for the sins of those who still wait praying before the doors.

AMBROSE; This then is that High Priest who is still sought by lot, for as yet the true High Priest is unknown; for he who is chosen by lot is not obtained by man's judgment. That High Priest therefore was sought for, and another typified, the true High Priest for ever, who not by the blood of victims, but by His own blood, was to reconcile God the Father to mankind. Then indeed there were changes in the Priesthood, now it is unchangeable.

11. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13. But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14. And you shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

CHRYS; When Zacharias entered into the temple to offer up prayers to God for all men, interceding between God and man, he saw an angel standing within, as it is said, And there appeared to him an angel.

AMBROSE; It is well said that there appeared an angel to Zacharias, who suddenly beheld him; and this is the expression especially used by Divine Scripture with respect to angels or God, that what cannot be seen beforehand may be said to appear. For things which are the objects of our senses are not seen as He is seen, Who is seen only as He will, and Whose nature is not to be seen.

ORIGEN; And we speak thus not only of the present time, but also of the future. When we shall have passed from the world, God will not appear to all men, nor will the angels, but to him only who has a clean heart. The place will neither hinder nor serve any one.

CHRYS; But the angel evidently came not in a dream, because the tidings he brought were too hard to be understood, and needed therefore a more visible and marvelous manifestation.

DAMASCENE; Angels, however, are revealed not as they really are, but transformed (as men are able to behold them) into whatever the Lord commands.

THEOPHYL; It is said the altar of incense, because the other altar was set apart for burnt offerings.

AMBROSE; It was not without good reason that the angel appeared in the temple, for the coming of the true High Priest was now announced, and the Heavenly Sacrifice was preparing at which angels were to minister. For one cannot doubt that an angel stands by where Christ is sacrificed. But he appeared at the right hand of the altar of incense, because he brought down the token of Divine mercy. For the Lord is on my right hand, so that I should not be moved.

CHRYS; The justest of men can not without fear behold an angel; Zacharias therefore, not sustaining the sight of the angel's presence, nor able to withstand his brightness, is troubled, as it is added, Zacharias was troubled. But as it happens, when a charioteer is frightened, and has let loose his reins, the horses run headlong, and the chariot is overturned; so is it with the soul, when it is taken by any surprise or alarm; as it is here added and fear fell upon him.

ORIGEN; A new face suddenly presenting itself to the human eye, troubles and startles the mind. The angel knowing this to be the nature of man, first dispels the alarm, as it follows, But the angel said to him, Fear not.

ATHAN; Whereby it is not difficult to discern between good and bad spirits, for if joy has succeeded to fear, we may know that relief has come from God, because the peace of the soul is a sign of the Divine Presence; but if the fear remains unshaken, it is an enemy who is seen,

ORIGEN; The angel not only soothes his fears, but gladdens him with good tidings, adding, For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son.

AUG; Now here we must first consider that it is not likely that Zacharias, when offering sacrifice for the sins or for the salvation or redemption of the people, would neglect the public petitions, to pray (though himself an old man, and his wife also old) that he might receive children; and, next, above all that no one prays for what he despairs of ever obtaining. And even up to this time, so much had he despaired of ever having children, that he would not believe, even when an angel promised it to him The words, Your prayer is heard, must be understood therefore to refer to the people; and as salvation, redemption, and the putting away of the sins of the people was to be through Christ, it is told Zacharias that a son shall be born to him, because that son was ordained to be the forerunner of Christ.

CHRYS; Or it means, that this was to be the proof of his prayer having been heard, namely, that a son should be born to him, crying, Behold the Lamb of God!

THEOPHYL; As if when Zacharias asks, How shall I know this? the angel answers, Because Elisabeth shall bring forth a son, you shall believe that the sins of your people are forgiven.

AMBROSE; Or, as follows; Divine mercy is ever full and overflowing, not narrowed to a single gift, but pouring in an abundant store of blessings; as in this case, where first the fruit of his prayer is promised; and next, that his barren wife shall bear a child, whose name is announced as follows; And you shall call his name John.

THEOPHYL; It is meant as a token of particular merit, when a man has a name given him or changed by God.

CHRYS; Which must be the meaning here, for those who from their earliest years were destined to shine forth in virtue, received their names at the very first from a divine source; while those who were to rise up in later years, had a name given them afterwards.

THEOPHYL; John is therefore interpreted, "one in whom is grace, or the grace of God;" by which name it is declared, first, that grace was given to his parents, to whom in their old age a son was to be born, next, to John himself, who was to become great before the Lord; lastly, also to the children of Israel, whom he was to convert to the Lord. Hence it follows, And he shall be a joy to you, and a cause of rejoicing.

ORIGEN; For when a just man is born into the world, the authors of his birth rejoice; but when one is born who is to be as it were an exile to labor and punishment, they are struck with terror and dismay.

AMBROSE; But a saint is not only the blessing of his parents, but also the salvation of many; as it follows, And many shall rejoice at his birth, Parents are reminded here to rejoice at the birth of saints, and to give thanks. For it is no slight gift of God to vouchsafe to us children, to be the transmitters of our race, to be the heirs of succession.

15. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

AMBROSE; Next to his becoming the rejoicing of many, the greatness his virtue is prophesied; as it is said, For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord. The greatness signified is not of the body, but of the soul. Greatness in the sight of the Lord is greatness of soul, greatness of virtue.

THEOPHYL; For many are called great before men, but not before God, as the hypocrites. And so in like manner was John called great, as the parents of John were called just, before the Lord.

AMBROSE; He extended not the boundaries of an empire, nor brought back in triumph the spoils of war, (but, what is far greater,) preaching in the desert he overcame by his great virtue the delights of the world, and the lusts of the flesh. Hence it follows; And he shall drink no wine nor strong drink.

THEOPHYL; Sicera is interpreted "drunkenness," and by the word the Hebrews understand any drink that can intoxicate, (whether made from fruits, corn, or any other thing.) But it was part of the law of the Nazarites to give up wine and strong drink at the time of their consecration. Hence John, and others like him, that they might always remain Nazarites, (i.e. holy,) are careful always to abstain from these things. For he ought not to be drunk with wine (in which is licentiousness) who desires to be filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit; rightly then is he, from whom all drunkenness with wine is utterly put away, filled with the grace of the Spirit. But it follows, And he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.

AMBROSE; On whomsoever the Holy Spirit is poured, in him there is fullness of great virtue; as in St. John, who before he was born, when yet in his mother's womb, bore witness to the grace of the Spirit which he had received, when leaping in the womb of his parent he hailed the glad tidings of the coming of the Lord. There is one spirit of this life, another of grace. The former has its beginning at birth, its end at death; the latter is not tied down to times and seasons, is not quenched by death, is not shut out of the womb.

GREEK EXPOSITOR; But what John's work is to be, and what he will do through the Holy Spirit, is shown as follows; And many of the children of Israel shall he turn, &c.

ORIGEN; John indeed turned many, but it is the Lord's work to turn all to God their Father.

THEOPHYL; Now since John (who, bearing witness to Christ, baptized the people in His faith) is said to have turned the children of Israel to the Lord their God, it is plain that Christ is the God of Israel. Let the Arians then cease to deny that Christ our Lord is God. Let the Photinians blush to ascribe Christ's beginning to the Virgin. Let the Manichaeans no longer believe that there is one God of the people of Israel, another of the Christians.

AMBROSE; But we need no testimony that St. John turned the hearts of many, for to this point we have the express witness of both prophetic and evangelical Scriptures. For the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, and make His paths straight; and his baptisms thronged by the people, declare the rapid progress of conversion. For the forerunner of Christ preached, not himself, but the Lord; and therefore it follows, And he shall go before Him. It was well said, that he shall go before Him, who both in birth and in death was His forerunner.

ORIGEN; In the spirit and power of Elijah. - He says not, in the mind of Elijah, but in the spirit and power For the spirit which was in Elijah came upon John, and in like manner his power.

AMBROSE; For never is the spirit without power, nor power without the spirit. And therefore it is said, in the spirit and power; because holy Elijah had great power and grace. Power, so that he turned back the false hearts of the people to faith; power of abstinence, and patience, and the spirit of prophecy. Elijah was in the wilderness, in the wilderness also was John. The one sought not the favor of king Ahab; the other despised that of Herod. The one divided Jordan; the other brought men to the Saving waters; John, the forerunner of our Lord's first coming; Elijah of His latter.

THEOPHYL; But what was foretold of Elias by Malachi, is now spoken by the angel of John; as it follows, That he should turn the hearts of the parents to the children; pouring into the minds of the people, by his preaching, the spiritual knowledge of the ancient saints. And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; i.e. not laying claim to righteousness from the works of the law, but seeking salvation by faith.

GREEK EX. Or else; The Jews were the parents of John and the Apostles; but, nevertheless, from pride and infidelity raged violently against the Gospel. Therefore, like dutiful children, John first, and the Apostles after him, declared to them the truth, winning them over to their own righteousness and wisdom. So also will Elias convert the remnant of Hebrews to the truth of the Apostles.

THEOPHYL; But because he had said that Zacharias' prayer for the people was heard, he adds, To make ready a people prepared for the Lord; by which he teaches in what manner the same people must be healed and prepared; namely, by repenting at the preaching of John and believing on Christ.

THEOPHYL. Or, John made ready a people not disbelieving but prepared, that is, previously fitted to receive Christ.

ORIGEN; This sacrament of preparation is even now fulfilled in the world, for even now the spirit and power of John must come upon the soul, before it believes in Jesus Christ.



Catena Aurea Luke 1
7 posted on 06/23/2012 7:56:43 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Annunciation to Zacharias

Giotto di Bondone

1320
Fresco, 280 x 450 cm
Peruzzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

8 posted on 06/23/2012 7:57:10 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Salvation

90s every day now, although early June was pleasant. We discussed the concept that summer in 1930s England was an improvement, as opposed to summer in Texas or Oklahoma which is kill yourself. (NC is better.)


9 posted on 06/23/2012 8:00:59 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Spinach at every meal.)
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To: All

From: Jeremiah 1:4-10

The Lord calls Jeremiah


[4] Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
[5] “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
[6] Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am
only a youth.” [7] But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you you shall go,
and whatever I command you you shall speak.
[8] Be not afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you.
[9] Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord
said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
[10] See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build up and to plant.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1:1-19. The book of Jeremiah is a collection of the prophet’s oracles arranged
more by subject than in chronological order and interspersed with stories about
his life. The heading (vv. 1-3), as in most of the prophetical books, introduces the
prophet and tells when he lived. Then, as an introduction to the book, comes an
account of the call of Jeremiah (vv. 4-10) along with two visions that give a good
description of the man (vv. 11-12 and 13-19).

1:4-10. This account of the call of Jeremiah gives a very good idea of the myste-
rious nature of every divine call – a call from all eternity and involving no merit on
the part of the person called, in which God makes known to a soul the why and
wherefore of his or her life. No one comes into being by accident, for everything
that happens is part of God’s providence (v. 5). God’s action in creating a person
is described graphically – “formed” you in the womb – a word used to describe
what a potter does when he models something in clay. The Lord “knew” Jere-
miah—a reference to his choosing him for a specific mission (cf. Amos 3:2; Rom
8:29); God has a plan for each person, and he endows each with talents that
equip him or her to put that plan into effect. The passage also talks of a “conse-
cration”, that is, the earmarking of a person or thing for the service of God. God’s
plan for someone, made before the person is born, emerges in due course, when
he or she is old enough to take on the assignments that God has been preparing
him for. Glossing this passage, St John Chrysostom, has God say this: “I am
the one who knit you together in your mother’s womb. Your life is not a work of
nature, nor the fruit of suffering. I am the origin and cause of all things: you should
obey and offer yourself to me,” and he adds: “It does not begin with I consecrated
you: first, I knew you; then I consecrated you. Thus is the original choice shown,
and after the original choice, the particular calling” (Fragmenta in Ieremiam, 1).

When the mystery of a person’s calling begins to be revealed, their initial reac-
tion can be one of fear, because they are very conscious of their limitations and
feel that they are not up to the tasks that the Lord entrusts them with. Jeremiah,
for example, argues that he is too young (v. 6). We do not know how old he was
at the time, for the word he uses to describe his age (na’ar) is imprecise. He
was probably only an adolescent (cf. Gen 37:2; 1 Sam 2:18; 3:1-21). In respon-
ding to a vocation, one needs to listen, above all, to God who calls, who never
leaves his chosen ones on their own, and who always gives them the wherewi-
thal to carry out the mission he is charging them with (vv. 7-8).

The Lord’s symbolic gesture of putting out his hand to touch Jeremiah’s mouth,
as if to fill it with divine words, is similar to other gestures found in accounts of
the calling of prophets (cf. Is 6:7; Ezek 2:8-3:3; Dan 10:16). It is to tell the man
not to be concerned: he can rest assured that God will give him the right words
to express himself. It is a promise similar to that made by Jesus to his disci-
ples: he assured them of the Holy Spirit’s help when the time came for them to
bear witness to him (cf. Mt 10:19-20).

The assignment given to Jeremiah implies a heavy responsibility; he will need
fortitude if he is to carry it out (v. 10). It involves in the first place doing destruc-
tive things (plucking up, breaking down, destroying and overthrowing) and only
then come constructive roles (building and planning). St Gregory the Great will
apply the same idea to the attention that is called for in the pastoral care of the
faithful: “One cannot build up if what disturbs the foundation has not been des-
troyed. In other words, the sweet words of good preaching are sown in vain if
the thorns of self-love have not first been plucked from the hearts of listeners”
(Regular pastoralis, 3, 34).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


10 posted on 06/23/2012 8:03:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Peter 1:8-12

Praise and Thanksgiving to God


[8] Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you
believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. [9] As the outcome of
your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls. [10] The prophets who prophe-
sied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation;
[11] they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within
them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. [12] It
was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things
which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news
to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to
look.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

3-12. This passage, a hymn of praise and gratitude to God, developing what is
proclaimed in v. 2, is more explicit about the action of each Person of the Bles-
sed Trinity: by making his choice of Christians, God the Father has destined us
to a marvellous heritage in heaven (vv. 3-5); to attain this we need to love and be-
lieve in Jesus Christ our Lord (vv. 6-9); the Holy Spirit, who earlier proclaimed sal-
vation by the mouth of the Old Testament prophets, is now, through those who
preach the Gospel, announcing that salvation has arrived (vv. 10-12).

3. God brought about the work of Redemption “by his great mercy”. For God,
who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we
were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:
4-5). And just as the work of Creation is a manifestation of God’s omnipotence,
so his new Creation is an expression of his mercy (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, II-II,
q. 30, a. 4; cf. note on 2 Cor 5:17).

“Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”: the resurrection of our
Lord marks the climax of his salvific work, for it assures men of their redemption
and their own resurrection. In its Easter liturgy the Church joyfully reminds of this:
“He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed
our death; by rising he restored our life” (”Easter Preface”, I).

10-12. These verses of thanksgiving (vv. 3-12) end with a reference to the role of
the Holy Spirit in salvation: he acted in the Old Testament through the prophets
by announcing salvation, and now, through preachers of the Gospel, he reveals
that it has come about.

The passage is a clear acknowledgment of the unity and continuity of the Old
and New Testaments: in the Old the sufferings and subsequent glorification of
Christ are proclaimed, in such a way that “what the prophets predicted as future
events,” says St Thomas, “the Apostles preached as something which had come
true” (”Commentary on Eph” 2:4). “The economy of the Old Testament was deli-
berately orientated to prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ,
Redeemer of all men, and of the messianic Kingdom (cf. Lk 24:44; Jn 5:39; 1 Pet
1:10) [...]. God, the inspirer and author of the books of both Testaments, in his
wisdom has so brought it about that the New should be hidden in the Old and that
the Old should be made manifest in the New. For although Christ founded the New
Covenant in his blood (cf. Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25), still the books of the Old Testa-
ment, all of them caught up into the Gospel message, attain and show forth their
full meaning in the New Testament (cf. Mt 5:17; Lk 24:27; Rom 16:25-26; 2 Cor
3:14-16) and in their turn, shed light on it and explain it” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”,
15-16).

These verses show the Holy Spirit’s role as cause and guide of the evangelizing
activity of the Church. In the early days of the spread of Christianity, as des-
cribed in Acts, the action of the third Person of the Blessed Trinity was palpable.

12. The Greek word translated at the end of this verse as “look” contains the
idea of bending over carefully in order to get a better look. This metaphor, then,
depicts the angels in heaven contemplating with joy the mystery of salvation. St
Francis de Sales, referring to this passage, exclaims: “Now in this complacency
we satiate our soul with delights in such a manner that we do not yet cease to
desire to be satiated [...]. The fruition of a thing which always contents never les-
sens, but is renewed and flourishes incessantly; it is ever agreeable, ever desira-
ble. The perpetual contentment of heavenly lovers produces a desire perpetually
content” (”Treatise on the Love of God”, 5, 3).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


11 posted on 06/23/2012 8:05:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:5-17

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold


[5] In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of
the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name
was Elizabeth. [6] And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. [7] But they had no child,
because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

[8] Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
[9] according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the tem-
ple of Lord and burn incense. [10] And the whole multitude of the people were pra-
ying outside at the hour of incense. [11] And there appeared to him an angel of
the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [12] And Zechariah was
troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. [13] But the angel said to him,
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will
bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. [14] And you will have joy and
gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; [15] for he will be great before the
Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Ho-
ly Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. [16] And he will turn many of the sons of
Israel to the Lord their God, [17] and he will go before him in the spirit and power
of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to
the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

6. After referring to the noble ancestry of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the evangelist
now speaks of a higher type of nobility, the nobility of virtue: “Both were righteous
before God.” “For not everyone who is righteous in men’s eyes is righteous in
God’s; men have one way of seeing and God another; men see externals but
God sees into the heart. It can happen that someone seems righteous because
his virtue is false and is practiced to win people’s approval; but he is not virtuous
in God’s sight if his righteousness is not born of simplicity of soul but is only si-
mulated in order to appear good.

“Perfect praise consists in being righteous before God, because only he can be
called perfect who is approved by Him who cannot be deceived” (St. Ambrose,
“Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

In the last analysis what a Christian must be is righteous before God. St. Paul is
advocating this when he tells the Corinthians, “But with me it is a very small thing
that I should be judged by you or by any human court. It is the Lord who judges
me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes,
who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the pur-
poses of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God” (1
Corinthians 4:3ff). On the notion of the just or righteous man, see the note on
Matthew 1:19.

8. There were twenty-four groups or turns of priests to which functions were allo-
cated by the drawing of lots; the eighth group was that of the family of Abijah (cf.
1 Chronicles 24:7-19), to which Zechariah belonged.

9-10. Within the sacred precincts, in a walled-off area, stood the temple proper.
Rectangular in form, there was first a large area which was called “the Holy
Place”, in which was located the altar of incense referred to in verse 9. Behind
this was the inner sanctum, called “the Holy of Holies”, where the Ark of the
Covenant with the tablets of the Law used to be kept; only the high priest had
access to this, the most sacred part of the temple. The veil or great curtain of
the temple separated these two area from one another. The sacred building was
surrounded by a courtyard, called the courtyard of the priests and outside this,
at the front of the temple, was what was called the courtyard of the Israelites,
where the people stayed during the ceremony of incensing.

10. While the priest offered incense to God, the people in the courtyard joined
with him in spirit: even in the Old Testament every external act of worship was
meant to be accompanied by an interior disposition of self-offering to God.

With much more reason should there be this union between external and inter-
nal worship in the liturgical rites of the New Covenant (cf. “Mediator Dei”, 8), in
the liturgy of the Church. Besides, this consistency befits the nature of man,
comprised as he is of body and soul.

11. Angels are pure spirits, that is, they have no body of any kind; therefore,
“they do not appear to men exactly as they are; rather, they manifest themselves
in forms which God gives them so that they can be seen by those to whom He
sends them” (St. John Damascene, “De Fide Orthodoxa,” 2, 3).

In addition to adoring and serving God, angelic spirits act as God’s messengers
and channels of His providence towards men; this explains why they appear so
often in salvation history and why Sacred Scripture refers to them in so many
passages (cf., e.g. Hebrews 1:14).

Christ’s birth was such an important event that angels were given a very promi-
nent role in connection with it. Here, as at the Annunciation to Mary, the arch-
angel St. Gabriel is charged with delivering God’s message.

“It is no accident that the angel makes his appearance in the temple, for this an-
nounces the imminent coming of the true Priest and prepares the heavenly sacri-
fice at which the angels will minister. Let it not be doubted, then, that the angels
will be present when Christ is immolated” (St. Ambrose, “Expositio Evangelii
Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

12. “No matter how righteous a man be, he cannot look at an angel without fee-
ling afraid; that is why Zechariah was alarmed: he could not but quake at the pre-
sence of the angel; he could not take the brightness that surrounded him” (St.
John Chrysostom, “De Incomprehensibili Dei Natura”). The reason for this is not
so much the angels’ superiority to man as the fact that the grandeur of God’s ma-
jesty shines out through the angel: “And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Bles-
sed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said
to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him,
but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your
brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God’” (Revelation 19:9-10).

13. Through the archangel God intervenes in an exceptional way in the married
life of Zechariah and Elizabeth; but the message he brings has much wider refe-
rence; it has significance for the whole world. Elizabeth is already quite old but
she is going to have a son who will be called John (”God is gracious”) and he
will be the forerunner of the Messiah. This showed that “the fullness of time” (cf.
Galatians 4:4) was imminent, for which all righteous people of Israel had yearned
(cf. John 8:56; Hebrews 11:13).

“Your prayer is heard,” St. Jerome comments, “that is to say, you are given more
than you asked for. You prayed for the salvation of the people, and you have been
given the Precursor” (”Expositio Evangelium Sec. Lucam, in loc.”). Our Lord also
sometimes gives us more than we ask for: “There is a story about a beggar mee-
ting Alexander the Great and asking him for alms. Alexander stopped and instruc-
ted that the man be given the government of five cities. The beggar, totally con-
fused and taken aback, explained, ‘I didn’t ask for that much.’ And Alexander re-
plied, ‘You asked like the man you are; I give like the man I am” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ Is Passing By”, 160). Since God responds so generously and gives us
more than we ask for, we should face up to difficulties and not be cowed by them.

14-17. The archangel St. Gabriel gives Zechariah three reasons why he should
rejoice over the birth of this child; first, because God will bestow exceptional ho-
liness on him (verse 15); second, because he will lead many to salvation (verse
16); and third, because his whole life, everything he does, will prepare the way
for the expected Messiah (verse 17).

In St. John the Baptist two prophecies of Malachi are fulfilled; in them we are told
that God will send a messenger ahead of Him to prepare the way for Him (Mala-
chi 3:1; 4:5-6). John prepares the way for the first coming of the Messiah in the
same way as Elijah will prepare the way for His second coming (cf. St. Ambrose,
“Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”; St. Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on
St. Matthew”, 17, 11, “in loc.”). This is why Christ will say, “What did you go out
to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom
it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, who shall prepare
Thy way before Thee’” (Luke 7:26-27).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


12 posted on 06/23/2012 8:08:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:


First reading Jeremiah 1:4-10 ©
The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you came to birth I consecrated you;
I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’
I said, ‘Ah, Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am a child!’
But the Lord replied,
‘Do not say, “I am a child.”
Go now to those to whom I send you
and, say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to protect you –
it is the Lord who speaks!’
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me:
‘There! I am putting my words into your mouth.
Look, today I am setting you
over nations and over kingdoms,
to tear up and to knock down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.’

Psalm Psalm 70:1-6,15,17 ©
My lips will tell of your help.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
  let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
  pay heed to me and save me.
My lips will tell of your help.
Be a rock where I can take refuge,
  a mighty stronghold to save me;
  for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.
My lips will tell of your help.
It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
  my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
  from my mother’s womb you have been my help.
My lips will tell of your help.
My lips will tell of your justice
  and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
  and I proclaim your wonders still.
My lips will tell of your help.

Second reading 1 Peter 1:8-12 ©
You did not see Jesus Christ, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.
  It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.

Gospel Acclamation Jn1:7;Lk1:17
Alleluia, alleluia!
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:5-17 ©
In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron. Both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.
  Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.
  Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense. The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you must name him John. He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink. Even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the disobedient back to the wisdom that the virtuous have, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.’

These readings are for the day of the feast itself. Readings for the Vigil mass (on the evening before) are shown further down the page.


First reading Isaiah 49:1-6 ©
Islands, listen to me,
pay attention, remotest peoples.
The Lord called me before I was born,
from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.
He made my mouth a sharp sword,
and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a sharpened arrow,
and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel)
in whom I shall be glorified’;
while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,
I have exhausted myself for nothing’;
and all the while my cause was with the Lord,
my reward with my God.
I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,
my God was my strength.
And now the Lord has spoken,
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
to gather Israel to him:
‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,
to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;
I will make you the light of the nations
so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’

Psalm Psalm 138:1-3,13-15 ©
I thank you for the wonder of my being.
O Lord, you search me and you know me,
  you know my resting and my rising,
  you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
  all my ways lie open to you.
I thank you for the wonder of my being.
For it was you who created my being,
  knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
  for the wonders of all your creation.
I thank you for the wonder of my being.
Already you knew my soul,
  my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
  and moulded in the depths of the earth.
I thank you for the wonder of my being.

Second reading Acts 13:22-26 ©
Paul said: ‘God deposed Saul and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”
  ‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you.’

Gospel Acclamation cf.Lk1:76
Alleluia, alleluia!
As for you, little child, you shall be called
a prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare his ways before him.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:57-66,80 ©
The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.
  Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.
  Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.

13 posted on 06/23/2012 8:25:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION



Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. These prayers were in effect until after Vatican II. A decade later Paul VI said, "satan has entered the sanctuary." Could the elimination of these powerful prayers with a ten year indulgence have played a huge part in allowing the devil such easy access? The answer is obvious. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. After Vatican II, in legion with the devil Giovanni Montini outlawed this necessary prayer and then one wonders how "the smoke of satan" got into the sanctuary? The conciliarists wanted to make sure the words in bold below would never see the light of day again for in it Leo foretold what would happen: The shepherd would be struck, the sheep scattered. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen.


14 posted on 06/23/2012 8:26:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
15 posted on 06/23/2012 8:27:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
16 posted on 06/23/2012 8:28:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

18 posted on 06/23/2012 8:32:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

19 posted on 06/23/2012 8:34:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


20 posted on 06/23/2012 8:35:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought it mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushes beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Hear. of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.


21 posted on 06/23/2012 8:37:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: Christ, Present in the Eucharist. That believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life.

Missionary Intention: European Christians. That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of the Gospel.


22 posted on 06/23/2012 8:50:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Fortnight for Freedom
June 21-July 4

 

fortnight-for-freedom-montage

23 posted on 06/23/2012 8:52:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The bishops of the United States invite you to join in an urgent prayer for religious liberty.

Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty,
the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.
Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;
By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

· USCCB Ad Hoc Committee

 


24 posted on 06/23/2012 8:54:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 1:57-66, 80
The Birth of John the Baptist
By Fr. Jack Peterson, YA

Today’s feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is marked by joy and mystery. Both realities are woven beautifully into the events that surround this exciting and unexpected birth of Jesus’ cousin and forerunner.

Elizabeth and Zechariah are beyond child-bearing years; plus, they have been barren. At this stage in their lives their pregnancy is completely unexpected. The mysterious grace of this birth in their old age proclaims that this child and his life-project are the work of God. There is no human explanation for what is happening to them. By this birth, God says to them, “Know that I am God, and that I am acting in your lives.”

There is mystery surrounding Zechariah as a father. The Lord makes him unable to speak for the duration of the pregnancy. (Some wives might suggest that God should do that more regularly.) Zechariah is a man of faith, described in Luke’s Gospel as “righteous in the eyes of God.” Yet, his lack of faith in this particular offer from the Lord brings about this unusual chastisement. We can take comfort in the fact that God uses this time of quiet in his life to bestow many graces upon him. At the time of John’s birth, Zechariah sings one of the greatest hymns of praise that we have in the Scriptures. He demonstrates beautiful obedience in naming his son John. God often prunes us in order to help us bear more fruit.

John proceeds to bring astounding joy into his parents’ lives. Three months prior, John himself had leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary arrived from Nazareth pregnant with Jesus. John was startled by the presence of the one who would redeem the world and restore life and hope to mankind. His tiny little heart rejoiced, so near was our salvation. The child’s joy quickly became the mother’s joy.

On the day of his birth, the level of joy in the home and the town of Elizabeth and Zechariah must have been palatable. God was faithful to His promise. This old and barren couple had become a family of three. And they knew that this child would have a very special place in God’s plan. “You my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High.”

As Christians living two millennia after John, we have additional reasons for rejoicing today. We know what will happen to this unexpected child. He will grow up to become the last of the great prophets and the only one privileged to actually present the Messiah and Lord to the world, “Behold the Lamb of God.” He will help prepare the world to embrace its Savior by preaching a baptism of repentance. He will end up being imprisoned for speaking the truth (about marriage). He will lay down his life in witness to Jesus. John will become a bright light shining on a hilltop for the whole world to see.

Remembering and celebrating John’s birth helps us to experience anew the joy of salvation today. He reminds us that there was indeed a long time in the history of the world when we could not turn to Jesus for forgiveness, healing, guidance and strength as we can today. We are so privileged to be Jesus’ disciples. John invites us to be startled at our encounter with Christ, especially as He comes to us so humbly under the guise of a piece of bread. John teaches us to trust that God wants to do great things in our lives; He wants to surprise us with unexpected blessings. John teaches the great value of humility by his burning desire to let Jesus increase in his life while he decreased.

Let me finish with the words of the opening collect for today’s feast: “O God, who raised up St. John the Baptist to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord, give your people, we pray, the grace of spiritual joys and direct the hearts of all the faithful into the way of salvation and peace … .”

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


25 posted on 06/23/2012 9:33:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington

We briefly step out of the “green” of Ordinary Time (tempus per annum) to celebrate the birth of the great and last Prophet of the Old Testament, St. John the Baptist. And in so doing, we do not only commemorate a great prophet of history, but we also consider the office of prophet, an office to which we are summoned by our baptism.

Therefore as we consider John the Baptist, we also learn of ourselves in terms of our duties both as a prophet and also as one who must be open the proclamation of those who are appointed prophets to us. Lets consider four aspects of the life and ministry of John the Baptist.

1. His PREPARING PURPOSE - In the first reading today, The Church applies these words of Isaiah to John the Baptist to describe his purpose:

The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm….You are my servant, he said to me, through whom I show my glory…. to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 49:1-6)

So, the Lord wants to save his people, he wants to restore and raise us up. But, as he had warned in the Book of Malachi, it was necessary to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. For should he come, and they be unprepared, there would be doom:

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. And all the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. For the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the Lord Almighty.

“So, remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; lest I will come and strike the land with doom.” (Mal 4:1-6)

God therefore, in His love, promised to send an Elijah figure to prepare the people, for the Great and Terrible day of the Lord, so that they could endure it and even consider it bright and sunny in its warm and healing rays. John the Baptist was that Elijah figure. And Jesus, who had come to cast a fire on the earth (cf Lk 12:49) tells us this very truth of John the Baptist:

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men [also] attack it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matt 11:12-15)

In other words, time to get ready. Either the Lord will come to us or we will go to him. And the Lord, not wanting us to be lost, sends Elijah, sends John the Baptist, sends the Church, sends parents, priests, teachers and many prophets to prepare us. The great day of judgement dawns for each of us, the Lord in his love sends prophets to prepare us.

2. His  PENITENTIAL PROCLAMATION. The second reading today says of St. John the Baptist: John heralded [Jesus'] coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance. Matthew reports John’s words as being Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!….Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.(Matt 3:1).

So at the heart of getting ready to meet God is repentance. In recent decades there have been some in the Church who have wanted to soft-peddle themes of repentance and frank discussion of human sinfulness and worldliness. But the true prophet cannot prescind from this basic theme. God is very holy, and the holiest among us are the first to acknowledge that it is an awesome thing to fall into the hands of a living and holy God. God is surely rich in mercy, but there is a reason for that: we are sinners.

To be sure, repentance is more than a reform of our moral behavior. The Greek word translated here as “Repent” is metanoite which means more literally to come to a new mind, a new way of thinking, to have different and better priorities, to exchange worldly notions for heavenly wisdom.

Therefore a true prophet will be steeped in God’s Word, and the teachings of the Church. A true prophet will preach and announce what God reveals and see everything else in the light of it. A true prophet will summon God’s people to truth that God proclaims, and will expose lies and errors for what they are.

In summoning God’s people to repent therefore the prophet seeks not only to reform, or inform God’s people, but to transform them by God’s grace. Thus, when God summons us to his presence we will already be well adjusted to the temperature of his glory. Our eyes will be adjusted to the radiance of his love. And our souls will be conformed to the values of his heavenly kingdom.

Repent! That is, come to whole new mind, a new way of thinking and understanding, a new heart, a new love, and thus, a new behavior and a new way to walk that makes “straight paths” for and to the Lord.

3. His PERSISTENT POINTING to Christ. John the Baptist was a kind of “rock star” in his own time. It is difficult to underestimate his renown. Such fame is usually the recipe for megalomania and personal disaster. But John humbly points to Christ: What you suppose that I am’ I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.

It was John who had pointed and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (Jn 1:29)

The true prophet points only to Christ, only to God. John did not look to his own glory or fame, he looked to Jesus. He did not look to bottom line and try and figure what it would cost him to follow Jesus, he just looked and pointed. And if anyone did note John’s glory and gifts he simply pointed to Jesus and said, He must become greater; I must become less (Jn 3:30).

The true prophet is turned toward Christ, looks for him and eagerly points to him.

4. His PRESENT PERSON - Note that John the Baptist was a real person who ministered to real people of his time in order to get them ready to meet Jesus Christ. Therefore two questions come to mind:

1. Who is John the Baptist for you? Surely the Church has this role to be like John the Baptist preparing us to meet God. The Church  proclaims repentance points always to Christ. Many scoff at the Church on account of her role, and the gospel and certain aspects of the Gospel go in season and out of season. Yet, though she be a voice as of one crying in the wilderness, still she prophesies: “Repent and believe the Good News! Prepare the way for the Lord! Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. Seek that which is above, rather than the things of earth!” Yes the Church is surely “The Prophet” for us.

Others such as parents, teachers and pastors have also had this role John in our life. For the Church is not an abstraction, the Church has members who take up her voice. And thus, for many the first place they hear of Jesus is not in a Papal encyclical or even in the bible. They of Jesus at their mother’s knee, from their father’s voice, from a religious sister, or teacher. And together they say, “this is the way, walk in it.”

Yes, John the Baptist is still present in the prophetic ministry of the Church and others.

2. How are you John the Baptist to others? Just as you have had the prophetic ministry of John the baptist from others, so are you called to take it up for others. To whom have you witnessed? To whom have you declared, “This is the way, walk in it?” To have you have you said, “Repent and believe in the Good News?”

When you were baptized your were given the office of prophet. Have you taken up this role? Have others been made ready through you to meet God?

Think about it? God had John the Baptist, who does He have now. It looks like you. You are John the Baptist!


26 posted on 06/23/2012 9:41:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Reading I:
Is 49:1-6 II: Acts 13:22-26
Gospel
Luke 1:57-66,80

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


Interesting Details
  • Liturgical note: During the liturgical year, the Church celebrates only three birthdays celebrated in a liturgical year: that of Jesus (Dec 25), of John the Baptist (June 24), and of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept 8).
  • (v. 59) On the eighth day: The parents of John have him circumcise according to the regulation of the Laws in Lev 12:3.
  • (v. 60) He will be called John: In Hebrew, "Yehohanan" or "Yohanan" means "Yahweh is gracious." Like Jesus (Mt 1:21), the name of John was given to his parents by the angel Gabriel before he was born (Lk 1:13).
  • (v. 64) His mouth was opened, his tongue is freed: During Elizabeth's pregnancy and childbirth, Zechariah was silent the entire time. The first word he could utter was praising God.
  • (v. 66) And the hand of the Lord is with him: Luke presents John as a parallel to Jesus. Both were born by God's intervention; both have a respective mission to fulfill.

One Main Point

The Lord is gracious in granting Zechariah a son, and most gracious in sending us His Son to bring "salvation to the ends of the earth".


Reflections
  1. Describe a time when you like Zachariah, took a step of faith and beginning speaking, praising God.
  2. How was "the hand of the Lord" seen in John's life? In your life?

27 posted on 06/23/2012 9:48:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, June 24, 2012
The Birth of St. John the Baptist (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Acts 13:22-26
Luke 1:57-66, 80

Oh my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value.

-- St. Teresa


28 posted on 06/23/2012 9:51:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


29 posted on 06/23/2012 9:52:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I’ve been upset all day, ever since I read on Drudge about the Catholic priest that was convicted of complicity in the child abuse accusations.

My Dad was the desk sergeant in a township that bordered Philadelphia when a class of acolytes was molested. Those boys would be the same age as this priest that was convicted. My parents never told me about the problem, another student told me. My mother confirmed it years later.

At the time I didn’t even know what homosexuals did with each other. All that I knew was that the priest had gotten the boys drunk on church wine, in the basement and did things to them. One of the boys broke down and told his parents. The church made a deal with the township authorities AND THE PARENTS, to send the priest to some rehabilitation site, out west, if the parents would not press charges. 5 of the boys transferred to the public school. I knew one of them personally. I don’t know what happened to the rest or how many there were in the acolyte class.

I’ve been upset about this all day. I’m not sure why. It just seems so strange to me that everyone didn’t know about this and other similar events that had nothing to do with the Catholic Church.


30 posted on 06/23/2012 11:10:39 PM PDT by Eva
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To: Salvation

I’ve been upset all day, ever since I read on Drudge about the Catholic priest that was convicted of complicity in the child abuse accusations.

My Dad was the desk sergeant in a township that bordered Philadelphia when a class of acolytes was molested. Those boys would be the same age as this priest that was convicted. My parents never told me about the problem, another student told me. My mother confirmed it years later.

At the time I didn’t even know what homosexuals did with each other. All that I knew was that the priest had gotten the boys drunk on church wine, in the basement and did things to them. One of the boys broke down and told his parents. The church made a deal with the township authorities AND THE PARENTS, to send the priest to some rehabilitation site, out west, if the parents would not press charges. 5 of the boys transferred to the public school. I knew one of them personally. I don’t know what happened to the rest or how many there were in the acolyte class.

I’ve been upset about this all day. I’m not sure why. It just seems so strange to me that everyone didn’t know about this and other similar events that had nothing to do with the Catholic Church.


31 posted on 06/23/2012 11:10:54 PM PDT by Eva
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To: annalex
Office of Readings

INVITATORY


The Invitatory may be said for the first ëhourí recited in the day.

Lord, + open my lips.
ñ And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: Ü
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.
Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, ìThey are a people whose hearts go astray
  and they do not know my ways.î
So I swore in my anger, *
  ìThey shall not enter into my rest.î

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
ñ Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
ñ as it was in the beginning, is now, will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

On Jordanís bank the Baptistís cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every breast from sin;
make straight the way for God within,
prepare we in our hearts a home
where such a mighty Guest may come.

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.

To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,
and bid the fallen sinner stand;
shine forth and let thy light restore
earthís own true loveliness once more.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent doth thy people free;
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Melody: Winchester New L.M.
Music: Musikalisches Handbuch, 1690
Text: Charles Coffin, 1736
Translation: John Chandler, 1837

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 The Lord called me before I was born; from my motherís womb he named me.

Psalm 21:2-8, 14
Thanksgiving for the kingís victory

He accepted life that he might rise and live for ever (Saint Hilary).

O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king; *
how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heartís desire; *
you have not refused the prayer of his lips.

You came to meet him with the blessings of success; *
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given, *
days that will last from age to age.

Your saving help has given him glory. *
You have laid upon him majesty and splendor,
you have granted your blessings to him for ever. *
You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.

The king has put his trust in the Lord: *
through the mercy of the Most High he shall stand firm.
O Lord, arise in your strength; *
we shall sing and praise your power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, you have given us life on this earth and have met us with the grace of redemption. Bestow your greatest blessing on us, the fullness of eternal life.

Ant. The Lord called me before I was born; from my motherís womb he named me.

Ant. 2 The Lord made my tongue a sharp sword; he hid me in the shadow of his hand.

Psalm 92
Praise of God the Creator

Sing in praise of Christís redeeming work (Saint Athanasius).

I

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, *
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning *
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute, *
with the murmuring sound of the harp.

Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad; *
for the work of your hands I shout with joy.
O Lord, how great are your works! *
How deep are your designs!
The stupid cannot know this *
and the fool cannot understand.

Though the wicked spring up like grass *
and all who do evil thrive,
they are doomed to be eternally destroyed. *
But you, Lord, are eternally on high.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Lord made my tongue a sharp sword; he hid me in the shadow of his hand.

Ant. 3 John testified: He who is to come after me existed before me.

II

See how your enemies perish; *
all doers of evil are scattered.

To me you give the wild oxís strength; *
you anoint me with the purest oil.
My eyes looked in triumph on my foes; *
my ears heard gladly of their fall.
The just will flourish like the palm-tree *
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

Planted in the house of the Lord *
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old, *
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just. *
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Take our shame away from us, Lord, and make us rejoice in your saving works. May all who have been chosen by your Son always abound in works of faith, hope, and love in your service.

Ant. John testified: He who is to come after me existed before me.

He came to bear witness to the light.
ñ That all might believe through him.

READINGS


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Jeremiah
1:4-10, 17-19

The call of the prophet

The word of the Lord came to me thus:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
   before you were born I dedicated you,
   a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

ìAh, Lord God!î I said,
   ìI know not how to speak; I am too young.î

   But the Lord answered me,
Say not, ìI am too young.î
   To whomever I send you, you shall go;
   whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Have no fear before them,
   because I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.

   Then the Lord extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,
See, I place my words in your mouth!
   This day I set you
   over nations and over kingdoms,
To root up and to tear down,
   to destroy and to demolish,
   to build and to plant.

But do you gird your loins;
   stand up and tell them
   all that I command you.
Be not crushed on their account,
   as though I would leave you crushed before them;

For it is I this day
   who have made you a fortified city,
A pillar of iron, a wall of brass,
   against the whole land:
Against Judahís kings and princes,
   against its priests and people.
They will fight against you, but not prevail over you,
   for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.

RESPONSORY
Jeremiah 1:5, 9, 10


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I consecrated you,
ñ and I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

I have placed my words in your mouth;
have set you over nations and over kingdoms.
ñ And I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 293, 1-3: PL 38, 1327-1328)

The voice of one crying in the wilderness

The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event. We have no such commemoration for any other fathers; but it is significant that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus. This day cannot be passed by. And even if my explanation does not match the dignity of the feast, you may still meditate on it with great depth and profit.

John is born of a woman too old for childbirth; Christ was born of a youthful virgin. The news of Johnís birth was met with incredulity, and his father was struck dumb. Christís birth was believed, and he was conceived through faith.

Such is the topic, as I have presented it, for our inquiry and discussion. But as I said before, if I lack either the time or the ability to study the implications of so profound a mystery, he who speaks within you even when I am not here will teach you better; it is he whom you contemplate with devotion, whom you have welcomed into your hearts, whose temples you have become.

John, then, appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord himself bears witness, when he speaks of the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist. Thus he represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come. As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents; as herald of the new, he is declared to be a prophet while still in his motherís womb. For when yet unborn, he leapt in his motherís womb at the arrival of blessed Mary. In that womb he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born; it was revealed that he was to be Christís precursor, before they ever saw one another. These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human fraility. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his fatherís tongue is loosened. See how these events reflect reality

Zechariah is silent and loses his voice until John, the precursor of the Lord, is born and restores his voice. The silence of Zechariah is nothing but the age of prophecy lying hidden, obscured, as it were, and concealed before the preaching of Christ. At Johnís arrival, it becomes clear when the one who was being prophesied is about to come. The release of Zechariahís voice at the birth of John is a parallel to the rending of the veil at Christís crucifixion. If John were announcing his own coming, Zechariahís lips would not have been opened. The tongue is loosened because a voice is born. For when John was preaching the Lordís coming he was asked: Who are you? And he replied: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. The voice is John, but the Lord in the beginning was the Word. John was a voice that lasted only for a time; Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.

RESPONSORY
Luke 1:76-77


You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
ñ for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.

To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
ñ For you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.

If the Optional Vigil is not said, continue with the Te Deum.


OPTIONAL VIGIL

CANTICLES

Ant. Kings and princes will rise up and acknowledge you; they will adore the Lord God who chose you.

Canticle I: Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed are those who hope in the Lord

Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it (Luke 11:28).

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, *
whose hope is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted beside the waters *
that stretches out its roots to the stream:

It fears not the heat when it comes, *
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress, *
but still bears fruit

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle II: Sirach 14:20; 15:3-52, 6b
The happiness of the wise man

Wisdom is justified by her children (Luke 7:35).

Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, *
and reflects on knowledge;

She will nourish him with the bread of understanding, *
and give him the water of learning to drink.

He will lean upon her and not fall, *
he will trust in her and not be put to shame.

She will exalt him above his fellows; *
and he will inherit an everlasting name.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle III: Sirach 31:8-11
Blessed are those who do not seek after gold

Make for yourselves a never-failing treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33).

Happy the rich man found without fault, *
who turns not aside after gain!

Who is he, that we may praise him? *
he, of all his kindred, has done wonders,
for he has been tested by gold and come off safe, *
and this remains his glory.

He could have sinned but did not, *
 could have done evil but would not,
So that his possessions are secure, *
and the assembly recounts his praises.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Kings and princes will rise up and acknowledge you; they will adore the Lord God who chose you.

THE HOLY GOSPEL


+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
1:5-17

Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John.

I
n the days of Herod, King of Judea,
   there was a priest named Zechariah
   of the priestly division of Abijah;
   his wife was from the daughters of Aaron,
   and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in the eyes of God,
   observing all the commandments
   and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren
   and both were advanced in years.
Once when he was serving
   as priest in his divisionís turn before God,
according to the practice of the priestly service,
   he was chosen by lot
   to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.
Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside
   at the hour of the incense offering,
   the angel of the Lord appeared to him,
   standing at the right of the altar of incense.
Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, ìDo not be afraid, Zechariah,
   because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
   and you shall name him John.
And you will have joy and gladness,
   and many will rejoice at his birth,
   for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
John will drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his motherís womb,
   and he will turn many of the children of Israel
   to the Lord their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah
   to turn the hearts of fathers toward children
   and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous,
   to prepare a people fit for the Lord.î

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
1:29-34

Behold the Lamb of God.

J
ohn the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
   ìBehold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
   ëA man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
   because he existed before me.í
I did not know him,
   but the reason why I came baptizing with water
   was that he might be made known to Israel.î
John testified further, saying,
   ìI saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky
   and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
   but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
   ëOn whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
   he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.í
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.î

Or:

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
3:22-30

The friend of the bridegroom rejoices at the bridegroomís voice.

J
esus and his disciples went into the region of Judea,
   where he spent some time with them baptizing.
John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim,
   because there was an abundance of water there,
   and people came to be baptized,
   for John had not yet been imprisoned.
Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew
   about ceremonial washings.
So they came to John and said to him,
   ìRabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan,
   to whom you testified,
   here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.î
John answered and said,
   ìNo one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven.
You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Messiah,
   but that I was sent before him.
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom;
   the best man, who stands and listens for him,
   rejoices greatly at the bridegroomís voice.
So this joy of mine has been made complete.
He must increase; I must decrease.î

A homily on the Gospel may be given.


TE DEUM


You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
   heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
   Father, of majesty unbounded,
   your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
   and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virginís womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at Godís right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
R. Govern and uphold them now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you.
R. We praise your name for ever.
V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. for we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope:
R. and we shall never hope in vain.

The final part of the hymn may be omitted.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ñ Amen.

Or:

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ñ Amen.

ACCLAMATION


Let us praise the Lord.
ñ And give him thanks.
32 posted on 06/24/2012 6:31:47 AM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: sayuncledave
Lauds

INVITATORY


The Invitatory may be said for the first ëhourí recited in the day.

Lord, + open my lips.
ñ And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: Ü
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.
Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, ìThey are a people whose hearts go astray
  and they do not know my ways.î
So I swore in my anger, *
  ìThey shall not enter into my rest.î

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Lamb of God, proclaimed by John.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
ñ Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
ñ as it was in the beginning, is now, will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Most truly happy, of exalted virtue,
Purest of heralds of the Sun of Justice,
Martyr intrepid, dweller in the desert,
     Greatest of prophets!

Now by your merits and compelling virtue,
From our soulsí pathway take the stones of harshness,
Make smooth the rugged, straighten out the crooked,
     Gently prepare us.

So that our Maker and the worldís Redeemer
May find us ready, purified and loving,
Happy to welcome even smallest imprint
     Of feet so sacred.

Trinity holy, One, Almighty Godhead,
All saints in heaven celebrate your praises;
Humbly we beg you, spare and grant us pardon
     Through the Redemption. Amen.

Melody: Christe Sanctorum, 11.11.11.5
Music: Paris Antiphoner, 1681
Text: O nimis felix
Translation: © the Benedictines of Saint Ceciliaís Abbey, Ryde, UK. Used with permission.

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 You shall name the child John, and many will rejoice at his birth.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, * 
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. You shall name the child John, and many will rejoice at his birth.

Ant. 2 In the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before the Lord to prepare a people worthy of him.

Canticle: Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. In the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before the Lord to prepare a people worthy of him.

Ant. 3 You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.

Psalm 149
The joy of Godís holy people

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zionís sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.

READING

Malachi 3:23-24

Lo, I will send you
   Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the Lord comes,
   the great and terrible day,

To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
   and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
   the land with doom.

RESPONSORY


He will be great in the eyes of the Lord and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
ñ He will be great in the eyes of the Lord and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.

He will go before the Lord to prepare a people worthy of him.
ñ And he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
ñ He will be great in the eyes of the Lord and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH


Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened, and he spoke this prophecy: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.

Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed + be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old Ü
  that he would save us from our enemies, *
  from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
   all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened, and he spoke this prophecy: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.

INTERCESSIONS

In faith let us call upon Christ who sent John to prepare for his coming:
Dawn from on high, break upon us.

Your coming caused John the Baptist to leap for joy in his motherís womb,
ñ help us to rejoice at your coming among us.
Dawn from on high, break upon us.

Through the life and preaching of the Baptist you showed us the way to repentance,
ñ turn our hearts to follow the commandments of your kingdom.
Dawn from on high, break upon us.

You willed that your coming among us should be announced by John the Baptist,
ñ send new heralds to proclaim you throughout the world.
Dawn from on high, break upon us.

You wished to be baptized by John in the Jordan to fulfill all that the Father required,
ñ help us to do the Fatherís will.
Dawn from on high, break upon us.

THE LORDíS PRAYER


(Now let us pray as Christ the Lord has taught us:)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ñ Amen.

Or:

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ñ Amen.

DISMISSAL


May the Lord + bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
ñ Amen.
33 posted on 06/24/2012 6:32:24 AM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: sayuncledave
Daytime Prayer

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
ñ Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
ñ as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

At Midmorning

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love the things you love,
And do what you would do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with you I have one will,
To live and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
My soul with grace refine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with your fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So I shall never die,
But live with you the perfect life
In your eternity.

Melody: Yattendon 64.66.86
Music: H. E. Woodbridge, 1845-1917
Text: Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889 adapted by Anthony G. Petti

At Midday

Almighty Ruler, God of truth,
Who guide and master all,
The rays with which you gild the dawn
With noonday heat now fall.

O quench the fires of hatred, Lord,
Of anger and of strife;
Bring health to every mind and heart
That peace may enter life.

Most holy Father, grant our prayer
Through Christ your only Son,
That in your Spirit we may live
And praise you ever one.

Melody: Ballerma C.M.
Music: F. Barthelemon, 1774-1808
Text: Ralph Wright, O.S.B.

At Midafternoon

Lord God and Maker of all things,
Creation is upheld by you.
While all must change and know decay,
You are unchanging, always new.

You are manís solace and his shield
His rock secure on which to build;
You are the spiritís tranquil home;
In you alone is hope fulfilled.

To God the Father, and the Son
And Holy Spirit render praise,
Blest Trinity, from age to age
The strength of all our living days.

Melody: Auctoritate Saeculi L.M.
Music: Poitiers Antiphoner, 1746
Text: © Stanbrook Abbey, used with permission.

PSALMODY


Antiphons

Midmorning He will be great in the eyes of the Lord and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his motherís womb.

Midday When your greeting sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

Midafternoon This child will be great in the eyes of the Lord, for the hand of the Lord will be with him.

Psalm 118
Song of joy for salvation


This Jesus is the stone which, rejected by you builders, has become the chief stone supporting all the rest (Acts 4:11).

I

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, *
for his love endures for ever.

Let the sons of Israel say: *
ìHis love endures for ever.î
Let the sons of Aaron say: *
ìHis love endures for ever.î
Let those who fear the Lord say: *
ìHis love endures for ever.î

I called to the Lord in my distress; *
he answered and freed me.
The Lord is at my side; I do not fear. *
What can man do against me?
The Lord is at my side as my helper: *
I shall look down on my foes.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord *
than to trust in men:
it is better to take refuge in the Lord *
than to trust in princes.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

II

The nations all encompassed me; *
in the Lordís name I crushed them.
They compassed me, compassed me about; *
in the Lordís name I crushed them.
They compassed me about like bees; Ü
they blazed like a fire among thorns. *
In the Lordís name I crushed them.

I was hard-pressed and was falling *
but the Lord came to help me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; *
he is my savior.
There are shouts of joy and victory *
in the tents of the just.

The Lordís right hand has triumphed; *
his right hand raised me.
The Lordís right hand has triumphed;
I shall not die, I shall live *
and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord, *
but not doomed to die.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.
I shall proclaim your goodness, Lord, for you have answered me.

III

Open to me the gates of holiness: *
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lordís own gate *
where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered *
and you are my savior.

The stone which the builders rejected *
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord, *
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord; *
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation; *
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord *
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord; *
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches *
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you. *
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; *
for his love endures for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord God, you have given us the great day of rejoicing: Jesus Christ, the stone rejected by the builders, has become the cornerstone of the Church, our spiritual home. Shed upon your Church the rays of your glory, that it may be seen as the gate of salvation open to all nations. Let cries of joy and exultation ring out from its tents to celebrate the wonder of Christís resurrection.

Antiphons

Midmorning He will be great in the eyes of the Lord and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his motherís womb.

Midday When your greeting sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

Midafternoon This child will be great in the eyes of the Lord, for the hand of the Lord will be with him.

At the other hours, the complementary psalmody is used.

MIDMORNING


READING
Isaiah 49:1

Hear me, O coastlands,
   listen, O distant peoples.
The Lord called me from birth,
   from my motherís womb he gave me my name.

I saw the Spirit descending and resting upon him.
ñ This man will baptize with the Holy Spirit.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

Or:

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
ñ And give him thanks.

MIDDAY

READING
See Isaiah 49:5-6

For now the Lord has spoken
   who formed me as his servant from the womb,
I will make you a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

The Lord called me from birth.
ñ From my motherís womb he named me.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

Or:

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
ñ And give him thanks.

MIDAFTERNOON

READING

Isaiah 49:7b

When kings see you, they shall stand up,
   and princes shall prostrate themselves
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.

I have placed my words in your mouth.
ñ I have set you over nations and over kingdoms.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

Or:

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
ñ And give him thanks.

34 posted on 06/24/2012 6:33:18 AM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: sayuncledave
Vespers

INTRODUCTION

God, + come to my assistance.
ñ Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
ñ as it was in the beginning, is now, will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

The great forerunner of the morn,
The herald of the Word, is born;
And faithful hearts shall never fail
With thanks and praise his light to hail.

With heavenly message Gabriel came,
That John should be that heraldís name,
And with prophetic utterance told
His actions great and manifold.

John, still unborn, yet gave aright
His witness to the coming light;
And Christ, the sun of all the earth,
Fulfilled that witness at his birth.

Of woman-born shall never be
A greater prophet than was he,
Whose mighty deeds exalt his fame
To greater than a prophetís name.

All praise to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
Whom with the Spirit we adore
For ever and for evermore.

Melody: Sedulius L.M.
Music: Nurnbergisches Gesangbuch, 1676
Text: Saint Bede the Venerable, 673-735
Translation: John Mason Neale, 1818-1866

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 There was a man sent by God whose name was John.

Psalm 15
Who is worthy to stand in Godís presence?

You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (Hebrews 12:22).

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent *
and dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks without fault; *
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; *
he who does not slander with his tongue;

he who do no wrong to his brother, *
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain, *
but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his word, come what may; *
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent. *
Such a man will stand firm for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Make our lives blameless, Lord. Help us to do what is right and to speak what is true, that we may dwell in your tent and find rest on your holy mountain.

Ant. There was a man sent by God whose name was John.

Ant. 2 He came to bear witness to the truth.

Psalm 112
The happiness of the just

Live as children born of the light. Light produces every kind of goodness and justice and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9).

Happy the man who fears the Lord, *
who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; *
the children of the upright are blessed.

Wealth and riches are in his house; *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: *
he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends, *
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver: *
he will be remembered for ever.

He has no fear of evil news; *
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear; *
he will see the downfall of his foes.

Openhanded, he gives to the poor; Ü
his justice stands firm for ever. *
His head will be raised in glory.

The wicked man sees and is angry, Ü
grinds his teeth and fades  away; *
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord God, you are the eternal light which illumines the hearts of good people. Help us to love you, to rejoice in your glory, and so to live in this world as to avoid harsh judgment in the next. May we come to see the light of your countenance.

Ant. He came to bear witness to the truth.

Ant. 3 John was like a brilliantly shining light.

Canticle: Revelation 15:3-4
Hymn of adoration

Mighty and wonderful are your works, *
Lord God Almighty!
Righteous and true are your ways, *
O King of the nations!

Who would dare refuse you honor, *
or the glory due your name, O Lord?

Since you alone are holy, *
all nations shall come
and worship in your presence. *
Your mighty deeds are clearly seen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. John was like a brilliantly shining light.

READING

Acts 13:23-25

According to his promise, God has brought forth from Davidís descendants Jesus, a savior for Israel. John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. As Johnís career was coming to an end, he would say, ìWhat you suppose me to be I am not. Rather, look for one who comes after me. I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.î

RESPONSORY


Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.
ñ Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.

He who is to come after me existed before me.
ñ Make straight his paths.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
ñ Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.

CANTICLE OF MARY


Ant. Zechariah enterd the temple of the Lord, and the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My + soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, Ü
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: Ü
the Almighty has done great things for me, *
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Zechariah enterd the temple of the Lord, and the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us pray joyfully to God our Father who called John the Baptist to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of Christ:
O Lord, guide our feet into the way of peace.

You called John the Baptist from his motherís womb to prepare the way of your Son,
ñ help us to follow in that path which the Baptist opened before the Lord Jesus.
O Lord, guide our feet into the way of peace.

May your Church, in imitation of the Baptist, fearlessly point out the Lamb of God,
ñ so that people in every age may acknowledge that the Lord comes to them.
O Lord, guide our feet into the way of peace.

John the Baptist did not exalt himself but acknowledged his role as forerunner of the Christ,
ñ teach us to acknowledge that you are the giver of all our good gifts and that we must use them in your service.
O Lord, guide our feet into the way of peace.

You called John the Baptist to give testimony to you by his life and even by his death,
ñ help us to imitate his unceasing witness to your truth.
O Lord, guide our feet into the way of peace.

Remember those who have died,
ñ give them a place of light, happiness, and peace.
O Lord, guide our feet into the way of peace.

THE LORDíS PRAYER


(Now let us pray as Christ the Lord has taught us:)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ñ Amen.

Or:

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ñ Amen.

DISMISSAL


May the Lord + bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
ñ Amen.
35 posted on 06/24/2012 6:33:59 AM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: sayuncledave
Compline

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
ñ Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
ñ as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Examination of Conscience

A brief examination of conscience may be made. In the communal celebration of the Office, a Penitential Rite using the formulas of the Mass may be inserted here.

[I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

And, striking their breast, they say:

through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;

Then they continue:

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The absolution by the Priest follows:

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life.
ñ Amen.]

HYMN


God who made the earth and heaven,
    Darkness and light;
You the day for work have givín
    For rest the night.
May your angel guards defend us,
Slumber sweet your mercy send us,
Holy dreams and hope attend us,
    All through the night.

And when morn again shall call us
    To run lifeís way,
May we still whateíer befall us,
    Your will obey.
From the powír of evil hide us,
In the narrow pathway guide us,
Never be your smile denied us
    All through the day.

Guard us waking, guard us sleeping,
    And, when we die,
May we in your mighty keeping
    All peaceful lie.
When the last dread call shall wake us,
Then O Lord, do not forsake us,
But to reign in glory take us
  With you on high.

Melody: Ar Hyd Y Nos 84.84.88.84
Music: Welsh Carol
Text: st 1 Reginald Heber, 1783-1826; st. 2 William Mercer, 1811-1876; st. 3 Richard Whately, 1787-1863

PSALMODY


Ant. Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under Godís wings.

Psalm 91
Safe in Godís sheltering care


I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High *
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ìMy refuge, *
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!î

It is he who will free you from the snare *
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions *
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night *
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness *
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side, *
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach; *
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look *
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: ìLord, my refuge!î *
and have made the Most High your dwelling.

Upon you no evil shall fall, *
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels, *
to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you upon their hands *
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread *
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him; *
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: ìI am with you,î *
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

With length of life I will content him; *
I shall let him see my saving power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under Godís wings.

READING

Revelation 22:4-5

They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever.

RESPONSORY


Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
ñ Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
ñ I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
ñ Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

GOSPEL CANTICLE


Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel


Lord, + now you let your servant go in peace; *
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation *
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Lord,
we have celebrated today
the mystery of the rising of Christ to new life.
May we now rest in your peace,
safe from all that could harm us,
and rise refreshed and joyful,
to praise you throughout another day.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
ñ Amen.

BLESSING


May the all-powerful Lord
grant us a restful night
and a peaceful death.
ñ Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this exile
show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

Or:

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Or:

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
 vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve,
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
 in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
 illos tuos misericordes occulos
 ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
 nobis post hoc exilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

Or:

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabrielís joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

36 posted on 06/24/2012 6:34:59 AM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: All
Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
June 24th
Solemnity

Nativity of John the Baptist - 1523 - Rome
from The Book of Gospels, Midwest Theological Forum (see links page)

 

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist: Born six months before our Lord, Saint John the Baptist was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, our Lady's couin. He was the last and greatest of the prophets. As the forerunner of the Savior, he had the mission of preparing the Jews for the coming of Christ. When Jesus had come, Saint John bore witness to Him before his own followers and encouraged them to follow Him.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Readings for the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Collect:
O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a polished arrow, in His quiver He hid me away. And He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified." But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God."

And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel might be gathered to Him, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength-- He says: "It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
In those days, Paul said, God raised up David to be their king; of whom He testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after My heart, who will do all My will.' Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. Before His coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. No, but after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.'

"Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:57-66, 80
Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Vigil Mass Readings for the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Collect at the Vigil Mass:
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that your family may walk in the way of salvation
and attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged,
may come safely to the One he foretold,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
'Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."

Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:8-12
Without having seen Him you love Him; though you do not now see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:5-17
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."


37 posted on 06/24/2012 8:00:19 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
John the Baptist: In the Spirit and Power of Elijah (Sunday is the Solemnity of John the Baptist!)
A brief primer on St. John the Baptist, Forerunner...

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Living Faith: John the Baptizer teaches us the Way to Happiness and Freedom
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST THE PRECURSOR
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist, an Enduring Model of Fidelity to God
Birth of John the Baptist by St Augustine
Birth of St. John the Baptist, Feast: June 24
Homilies preached by Father Robert Altier on the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist
Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist, June 24
Saints John The Baptist, Zachary and Elizabeth [THE BIRTH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST]

38 posted on 06/24/2012 8:01:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Birth of St. John the Baptist
Feast Day: June 24

39 posted on 06/24/2012 8:05:47 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Birth of St. John the Baptist
Feast Day: June 24

40 posted on 06/24/2012 8:06:45 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

The Birth of John the Baptist

Feast Day: June 24
Born: (a few months before Jesus) :: Died: (around) 30

John's parents were Elizabeth the cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Zachary a temple priest whose job was to burn incense. Zachary and Elizabeth were quite old when one day an angel of God appeared to Zachary in the temple. The angel told him that his wife would bear a son who would be filled with the Holy Spirit at his birth. The child should be named John.

Zachary found this difficult to believe and God punished him by taking away his voice. He remained dumb until after John’s birth. Eight days after John was born his parents took him to the temple where he would be named Zachary, after his father. But both Elizabeth and Zachary asked for the child to be named John. Immediately, Zachary’s tongue was loosened and got back his voice.

John had a special job to do for God. He was going to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. So when he was still young, about twenty-seven, he went into the desert to prepare himself with silence, prayer and penance. He wore a tunic of camel hair with a leather belt and lived on wild honey and locusts (the locust tree is an evergreen that has edible bean like pods).

Soon crowds started to come to him. They realized he was a holy man. He warned them to be sorry for their sins and asked them to change their lives. He baptized them with water and gave them the baptism of repentance.

One day, Jesus himself came to John. He wanted to be baptized with John's baptism to begin making up for our sins. On that day, John told the crowds that Jesus was the Messiah, the one they had been waiting for. He told them and everyone else to follow him.

Later on, St. John learned that King Herod had married Herodias a woman who already had a husband and a daughter. This king was the son of the King Herod who had murdered all those little boys in Bethlehem. St. John told him that it was wrong for him to live with that woman.

King Herod was angry and humiliated. He locked John up in prison and John remained in a dark, damp dungeon for a long time. Then on Herod’s birthday Herodias’s daughter danced beautifully at his banquet. The delighted Herod said he would grant her any she wished. At her mother’s request, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

The shocked Herod had not choice and sent his executioner to kill John and bring back his head. When his disciples heard about it, they immediately came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Jesus said, “I am the Truth” and John died for the truth.

St. John's motto was, "Jesus must become more and more. I must become less and less." He said that he was not even worthy to loosen the strap of Jesus' sandal.


41 posted on 06/24/2012 8:11:11 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Sunday, June 24
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. When an angel foretold John's birth to his father Zechariah, he doubted the angel. For doubting the power of God, Zechariah was unable to speak until after his son's birth.

42 posted on 06/24/2012 3:14:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: June 24, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ. Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ordinary Time: June 24th

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Old Calendar: Nativity of St. John the Baptist

This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today's feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today's observance in the following words:

"Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior's birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God's chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace."

In other words, today's feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ's Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

The Christmas season has for its object the mystery of God-become-Man, to which there is reference only now and then during the remaining part of the year, e.g., on Marian feasts, especially that of the Annunciation (March 25) and today's feast in honor of the Baptist. In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ's incarnation today. The birth of Jesus is observed on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice, while the birth of His forerunner is observed six months earlier at the time of the summer solstice. Christmas is a "light" feast; the same is true today. The popular custom centering about "St. John's Fire" stems from soundest Christian dogma and could well be given renewed attention. St. John's Fire symbolizes Christ the Light; John was a lamp that burned and shone. We Christians should be the light of the world.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Patron: Baptism; bird dealers; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; hail; hailstorms; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Maltese Knights; lovers; monastic life; motorways; printers, spasms; tailors; Genoa, Italy; Quebec; Sassano, Italy; Diocese of Savannah, Georgia; Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Diocese of Portland, Maine.

Symbols: Lamb; lamb on a book of seven seals; locust; camel's hair tunic; girdle; his head on a charger; scroll with words Ecce Agnus Dei or with Vox Clamantis in deserto; long, slender cross-tipped staff; open Bible; banner of victory.

Things to Do:

  • Read about the traditions connected with this feast, particularly the connection with bonfires.

  • The Liturgy of the Hours for the Evening Prayer (Vespers) of the Birth of St. John the Baptist has traditionally included the Gregorian chant Ut Queant Laxis. Tradition has ascribed the hymn to a Paul Warnefried (Paul the Deacon, 730-799). While preparing to sing the Exsultet at the Holy Saturday vigil, he found himself hoarse, and so prayed to St. John the Baptist, since his father lost his voice before John was born. Paul's voice was restored and he wrote this hymn in honor of the saint. True or not, what makes this song memorable is that the Benedictine monk used this hymn as a pivotal reference for our musical scale. See Catholic Encyclopedia's entry Ut Queant Laxis, more information on the hymn from Catholic Culture, a Beginner's Guide to Modal Harmony, and Gregorian Chant Notation.

  • The Church year has two cycles. The more important cycle is the Temporal cycle (from the Latin tempus which means time or season). The life of Christ is relived in liturgical time, in both real time and Church's memory. Throughout the year the Paschal Mystery (Christ's work of redemption through His birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection and ascension) is relived, and broken down into the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Ordinary Time. Sundays are the usual means by which this cycle unfolds.

    At the same time with the temporal cycle, the Sanctoral cycle (from the Latin sanctus which means saint) progresses. The Church honors Mary, Mother of God "with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son" (CCC 1172). Then the memorials of martyrs and other saints are kept by the Church. They are held up to us as examples "who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors" (CCC 1173).

    This is one of the few saint feast days that is connected with the temporal calendar, not the sanctoral calendar, because John the Baptist was intimately involved in Christ's work of redemption. Charting or making your own liturgical calendar would be a great family project.

  • Read the excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety on the cult of St. John the Baptist.

  • In Brazil, this day is known as Diário de Sáo Joáo (Saint John's Day). The festivities are set off in the villages and countryside by the Fogueira de Sáo Joáo (bonfire) on St. John's eve. Families and friends eat traditional foods around the fire while younger folks jump over the fire and firecrackers are exploded. The day is primarily a festival for children, who save up months in advance to purchase fireworks to set off for the day. In cities this is a day for parties and dances, with the urban dwellers dressing up in rural costumes.

    St. John is the protector of lovers, so for fun, young country girls in Brazil will roll up scraps of paper, each bearing a name of a single girl and place them into a bowl of water. The first one which unfolds indicates the girl who will marry first.


43 posted on 06/24/2012 3:40:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Isaiah 49:1-6

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The Birth of St. John the Baptist

The Lord called me from birth. (Isaiah 49:1)

What do you think is the most amazing thing about John the Bap­tist? His zeal for the Lord? His pas­sionate preaching? Maybe his gift of self-denial or the humility he dis­played despite his fame?

How about this instead: Even as a fetus, John leapt for joy in the pres­ence of the Virgin Mary because she was carrying the Son of God. John was still an unborn baby, barely aware of life outside of the womb, and yet the muffled, quiet sound of Mary’s greeting filled him with joy.

John’s leap may remind us of Rebecca, who also felt an unusual amount of activity from the twins in her womb. She asked God why this was happening, and he told her that something spiritual and prophetic was going on inside of her (Genesis 25:20-23). King David also leapt before the Ark of the Covenant. He loved God so much he couldn’t con­tain himself (2 Samuel 6:14-15). The prophet Isaiah wrote that in the age to come, when the glory of the Lord is made manifest, the lame will leap for joy (Isaiah 35:4-6).

John’s joy shows us that there is a part of us that can recognize God, something encoded deep in the way he made us. It’s in all of us, not just the great saints and the unborn. It’s also something that the Holy Spirit wants to bring to life in each of us. He wants to fill us all with joy as we sense the presence of the Lord.

So let’s honor John the Baptist today. As a bridge between the Old and New Testaments, John truly is one of the greatest saints of the church. But let’s never forget that his relationship with Jesus—especially his ability to recognize the Lord and rejoice in him—is something we all can experience. Every one of us can leap for joy as we prepare this world for the coming of Christ the King!

“Lord, I want to see you. Come show yourself to me, and fill my heart with joy.”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 139:1-3,13-15; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66,80)

1. The first reading is the second of seven “Servant of the Lord” oracles in Isaiah, which speaks prophetically of the passion and glorification of Christ. In this oracle, we hear these powerful words: “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name,” “my reward is with the Lord., my recompense is with my God,” and “my God is now my strength.” In what ways do these words also apply to you?

2. In the responsorial psalm, the psalmist speaks of how the Lord “formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” He goes on to say that he has been “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Similar to the first reading and the responsorial psalm, there are many other Scriptures that speak of how God has formed and called each of us beginning with conception in our mother’s womb. For example, Jeremiah 1:5 says these words: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.” How would you describe how these Scriptures are related to the strong pro-life teachings of the Church against abortion? How can you use these and other Scriptures in your own pro-life witness?

3. In the second reading, David is called “a man after God’s heart; he will carry out my every wish.” These words could also be easily applied to John the Baptist. What about you? What are the obstacles in your life that keep you from being the same kind of person? What steps can you take to overcome them?

4. In the Gospel reading, which describes the birth of John the Baptist, all the people who witnessed it “were amazed” and his birth “was discussed throughout the hill country of Judea.” Why do you think John’s birth caused such a stir among the people? Does it have the same affect on you? Why or why not?

5. The meditation reminds us that the joy that John the Baptist experienced in the womb of Elizabeth “shows us that there is a part of us that can recognize God, something encoded deep in the way he made us.” It goes on to say that John’s “relationship with Jesus—especially his ability to recognize the Lord and rejoice in him—is something we all can experience.” In what ways has this been true in your own life? Can you give specific examples? What steps can you take to open yourself to experience more deeply the “joy of the Lord”?

6. Take some time now to pray for a greater openness to the “joy of the Lord” in your life. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


44 posted on 06/24/2012 4:38:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

YOU ARE MY SERVANT, …… IN WHOM I WILL BE GLORIFIED

YOU ARE MY SERVANT, …… IN WHOM I WILL BE GLORIFIED

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE BIRTHDAY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST – Sunday, 24 June 2012)

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6 

Psalms: Ps 139:-3,13-15, Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26;Gospel Reading: Lk 1:57-66,80

The Scripture Text

Listen to me. O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a polished arrow, in His quiver He hid me away. And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.”

And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength – He says: “It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Is 49:1-6 RSV)  

The God who made heaven and earth has a glorious plan that includes every person who will ever live. It is not hard to believe this about special individuals like John the Baptist. But the truth is that God has a specific plan for everyone. Each and every one of us has been called and given a part to play. To each an every one of us, God says the same words He said to John the Baptist, and to all the great saints: “You are My servant, …… in whom I will be glorified” (Is 49:3).

John the Baptist understood this truth. He came to it by spending much time in prayer, through which he began to take on the heart of God. As a result, when John the Baptist looked around at the crowds who were coming to hear him preach, he did not see them just as sinners who needed to be corrected, but as people who were called by God for a specific purpose.

John the Baptist spoke strong words of judgment, but they came out of his passion that no one missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. He treated every person he saw as divinely created and therefore having great dignity, regardless of their social standing or natural gifts.

What about us, my dear Sisters and Brothers? Do we have something of John the Baptist’s passion to see everyone embrace God’s plan, or do we limit ourselves? How often do we reach beyond our comfort zones and circles of acquaintance?  Do we see some people as worth our time and others not? If we spend time with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to search our hearts, as John the Baptist did, we too will be filled with God’s vision for everyone we meet. Then we will be motivated to set aside our fears or judgments and cooperate with God in lifting up other people’s vision about who they are and what they can do in this world.

Short Prayer: Holy Spirit, God, You set John the Baptist’s heart on fire to bring all men and women to know the Father. I know You have a plain for my life, just as You did for John the Baptist. Come, Holy Spirit, reveal Your plan and empower me to fulfill it. Amen.


45 posted on 06/24/2012 4:45:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim


46 posted on 06/24/2012 4:47:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for June 24, 2012:

When the time for the Baptist’s naming came, Elizabeth said firmly, “He will be called John.” (Lk 1:60). Standing for one’s faith and marriage is sometimes countercultural. Recall a time when you followed your conscience despite opposition.


47 posted on 06/24/2012 4:50:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Nativity of John the Baptist  -  Cycles A, B & C

   (Mass During the Day)

June 24, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm: 139:1b-3, 13-15

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:57-66, 80

  • The beginning of the story of John the Baptist (whose birth we celebrate today) goes back to the first verses of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:5-25). The angel Gabriel appears to the aged priest Zechariah and announces to him that his wife Elizabeth will have a son in their old age who will be the one to herald the coming of the long awaited Messiah.
  • That the Messiah would have a forerunner that would prepare God’s people to receive their Messiah was also prophesied in the Old Testament, most notably in Malachi 3, verses 1 and 23. (NAB).
  • The angel tells Zechariah that the child will “be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah and to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.” (Luke 1:15-17).  Because Zechariah greets this good news with doubt, he is stricken speechless until the time the promised son will be born.
  • This Sunday’s Gospel picks up the story (after the events of the Annunciation and Visitation, Luke 1:26-56) when the time for the birth of John had arrived.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • The 1st Reading is most often applied to the Messiah; however, the Church applies it in today’s liturgy to John the Baptist. Considering the Gospel reading and what you know of John the Baptist, in what ways can you say it can also apply to the precursor of Jesus?
  • How did John’s birth fulfill the words of the angel in Luke 1:13-17?
  • How did the neighbors and relatives respond to these events? How does this all begin to promote the Gospel?
  • Toward the end of the Gospel reading, the people ask the question, “What, then, will this child be?” (verse 65). As Zechariah’s neighbor, what would you think about his son? What would be your answer to this question?
  • Time permitting, read Zechariah’s Canticle found in verses 67-79. What, according to this canticle, is the purpose of salvation? How does it show God’s unfolding plan from Old Testament days to the coming of the Messiah? Of the promises listed in this song, which one means the most to you? Why?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 523, 535, 717-720

 

Rightly also, from that moment was his [Zechariah’s] tongue loosed for that which unbelief had bound, faith set free. Let us then also believe, in order that our tongue, which has been bound by the chains of unbelief, may be loosed by the voice of reason. Let us write mysteries by the Spirit if we wish to speak. Let us write the forerunner of Christ, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of the heart. For he who names John [the Baptist], prophesies Christ.  --St. Ambrose


48 posted on 06/24/2012 4:57:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Zechariah Loses His Voice
Pastor’s Column
Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist
June 24, 2012
 
“Immediately his power of speech returned, and he spoke blessing God.”
                                        Luke 1:64
 
          Have you ever received a vision of an angel? When Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, saw the Archangel Gabriel, it literally left him speechless! It is interesting to note the differences between what happened when the Virgin Mary received this same angel, and when Zechariah did: Mary expressed faith and said “yes,” to God, while Zechariah expressed doubt that Elizabeth and he could still have a child as an elderly couple. He didn’t say, “No,” but expressed doubt, even when he saw.
 
          Zechariah must have been having a good day up to that point. He was a priest, chosen by lot to be the one priest that day (out of thousands) to offer the incense in what was called the “Holy” of the Temple (the inside of the building). Outside, all the people waited and prayed. It was precisely at this moment Gabriel appeared to announce the “good news” of God’s will. John the Baptist was on his way, no matter how impossible it might seem.
 
          It is interesting to note the reaction of Gabriel to Zechariah’s lack of faith, for the scriptures call him “a righteous man.” Yet God seems to have asked him to go beyond his comfort zone, beyond where his faith would permit.  The archangel seems genuinely put off by Zechariah’s lack of faith! To paraphrase: “Do you realize what a grace you have received in hearing an angel who is in the presence of God? How can you have a reaction like this?” And Zechariah loses the power of speech until the child is born.
 
          God has a mission for each of us in life. Most of us do not receive our instructions directly from the hands of an angel, but our role in the immediate world around us is no less important to God. Because we are not so privileged as to see and hear angels telling us God’s will, he expects us to obey the scriptures, the church, and our conscience. We are to discern the Will of God in the present moment as is dictated by the persons and circumstances we encounter on a daily basis. If God delivers his will in such a way that there is no room for doubt (like a visible angel), we are really on the hook. But because we normally must discern his will in faith, without seeing clearly all the implications of it, we are given a whole lifetime to make our choices in life – for or against God.
 
          Zechariah used his time of silence well. He was speechless for nine months, but far from resenting it, he profited by reflecting on God’s will, especially after his wife conceived. We know this because the first words out of his mouth were to praise God and his will! When we break our silence to praise God, we are, like Zechariah, saying “yes’ to God, even though we may have had our doubts at the beginning.
 
                                                                          Father Gary

49 posted on 06/24/2012 5:11:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Birth of John the Forerunner and Religious Liberty


Leonardo da Vinci: Jesus and John


Is 49: 1-6
Acts 13:  22-26
Lk 1: 57-66,80

Well, a very Merry “little Christmas” to everyone!  This Sunday we mark the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist. Note the date – the 24th of the month – and in just six months we will be in the darkness of winter and proclaiming, “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Tradition states that by the time Mary met Elizabeth, Elizabeth was already farther along in her pregnancy.  As Luke tells us, “Mary remained with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” (Lk 1: 56).  By custom, Mary had gone to assist her cousin in her pregnancy and the delivery of her child.  Thus, we believe that John was about six months older than Jesus.  And so, June 24, six months before Christmas Eve, is the birthday of John the Baptist.  Now, that may be more liturgical trivia than you were looking for but I sometimes find such things interesting.

Even more compelling, though, is certainly the position of this last and greatest of all Old Testament prophets.  All the hopes and dreams of parents for their children are sometimes disappointed or often increased as they discover their child to have certain talents or abilities they never imagined. Hopes and dreams are ideals that keep us alive.

For Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, those hopes and dreams must have been particularly unique.  In the Gospel of Luke 1: 5-25 we read of the announcement of John’s birth.  A very different venue than Mary in Nazareth.  But in the end, both converge in the great truth we hear in the first reading for today’s Solemnity: “. . .For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb . . .” (Is 49). In other words in the case of both John and Jesus, God intervened directly in a way that he had never before or since. 

The strange events surrounding the birth of John in today’s Gospel (Lk 11: 57-66,80) reinforce the fact of God’s intervention and a call to allow our eyes and hearts to see through John to the one he would point to.  As his time approached, John proclaimed, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (Jn 3: 30).  This in a sense summarizes our lifestyle as disciples of Jesus.  In all things of our life, he must increase and we decrease.

So often these days we take the separation of church and state in this country to mean that I live a schizophrenic life; a kind of split personality that I am one way in my Church and another in the public marketplace. 

Yet, the life of us Catholics rooted so deeply in tradition, scripture and the lived teachings of our faith, calls us to let the voice of Christ be heard beyond the walls of our Churches.   If we are serious about our faith, it forms us in matters of conscience and morals. This formation influences the way we think, what and who we choose as friends, spouse, leadership and by what guide we will live.

Not in a way that is arrogant or self-righteous but in a way that allows us to be taken seriously and in particular allows us to freely exercise our religious beliefs without coercion by the government which may, as it did John the Baptist himself, challenge our fundamental beliefs of conscience and morality.  

John the Baptist died because his voice was too unbearable for the king to hear. His consistency and determination did not waver when he was threatened.   Our Catholic Bishops of the U.S. have recently declared a “Fortnight for Freedom” in which all Catholics across this Country are asked to engage in a “great hymn of prayer for our country” and “a national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.”


During these days of June 21 – July 4 we have outstanding examples of martyrs who gave their lives in face of a hostile government:  Sts. John Fisher, Thomas More (6/21), John the Baptist (6/24), Peter and Paul (6/29). It’s a powerful week for those who cherish freedom and conscience. 

America is a bastion of religious liberty for the entire world to emulate. Though we have a multitude of religious expressions in this country we can live together harmoniously.  We can, as the earliest of Christians did, live as faithful citizens while at the same time enjoy all that our religious expression offers to us.  Society as a whole is far better off with this freedom intact. There is a fundamental reason that religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly is the first of our Amendments – because it is the most important for the health of human society.

But as John the Baptist shows us, as Sts. John Fisher, Thomas More, Peter and Paul witnessed, when our secular government commands us to do what God tells us not to do, the rest of our American freedoms are also at risk. Should we refuse to obey an unjust law? It becomes a John the Baptist question in a way – who will increase?  The gradual infringement of the government on religious rights or the Gospel by which we have been allowed to live and worship these more than two centuries of American liberty?

The recent Health and Human Services mandate that all employers, including Catholic agencies, provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, is a national attack on religious liberty that has no precedent. We have never before been compelled to pay for such things that fly against our teaching on the dignity of the human person so why now? Other measures on the state and federal level have forced Catholic Charities in some major cities of this Country to abandon their adoption service to deserving married couples.  That is a great tragedy which further silences the voice of a faith based organization.

Recently an enlightening opinion on this issue was offered by Sr. Carol Keehan, President of the Catholic Health Care Association. She states:

“We continue to believe that it is imperative for the Administration to abandon the narrow definition of “religious employer” and instead use an expanded definition to exempt from the contraceptive mandate not only churches, but also Catholic hospitals, health care organization and other ministries of the Church . . . the government should find a way to provide and pay for these services directly without requiring any direct or indirect involvement of “religious employers,” . . .”

The debate continues but time is short.  Like John the Baptist may we become a voice in the wilderness that does not tire of our obligation to go beyond the walls of our worship places.
Fr. Tim

50 posted on 06/24/2012 5:26:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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