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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-02-13. F, Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas)
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 02-02-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 02/01/2013 9:35:25 PM PST by Salvation

February 2, 2013

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

 

Reading 1 Mal 3:1-4

Thus says the Lord God:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10

R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

Reading 2 Heb 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters
in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Gospel Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
—and you yourself a sword will pierce—
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

or

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; jesuschrist; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 02/01/2013 9:35:32 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
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please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 02/01/2013 9:37:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: All

From: Malachi 3:1-4

Shortcoming of Priests (Continuation)


(The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.)
[1] “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord
whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the cove-
nant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. [2]
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he ap-
pears?

“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; [3] he will sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and
silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD. [4] Then the offering of Judah
and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in
former years.”

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

2:17-3:5. As at the start of the book, the question raised here is a fairly general
one: What is the point of keeping the Law if those who do evil are the ones who
have success in life? The question focuses on rewards in this life only (cf. 2:17),
but the prophet’s reply extends beyond that: he announces a day of judgment
when priests and ritual will be purified (3:3-4) and the oppressed will receive jus-
tice (3:5); on the day of the Lord, God will set everything right.

However, the force of the oracle lies not so much in the fact of divine judgment
as in the mysterious way in which that day is announced (3:1-2). We are told
that the Lord of hosts himself will come to His temple, and his coming will strike
fear into the hearts of men. The passage, in fact, seems to be speaking about
three different personages — the messenger who will precede the coming of the
Lord and who later on, in the epilogue, is identified as the prophet Elijah (cf. 4:5);
the Lord himself; and the angel (literally the “messenger”) of the Covenant (3:1).
In mentioning the first (the messenger who prepares the way: 3:1) the prophet
may have in mind the sort of protocol used by kings who had a herald announce
their arrival. This personage’s role is similar to that described in Isaiah 40:3ff.
However, a little further on there is the “messenger of the covenant”. It is not
clear what this means; it could be the Lord himself; a further messenger, whose
role is similar to that of Moses, that is, a mediator of the Covenant; or, finally,
the messenger mentioned earlier, the herald, who is now being given a new role.
No clear interpretation can be established beyond doubt.

The New Testament will resolve this question of interpretation. The Synoptic Gos-
pels (cf. Mk 1:2) and Jesus himself (Mt 11:7-15; cf. Lk 7:24-30) identify the first
messenger, the one who prepares the way, with Elijah, and sees his fulfillment in
the person of John the Baptist. This makes Jesus the Lord who comes to his tem-
ple. The Church reads it that way when the liturgy of the feast of the Presentation
of Jesus in the Temple (cf. Lk 2:22-40) includes Malachi 3:1-4 as a first reading.
But as can be seen from many passages of the New Testament (for example,
the episode of the Transfiguration: Mt 17:1-13 and par.), Jesus is also the me-
diator of the New Covenant.

In the tradition of the Church, the ambiguity here is seen as a way of indicating
the two-fold coming of the Lord—in the humility of the flesh, and in the glory and
splendor of the End: “We proclaim the coming of Christ: he comes not once, but
twice, and the second coming will be more glorious than the first. The first was
a time of suffering; in the second, however, he will wear the crown of divine king-
ship. Almost everything in the life our Lord Jesus Christ has two meanings. He
was born twice: once, of the Father, from all eternity; and then, of the Virgin, in
the fullness of time. He comes twice, too: he came first in silence, like rain fal-
ling on wool; and he will come again in glory. First, he was wrapped in swad-
dling clothes and laid in a manger; when he comes again, he will be robed in
light. First, he shouldered the cross, without fear of suffering; when he comes
again, he will come in glory, surrounded by the hosts of angels. Let us consider
not only the life of the Lord, but also his future coming [...]. Because of his great
mercy, he was made man to teach men and persuade them; when he comes
again, all men, whether they want to or not, will be made subject to the power
and authority of the King. The words of the prophet Malachy refer to both of
these events” (St Cyril of Jerusalem, “Catecheses Ad Illuminandos”, 15, 1-2).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


4 posted on 02/01/2013 9:42:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Hebrews 2:14-18

Jesus, Man’s Brother, was Crowned with Glory and Honor Above the Angels
(Continuation)


[14] Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise par-
took of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the
power of death, that is, the devil, [15] and deliver all those who through fear of
death were subject to lifelong bondage. [16] For surely it is not with angels that
he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. [17] Therefore he had to
be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful
and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the
people. [18] For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able
to help those who are tempted.

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

14. As in the prologue of St John’s Gospel (In 1:12-13), “flesh” and “blood” apply
to human nature in its weakened condition. Jesus has assumed man’s nature:
“He has taken it on without sin but with all its capacity to suffer pain, given that
he took a flesh similar to sinful flesh; he ‘shared therefore in flesh and blood’, that
is, he took on a nature in which he could suffer and die—which could not occur in
a divine nature” (St Thomas, “Commentary on Heb.”, 2, 4).

Christ chose to submit to death, which is a consequence of sin, in order to des-
troy death and the power of the devil. The Council of Trent teaches that, as a re-
sult of original sin, man “incurred the wrath and indignation of God, and conse-
quently incurred death [...] and, together with death, bondage in the power of him
who from that time had the empire of death” (”De Peccato Originali”, Can. 3; cf.
Rom 5:12; 6:12-14; 7:5; etc.). To explain this power of the devil, St Thomas com-
ments: “A judge has one kind of power of death: he can punish people with death;
a criminal has a different kind of power of death—a power he usurps by killing an-
other [...]. God has the first kind of dominion over death; the devil has the second
kind, for he seduces man to sin and leads him to death” (”Commentary on Heb.”,
2, 4).

Addressing Christ and his cross, the Church sings, “O altar of our victim raised,
/ O glorious passion ever praised, / by which our Life to death was rendered,
/ that death to life might thence be mended” (Hymn “Vexilla Regis”). The death
of Christ, the only one who could atone for man’s sin, wipes out sin and makes
death a way to God. “Jesus destroyed the demon”, St Alphonsus writes; “that
is, he destroyed his power, for the demon had been lord of death on account of
sin, that is, he had power to cause temporal and eternal death to all the children
of Adam infected by sin. And this was the victory of the Cross that Jesus, the
author of life, by dying obtained Life for us through that death” (”Reflections on
the Passion”, Chap. 5, 1).

15. Christ has freed men not from physical but from spiritual death and therefore
from fear of death, because he has given us certainty of future resurrection.
Man’s natural fear of death is easily explained by his fear of the unknown and his
instinctive aversion to what death involves; but it can also be a sign of excessive
attachment to this life. “Because it does not want to renounce its desires, the
soul fears death, it fears being separated from the body” (St Athanasius, “Oratio
Contra Gentes”, 3).

The fear of death which some people in the Old Testament had can be explained
by their not knowing what fate awaited them, and by the possibility of being com-
pletely cut off from God. But physical death is not something to be feared by
those who sincerely seek God: “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” St
Paul explains (Phil 1:21). “Don’t be afraid of death. Accept it from now on, gene-
rously...when God wills it, where God wills it, as God wills it. Don’t doubt what I
say: it will come in the moment, in the place and in the way that are best sent
by your Father-God. Welcome be our sister death!” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”,
739).

16. “It is not with angels that he is concerned”: the original text says literally “he
did not take angels with his hand”, “ did not catch hold of”, “did not take [the na-
ture of angels]”; meaning that Christ took to himself a human nature, not an an-
gelic nature. St John Chrysostom explains the text in this way: “What does he
mean by ‘take with his hand’; why does he not say ‘took on/assumed’ but in-
stead uses the expression ‘took with his hand’? The reason is this: this verb has
to do with those who are in pursuit of their enemies and are doing all they can to
catch those who are in flight from them and to seize those who resist. In other
words, humankind had fled from him and fled very far, for it says ‘we were very
far from God and were almost without God in the world’ (Eph 2:12). That is why
he came in pursuit of us and ‘seized us for himself’. The Apostle makes it clear
that he did all this entirely out of love for men, in his charity and solicitude for us”
(”Hom. on Heb.”, 2).

“This single reflection, that he who is true and perfect God became man, sup-
plies sufficient proof of the exalted dignity conferred on the human race by the
divine bounty; since we may now glory that the Son of God is bone of our bone,
and flesh of our flesh, a privilege not given to angels” (”St Pius V Catechism”,
I, 4, 11).

17. This is the first mention of the central theme of the epistle, the priesthood of
Christ. Because he is God and man, Jesus is the only Mediator between God
and men, who have lost God’s friendship and divine life on account of sin; he ex-
ercises this mediation as High Priest; his Love saves men by bridging the abyss
which separates the sinful stock of Adam from God whom it has outraged.

It first refers clearly to our Lord’s human nature: he is in no way different from
men (except that he is not guilty of sin: cf. Heb 4:15). “These words mean that
Christ was reared and educated and grew up and suffered all he had to suffer and
finally died” (Chrysostom, “Hom. on Heb.”, 5). “He partook of the same food as
we do,” writes Theodoret of Cyrus, “and he endured work; he experienced sad-
ness in his soul and shed tears; he underwent death” (”Interpretatio Ep. Ad
Haebr.”, II).

Christ the Priest is able perfectly to understand the sinner and make satisfaction
to divine Justice. “In a judge what one most desires is mercy,” St Thomas writes,
“in an advocate, reliability. The Apostle implies that both things were found in
Christ by virtue of his Passion. Mankind desires mercy of him as judge, and
reliability of him as advocate” (”Commentary on Heb.”, 2, 4).

Christ’s priesthood consists in making expiation by a sacrifice of atonement and
a peace-offering for the sins of men: he takes our place and atones on our behalf:
“Christ merited justification for us [...] and made satisfaction for us to God the
Father” (Council of Trent, “De Iustificatione”, Chap. 7).

18. Suffering can link a person to Christ in a special and mysterious way. “The
Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in
the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which
the Redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through
which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the Redemp-
tion through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the
Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the
redemptive suffering of Christ” (John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 19).

Christ’s main purpose in undergoing his passion was the Redemption of mankind,
but he also suffered in order to strengthen us and give us an example. “By taking
our weaknesses upon himself Christ has obtained for us the strength to overcome
our natural infirmity. On the night before his passion, by choosing to suffer fear,
anguish and sorrow in the garden of Gethsemane he won for us strength to resist
harassment by those who seek our downfall; he obtained for us strength to over-
come the fatigue we experience in prayer, in mortification and in other acts of de-
votion, and, finally, the fortitude to bear adversity with peace and joy” (St Alphon-
sus, “Reflections on the Passion”, Chap. 9, 1).

A person who suffers, and even more so a person who does penance, should re-
alize that he is understood by Christ. Christ will then console him and help him
bear affliction: “You too some day may feel the loneliness of our Lord on the
Cross. If so, seek the support of him who died and rose again. Find yourself a
shelter in the wounds in his hands, in his feet, in his side. And your willingness
to start again will revive, and you will take up your journey again with greater de-
termination and effectiveness” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way of the Cross”, XII, 2).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


5 posted on 02/01/2013 9:43:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 2:22-40

The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple


[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses,
they (Joseph and Mary) brought Him (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to
the Lord [23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “every male that opens the
womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) [24] and to offer a sacrifice according to
what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.”

Simeon’s Prophecy


[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this
man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy
Spirit was upon him. [26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that
he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] And inspired
by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child
Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, [28] he took Him up in
his arms and blessed God and said, [29] “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant de-
part in peace, according to Thy word; [30] for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation
[31] which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32] a light for re-
velation to the Gentiles, and for the glory to Thy people Israel.”

[33] And His father and His mother marvelled at what was said about Him; [34]
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, “Behold this child is
set for the fall the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against
[35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of
many hearts may be revealed.”

Anna’s Prophecy


[36] And there was a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of
Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from
her virginity, [37] and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from
the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. [38] And coming
up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were
looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Childhood of Jesus


[39] And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. [40] And the child grew
and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.

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

22-24. The Holy Family goes up to Jerusalem to fulfill the prescriptions of the
Law of Moses—the purification of the mother and the presentation and then re-
demption or buying back of the first-born. According to Leviticus 12:2-8, a woman
who bore a child was unclean. The period of legal impurity ended, in the case of a
mother of a male child, after forty days, with a rite of purification. Mary most holy,
ever-virgin, was exempt from these precepts of the Law, because she conceived
without intercourse, nor did Christ’s birth undo the virginal integrity of His Mother.
However, she chose to submit herself to the Law, although she was under no ob-
ligation to do so.

“Through this example, foolish child, won’t you learn to fulfill the holy Law of God,
regardless of personal sacrifice?

“Purification! You and I certainly do need purification. Atonement and, more
than atonement, Love. Love as a searing iron to cauterize our soul’s uncleanness,
and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretchedness of our hearts” (St. J.
Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, Fourth Joyful Mystery).

Also, in Exodus 13:2, 12-13 it is indicated that every first-born male belongs to
God and must be set apart for the Lord, that is, dedicated to the service of God.
However, once divine worship was reserved to the tribe of Levi, first-born who did
not belong to that tribe were not dedicated to God’s service, and to show that
they continued to be God’s special property, a rite of redemption was performed.

The Law also laid down that the Israelites should offer in sacrifice some lesser
victim—for example, a lamb or, if they were poor, a pair of doves or two pigeons.
Our Lord, who “though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that
by His poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9), chose to have a poor
man’s offering made on His behalf.

25-32. Simeon, who is described as a righteous and devout man, obedient to
God’s will, addresses himself to our Lord as a vassal or loyal servant who, having
kept watch all his life in expectation of the coming of his Lord, sees that this mo-
ment has “now” come, the moment that explains his whole life. When he takes
the Child in his arms, he learns, not through any reasoning process but through
a special grace from God, that this Child is the promised Messiah, the Consola-
tion of Israel, the Light of the nations.

Simeon’s canticle (verses 29-32) is also a prophecy. It consists of two stanzas:
the first (verses 29-30) is an act of thanksgiving to God, filled with profound joy
for having seen the Messiah. The second (verses 31-32) is more obviously pro-
phetic and extols the divine blessings which the Messiah is bringing to Israel
and to all men. The canticle highlights the fact that Christ brings redemption to
all men without exception—something foretold in many Old Testament prophecies
(cf. Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 2:6; 42:6; 60:3; Psalm 28:2).

It is easy to realize how extremely happy Simeon was—given that many patri-
archs, prophets and kings of Israel had yearned to see the Messiah, yet did not
see Him, whereas he now held Him in his arms (cf. Luke 10:24; 1 Peter 1:10).

33. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph marvelled not because they did not know
who Christ was; they were in awe at the way God was revealing Him. Once again
they teach us to contemplate the mysteries involved in the birth of Christ.

34-35. After Simeon blesses them, the Holy Spirit moves him to further prophecy
about the Child’s future and His Mother’s. His words become clearer in the light
of our Lord’s life and death.

Jesus came to bring salvation to all men, yet He will be a sign of contradiction
because some people will obstinately reject Him—and for this reason He will be
their ruin. But for those who accept Him with faith Jesus will be their salvation,
freeing them from sin in this life and raising them up to eternal life.

The words Simeon addresses to Mary announce that she will be intimately
linked with her Son’s redemptive work. The sword indicates that Mary will have
a share in her Son’s sufferings; hers will be an unspeakable pain which pierces
her soul. Our Lord suffered on the cross for our sins, and it is those sins which
forge the sword of Mary’s pain. Therefore, we have a duty to atone not only to
God but also to His Mother, who is our Mother too.

The last words of the prophecy, “that out of many hearts thoughts may be re-
vealed”, link up with verse 34: uprightness or perversity will be demonstrated by
whether one accepts or rejects Christ.

36-38. Anna’s testimony is very similar to Simeon’s; like him, she too has been
awaiting the coming of the Messiah her whole life long, in faithful service of God,
and she too is rewarded with the joy of seeing Him. “She spoke of Him,” that is,
of the Child—praising God in her prayer and exhorting others to believe that this
Child is the Messiah.

Thus, the birth of Christ was revealed by three kinds of witnesses in three diffe-
rent ways—first, by the shepherds, after the angel’s announcement; second, by
the Magi, who were guided by a star; third, by Simeon and Anna, who were in-
spired by the Holy Spirit.

All who, like Simeon and Anna, persevere in piety and in the service of God, no
matter how insignificant their lives seem in men’s eyes, become instruments the
Holy Spirit uses to make Christ known to others. In His plan of redemption God
avails of these simple souls to do much good to all mankind.

39. Before their return to Nazareth, St. Matthew tells us (2:13-23), the Holy
Family fled to Egypt where they stayed for some time.

40. “Our Lord Jesus Christ as a child, that is, as one clothed in the fragility of
human nature, had to grow and become stronger but as the eternal Word of God
He had no need to become stronger or to grow. Hence He is rightly described
as full of wisdom and grace” (St. Bede, “In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.”).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


6 posted on 02/01/2013 9:44:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Malachi 3:1-4 ©
The Lord God says this: Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord as in former days, as in the years of old.

Psalm Psalm 23:7-10 ©
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
O gates, lift high your heads;
  grow higher, ancient doors.
  Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
Who is the king of glory?
  The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
  the Lord, the valiant in war.
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
O gates, lift high your heads;
  grow higher, ancient doors.
  Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
Who is he, the king of glory?
  He, the Lord of armies,
  he is the king of glory.
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.

Second reading Hebrews 2:14-18 ©
Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, Christ too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of the devil, who had power over death, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself descent from Abraham. It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers so that he could be a compassionate and trustworthy high priest of God’s religion, able to atone for human sins. That is, because he has himself been through temptation he is able to help others who are tempted.

Gospel Acclamation Lk2:32
Alleluia, alleluia!
The light to enlighten the Gentiles
and give glory to Israel, your people.
Alleluia!
EITHER:
Gospel Luke 2:22-40 ©
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
  Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
  There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.
OR:
Gospel Luke 2:22-32 ©
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’

7 posted on 02/01/2013 9:52:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray with Pope Benedict

On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

8 posted on 02/01/2013 9:54:09 PM PST 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. 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. 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

9 posted on 02/01/2013 9:54:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 02/01/2013 9:56:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 02/01/2013 9:56:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
12 posted on 02/01/2013 9:58:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


13 posted on 02/01/2013 10:09:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 ]

14 posted on 02/01/2013 10:10:04 PM PST 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
+

15 posted on 02/01/2013 10:11:29 PM PST 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.


16 posted on 02/01/2013 10:12:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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February Devotion: The Holy Family

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.

INVOCATION
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.

FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.

IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Holy Family Chaplet

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.

Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.

The Holy Family Icon by Nicholas Markell

PRAYER TO
THE HOLY FAMILY
=====================================================================================

GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.

WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.

JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.

The Holy Family


 
"The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist ( the Doni tondo )" by Michelangelo c.1506, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Parent's Prayer

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of Mary, I thank you for the gift of life you have entrusted to my care. Help me be a parent both tender and wise, both loving and forgiving.

Mary, Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our Motherly Queen of Heaven, nourish our family with your heavenly grace. Help us to remain faithful to The Most Holy Trinity, in all our sorrows and joys.

Joseph, Earthly father to our Lord God, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help our family to walk in your footsteps. May we be peace-loving and peace-giving.
Amen.
 

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Recovering God’s Plan for Marriage and Family: A Sermon on the Feast of the Holy Family

“Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)
U.S. Postal Service Issues Holy Family Forever Stamp
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudi’s Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...


17 posted on 02/01/2013 10:13:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
February 2013
Pope's Intentions
 
Migrant Families: That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.
 
Peace: That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

18 posted on 02/01/2013 10:14:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Five First Saturdays Devotion [Catholic Caucus]
Saturdays and the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic Devotions: First Saturday Devotion to Our Lady [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Meditations: First Saturday
Remembering the Forgotten First Saturdays

19 posted on 02/01/2013 10:15:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saturday, February 02, 2013
The Presentation of the Lord (Feast)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Malachi 3:1-4
Psalm 24:7-10
Hebrews 2:14-18
Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

The more Christian and conscious people are of their dignity and of their vital role in the Church, the more they urgently feel the need for priests who are truly priests.

-- Pope John Paul


20 posted on 02/01/2013 10:31:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

21 posted on 02/01/2013 10:32:42 PM PST 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. 


22 posted on 02/01/2013 10:34:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Presentation of the Lord, "Candlemas"

Presentation of the Lord
"Candlemas"
Feast Day
February 2nd

Presentation at the Temple
by Giovanni Bellini - 1460-64 - Tempera on wood
Galleria Querini Stampalia, Venice

Nunc Dimmitis
"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."

Presentation - Directory on Popular Piety excerpt | Readings | Homily on the Presentation by Father Jerry Pokorsky


The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord - From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

120. Until 1969, the ancient feast of the presentation of Our Lord, which is of Oriental origin, was known in the West as the feast of the Purification of Our Lady, and closed the Christmas season, forty days after the Lord's birth. This feast has for long been associated with many popular devotional exercises. The faithful:

  • gladly participate in the processions commemorating the Lord's entry into the Temple in Jerusalem and his encounter with God, whose house he had come to for the first time, and then with Simeon and Anna. Such processions, which in the West had taken the place of licentious pagan events, always had a penitential character, and were later identified with the blessing of candles which were carried in procession in honor of Christ, "the light to enlighten the Gentiles" (Lk 2, 32);
  • are sensitive to the actions of the Blessed Virgin in presenting her Son in the Temple, and to her submission to the Law of Moses (Lk 12, 1-8) in the rite of purification; popular piety sees in the rite of purification the humility of Our Lady and hence, February 2 has long been regarded as a feast for those in humble service.

121. Popular piety is sensitive to the providential and mysterious event that is the Conception and birth of new life. Christian mothers can easily identify with the maternity of Our Lady, the most pure Mother of the Head of the mystical Body - notwithstanding the notable differences in the Virgin's unique Conception and birth. These too are mothers in God's plan and are about to give birth to future members of the Church. From this intuition and a certain mimesis of the purification of Our Lady, the rite of purification after birth was developed, some of whose elements reflect negatively on birth.

The revised Rituale Romanum provides for the blessing of women both before and after birth, this latter only in cases where the mother could not participate at the baptism of her child.

It is a highly desirable thing for mothers and married couples to ask for these blessings which should be given in accord with the Church's prayer: in a communion of faith and charity in prayer so that pregnancy can be brought to term without difficulty (blessing before birth), and to give thanks to God for the gift of a child (blessing after birth).

122. In some local Churches, certain elements taken from the Gospel account of the Presentation of the Lord (Lk 2, 22-40), such as the obedience of Joseph and Mary to the Law of the Lord, the poverty of the holy spouses, the virginity of Our Lady, mark out the February 2 as a special feast for those at the service of the brethren in the various forms of consecrated life.

123. The feast of February 2 still retains a popular character. It is necessary, however, that such should reflect the true Christian significance of the feast. It would not be proper for popular piety in its celebration of this feast to overlook its Christological significance and concentrate exclusively on its Marian aspects. The fact that this feast should be "considered [...] a joint memorial of Son and Mother" would not support such an inversion. The candles kept by the faithful in their homes should be seen as a sign of Christ "the light of the world" and an expression of faith.


Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
we humbly implore your majesty
that, just as your Only Begotten Son
was presented on this day in the Temple
in the substance of our flesh,
so, by your grace,
we may be presented to you with minds made pure.
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: Malachi 3:1-4
"Behold, I send My messenger to prepare the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears?

"For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Second Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death He might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that He is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brethren in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered and been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted.

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40 [or Short form 2:22-32 - omit brackets]
And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."

[And His father and His mother marveled at what was said about Him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanu-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.]


"Bread on the Water"
Homily for the Feast of the Presentation
by Father Jerry Pokorsky

Children know how to play "bread on the water". Crumbs of bread tossed on the corner of small lake attracts fish. If the fish are fed repeatedly, the crumbs might eventually attract a big fish, suitable for the fly rod. From the point of view of the large fish that are eventually caught, the game of "bread on the water" turns out to be a terrible trick, not a game of charity. After all, they end up in the frying pan.

Sometimes "sacrificial giving" is not always what it appears to be. Occasionally, self-interest motivates external acts of charity. Hence, corporate sponsorship of civic events and the donation of sums of money to charities may only be "bread on the water," that is, forms of advertising or means to secure the goodwill of the community. "Bread on the water" donations may not be wrong at all or even offensive. The donations are often praiseworthy as a mutually beneficial business transaction. But strictly speaking, they are not acts of Christian charity.

The motives of giving and generosity are often mixed and difficult to untangle. A teacher may treat his students with candy, for example. But are the treats primarily acts of kindness or means of manipulating the affection of the children? Motivations are usually clarified and purified when an act of charity is put to the test. When the gift is accepted without an apparent payback, how does the benefactor respond?

Symbolic of their charity, Mary and Joseph present the child Jesus to the Lord in the Temple. As it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord." A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons are sacrificed to express Mary and Joseph's obedience to the law. The prophet Simeon, by the grace of God, recognizes the child as the Messiah. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he prophesies that the child will be the instrument of Israel's salvation. He adds that the child will be a "sign of contradiction" and promises, ominously, that "a sword [of sorrow] will pierce" the heart of Mary.

When Mary ritually presented her newborn Son in the Temple in Jerusalem, she did so in accordance with the Mosaic law. Aside from the turtle doves, there was no real cost to this symbolic act of obedience and charity. But the presentation of the Lord, certainly prefigured her sacrificial gift at the foot of the Cross. At the foot of the Cross, the sorrowful Mother reveals at once the quiet dignity of her love and the true sacrificial character of her charity. Her ritual offering of her child was accepted by God on Calvary. For Mary, the presentation of the Lord, offered in obedience to the Father, did not have a payback. It was an expression of love, a love that was tested and confirmed by the Cross.

The Cross was Mary's test of charity symbolically expressed during the Presentation of the Lord when Jesus was a child. She passed the test because her love was pure, not "bread on the water." Christian charity is disinterested love, love for the sake of God. Motivated by the love of God and following the example of Mary and her divine Son, Christians must learn to give of themselves without counting the cost or measuring the benefits.


23 posted on 02/02/2013 8:27:27 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
What Simeon and Anna Teach Us [at the Presentation of the Lord] (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
In Preparation for the Feast of Candlemas… [Catholic Caucus]
THE PURIFICATION, COMMONLY CALLED CANDLEMAS-DAY, Presentation of the Lord
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple
Feast of the Purification (Candlemas)
Candlemass and Ashes
SIMEON IS OPEN TO THE LORD’S ACTION [Presentation of the Lord]
The Mysteries of Candlemas
[Feast of the] Presentation of the Lord
Orthodox Feast of The Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple; February 2
24 posted on 02/02/2013 8:28:47 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
In Preparation for the Feast of Candlemas… [Catholic Caucus]
Feast of the Purification (Candlemas)
Candlemass and Ashes
The Mysteries of Candlemas
CANDLEMAS The Encounter Between Chaos and Light
25 posted on 02/02/2013 8:30:33 AM PST 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 2
22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: Et postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis ejus secundum legem Moysi, tulerunt illum in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino, και οτε επλησθησαν αι ημεραι του καθαρισμου αυτων κατα τον νομον μωσεως ανηγαγον αυτον εις ιεροσολυμα παραστησαι τω κυριω
23 As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: sicut scriptum est in lege Domini : Quia omne masculinum adaperiens vulvam, sanctum Domino vocabitur : καθως γεγραπται εν νομω κυριου οτι παν αρσεν διανοιγον μητραν αγιον τω κυριω κληθησεται
24 And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons: et ut darent hostiam secundum quod dictum est in lege Domini, par turturum, aut duos pullos columbarum. και του δουναι θυσιαν κατα το ειρημενον εν νομω κυριου ζευγος τρυγονων η δυο νεοσσους περιστερων
25 And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him. Et ecce homo erat in Jerusalem, cui nomen Simeon, et homo iste justus, et timoratus, exspectans consolationem Israël : et Spiritus Sanctus erat in eo. και ιδου ην ανθρωπος εν ιερουσαλημ ω ονομα συμεων και ο ανθρωπος ουτος δικαιος και ευλαβης προσδεχομενος παρακλησιν του ισραηλ και πνευμα ην αγιον επ αυτον
26 And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. Et responsum acceperat a Spiritu Sancto, non visurum se mortem, nisi prius videret Christum Domini. και ην αυτω κεχρηματισμενον υπο του πνευματος του αγιου μη ιδειν θανατον πριν η ιδη τον χριστον κυριου
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, Et venit in spiritu in templum. Et cum inducerent puerum Jesum parentes ejus, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo, και ηλθεν εν τω πνευματι εις το ιερον και εν τω εισαγαγειν τους γονεις το παιδιον ιησουν του ποιησαι αυτους κατα το ειθισμενον του νομου περι αυτου
28 He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: et ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas : et benedixit Deum, et dixit : και αυτος εδεξατο αυτο εις τας αγκαλας αυτου και ευλογησεν τον θεον και ειπεν
29 Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace : νυν απολυεις τον δουλον σου δεσποτα κατα το ρημα σου εν ειρηνη
30 Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum, οτι ειδον οι οφθαλμοι μου το σωτηριον σου
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum : ο ητοιμασας κατα προσωπον παντων των λαων
32 A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuæ Israël. φως εις αποκαλυψιν εθνων και δοξαν λαου σου ισραηλ
33 And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. Et erat pater ejus et mater mirantes super his quæ dicebantur de illo. και ην ιωσηφ και η μητηρ αυτου θαυμαζοντες επι τοις λαλουμενοις περι αυτου
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; Et benedixit illis Simeon, et dixit ad Mariam matrem ejus : Ecce positus est hic in ruinam, et in resurrectionem multorum in Israël, et in signum cui contradicetur : και ευλογησεν αυτους συμεων και ειπεν προς μαριαμ την μητερα αυτου ιδου ουτος κειται εις πτωσιν και αναστασιν πολλων εν τω ισραηλ και εις σημειον αντιλεγομενον
35 And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. και σου δε αυτης την ψυχην διελευσεται ρομφαια οπως αν αποκαλυφθωσιν εκ πολλων καρδιων διαλογισμοι
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. Et erat Anna prophetissa, filia Phanuel, de tribu Aser : hæc processerat in diebus multis, et vixerat cum viro suo annis septem a virginitate sua. και ην αννα προφητις θυγατηρ φανουηλ εκ φυλης ασηρ αυτη προβεβηκυια εν ημεραις πολλαις ζησασα ετη μετα ανδρος επτα απο της παρθενιας αυτης
37 And she was a widow until fourscore and four years; who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Et hæc vidua usque ad annos octoginta quatuor : quæ non discedebat de templo, jejuniis, et obsecrationibus serviens nocte ac die. και αυτη χηρα ως ετων ογδοηκοντα τεσσαρων η ουκ αφιστατο απο του ιερου νηστειαις και δεησεσιν λατρευουσα νυκτα και ημεραν
38 Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord; and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. Et hæc, ipsa hora superveniens, confitebatur Domino : et loquebatur de illo omnibus, qui exspectabant redemptionem Israël. και αυτη αυτη τη ωρα επιστασα ανθωμολογειτο τω κυριω και ελαλει περι αυτου πασιν τοις προσδεχομενοις λυτρωσιν εν ιερουσαλημ
39 And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. Et ut perfecerunt omnia secundum legem Domini, reversi sunt in Galilæam in civitatem suam Nazareth. και ως ετελεσαν απαντα τα κατα τον νομον κυριου υπεστρεψαν εις την γαλιλαιαν εις την πολιν εαυτων ναζαρετ
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him. Puer autem crescebat, et confortabatur plenus sapientia : et gratia Dei erat in illo. το δε παιδιον ηυξανεν και εκραταιουτο πνευματι πληρουμενον σοφιας και χαρις θεου ην επ αυτο

26 posted on 02/02/2013 8:42:40 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
22. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23. (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

CYRIL; Next after the circumcision they wait for the time of purification, as it is said, And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were come.

THEOPHYL; If you diligently examine the words of the law, you will find indeed that the mother of God as she is free from all connection with man, so is she exempt from any obligation of the law. For not every woman who brings forth, but she who has received seed and brought forth, is pronounced unclean, and by the ordinances of the law is taught that she must be cleansed, in order to distinguish probably from her who though a virgin has conceived and brought forth. But that we might be loosed from the bonds of the law, as did Christ, so also Mary submitted herself of her own will to the law.

TITUS BOST. Therefore the Evangelist has well observed, that the days of her purification were come according to the law, who since she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, was free from all uncleanness. It follows, They brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

ATHAN. But when was the Lord hid from His Father's eye, that He should not be seen by Him, or what place is excepted from His dominion, that by remaining there He should be separate from His Father unless brought to Jerusalem and introduced into the temple? But for us perhaps these things were written. For as not to confer grace on Himself was He made man and circumcised in the flesh, but to make us Gods through grace, and that we might be circumcised in the Spirit, so for our sakes is He presented to the Lord, that we also might learn to present ourselves to the Lord.

THEOPHYL; On the thirty-third day after His circumcision He is presented to the Lord, signifying in a mystery that no one but he who is circumcised from his sins is worthy to come into the Lord's sight, that no one who ho has not severed himself from all human ties can perfectly enter into the joys of the heavenly city. It follows, As it is written in the law of the Lord.

ORIGEN; Where are they who deny that Christ proclaimed in the Gospel the law to be of God, or can it be supposed that the righteous God made His own Son under a hostile law which He Himself had not given? It is written in the law of Moses as follows, Every male which opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.

THEOPHYL; By the words, opening the womb, he signifies the first-born both of man and beast, and each one of which was, according to the commandment, to be called holy to the Lord, and therefore to become the property of the priest, that is, so far that he was to receive a price for every first-born of man, and oblige every unclean animal to be ransomed.

GREG. NYSS. Now this commandment of the law seems to have had its fulfillment in the incarnate God, in a very remarkable and peculiar manner. For He alone, ineffably conceived and incomprehensibly brought forth, opened the virgin's womb, till then unopened by marriage, and after this birth miraculously retaining the seal of chastity.

AMBROSE; For no union with man disclosed the secrets of the virgin's womb, but the Holy Spirit infused the immaculate seed into an inviolate womb. He then who sanctified another womb in order that a prophet should be born, He it is who has opened the womb of His own mother, that the Immaculate should come forth. By the words opening the womb, he speaks of birth after the usual manner, not that the sacred abode of the virgin's womb, which our Lord in entering sanctified, should now be thought by His proceeding forth from it to be deprived of its virginity.

GREG. NYSS. But the offspring of this birth is alone seen to be spiritually male, as contracting no guilt from being born of a woman. Hence He is truly called holy, and therefore Gabriel, as if announcing that this commandment belonged to Him only, said, That Holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called, the Son of God. Now of other first-borns the wisdom of the Gospel has declared that they are called holy from their being offered to God. But the first-born of every creature, That holy thing which is born, &c. the Angel pronounces to be in the nature of its very being holy.

AMBROSE; For among those that are born of a woman, the Lord Jesus alone is in every thing holy, who in the newness of His immaculate birth experienced not the contagion of earthly defilement, but by His Heavenly Majesty dispelled it. For if we follow the letter, how can every male be holy, since it is undoubted that many have been most wicked? But He is holy whom in the figure of a future mystery the pious ordinances of the divine law prefigured, because He alone was to open the hidden womb of the holy virgin Church for the begetting of nations.

CYRIL; Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He offers victims, Who in each victim is honored equally with the Father. The Truth preserves the figures of the law. He who as God is the Maker of the law, as man has kept the law. Hence it follows, And that they should give a victim as it was ordered in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.

THEOPHYL; Now this was the victim of the poor. For the Lord commanded in the law that they who were should offer a lamb for a son or a daughter as well as a turtle dove or pigeon; but they who were not able to offer a lamb should give two turtle doves or two young pigeons. Therefore the Lord, though he was rich, deigned to become poor, that by his poverty He might make us partakers of His riches.

CYRIL; But let us see what these offerings mean. The turtle dove is the most vocal of birds, and the pigeon the gentlest. And such was the Savior made unto us; He was endowed with perfect meekness, and like the turtle dove entranced the world, filling His garden with His own melodies. There was killed then either a turtle dove or a pigeon, that by a figure He might be shown forth to us as about to suffer in the flesh for the life of the world.

THEOPHYL; Or the pigeon denotes simplicity, the turtle dove chastity, for the pigeon is a lover of simplicity, and the turtle dove of chastity, so that if by chance she has lost her mate, she heeds not to find another. Rightly then are the pigeon and turtle dove offered as victims to the Lord, because the simple and chaste conversation of the faithful is a sacrifice of righteousness well pleasing to Him.

ATHAN. He ordered two things to be offered, because as man consists of both body and soul, the Lord requires a double return from us, chastity and meekness, not only of the body, but also of the soul. Otherwise, man will be a dissembler and hypocrite, wearing the face of innocence to mask his hidden malice.

THEOPHYL; But while each bird, from its habit of wailing, represents the present sorrows of the saints, in this they differ, that the turtle is solitary, but the pigeon flies about in flocks, and hence the one points to the secret tears of confession, the other to the public assembling of the Church.

THEOPHYL; Or the pigeon which flies in flocks sets forth the busy intercourse of active life. The turtle, which delights in solitariness, tells of the lofty heights of the contemplative life. But because each victim is equally accepted by the Creator, St. Luke has purposely omitted whether the turtles or young pigeons were offered for the Lord, that he might not prefer one mode of life before another, but teach that both ought to be followed.

25. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28. Then took he him up in his arms.

AMBROSE; Not only did Angels and Prophets, the shepherds and his parents, bear witness to the birth of the Lord, but the old men and the righteous. As it is said, And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and he was a just man, and one who feared God. For scarcely is righteousness preserved without fear, I mean not that fear which dreads the loss of worldly goods, (which perfect love casts out,) but that holy fear of the Lord which abides for ever, by which the righteous man, the more ardent his love to God, is so much the more careful not to offend Him.

AMBROSE; Well is he called righteous who sought not his own good, but the good of his nation, as it follows, Waiting for the consolation of Israel.

GREG. NYSS. It was not surely worldly happiness that the prudent Simeon was waiting for as the consolation of Israel, but a real happiness, that is, a passing over to the beauty of truth from the shadow of the law. For he had learnt from the sacred oracles that he would see the Lord's Christ before he should depart out of this present life. Hence it follows, And the Holy Spirit was in him, (by which indeed he was justified,) and he received an answer from the Holy Spirit.

AMBROSE; He desired indeed to be loosed from the chains of bodily infirmity, but he wails to see the promise, for he knew, Happy are those eyes which shall see it.

GREG. Hereby also we learn with what desire the holy men of Israel desired to see the mystery of His incarnation.

THEOPHYL; To see death means to undergo it, and happy will he be to see the death of the flesh who has first been enabled to see with the eyes of his heart the Lord Christ, having his conversation in the heavenly Jerusalem, and frequently entering the doors of God's temple, that is, following the examples of the saints in whom God dwells as in His temple. By the same grace of the Spirit whereby he foreknew Christ would come, he now acknowledges Him come, as it follows, And he came by the Spirit into the temple.

ORIGEN; If you will touch Jesus and grasp Him in your hands, strive with all your strength to have the Spirit for your guide, and come to the temple of God. For it follows, And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, (i.e. Mary His mother, and Joseph His reputed father,) to do for him after the custom of the law,

then took he him up in his arms.

GREG. NYSS. How blessed was that holy entrance to holy things through which he hastened on to the end of life, blessed those hands which handled the word of life, and the arms which were held out to receive Him!

THEOPHYL; Now the righteous man, according to the law, received the Child Jesus in his arms, that he might signify that the legal righteousness of works under the figure of the hands and arms was to be changed for the lowly indeed but saving grace of Gospel faith The old man received the infant Christ, to convey thereby that this world, now worn out as it were with old age, should return to the childlike innocence of the Christian life.

28. - and blessed God, and said,
29. Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word:
30. For mine eyes have seen your salvation,
31. Which you have prepared before the face of all people;
32. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

ORIGEN; If we marvel to hear that a woman was healed by touching the hem of a garment, what must we think of Simeon, who received an Infant in his arms, and rejoiced seeing that the little one he carried was He who had come to let loose the captive! Knowing that no one could release him from the chains of the body with the hope of future life, but He whom he held in his arms. Therefore it is said, And he blessed God, saying, Lord, now let you your servant depart.

THEOPHYL. When he says Lord, he confesses that He is the very Lord of both life and death, and so acknowledges the Child whom he held in his arms to be God.

ORIGEN; As it he said, "As long as I held not Christ, I was in prison, and could not escape from my bonds."

BASIL; If you examine the words of the righteous, you will find that they all sorrow over this world and its mournful delay. Alas me! says David, that my habitation is prolonged.

AMBROSE; Observe then that this just man, confined as it were in the prison house of his earthly frame, is longing to be loosed, that he may again be with Christ. But whoso would be cleansed, let him come into the temple; - into Jerusalem: let him wait for the Lord's Christ, let him receive in his hands the word of God, and embrace it as it were with the arms of his faith. Then let him depart that he might not see death who has seen life.

GREEK EX. Simeon blessed God also, because the promises made to him had received their true fulfillment. For He was reckoned worthy to see with his eyes, and to carry in his arms the consolation of Israel. And therefore he says, According to your word, i.e. since I have obtained the completion of your promises. And now that I have seen with my eyes what was my desire to see, now let you your servant depart, neither dismayed at the taste of death, nor harassed with doubting thoughts: as he adds, in peace.

GREG. NYSS. For since Christ has destroyed the enemy, which is sin, and has reconciled us to the Father, the removal of saints has been in peace.

ORIGEN; But who departs from this world in peace, but he who is persuaded that was Christ reconciling the world to Himself; who has nothing hostile to God, having derived to himself all peace by good works in himself?

GREEK EX. But it had been twice promised to him that he should not see death before ho should see the Lord's Christ, and therefore he adds, to show that this promise was fulfilled, For mine eyes have seen your salvation.

GREG. NYSS. Blessed are the eyes, both of your soul and your body. For the one visibly embrace God, but the others not considering those things which are seen, but enlightened by the brightness of the Spirit of the Lord, acknowledge the Word made flesh. For the salvation which you have perceived with your eyes is Jesus Himself, by which name salvation is declared.

CYRIL; But Christ was the mystery which has been revealed in the last times of the world, having been prepared before the foundation of the world. Hence it follows, which you have prepared before the face of all men.

ATHAN. That is to say, the salvation wrought by Christ for the whole world. How then was it said above that he was watching for the consolation of Israel, but because he truly perceived in the spirit that consolation would be to Israel at that time when salvation was prepared for all people.

GREEK EX. Mark the wisdom of the good and venerable old man, who before that he was thought worthy of the blessed vision, was waiting for the consolation of Israel, but when he obtained that which he was looking for, exclaims that he saw the salvation of all people. So enlightened was he by the unspeakable radiance of the Child, that the perceived at a glance things that were to happen a long time after.

THEOPHYL. By these words, Before the face, he signifies that our Lord's incarnation would be visible to all men. And this salvation he says is to be the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel, as it follows, A light to lighten the Gentiles.

ATHAN. For the Gentiles before the coming of Christ were lying in the deepest darkness, being without the knowledge of God.

CYRIL; But Christ coming was made a light to them that sat in darkness, being sore oppressed by the power of the devil but they were called by God the Father to the knowledge of His Son, Who is the true light.

GREG. NYSS. Israel was enlightened though dimly by the law, so he says not that light came to them, but his words are, to be the glory of your people Israel. Calling to mind the ancient history that as of old Moses after speaking with God returned with his face glorious, so they also coming to the divine light of His human nature, casting away their old veil, might be transformed into the same image from glory to glory. For although some of them were disobedient, yet a remnant were saved and came through Christ to glory, of which the Apostles were first-fruits, whose brightness illumines the whole world. For Christ was in a peculiar manner the glory of Israel, because according to the flesh He came forth from Israel, although as God He was over all blessed for ever.

GREG. NYSS, He said therefore, of your people, signifying that not only was He adored by them, but moreover of them was He born according to the flesh.

THEOPHYL; And well is the enlightening of the Gentiles put before the glory of Israel, because when the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in, then shall Israel be safe.

33. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.
34. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

GREEK EX. The knowledge of supernatural things, as often as it is brought to the recollection, renews the miracle in the mind, and hence it is said, His father and mother marveled at those things which were said of him.

ORIGEN; Both by the angel and the multitude of the heavenly host, by the shepherds also, and Simeon.

THEOPHYL; Joseph is called the father of the Savior, not because he was (as the Photinians say) His real father, but because from regard to the reputation of Mary, all men considered him so.

AUG. He however might be called His father in that light in which, he is rightly regarded as the husband of Mary, that is, not from any carnal connection, but by reason of the very bond of wedlock, a far closer relationship than that of adoption. For that Joseph was not to be called Christ's father was not, because he had not begotten Him by cohabitation, since in truth he might be a father to one whom he had not begotten from his wife, but had adopted from another.

ORIGEN; But they who look deeper into the matter may say, that since the genealogy is deduced from David to Joseph, therefore lest Joseph should seem to be mentioned for no purpose, as not being the father of the Savior, he was called His father, that the genealogy might maintain sup. its place.

GREEK EX. Having given praise to God, Simeon now turns to bless them that brought the Child, as it follows, And Simeon blessed them. He gave to each a blessing, but his presage of hidden things he imparts only to the mother, in order that in the common blessing He might not deprive Joseph of the likeness of a father, but in what he says to the mother apart from Joseph he might proclaim her to be the true mother.

AMBROSE; Behold what abundant grace is extended to all men by the birth of the Lord, and how prophecy is withheld from the unbelievers, not from the righteous. Simeon also prophesies that Christ Jesus has come for the fall and rising again of many.

ORIGEN; They who explain this simply, may say that He came for the fall of unbelievers, and the rising again of believers.

CHRYS. As the light though it may annoy weak eyes, is still light; in like manner the Savior endures, though many fall away, for His office is not to destroy; but their way is madness. Wherefore not only by the salvation of the good but by the scattering of the wicked, is His power shown. For the sun the brighter it shines, is the more trying to the weak sight.

GREG. NYSS. Mark the nice distinction here observed. Salvation is said to be prepared before the face of all people, but the falling and raising is of many; for the Divine purpose was the salvation and sanctification of every one whereas the falling and lifting up stands in the will of many believers and unbelievers. But that those who were lying in unbelief should be raised up again is not unreasonable

ORIGEN; The careful interpreter will say, that no one falls who was not before standing. Tell me then, who were they who stood, for whose fall Christ came?

GREG. NYSS. But by this he signifies a fall to the very lowest, as if the punishment before the mystery of the incarnation, fell far short of that after the giving and preaching of the Gospel dispensation And those spoken of are chiefly of Israel, who must of necessity forfeit their ancient privileges, and pay a heavier penalty than any other nation, because they were so unwilling to receive Him Who had long been prophesied among them, had been worshipped, and had come forth from them. In a most especial manner then he threatens them with not only a fall from spiritual freedom, but also the destruction of their city, and of those who dwelt among them. But a resurrection is promised to believers, partly indeed as subject to the law, and about to be delivered from its bondage, but partly as buried together with Christ, and rising with Him.

GREG. NYSS. Now from these words, you may perceive through the agreement of men's minds on the word of prophecy, that one and the same God and lawgiver has spoken both in the Prophets and the New Testament. For the language of prophecy declared that there shall be a stone of falling, and a rock of offense, that they who believe on Him should not be confounded. The fall therefore is to them who are offended with the meanness of His coming in the flesh; the rising again to those who acknowledge the steadfastness of the Divine purpose.

ORIGEN; There is also a deeper meaning aimed against those who raise their voices against their Creator, saying, Behold the God of the Law and the Prophets of what sort He is! He says, I kill, and I make alive. If God then is a bloody judge and a cruel master, it is most plain that Jesus is His Son, since the same things here are written of Him, namely, that He comes for the fall and rising again of many.

AMBROSE; That is, to distinguish the merits of the just and the unjust, and according to the quality of our deeds, as a true and just Judge, to decree punishment or rewards.

ORIGEN; But we must take care lest by chance the Savior should not come to some equally for the fall and rising again; for when I stood in sin, it was first good for me to fall, and die to sin. Lastly, Prophets and Saints when they were designing some great thing, used to fall on their faces, that by their fall their sins should be the more fully blotted out. This it is that the Savior first grants to you. You were a sinner, let that which is sin fall in you, that you may thence rise again, and say, If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.

CHRYS. The resurrection is a new life and conversation. For when the sensual man becomes chaste, the covetous merciful, the cruel man gentle, a resurrection takes place. Sin being dead, righteousness rises again. It follows, And for a sign which shall be spoken against.

BASIL; The sign which is spoken against is called in Scripture, the cross. For Moses, it says, made a brazen serpent, and placed it for a sign.

GREG. NYSS. He has joined together honor and dishonor. For to us Christians this sign is a token of honor, but it is a sign of contradiction, inasmuch by some indeed it is received as absurd and monstrous, by others with the greatest veneration. Or perhaps Christ Himself is termed a sign, as having a supernatural existence, and as the author of signs.

BASIL; For a sign betokens something marvelous and mysterious, which is seen indeed by the simple minded.

ORIGEN; But all the things which history relates of Christ are spoken against, not that those who believe on Him speak against Him, (for we know that all the things which are written of Him are true,) but that every thing which has been written of Him is with the unbelievers a sign which is spoken against.

GREG. NYSS. Though these things are said of the Son, yet they have reference also to His mother, who takes each thing to herself, whether it be of danger or glory. He announces to her not only her prosperity, but her sorrows; for it follows, And a sword shall pierce through your own heart.

THEOPHYL; No history tells us that Mary departed this life by being slain with the sword, therefore since not the soul but the body is killed with iron, we are left to understand that sword which is mentioned, And a sword in their lips, that is, grief because of our Lord's passion passed through her soul, who although she saw Christ the very Son of God die a voluntary death, and doubted not that He who was begotten of her flesh would overcome death, could not without grief see Him crucified.

AMBROSE; Or it shows the wisdom of Mary, that she was not ignorant of the heavenly Majesty For the word of God is living and strong, and sharper than the sharpest sword

AUG. Or by this is signified that Mary also, through whom was performed the mystery of the incarnation, looked with doubt and astonishment at the death of her Lord, seeing the Son of God so humbled as to come down even to death. And as a sword passing close by a man causes fear, though it does not strike him; so doubt also causes sorrow, yet does not kill; for it is not fastened to the mind, but passes through it as through a shadow.

GREG. NYSS. But it is not meant that she alone was concerned in that passion, for it is added, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. The word that marks the non event; it is not used causatively; for when all these events took place, there followed the discovery of many men's intentions. For some confessed God on the cross, others even then ceased not from their blasphemies and revilings. Or this was said, meaning that at the time of the passion the thoughts of men's hearts should be laid open, and be corrected by the resurrection. For doubts are quickly superseded by certainty. Or perhaps by revealing may be meant, the enlightening of the thoughts, as it is often used in Scripture.

THEOPHYL; But now even down to the close of the present time, the sword of the severest tribulation ceases not to go through the soul of the Church, when with bitter sorrow she experiences the evil speaking against the sign of faith, when hearing the word of God that many are raised with Christ, she finds still more falling from the faith, when at the revealing of the thoughts of many hearts, in which the good seed of the Gospel has been sown, she beholds the tares of vice overshooting it, spreading beyond it, or growing alone.

ORIGEN; But the evil thoughts of men were revealed, that He Who died for us might slay them; for while they were hidden, it was impossible to utterly destroy them. Hence also when we have sinned we ought to say, Mine iniquity have I not hid. For if we make known our sins not only to God, but to whoever can heal our wounds, our sins will be blotted out.

Catena Aurea Luke 2
27 posted on 02/02/2013 8:43:44 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Presentation of the Temple

Philippe de Champaigne

1648
Oil on canvas, 257 x 197 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


28 posted on 02/02/2013 8:44:16 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ


29 posted on 02/02/2013 8:44:49 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All


Information:
Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple
Feast Day: February 2

30 posted on 02/02/2013 1:21:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Interactive Saints for Kids

Presentation of the Lord

 
Feast Day: February 02

Forty days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph brought him to the great Temple in Jerusalem. There they presented Baby Jesus to the Heavenly Father. That was the Jewish law. The Holy Family obeyed it with loving hearts.

This was a very popular feast called Candlemas in past centuries and candles were blessed and carried in procession, to show the entry of Jesus as the light of the world.

While they were in the Temple, Mary also attended the Purification ceremony which was another custom. After the birth of their children, all Jewish mothers were supposed to go to the Temple for this ceremony. Mary did her duty cheerfully. She teaches us to be humble and obedient as she was.

A holy old priest of the Temple named Simeon learned from God that the Infant Jesus was truly the Savior. He held Mary's Son Jesus in his arms with joy and awe. "My own eyes are looking at my salvation," he exclaimed.

God allowed him recognize Jesus as the Savior and Simeon put his trust in the little Child. Imagine what Mary and Joseph were thinking. Then, inspired by God, Simeon told Mary that she would have to suffer very much. He was talking about the terrible pain our Blessed Mother would feel when Jesus died on the cross.

This feast of the Presentation reminds us that we belong to God first of all. Because he is our Father and Creator, and we owe him our loving obedience.

31 posted on 02/02/2013 2:45:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Saturday, February 2
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Because they were devout Jews, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple with a sacrifice forty days after his birth.

32 posted on 02/02/2013 2:57:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 02, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, we humbly implore your majesty that, just as your Only Begotten Son was presented on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so, by your grace, we may be presented to you with minds made pure. 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.

Ordinary Time: February 2nd

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Old Calendar: Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today's liturgy.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the end of the Christmas season. The reformed calendar has designated that the Sunday after Epiphany, the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, is the end. This feast in the Ordinary Form is no longer referred to as the "Purification of Mary" but the "Presentation of the Lord".


The Readings
Today's first reading gives us an important insight to understand profoundly the mystery of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple by Mary and Joseph, in accordance with the cannons of Mosaic Law. The text, taken from the Prophet Malachi says, ‘I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord who you seek’ (Mal 3:1). From all the Gospels, we know that it is the Precursor, St John the Baptist who was born 6 months before Jesus, that God sent to prepare His way. Putting these evangelical facts together, we can comprehend the words of the Prophet Malachi. The Lord God promised that He would send a Precursor to prepare His way. Since there is only 6 months between the birth of St John the Baptist and Jesus it is clear that the prophecy meant that suddenly after the Precursor, the Lord Himself will come. So, soon after the Baptist’s birth, God entered His temple. Jesus’ presentation signifies God’s entrance to His temple. God made man entered His temple, presenting Himself to those who were really searching for Him.

Today’s Gospel introduces us to different people and events that in themselves provide numerous lessons and themes for further reflection. First of all, Mary and Joseph respect the Mosaic Law by offering the sacrifice prescribed for the poor: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

Simeon and Anna were two venerable elderly people dedicated to prayer and fasting and so their strong religious spirit rendered them able to recognize the Messiah. In this sense we can see in the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple an extension of the ‘Pro Orantibus Day’ (For those who pray) that is celebrated on the feast of the Presentation of Mary (21 November). On this day, the Church demonstrates its gratitude to all those in the community that dedicate themselves in a privileged way to prayer, to those who have a particular religious vocation to the contemplative life. In the figure of the venerable Simeon, Jesus’ presentation in the temple, also reminds us that prayer and contemplation are not just a waste of time or an obstacle to charity. On the contrary, time could not be better spent than in prayer as true Christian charity is a consequence of a solid interior life. Only those who pray and offer penance, like Simeon and Anna, are open to the breath of the Spirit. They know how to recognize the Lord in the circumstances in which He manifests Himself because they possess an ample interior vision, and they have learned how to love with the heart of the One whose very name is Charity.

At the end of the Gospel Simeon’s prophecy of Mary’s sufferings is emphasized. Pope John Paul II taught that, ‘Simeon's words seem like a second Annunciation to Mary, for they tell her of the actual historical situation in which the Son is to accomplish his mission, namely, in misunderstanding and sorrow.’ (Redemptoris Mater, n16) The archangel’s announcement was a fount of incredible joy because it pertained to Jesus’ messianic royalty and the supernatural character of His virginal conception. The announcement of the elderly in the temple instead spoke of the Lord’s work of redemption that He would complete associating Himself through suffering to His Mother. Therefore, there is a strong Marian dimension to this feast and so in the Liturgical Calendar of the Extraordinary Form it is called the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This refers to the other aspect of the presentation that consists of the ritual purification of Jewish women after they had given birth. In Mary’s case this purification was not necessary, but it indicates the renewal of her total offering of herself to God for the accomplishment of His Divine Plan.

Simeon’s prophecy also announces that Christ will be ‘a sign of contradiction’. St Cyril of Alexandria, in one of his homilies, interpreted the words ‘sign of contradiction’ like a noble cross, as St Paul wrote to the Corinthians ‘a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles’ (1 Cor 1:23) […] It is a sign of contradiction in the sense that those who loose appear as foolish while in those who recognise its power [the cross] reveals salvation and life’ (c.f PG 77, 1044-1049).

— Excerpted from Congregation for the Clergy


Presentation of the Lord
The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as "The Encounter." In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as "Candlemas." The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

"In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another 'epiphany' celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or 'Candlemas,' was of great importance.

"The specific liturgy of this Candlemas feast, the blessing of candles, is not as widely celebrated as it should be, except of course whenever February 2 falls on a Sunday and thus takes precedence. There are two ways of celebrating the ceremony, either the Procession, which begins at a 'gathering place' outside the church, or the Solemn Entrance, celebrated within the church."

— From Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year


Until 1969, the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, which is of Oriental origin, was known in the West as the feast of the Purification of Our Lady, and closed the Christmas season, forty days after the Lord's birth. This feast has for long been associated with many popular devotional exercises. The faithful:

  • gladly participate in the processions commemorating the Lord's entry into the Temple in Jerusalem and His encounter with God, whose house He had come to for the first time, and then with Simeon and Anna. Such processions, which in the West had taken the place of licentious pagan events, always had a penitential character, and were later identified with the blessing of candles which were carried in procession in honor of Christ, 'the light to enlighten the Gentiles' (Lk 2, 32);

  • are sensitive to the actions of the Blessed Virgin in presenting her Son in the Temple, and to her submission to the Law of Moses (Lk 12, 1-8) in the rite of purification; popular piety sees in the rite of purification the humility of Our Lady and hence, 2 February has long been regarded as a feast for those in humble service.

Popular piety is sensitive to the providential and mysterious event that is the conception and birth of new life. Christian mothers can easily identify with the maternity of Our Lady, the most pure Mother of the Head of the mystical Body — notwithstanding the notable differences in the Virgin's unique conception and birth.

These too are mothers in God's plan and are about to give birth to future members of the Church. From this intuition and a certain mimesis of the purification of Our Lady, the rite of purification after birth was developed, some of whose elements reflect negatively on birth.

The revised Rituale Romanum provides for the blessing of women both before and after birth, this latter only in cases where the mother could not participate at the baptism of her child.

It is a highly desirable thing for mothers and married couples to ask for these blessings which should be given in accord with the Church's prayer: in a communion of faith and charity in prayer so that pregnancy can be brought to term without difficulty (blessing before birth), and to give thanks to God for the gift of a child (blessing after birth).

In some local Churches, certain elements taken from the Gospel account of the Presentation of the Lord (Lk 2, 22-40), such as the obedience of Joseph and Mary to the Law of the Lord, the poverty of the holy spouses, the virginity of Our Lady, mark out 2 February as a special feast for those at the service of the brethren in the various forms of consecrated life.

The feast of 2 February still retains a popular character. It is necessary, however, that such should reflect the true Christian significance of the feast. It would not be proper for popular piety in its celebration of this feast to overlook its Christological significance and concentrate exclusively on its Marian aspects. The fact that this feast should be 'considered [...] a joint memorial of Son and Mother' would not support such an inversion. The candles kept by the faithful in their homes should be seen as a sign of Christ 'the light of the world' and an expression of faith.

— Excerpted from Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Things to Do:

  • Ask your parish priest to bless the candles that you will be using on your home altar this year.

  • Have a family Candlemas procession, found in the prayer links.

  • Read Luke 2:22-35, the account of the presentation including the Canticle of Simeon.

  • Meditate on the constant fiat of Our Lady of Sorrows, who embraced the will of God even as Simeon predicted that a sword would pierce her heart.

33 posted on 02/02/2013 8:05:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 2:22-40

The Presentation of the Lord

“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.” (Luke 2:25)

Luke doesn’t tell us how much time passed between Simeon’s revelation that he would see the Messiah and the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple. But as each day dawned, you can imagine Simeon wondering, “Is this the day?” Every morning was probably filled with expectation and trust that God would keep his promise.

We can imagine Simeon praying each day and wondering what the Messiah would be like. How would he recognize him? He may have had many ideas but didn’t want them to cloud his vision when the Messiah actually arrived. Surely he pored over the Torah and the prophets for insights, even as he tried to read the signs of the times.

As a result, every day that he prayed and pondered God’s word, every time he recalled God’s promise, Simeon became more and more prepared to see Jesus. His heart grew softer and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. So every day that Jesus did not appear was not a waste or a huge disappointment. Simeon was getting holier!

Speaking of the promised Messiah, the prophet Malachi asked, “Who will endure the day of his coming?” (Malachi 3:2). Simeon’s life reflected the answer to this question. It is the one who comes to God day after day and reaffirms that God is faithful, loving, true to his word, and just in all he does. These are the ones who will stand. These are the ones who will hear. These are the ones who will proclaim who Jesus is to the world.

Do you believe that every moment that you pray bears fruit? Every time you come to the Lord, he molds your heart and teaches your mind—whether you recognize it or not. Every day, Jesus is making you ready to receive him when he comes again. So approach his throne of grace today, anticipating his touch. Tell him that you want to receive his grace and his truth. Then, like Simeon, you too will be able to abide the day of Jesus’ coming.

“Father, I love you. I come to you today filled with gratitude that you welcome me. Your promises are true, and I rejoice in the ways you are molding my heart even now.”

Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 24:7-10; Hebrews 2:14-18


34 posted on 02/02/2013 8:08:20 PM PST 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 February 2, 2013:

(Presentation of the Lord ) Every parent experiences a time when they understand the prophesy that Simeon said to Mary, “And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.” (Luke 2:34) Do you know a parent who needs consoling? Are you that parent today?


35 posted on 02/02/2013 8:20:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Caritas Christi urget nos

 on February 1, 2013 7:55 PM |
 
BenedictXVI.jpg
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
FOR LENT 2013
Believing in charity
calls forth charity
"We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16)


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The celebration of Lent, in the context of the Year of Faith, offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God - the God of Jesus Christ - and love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which guides us on the path of devotion to God and others.

1. Faith as a response to the love of God

In my first Encyclical, I offered some thoughts on the close relationship between the theological virtues of faith and charity. Setting out from Saint John's fundamental assertion: "We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16), I observed that "being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction ... Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere 'command'; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us" (Deus Caritas Est, 1). Faith is this personal adherence - which involves all our faculties - to the revelation of God's gratuitous and "passionate" love for us, fully revealed in Jesus Christ. The encounter with God who is Love engages not only the heart but also the intellect: "Acknowledgement of the living God is one path towards love, and the 'yes' of our will to his will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all-embracing act of love. But this process is always open-ended; love is never 'finished' and complete" (ibid., 17). Hence, for all Christians, and especially for "charity workers", there is a need for faith, for "that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others. As a result, love of neighbour will no longer be for them a commandment imposed, so to speak, from without, but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love" (ibid., 31a). Christians are people who have been conquered by Christ's love and accordingly, under the influence of that love - "Caritas Christi urget nos" (2 Cor 5:14) - they are profoundly open to loving their neighbour in concrete ways (cf. ibid., 33). This attitude arises primarily from the consciousness of being loved, forgiven, and even served by the Lord, who bends down to wash the feet of the Apostles and offers himself on the Cross to draw humanity into God's love.

"Faith tells us that God has given his Son for our sakes and gives us the victorious certainty that it is really true: God is love! ... Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love. Love is the light - and in the end, the only light - that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working" (ibid., 39). All this helps us to understand that the principal distinguishing mark of Christians is precisely "love grounded in and shaped by faith" (ibid., 7).

2. Charity as life in faith

The entire Christian life is a response to God's love. The first response is precisely faith as the acceptance, filled with wonder and gratitude, of the unprecedented divine initiative that precedes us and summons us. And the "yes" of faith marks the beginning of a radiant story of friendship with the Lord, which fills and gives full meaning to our whole life. But it is not enough for God that we simply accept his gratuitous love. Not only does he love us, but he wants to draw us to himself, to transform us in such a profound way as to bring us to say with Saint Paul: "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (cf. Gal 2:20).

When we make room for the love of God, then we become like him, sharing in his own charity. If we open ourselves to his love, we allow him to live in us and to bring us to love with him, in him and like him; only then does our faith become truly "active through love" (Gal 5:6); only then does he abide in us (cf. 1 Jn 4:12).

Faith is knowing the truth and adhering to it (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); charity is "walking" in the truth (cf. Eph 4:15). Through faith we enter into friendship with the Lord, through charity this friendship is lived and cultivated (cf. Jn 15:14ff). Faith causes us to embrace the commandment of our Lord and Master; charity gives us the happiness of putting it into practice (cf. Jn 13:13-17). In faith we are begotten as children of God (cf. Jn 1:12ff); charity causes us to persevere concretely in our divine sonship, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22). Faith enables us to recognize the gifts that the good and generous God has entrusted to us; charity makes them fruitful (cf. Mt 25:14-30).

3. The indissoluble interrelation of faith and charity

In light of the above, it is clear that we can never separate, let alone oppose, faith and charity. These two theological virtues are intimately linked, and it is misleading to posit a contrast or "dialectic" between them. On the one hand, it would be too one-sided to place a strong emphasis on the priority and decisiveness of faith and to undervalue and almost despise concrete works of charity, reducing them to a vague humanitarianism. On the other hand, though, it is equally unhelpful to overstate the primacy of charity and the activity it generates, as if works could take the place of faith. For a healthy spiritual life, it is necessary to avoid both fideism and moral activism.

The Christian life consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God's own love. In sacred Scripture, we see how the zeal of the Apostles to proclaim the Gospel and awaken people's faith is closely related to their charitable concern to be of service to the poor (cf. Acts 6:1-4). In the Church, contemplation and action, symbolized in some way by the Gospel figures of Mary and Martha, have to coexist and complement each other (cf. Lk 10:38-42). The relationship with God must always be the priority, and any true sharing of goods, in the spirit of the Gospel, must be rooted in faith (cf. General Audience, 25 April 2012). Sometimes we tend, in fact, to reduce the term "charity" to solidarity or simply humanitarian aid. It is important, however, to remember that the greatest work of charity is evangelization, which is the "ministry of the word". There is no action more beneficial - and therefore more charitable - towards one's neighbour than to break the bread of the word of God, to share with him the Good News of the Gospel, to introduce him to a relationship with God: evangelization is the highest and the most integral promotion of the human person. As the Servant of God Pope Paul VI wrote in the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the proclamation of Christ is the first and principal contributor to development (cf. n. 16). It is the primordial truth of the love of God for us, lived and proclaimed, that opens our lives to receive this love and makes possible the integral development of humanity and of every man (cf. Caritas in Veritate, 8).

Essentially, everything proceeds from Love and tends towards Love. God's gratuitous love is made known to us through the proclamation of the Gospel. If we welcome it with faith, we receive the first and indispensable contact with the Divine, capable of making us "fall in love with Love", and then we dwell within this Love, we grow in it and we joyfully communicate it to others.

Concerning the relationship between faith and works of charity, there is a passage in the Letter to the Ephesians which provides perhaps the best account of the link between the two: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God; not because of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (2:8-10). It can be seen here that the entire redemptive initiative comes from God, from his grace, from his forgiveness received in faith; but this initiative, far from limiting our freedom and our responsibility, is actually what makes them authentic and directs them towards works of charity. These are not primarily the result of human effort, in which to take pride, but they are born of faith and they flow from the grace that God gives in abundance. Faith without works is like a tree without fruit: the two virtues imply one another. Lent invites us, through the traditional practices of the Christian life, to nourish our faith by careful and extended listening to the word of God and by receiving the sacraments, and at the same time to grow in charity and in love for God and neighbour, not least through the specific practices of fasting, penance and almsgiving.

4. Priority of faith, primacy of charity

Like any gift of God, faith and charity have their origin in the action of one and the same Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 13), the Spirit within us that cries out "Abba, Father" (Gal 4:6), and makes us say: "Jesus is Lord!" (1 Cor 12:3) and "Maranatha!" (1 Cor 16:22; Rev 22:20).

Faith, as gift and response, causes us to know the truth of Christ as Love incarnate and crucified, as full and perfect obedience to the Father's will and infinite divine mercy towards neighbour; faith implants in hearts and minds the firm conviction that only this Love is able to conquer evil and death. Faith invites us to look towards the future with the virtue of hope, in the confident expectation that the victory of Christ's love will come to its fullness. For its part, charity ushers us into the love of God manifested in Christ and joins us in a personal and existential way to the total and unconditional self-giving of Jesus to the Father and to his brothers and sisters. By filling our hearts with his love, the Holy Spirit makes us sharers in Jesus' filial devotion to God and fraternal devotion to every man (cf. Rom 5:5).

The relationship between these two virtues resembles that between the two fundamental sacraments of the Church: Baptism and Eucharist. Baptism (sacramentum fidei) precedes the Eucharist (sacramentum caritatis), but is ordered to it, the Eucharist being the fullness of the Christian journey. In a similar way, faith precedes charity, but faith is genuine only if crowned by charity. Everything begins from the humble acceptance of faith ("knowing that one is loved by God"), but has to arrive at the truth of charity ("knowing how to love God and neighbour"), which remains for ever, as the fulfilment of all the virtues (cf. 1 Cor 13:13).

Dear brothers and sisters, in this season of Lent, as we prepare to celebrate the event of the Cross and Resurrection - in which the love of God redeemed the world and shone its light upon history - I express my wish that all of you may spend this precious time rekindling your faith in Jesus Christ, so as to enter with him into the dynamic of love for the Father and for every brother and sister that we encounter in our lives. For this intention, I raise my prayer to God, and I invoke the Lord's blessing upon each individual and upon every community!

From the Vatican, 15 October 2012

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI


36 posted on 02/02/2013 8:27:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

The Human Face of Divine Mercy

 on February 2, 2013 8:17 AM |
 
predell5.jpg

The painting (1488) is by Bartolomeo di Giovanni and was commissioned for the Hospital of the Innocents in Florence. The six-sided altar at the centre of the composition points to the Sixth Day Sacrifice of the Cross. There is fire burning on the altar, a sign of the Holy Spirit. The Blessed Virgin Mary's gesture indicates that she is offering the Infant Christ and participating in His sacrifice. Simeon's gesture is one of acceptance; he is an image of the Eternal Father. Saint Joseph holds the turtle doves in his cloak; Joseph was chosen by God to veil the mystery. Anna, entering the painting at the extreme left, holds the lighted candle of her faith and hope as she witnesses the arrival in the temple of the long-awaited Priest and Victim, the Consolation of Israel.

The Face of a Little Child

In today's splendid Introit we sing that we have received Mercy "in the midst of the temple" (Ps 47:10). At the heart of today's mystery shines the face of a little Child, the human face of Divine Mercy. The four other figures in today's Gospel -- Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna -- are held in His gaze. In a homily for January 1, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI spoke tenderly of the Face of the Infant Christ. "God's Face took on a human face, letting itself be seen and recognized in the Son of the Virgin Mary, who for this reason we venerate with the loftiest title of Mother of God. She, who had preserved in her heart the secret of the divine motherhood, was the first to see the face of God made man in the small fruit of her womb."

Today we meet the gaze of the Infant Christ, "made like His brethren in every respect" (Heb 2:17) and, looking into His eyes, we see that He is already our "merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people" (Heb 2:17).

The Presentation of Christ Our Priest

Today in the midst of the temple the Father presents His Christ, our Priest, to us; and today the Father presents us to Christ our Priest. Of ourselves we have nothing to present; we can but receive Christ and allow ourselves to become an offering in His hands. "We have received your Mercy, O God, in the midst of your temple" (Ps 47:10).

The Infant Christ, presented to us as our Priest, presents us, in turn, to the Father. It is fitting that the symbol of the Infant Christ should be the living flame that crowns our candles. This Child has a Heart of fire, and so the prophet says, "But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire . . . and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the Lord" (Mal 3:2-3).

The Infant Priest and Victim

Today is the World Day for Consecrated Life. Consider the images that the liturgy sets before us: a flame that burns, consuming the wax that holds it aloft; a Child with the all-embracing gaze of the "Ancient of Days" (Dn 7:13); an Infant who is already Priest and Victim.

Identification with Christ the Victim

One consecrated in the monastic life is a taper offered to the consuming flame of love. One so consecrated has eyes only for the gaze of Christ, revealing a Heart that is all fire. One consecrated is presented and handed over to Christ the Priest. One consecrated is inescapably destined for the altar of sacrifice, for identification with Christ the Victim. Monastic life cannot be anything less than this, nor can it be anything more. This is why the Apostle says, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Rom 12:1).

The Woman Wrapped in Silence

Each of the four figures surrounding the Infant Christ in the temple is an icon of consecrated life, beginning with his all-holy Virgin Mother. How does today's Gospel present her? She is a woman wrapped in silence. Even when addressed by Simeon, she remains silent. Her silence is an intensity of listening. She is silent so as to take in Simeon's song of praise, silent so as to capture his mysterious prophecy of soul-piercing sorrow and hold it in her Immaculate Heart. She is silent because today her eyes say everything, eyes fixed on the face of the Infant Christ, eyes illumined by the brightness of his gaze.

Wordlessly, Mary offers herself to the living flame of love. She is the bride of the Canticle of whom it is said, "Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil" (Ct 4:1). Consecrated life in all its forms, and monastic life in particular, begins in the silence of Mary that, already in the temple, consents to the sacrifice of her Lamb and to the place that will be hers beside the altar of the Cross.

Joseph and the Divine Desires

Turning to Saint Joseph, what do we see? Joseph shares Mary's silence. Silence is the expression of their communion in a tender and chaste love, a love that is ready for sacrifice. Joseph listens with Mary. Saint Joseph is the first to enter deeply into the silence of the Virgin. It is his way of loving her. It is his way of trusting her beyond words.

Saint Joseph: Tenderly Focused on the Face of Christ

The silence of Saint Joseph becomes for all consecrated persons a way of loving, a way of trusting, a way of pushing back the frontiers of hope. I recall what Pope Benedict XVI said concerning the silence of Saint Joseph. "The silence of Saint Joseph," said the Holy Father, "is an attitude of total availability to the divine desires. . . . He stands beside the Church today, silent, listening, tenderly focused on the face of Christ in all his members." Consecrated life is just that: availability to the desires of God, a listening silence, and a way of focusing tenderly on the face of Christ in all his members.

The Old Priest Sings

Saint Simeon represents the ancient priesthood disappearing into the light of Christ, our "merciful and faithful high priest before God" (Heb 2:17). Simeon is the old priest pointing to the new. He speaks; he sings his praise; he utters prophecy. Saint Simeon models the vocation of every priest charged in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the calling down of the Holy Ghost over altar, bread, wine, and people. Simeon has a particular relationship with the Holy Ghost. Three times in as many verses Saint Luke emphasizes the mystical synergy of Simeon and the Holy Ghost: "The Holy Ghost was upon him. . . " (Lk 2:25); "It had been revealed to him by the Holy Ghost. . . . ; (Lk 2:26); "He came in the Spirit into the temple"; (Lk 2:27). In the Holy Spirit, Simeon contemplates the face of the Infant Christ; in the Holy Spirit he raises his voice in prophecy and in thanksgiving. In all of this Simeon shows us the characteristic traits of the new priesthood called to serve in the Holy Spirit.

Anna of the Face of God

Finally, there is Anna the prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel whose name means "Face of God." The widow Anna has made the temple her home. Abiding day and night in adoration, she emerges from the recesses of the temple only to give thanks to God and speak of the Child. Drawn into the light of the face of Christ she cannot but praise and immediately publish the good news "to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem" (Lk 2:38).

Anna of the Face of God models the vocation of every consecrated woman called to be at once fully contemplative and fully apostolic. The old woman's encounter with the Infant Christ energizes and rejuvenates her. In some way, Anna is the first apostle sent out by the Holy Spirit. Before Mary Magdalene and before the twelve, Anna announces Christ. She is compelled to speak but does so out of an "adoring silence." She appears in the temple to publish the long-awaited arrival of Mercy, and in her eyes shines the light of his Face. Mercy in the flesh was passed like a living flame from the arms of Mary and Joseph into the arms of Simeon and, then, undoubtedly into the embrace of holy Anna. "We have received your Mercy, O God, in the midst of your temple" (Ps 47:10).

The Consuming Fire of the Most Holy Eucharist

We, who welcome Mercy in the midst of the temple, are compelled to present ourselves to Mercy at the altar, to give ourselves back to Mercy, to give ourselves up to Mercy, to surrender to Mercy's sweet, purifying flame. "Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:28-29).


37 posted on 02/02/2013 8:39:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Speaking from the Heart of Christ
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Luke 2 : 22 - 40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." The child´s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I open my heart to receive the power of your Spirit flowing from your heart into mine. I wish to carry it zealously as a light from my heart to my family, to my friends, to the weak and empty of heart. With the fire of your love in me, I want to acknowledge you as true light and as the glory and splendor of every human person. I long to be filled with a consuming love for you.

Petition: Lord help me to penetrate the meaning of my baptism by contemplating your consecration in the Temple and on the cross.

1. Glory of the Father, Light of the Nations: Contemplate this scene from God’s perspective. The Son, now in human history, enters the Temple for the first time. The Son enters the house of the Father. He, the perfect Lamb for whom no earthly sanctuary is holy enough, accepts to be consecrated in this place built by men, this place that was dedicated to the memory of the signs that were all in expectation of him. The True Lamb arrives at last to the place of offering. The Temple was above all a place of sacrifice in order to gain God’s favor. It was a place of expiation to free oneself of the inheritance of sin, and a place of prayer to offer fitting honor and praise to the one true God. And here, on this day, in the arms of Mary, comes the only sacrifice that counts, for without him no other sacrifice has meaning, whether in sacred rituals or in our personal lives.

2. “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord”: Contemplate this scene through the heart of Mary. In the simple rite of consecration; the Son is going to recognize his belonging to the Father, but he will do it through Mary’s fidelity to the prescribed ritual. Yet, who can speak for this child?  Can anyone speak for the zeal of his heart, the hunger of his heart to suffer for souls? Mary’s pure and humble heart emerges as his spokesperson, and it speaks the language of self-giving and donation, though under the rituals prescribed by the law. “For their sake I consecrate myself.” She reflects to the world what has been communicated to her by her Son, who is flesh of her flesh. In our ordinary life we elevate the meaning of small events in union with Christ. Flesh of our flesh by grace, he enables us to live a consecration to a mission in his name. Our acts are made from the power of Christ’s living presence moving our heart and will.

3. “A sword shall pierce your heart”: Now contemplate the true temple of Christ’s body on the Cross, where every consecration is made perfect. Yes, Christ gives us the privilege to speak the words that echo from his heart. Over time he perfects this language in us, if we are faithful to the cross in our life.

My own baptismal consecration is all about speaking from what is in the heart of Christ, so that his words ‘pierce my own heart’ and replace that heart of stone with a new heart. I seek to speak like Christ––chaste, poor, and obedient––with a language forged and pounded into full authenticity at the Cross. My death to sin and egoism will call forth the risen life of the new man of the Kingdom––possible only through the fire of the Spirit that flows from the open side of Christ.

Conversation with Christ: O Jesus, make my soul a temple worthy of your entry. May the walls of my heart be adorned with purity, honesty and upright intention in all I say and do. May its floors, upon which you walk, be sealed with modesty and sincerity, and lead you to an undivided heart.

Resolution: Today I will renew my personal consecration to the Heart of Christ in a visit to the Eucharist, and I will remember in a special way all consecrated persons throughout the world who renew their vows today.


38 posted on 02/02/2013 8:46:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Saturday, February 2, 2013 >> Presentation of the Lord
 
Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18

View Readings
Psalm 24:7-10
Luke 2:22-40

 

THE QUESTION OF OWNERSHIP

 
"The couple brought Him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord, for it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord.' " —Luke 2:22-23
 

The presentation of the first-born son was a way of remembering how the Lord freed the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt by killing all the first-born of the Egyptians (Ex 13:14ff). The presentation of the first-born was also an acknowledgment that God owned everything. That is part of the reason why the Lord called Abraham to sacrifice his first-born, Isaac (Gn 22:9). The Israelites offered the first fruits of the harvest to the Lord (see Lv 23:17). Moreover, in the new covenant, the first day of the week was offered to the Lord, and therefore called the Lord's Day. When we present to the Lord the first-born, the first fruits, and the first day, we acknowledge from the very first that the Lord owns not only the first, but the last. Everything belongs to Him.

On this feast of the Presentation, will you acknowledge that your life — that is, your money, time, energy, relationships, abilities, sexuality, opportunities, possessions, etc. — belong to the Lord? (see Rm 14:8) "You are not your own" (1 Cor 6:19). You don't own yourself. God owns you because He created you and because His Son, Jesus, has purchased you at the price of His blood (1 Cor 6:20). Therefore, don't try to protect your territory. You own no territory. Don't cling to your money, possessions, or time, because they are not really yours. Say with Paul: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own" (Gal 2:19-20).

 
Prayer: Jesus, it is not I that live, but You Who live within me (Gal 2:20).
Promise: "Suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord Whom you seek." —Mal 3:1
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Light to the nations! (Lk 2:32) Alleluia!

39 posted on 02/02/2013 8:50:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
18" x 24' Full Color Signs

40 posted on 02/02/2013 8:51:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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