Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 12-13-15, Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)
Posted on 12/12/2015 7:32:54 PM PST by Salvation
click here to read article
His winnowing fan is in his hand
The baptism that Jesus gives is a baptism "in the Holy Spirit and in fire" If you are holy, you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit; if you are a sinner, you will be immersed in fire. The same baptism will become condemnation and fire to unworthy sinners, but the saints, those who convert to the Lord with wholehearted faith, will receive the grace of the Holy Spirit and salvation.
He who is portrayed as baptizing in the Holy Spirit and in fire holds a winnowing fan in his hand, which he will use to clear his threshing floor. The wheat he will gather into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with fire that can never be quenched. I should like to discover our Lord's reason for holding a winnowing fan and to inquire into the nature of the wind that scatters the light chaff here and there, leaving the heavier grain lying in a heap -- for you must have a wind it you want to separate wheat and chaff.
I suggest that the faithful are like a heap of unsifted grain, and that the wind represents the temptations which assail them and show up the wheat and the chaff among them. When your soul is overcome by some temptation, it is not the temptation that turns you into chaff. No, you were chaff already, that is to say fickle and faithless; the temptation simply discloses the stuff you are made of. On the other hand, when you endure temptations bravely it is not the temptation that makes you faithful and patient; temptation merely brings to light the hidden virtues of patience and fortitude that have been present in you all along. "I humbled you and made you feel the pangs of hunger in order to find out what was in your heart" (Dt 8,2).
During this time of the year, many of us find ourselves welcoming family and friends into our homes, and thus are familiar with the practice of "tidying up." This includes tasks like putting the toys and books that may be lying around back in their place, running the vacuum over the carpet one more time and a number of other things to make our homes more attractive.
Why do we do this? On a superficial level, we want to give a good impression of ourselves and the way we keep our homes. On a more charitable level, we want those who enter our home to have a good experience and to know that we value their presence so much that we go out of our way to be sure the house is clean, ordered and beautifully decorated. If we keep this charitable mindset that allows us to see that we are offering something good to someone that we value, our cleaning becomes less tedious and more joyful.
In these first weeks of Advent, we have heard of the coming of the Messiah, mostly focused on the second coming. John the Baptist tells his followers, "One mightier than I is coming. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." With these words, the Baptist describes the power and authority of Jesus Christ, who will come to judge the living and the dead. As we can imagine, this adds a sense of urgency to those who are listening. Someone important is coming. They need to tidy up.
But how? This question is on their mind, and we hear different groups ask the Baptist, "What should we do?" How did they prepare for the Messiah? How can we prepare?
John the Baptist's responses to his disciples 2,000 years ago still are relevant today. His first command to prepare for the Lord is to serve those in need: "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." In serving the needy by sharing what we have, we both recognize the dignity of the other and acknowledge that we ourselves are blessed to have what we do. The divine source of both human dignity and human blessing is the same. To prepare our hearts for the coming of God, then, we must be both generous and thankful.
The second way to prepare for the Messiah is a conversion of our lives from sin. John the Baptist tells the tax collectors to stop stealing and the soldiers to stop extorting and lying. When we are engaged in sinful behavior, we cannot give our hearts fully to God, and thus when the Messiah comes, He will find that we are unfit to welcome Him. With Godâs help and our will, we must root out all that is not godly in our lives.
We can add a third way of preparation to these as well: the sacraments. John baptized with water, but the One who followed him baptized with "the Holy Spirit and fire." This is a reference to the sacrament of baptism, which frees us from sin, brings the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and makes us children of God. It is also the sacrament that prepares us to receive the other sacraments of the church. As we encounter Jesus Christ in each sacrament, welcoming Him into our lives, we must remember to always be prepared. In particular, as Advent is a time of preparation, let us take this time to tidy up with a thorough examination of conscience followed by a sincere confession of our sins to a priest.
Like tidying up the home, these preparations may seem like a lot of work. We must remember, however, that when we focus on the honored guest who is to come, even the most difficult task becomes one of enjoyment. As we prepare for the coming of the Lord this Advent season, let our hearts be filled with joy.
Fr. Wagner is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde's secretary.
Year C- Third Sunday of Advent
He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire.Luke 3:10-18
10 And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do?
Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary
FEAST OF SAINT LUCY (SANTA LUCIA) DECEMBER 13
In modern times, we tend to link our notions of happiness and inner well-being to external circumstances and happenstance. And so we think that happiness will be found when the things of this world are arranged in the way we like. If we can just get enough money and creature comforts, we think we'll be happy and have a better sense of mental well-being.
Yet many people can endure difficult external circumstances while remaining inwardly content, happy, and optimistic. Further, many who have much are still not content and are plagued by great mental anguish, anxiety, and unhappiness. Ultimately, happiness is not about happenstance or circumstances; it is an "inside job."
St. Paul wrote,
For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want (Phil 4:11-12).
It is interesting to note that Paul wrote these words, as well as those of today's second reading, from his jail cell! So it's not a bunch of slogans.
In today's second reading, Paul tells us the "secret" to his contentedness, to joy and mental well-being regardless of the circumstances. He gives us a plan that (if we work it) will set the stage for a deeper inner peace, a sense of mental well-being and contentedness that is not easily affected by external circumstances. Let's review what St. Paul has to say as a kind of âfive-point plan.â (I am indebted to Rev. Adrian Rogers for the alliterative list, though the substance is my own reflection.)
Here is the text of St. Paul's "five-point plan" for better mental health:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy --think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you] (Phil 4:4-9).
Note that the final two sentences (shown above enclosed in square brackets) are not included in today's liturgical proclamation, but it seems like a good idea to include it in these reflections, so I do.
Step I. Rejoice in the Presence of the Lord – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Of supreme importance in the Christian life is requesting, receiving, and cultivating the gift of the presence of the Lord. We are too easily turned inward and forgetful of God's presence. To become more consciously and stably aware of God's presence is to be filled with joy and peace.
As an aside, note that the text mentions joy (ÏÎ±Î¯ÏÏ â Chairoo) but it also mentions moderateness. The Greek word used is á¼ÏÎ¹ÎµÎ¹Îºá½²Ï (epieikes) which means to be gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable, or moderate. EpieÃkeia relaxes unnecessary strictness in favor of gentleness whenever possible. Such an attitude is common when one is joyful and unafraid. By contrast, an unbending and unyielding attitude often bespeaks fear.
There are of course times when one should not easily give way. But often there is room for some leeway and the assumption of good will. A serene mind and spirit, which are gifts of the presence of God, can often allow for this; there is an increasing ability to allow things to unfold rather than to insist on controlling and manipulating conversations and outcomes and to win on every point.
The central point is that as we become more aware of God's presence, and thus more serene and less conflicted within, we no longer need to shout others down or to win all the time. We can insist on what is true, but can express ourselves more moderately and calmly. We are able to stay in the conversation, content to sow seeds rather than insisting on reaping every harvest of victory.
Cultivating a joyful sense of the presence of God, and seeing the serenity and moderateness that are its fruits, is a first step toward, and a sure sign of, better mental health and greater contentment.
Step II. Rely on the Power of the Lord – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition . . . present your requests to God.
There are very few things as destructive to our mental health as worry. Worry is like sand in a machine. Not only does it hinder the workings of the machine, it damages it. But simply being told not to worry isn't very helpful. St. Paul is not simply saying, "Don't worry."
Paul has already laid groundwork for the diminishment of worry by telling us to cultivate a sense of the presence of God. When I was a little boy, my father left for the Vietnam War. During the year he was away, I spent many anxious nights worrying about a lot of things. But as soon as my father returned, my fears went away. Daddy was home and everything was all right.
To the degree that we really experience that God is near, many of our fears subside. My own experience is that as my awareness of God's presence has grown, my anxieties have significantly diminished.
Paul also says that the power of God is only a prayer away. Here, too, I (and many others) can testify that God has a way of working things out. However, He may not always come when you want Him or handle things exactly as you want. When I look back and reflect on my life, I can truly say that God has always made a way for me. None of my struggles and disappointments have ever destroyed me; if anything, they strengthened me.
Whatever it is, take it to the Lord in prayer. Ponder deeply how He has delivered you in the past, has made a way out of no way, and has drawn straight with crooked lines.
Let the Holy Spirit anoint your memory to make you aware of God's saving power in your life and recall how God has delivered you. These memories should give us serenity when we consider that prayer is both effective and an ever-present source of power.
Antidote – So much worry, which is a kind of mental illness, dissipates when we experience that God is present and that His power is only one prayer away.
So the second step to greater mental health is knowing by experience that God can and will make a way.
Step III. Remember the Provision of the Lord – . . . with thanksgiving . . .
Thanksgiving is a way of disciplining the mind to count our blessings. Why is this important? Because too easily we become negative. Every day billions of things go right while only a handful go wrong. But what do we tend to focus on? You bet: the few things that go wrong! This is a form of mental illness that feeds our anxiety and comes from our fallen nature.
Gratitude disciplines our mind to count our blessings. As we do this, we begin to become men and women of hope and confidence. Why? Because what you feed, grows. If you feed the negative, it will grow; if you feed the positive, it will grow. God richly blesses us every day if we will but open our eyes to see it.
Step three is disciplining our fallen mind to see the wider reality of our rich blessings. This heals us and gives us great peace and a serene mind.
Step IV. Rest in the Peace of the Lord – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As we begin to undertake these steps, our mental outlook and health improve. Gradually, serenity becomes a deeper and more stable reality for us. The text here says that this serenity will not only be present, it will "guard" (or as some translations say, "keep") our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In other words, as this serenity grows it screens out the negativity of this world and the demons of discouragement. Having this peace allows us to see the Lord, and seeing the Lord deepens that peace . . . and the cycle grows and continues!
It has been my experience that the profound anxiety and anger that beset my early years has not only gone away, but is unlikely to return given the serenity I now increasingly enjoy. I am guarded and protected increasingly by the serenity God gives.
Step V. Reflect on the Plan of the Lord – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in meâput it into practice.
Maintenance plan – As this serenity, this sense of well-being, comes to us, St. Paul finally advises a kind of maintenance plan wherein we intentionally and actively focus our thoughts and attention on what is godly, true, good, and beautiful.
What you feed, grows – While it may be true that we need to stay informed about the news of the world, beware a steady diet of the 24/7 news cycle. The media tend to focus on the bad news, on what is controversial and/or adversarial. If it bleeds, it leads. Too much of that and you're unsettled before you know it. Limit your portions of this and focus on the greater, better, and lasting things of God. Ponder His plan, His truth, His glory, and His priorities.
And old song says, "More about Jesus would I know, more of his saving mercy show, more of his saving fullness see, more of his love who died for me."
Yes, more about Jesus, less about this world. How can we expect to maintain our mental health and serenity on a steady dose of insanity, stinking thinking, wrongful priorities, endless adversity, darkness, chaos, and foolishness?
Do you want peace? Reflect on the Lord's plan for you.
So, then, here are five steps to better mental health. It all begins with the practice of the presence of the Lord, calling on His power and being grateful for His providence, savoring His peace (which inevitably comes), and turning our attention more to the things of God and less to the things of this world.
Here's to good mental health for us all! In times like these, we need to balance our sorrow with rejoicing in God's ability to draw good from even the worst of circumstances.
10And the multitudes asked him, "What then shall we do?"
One Main Point
It is not the religious leaders who are willing to repent, but the ordinary people and those who are on the fringes of Jewish society: toll collectors, soldiers. These are the same people who respond positively to Jesus' teachings.
St. Paul of the Cross
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Lk 1:28)
"Blessed are you among women,
Virgin and Martyr
Saint Lucy from the Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo (Milan, early 15th century, tempera, ink and gold leaf on parchment.) Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
May the glorious intercession
of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy
give us new heart, we pray, O Lord,
so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday
in this present age
and so behold things eternal.
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: 2 Corinthians 10:17 - 11:2
"Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord." For it is not the man who commends himself that is accepted, but the man whom the Lord commends. I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25: 1-13
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Prayer to Saint Lucy
Hear us, O God, our salvation, that, as we rejoice in keeping the festival of Blessed Lucy, thy virgin and martyr, so we may profit by the tender devotion we gain through her example. Through our Lord. Amen.
Story of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
According to the traditional story, she was born to rich and noble parents about 283. Her father died when she was young. Fifty-two years prior to Saint Lucy, Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr was executed. Saint Agatha's fame attracted many visitors to her relics at Catania. Lucy and her mother, Eutychia, made the pilgrimage, where Eutychia was healed of a hemorrhage. Lucy persuaded Eutychia to distribute a great part of their riches among the poor. This angered the young man to whom she was betrothed. He reported her as a Christian. She was executed by with sword in the year 303. She was first condemned to suffer the shame of prostitution but in the strength of God she stood unmovable and could not be dragged away to the place of shame. God also saved her from being set on fire. According to some stories, Saint Lucy's eyes were plucked out during her torture and God miraculously restored her sight. Her feast day is celebrated especially in Sweden, where elements of light and sight, as well as the martyr's crown, are combined in a beautiful family custom appropriate for Advent celebration.
The eldest daughter of the household, wearing a white dress with a sash of crimson and a crown of branches set with lighted candles, wakes all the members of the household and serves them special cake and coffee. While it may not be practical to light a crown of candles, the family can enjoy this custom of a special treat prepared by the eldest daughter of the family (with help from mother, if necessary). As a substitute for the flaming crown, the coffee cake can be prepared in the shape of a crown and set with candles.
Recipes for a Saint Lucy's celebration
Recipes from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press (see links page).
Saint Lucy's Crown
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sweet butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4-5 tablespoons blanched almonds, grated or finely chopped
4-5 tablespoons chopped candied citron (optional)
Confectioners' Sugar Glaze (see recipe below)
Tapers or thin candles (optional)
Crush the saffron to a fine powder, and steep it in a tablespoon or two of the lukewarm milk for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set the mixture aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until frothy.
Scald the remaining milk. Stir in the rest of the sugar, and the salt and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Let cool to lukewarm. Stir into the yeast mixture. Add the saffron milk and lightly beaten egg. Stir in the flour gradually, mixing well. Add the lemon rind, almonds, and citron, if you like.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. While you are kneading, add more flour if the dough is sticky.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down. Cut off one-third to make the top braid; set aside. Divide the remaining dough into three parts. Roll each part into a rope about 25 inches long. Place the three ropes close together on a buttered baking sheet and braid them together. (Try starting from the middle; you may find it easier.) Form the braid into a circle, pinching the ends to seal.
Divide the reserved dough into three parts. Roll each part into a rope about 24 inches long. Proceed as above: Place the three ropes close together on a buttered baking sheet and braid them together. Form the braid into a circle, pinching the ends to seal.
Cover both braids lightly and let the bread rise for 30-45 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk.
Bake at 400 degree F for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for about 40 minutes longer, or until the two braided rings are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Place the smaller braid on top of the larger. Dizzle over it the Confectioners' Sugar Glaze. Optional: Stick thin tapers into the crown and light them. There is no fixed number of tapers; why not put in one for each member of your family?
Yield 1 large double braided Saint Lucy's Crown
You can elimate the saffron, and flavor the crown with 2 teaspoons ground cardamom; add it along with the salt. For a smaller crown, you can just halve this recipe; the baking time will be a little shorter.
Confectioners' Sugar Glaze
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice or milk or water
1/2-1 cup confectioner's sugar
Stir the lemon juice into the confectioners' sugar; mix well. Add more sugar or lemon juice as needed to produce a proper consistency for dizzling.
Swedish Saint Lucy Ginger Snaps (Luciapepperkakor)
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 1/2 cups dark or light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup heavy cream
6-7 cups flour
Icing (recipe below)
Heat the corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir in the sugar, molasses, ginger, lemon rind, and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until almost stiff.
Stir the syrup mixture gradually into the cream. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes (about twice as long if you are beating by hand with a spoon or whisk). Add 4 cups of the flour, mixing well with a spoon. Then gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, pliable dough. Knead for 2 or 3 minutes.
Wrap the dough well in well in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, you can start the chilling process in the freezer. Leave the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with fancy cutters, such as animals and people, heart and flowers. Try making some pretty young girls -- perhaps with crowns -- like Saint Lucy. If possible, do creche scenes or other Christmas motifs, such as stars and angels. (Even in our baking we can try to emphasize what matters about Christmas -- the star, the baby, the angels singing -- and play down Santa Claus and full stockings.)
Place the cookies on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
Ice when cold.
Yield: about 4 dozen cookies
Beat the white of an egg until frothy. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar (and, optional, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice). If the icing is too thick, add more lemon juice; too thin, more sugar. You can make several batches, adding food coloring as you wish. An even quicker icing is just a few drops of water mixed with confectioners' sugar and food coloring
Feast Day: December 13
Born: 284, Syracuse
Died: 304, Syracuse
Major Shrine: San Geremia, Venice
Patron of: blind; martyrs; epidemics; salesmen, throat infections
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|10.||And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do?||Et interrogabant eum turbÃ¦, dicentes : Quid ergo faciemus ?||ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÎµÏÎ·ÏÏÏÏÎ½ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Î½ Î¿Î¹ Î¿ÏÎ»Î¿Î¹ Î»ÎµÎ³Î¿Î½ÏÎµÏ ÏÎ¹ Î¿Ï Î½ ÏÎ¿Î¹Î·ÏÎ¿Î¼ÎµÎ½|
|11.||And he answering, said to them: He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do in like manner.||Respondens autem dicebat illis : Qui habet duas tunicas, det non habenti : et qui habet escas, similiter faciat.||Î±ÏÎ¿ÎºÏÎ¹Î¸ÎµÎ¹Ï Î´Îµ Î»ÎµÎ³ÎµÎ¹ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Î¹Ï Î¿ ÎµÏÏÎ½ Î´Ï Î¿ ÏÎ¹ÏÏÎ½Î±Ï Î¼ÎµÏÎ±Î´Î¿ÏÏ ÏÏ Î¼Î· ÎµÏÎ¿Î½ÏÎ¹ ÎºÎ±Î¹ Î¿ ÎµÏÏÎ½ Î²ÏÏÎ¼Î±ÏÎ± Î¿Î¼Î¿Î¹ÏÏ ÏÎ¿Î¹ÎµÎ¹ÏÏ|
|12.||And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do?||Venerunt autem et publicani ut baptizarentur, et dixerunt ad illum : Magister, quid faciemus ?||Î·Î»Î¸Î¿Î½ Î´Îµ ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÏÎµÎ»ÏÎ½Î±Î¹ Î²Î±ÏÏÎ¹ÏÎ¸Î·Î½Î±Î¹ ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÎµÎ¹ÏÎ¿Î½ ÏÏÎ¿Ï Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Î½ Î´Î¹Î´Î±ÏÎºÎ±Î»Îµ ÏÎ¹ ÏÎ¿Î¹Î·ÏÎ¿Î¼ÎµÎ½|
|13.||But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you.||At ille dixit ad eos : Nihil amplius, quam quod constitutum est vobis, faciatis.||Î¿ Î´Îµ ÎµÎ¹ÏÎµÎ½ ÏÏÎ¿Ï Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï Ï Î¼Î·Î´ÎµÎ½ ÏÎ»ÎµÎ¿Î½ ÏÎ±ÏÎ± ÏÎ¿ Î´Î¹Î±ÏÎµÏÎ±Î³Î¼ÎµÎ½Î¿Î½ Ï Î¼Î¹Î½ ÏÏÎ±ÏÏÎµÏÎµ|
|14.||And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay.||Interrogabant autem eum et milites, dicentes : Quid faciemus et nos ? Et ait illis : Neminem concutiatis, neque calumniam faciatis : et contenti estote stipendiis vestris.||ÎµÏÎ·ÏÏÏÏÎ½ Î´Îµ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Î½ ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÏÏÏÎ±ÏÎµÏ Î¿Î¼ÎµÎ½Î¿Î¹ Î»ÎµÎ³Î¿Î½ÏÎµÏ ÎºÎ±Î¹ Î·Î¼ÎµÎ¹Ï ÏÎ¹ ÏÎ¿Î¹Î·ÏÎ¿Î¼ÎµÎ½ ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÎµÎ¹ÏÎµÎ½ ÏÏÎ¿Ï Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï Ï Î¼Î·Î´ÎµÎ½Î± Î´Î¹Î±ÏÎµÎ¹ÏÎ·ÏÎµ Î¼Î·Î´Îµ ÏÏ ÎºÎ¿ÏÎ±Î½ÏÎ·ÏÎ·ÏÎµ ÎºÎ±Î¹ Î±ÏÎºÎµÎ¹ÏÎ¸Îµ ÏÎ¿Î¹Ï Î¿ÏÏÎ½Î¹Î¿Î¹Ï Ï Î¼ÏÎ½|
|15.||And as the people were of opinion, and all were thinking in their hearts of John, that perhaps he might be the Christ;||Existimante autem populo, et cogitantibus omnibus in cordibus suis de Joanne, ne forte ipse esset Christus,||ÏÏÎ¿ÏÎ´Î¿ÎºÏÎ½ÏÎ¿Ï Î´Îµ ÏÎ¿Ï Î»Î±Î¿Ï ÎºÎ±Î¹ Î´Î¹Î±Î»Î¿Î³Î¹Î¶Î¿Î¼ÎµÎ½ÏÎ½ ÏÎ±Î½ÏÏÎ½ ÎµÎ½ ÏÎ±Î¹Ï ÎºÎ±ÏÎ´Î¹Î±Î¹Ï Î±Ï ÏÏÎ½ ÏÎµÏÎ¹ ÏÎ¿Ï Î¹ÏÎ±Î½Î½Î¿Ï Î¼Î·ÏÎ¿ÏÎµ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï ÎµÎ¹Î· Î¿ ÏÏÎ¹ÏÏÎ¿Ï|
|16.||John answered, saying unto all: I indeed baptize you with water; but there shall come one mightier that I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:||respondit Joannes, dicens omnibus : Ego quidem aqua baptizo vos : veniet autem fortior me, cujus non sum dignus solvere corrigiam calceamentorum ejus : ipse vos baptizabit in Spiritu Sancto et igni :||Î±ÏÎµÎºÏÎ¹Î½Î±ÏÎ¿ Î¿ Î¹ÏÎ±Î½Î½Î·Ï Î±ÏÎ±ÏÎ¹Î½ Î»ÎµÎ³ÏÎ½ ÎµÎ³Ï Î¼ÎµÎ½ Ï Î´Î±ÏÎ¹ Î²Î±ÏÏÎ¹Î¶Ï Ï Î¼Î±Ï ÎµÏÏÎµÏÎ±Î¹ Î´Îµ Î¿ Î¹ÏÏÏ ÏÎ¿ÏÎµÏÎ¿Ï Î¼Î¿Ï Î¿Ï Î¿Ï Îº ÎµÎ¹Î¼Î¹ Î¹ÎºÎ±Î½Î¿Ï Î»Ï ÏÎ±Î¹ ÏÎ¿Î½ Î¹Î¼Î±Î½ÏÎ± ÏÏÎ½ Ï ÏÎ¿Î´Î·Î¼Î±ÏÏÎ½ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï Ï Î¼Î±Ï Î²Î±ÏÏÎ¹ÏÎµÎ¹ ÎµÎ½ ÏÎ½ÎµÏ Î¼Î±ÏÎ¹ Î±Î³Î¹Ï ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÏÏ ÏÎ¹|
|17.||Whose fan is in his hand, and he will purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.||cujus ventilabrum in manu ejus, et purgabit aream suam, et congregabit triticum in horreum suum, paleas autem comburet igni inextinguibili.||Î¿Ï ÏÎ¿ ÏÏÏ Î¿Î½ ÎµÎ½ ÏÎ· ÏÎµÎ¹ÏÎ¹ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï ÎºÎ±Î¹ Î´Î¹Î±ÎºÎ±Î¸Î±ÏÎ¹ÎµÎ¹ ÏÎ·Î½ Î±Î»ÏÎ½Î± Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÏÏ Î½Î±Î¾ÎµÎ¹ ÏÎ¿Î½ ÏÎ¹ÏÎ¿Î½ ÎµÎ¹Ï ÏÎ·Î½ Î±ÏÎ¿Î¸Î·ÎºÎ·Î½ Î±Ï ÏÎ¿Ï ÏÎ¿ Î´Îµ Î±ÏÏ ÏÎ¿Î½ ÎºÎ±ÏÎ±ÎºÎ±Ï ÏÎµÎ¹ ÏÏ ÏÎ¹ Î±ÏÎ²ÎµÏÏÏ|
|18.||And many other things exhorting, did he preach to the people.||Multa quidem et alia exhortans evangelizabat populo.||ÏÎ¿Î»Î»Î± Î¼ÎµÎ½ Î¿Ï Î½ ÎºÎ±Î¹ ÎµÏÎµÏÎ± ÏÎ±ÏÎ±ÎºÎ±Î»ÏÎ½ ÎµÏ Î·Î³Î³ÎµÎ»Î¹Î¶ÎµÏÎ¿ ÏÎ¿Î½ Î»Î±Î¿Î½|
December 13, 2015
Opening the Doors of Mercy
The words below were spoken by Pope Francis on December 9, 2015, the day after the Year of Mercy began with the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Today, December 13, Pope Francis opens a Holy Door at St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome. Holy Doors at cathedrals throughout the world will also be opened this day. May each of us follow the example of the Pope by opening the door of our heart to the Lord and to all people during this Year of Mercy.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
With the opening of the Holy Door yesterday in Saint Peterâs, we inaugurated the Jubilee of Mercy. This extraordinary Holy Year reminds us that, amid profound changes in our world, the Church is called to bear convincing witness to Godâs mercy, which alone can triumph over human sin and bring true freedom. Godâs mercy, made present in our midst by the incarnation of his Son, is the very heart of the Gospel.
This Year of Grace reminds us that mercy is what âpleases God mostâ, and that it has to find clear expression in our lives and in the Churchâs structures. In todayâs world, mercy and forgiveness often appear overwhelmed by self-interest, hedonism and venality, while in the Christian life they can be stifled by hypocrisy and worldliness.
Forgetfulness of Godâs mercy blinds us even to seeing sin for what it is. That is why this Holy Year of Mercy is so important. Let us ask the Lord to make us ever more aware of his mercy at work in our lives and ever more effective in testifying to its transforming power in our world.
To watch the opening of the doors at St. Peter’s Basilica, visit Catholic News Service on youtube.
Sunday, December 13
Liturgical Color: Red
Today is the Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin
and martyr. St. Lucy was blinded as she
was tortured for her faith in 304 A.D. Her
eyesight was miraculously restored and
she is honored as the patron saint of
those with eye trouble.
Old Calendar: Third Sunday of Advent; Gaudete Sunday
"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.
Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath.
Today is the feast of St. Lucy which is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.
Christ Even Now on the Way to Bethlehem
Evidently, in the mind of holy Church, neither the prophecy concerning Bethlehem Ephrata nor its fulfillment in the day of Caesar Augustus is to be considered merely a glorious divine disposition and achievement. No, the prophecy of Micheus is still being verified every day, but predominantly during the annual Advent season; for the selfsame incarnate eternal Son of God who journeyed to Bethlehem to be born there physically, now to the end of time comes to human souls as to spiritual Bethlehems, there to be born anew, again and again.
But be sure to picture these merciful spiritual journeyings of Christ to the Bethlehem of souls as all too often sadly realistic spiritual repetitions of His first long journey over the rugged road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Meditate long on the wanton and malicious opposition He encounters on His way to them from souls that leave their senses and heart and mind to be ruled by earthly vanities, and their whole selves to be willing victims of the sensual and selfish illusions and witcheries of the seven capital vices.
Can you still fail to see why Isaias and the Baptist compare the hardships of the way of the world's Messiah-King to souls with a rough, crooked, and almost impassable road up steep hills and down precipitous valleys and through dangerous mountain passes? Do you wonder that these prophets of His coming insist so strongly that merely sentimental longings and routine prayers, however multiplied, cannot prepare us worthily for the entrance He must expect and the welcome He craves?
Pray very honestly, therefore, that you may begin to see the practical reasons for the Church's crying out in the desert world, and even into your own interior soul and heart:
"Prepare ye the way of the Lord: Make straight in the wilderness His paths; Every valley shall be exalted; Every mountain and hill shall be made low; And the crooked shall be made straight; And the rough ways plain" (Is. 40:3, 4). Then shall you see the salvation of God!
Excerpted from Our Way to the Father by Rev. Leo M. Krenz, S.J.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.