Saturday, December 30, 2023

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

“The shepherds went in haste,

and found Mary and Joseph and the Infant lying in a manger." (Luke 2: 16).

"When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalemt to present him to the Lord. 

"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.” (Luke 2: 22, 39 - 40).

Sunday 31st December 2023, within the Octave of Christmas is the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

We pray with the Church:

"O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practising the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.. ."

In the fullness of time, when all was ready, God sent His Son to dwell among us in time and space and be obedient to the human and natural laws in the world.

"May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts; let the message of Christ find a home with you." (Colossians 3: 15, 16).

"The Christian family is a Communion of persons. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task." (CCC 2205).

A family that prays together stays together.

Daily Bible Verse @ 

Friday, December 29, 2023

The Evangelist Anna told everyone about Jesus Christ.

Anna spoke about Jesus to everyone who was expecting the Messiah.

"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." (Luke 2: 36 - 37).

Saturday 30th December 2023, 6th Day in the Solemnity of the Octave of Christmas.

Anna, the Prophetess dominates the Gospel Reading as if today is her patronal feast day.

Who is Anna and why is she one of the humble and powerful evangelists in the Gospel?

#1 Anna lived in the Temple for decades and gave herself completely to worshiping God, praying and fasting.

#2 Apart from Mary, Joseph and Simeon, Anna was one of the very first people to see Jesus as an Infant. She knew who He is at once and she carried Him in her arms! Wonderful!

#3 Anna is one of the very first Evangelist to announce the Good News.

"And coming forward at that very time, she [Anna] gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem." (Luke 2: 38).

What can we say about the character of Anna? The answer is from the first Reading: 1 John 2: 15 - 17).

"Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever." (1 John 2: 15 - 17).

Anna retired to the Temple after she lost her husband as a young woman. She chose not to remarry or hang around and enjoy her husband's wealth.

Brethren, the story of Anna teaches us that it is good to serve the Lord faithfully. Anna and Mary are two examples of great faithfulness in serving God not for one year or 10 years or 50 years but day after day all life long. 

But what is most admirable is the faithfulness of God. The Bible says that faithfulness is the essence of who God is. Both Anna, Mary and Joseph responded to the faithful love and mercies of God to them.

May we do the same.

One day to the end of December 2023. Honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

For Prayers and intentions, click the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @ 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Feast of St Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr.

Feast of St Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr. 

"When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus 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 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:

“Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of 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.” (Luke 2: 25 - 35).

Friday 29th December 2023, 5th Day in the Octave of the Solemnity of Christmas is the feast of St Thomas Becket. (1118 - 1170). English. Martyr. 

St Thomas Becket, also known as St Thomas of Canterbury was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder on December 29th 1170 by King Henry II inside the Cathedral while St Thomas Becket was celebrating Mass.

QUOTE FROM ST THOMAS BECKET :"Remember the sufferings of Christ, the storms that were weathered... the crown that came from those sufferings which gave new radiance to the faith..." (St Thomas Becket).

Our key Scripture introduces us to a man whose name is Simeon. Who is this holy old man, Simeon?

According to the testimony of holy Scripture, Simeon is:
#1 A righteous and devout man. (Reminds us of Saints Joseph, Stephen, Barnabas).

#2 Simeon was one of the faithful who actively awaited the coming of the Messiah Jesus, foretold over 700 years before. With the appearance of John the Baptist, the expectation for the coming of the Messiah became fever pitch.

#3 Simeon was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit promised Simeon that he would not die until he sees Jesus in the flesh with his eyes.

Simeon is immensely important in salvation history. This is why:
He was inspired to present himself in the Temple the very day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus for His presentation to the Lord, His Father. Here is what Simeon said, words that are used by the Church in prayer every night:

“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.” (Luke 2: 29 - 32).

Simeon gave an eloquent testimony to the faithfulness of God. God made a promise over 700 years ago. He had not forgotten it. In the fullness of time, God fulfilled His promise to the letter and here is the Prophet Simeon to bear witness to the truth.

Whenever I read this Scripture, I am reminded of the radical faithfulness of God. Our God is a Promise Maker and a Promise Keeper.

"My Immaculate Mother also knew sin in all its ugliness and horror. She saw all that sin wrought upon My Body, the very Body she bore in her virginal womb, and, in seeing the ravages of sin on My Body and on My Face, her Heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow in fulfilment of Simeon’s prophecy." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, March 31, 2016).

TWO days to the end of December 2023. Honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

For Prayers and intentions, click the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @ 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Feast of the Holy Innocents.

The Feast of the Holy Innocents.

The First Martyrs to shed their blood for Christ are the Holy Innocents. The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity. (Tertulian). 

"When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,

“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”

"Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.

"When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

"A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more." (Matthew 2: 13 - 18).

Thursday December 28th 2023 on the 4th Day of the Solemnity of Christmas is the feast of the Holy Innocents.

Who are the Holy Innocents?

These are about 20 babies whom Herod slaughtered in an effort to kill the the Infant Jesus.

"The innocents were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the Lamb, and sing for ever: Glory to you, O Lord."  (Entrance Antiphon).

"[Herod] ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under." (Matthew 2: 16).

Why this feast and why does it matter?

#1 The Church celebrates the memory of about 20 baby boys whom King Herod slaughtered in his attempt to kill Jesus. These children are martyrs who gave their lives for Christ and are members of the Communion of the Saints.
#2. This feast is perhaps a rude reminder to all of us that the Mission of Jesus is to be Savior and Redeemer. Salvation from Sin and Redemption from the debt of Sin was purchased at the cost of blood.
#3. The massacre of the Holy Innocents teaches us the mystery of God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence.

God could have eliminated the cruel tyrant Herod, but instead He willed His Son and family to go into exile in Egypt in a cold winter.

Other instances of God's mysterious providence:
#1 God allowed Adolf Hitler to rule for 12 years and caused the suffering and death of millions.
#2 God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and Pharaoh's stubbornness caused the death of many Egyptians.
#3 Other tyrants that were given long ropes are: Nero, Napoleon, Stalin, etc.

Long-suffering is part of God’s divine attributes. Some people have taken this for God's weakness. NO!!! Scripture says:  "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1: 25). 

And "We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8: 28).

The Church honors the Holy Innocents because they "were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the Lamb and sing for ever: Glory to you, O Lord." (Entrance Antiphon).

"The movement of persecution that is about to break out against My Church will focus on three objects. In fact, this has already begun. I will be attacked in My priests; they represent My Eucharistic Face. The face of the priesthood is My Face, once again mocked and covered with mud, spittle, and blood. I will be dishonoured in the Sacrament of My Body and Blood. You will see an increase of sins against the mysteries of My Body and Blood: sacrileges, desecrations, and mockeries. I will be attacked in the weakest and most vulnerable members of My Mystical Body. This too has already begun, but it will increase until it reaches proportions that will oblige My Father to avenge the blood of His beloved innocents." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, November 12, 2008).

Three days to the end of December 2023. Honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

For Prayers and intentions, click the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @ 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Feast of St John the Evangelist.

The Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist.

"On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,

“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him.”

"So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.

"They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.

"When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.

"Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed." (John 20: 1a, 2 - 8).

Wednesday 27th December 2023, 3rd Day of Christmas in the Octave of Christmas is the Feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist.

John wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Book of Revelation. John is an eye witness and a faithful and credible witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the will of God that we learn the truth of the Gospel from credible witnesses. The Church is the credible witness of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ for over 2000 years.

St John's writing of his Jesus experience is an eye witness account. He saw. He heard. He touched. He then bore witness.  His witness which is faithful and true have unlocked for us the secrets of the Word of God.

Our Scripture text for today challenges us to ask: What have you seen today?

Open your eyes of faith and see the Church as the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit and the living Sacrament of Salvation in our midst today.

"This is John, who reclined on the Lord’s breast at supper,
the blessed Apostle, to whom celestial secrets were revealed
and who spread the words of life through all the world."  (Entrance Antiphon).

"Above all, I renew for you the words I uttered for Saint John from the Cross: “Behold your Mother.” Live in her presence. Honour her at every occasion and in every way possible. Every time you show love and devotion to My most holy Mother, you honour the words I spoke from the Cross, and you put them into practice. “Behold your Mother.” She desires nothing more than to look after you, just as if you were her only son. Her attention for you is not divided, nor is it in any way impaired by the attention she gives to the vast multitude of her children through the ages. Trust in her care for you. Pray her Rosary. Honour her as you have been doing."  (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, January 31, 2008).

Father, we pray that with St John the Evangelist we may share in the hidden wisdom of your eternal Word which You reveal to us at the Eucharistic table. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

The Church honors the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Month of December. We have five days to the end of December. 

For the Immaculate Conception Devotions and Prayers and Prayer intentions click the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @

Monday, December 25, 2023

The Feast of St Stephen, first Deacon and first Martyr.

Feast of St Stephen, first Deacon, first Martyr.  

"Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. 

Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

"When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said,

“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 

"But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.

"The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.

"As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 6: 8 - 10, 7: 54 - 59).

Tuesday 26th December 2023, Solemnity of the Octave of Christmas, the Feast of St Stephen, the first Martyr.

"St Stephen was one of the seven deacons who helped the apostles (Acts 6: 1 - 6) and was filled with "faith and the Holy Spirit," and was "full of fortitude" (Acts 6: 5, 8). Stephen died praying for his executioners. The similarities between Stephen's martyrdom and the crucifixion of Our Lord emphasize his imitation of Christ even up to the complete gift of self." (Roman Missal).

We learn from the brief summary of the life of St Stephen from the Roman Missal that Stephen must have been a very important witness in the early Church. Consider why:

#1 Stephen's life and experience shows that the promises of Jesus are true. "When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say." (Matthew 10: 19).

#2 Stephen died like Jesus forgiving his executioners.

This vindication of the promises of Jesus and fearless embrace of martyrdom made a deep impression on the early Church. The Church included the name of St Stephen in the Canon of the Mass to intercede for the Church.

How soon after His Ascension was Christ's prediction vindicated when He said in the course of instructing His disciples:  "But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.  When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say." (Matthew 10: 17 - 19).

We observe the power and faithfulness of Jesus in the trial and death of Stephen. What Jesus did for Stephen during his trial and execution, He has done for every single one of His martyrs. He has stood by their sides and sustained them to the last.

Do not be afraid. Jesus will do the same for us should the occasion arise.

"As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." (Acts 7: 58).

Writing on St Stephen, Pope BENEDICT XVI said:

” …Like his Master, St Stephen died forgiving his persecutors

and thus makes us realise that the entry into the world of the Son of God gives rise to a new civilisation, the civilisation of love that does not yield to evil and violence and pulls down the barriers between men and women, making them brothers and sisters in the great family of God’s children.”  (Pope Benedict XVI, 26th December 2009).

The Church honors the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Month of December. We have six days to the end of December. 

For the Immaculate Conception Devotions and Prayers and Prayer intentions click the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Solemnity of the Nativity of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus

that the whole world should be enrolled.

This was the first enrollment, 

when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth 

to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, 

because he was of the house and family of David, 

to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there,

the time came for her to have her child, 

and she gave birth to her firstborn son.

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, 

because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields 

and keeping the night watch over their flock.

The angel of the Lord appeared to them 

and the glory of the Lord shone around them, 

and they were struck with great fear.

The angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid;

for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy 

that will be for all the people.

For today in the city of David 

a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.

And this will be a sign for you: 

you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes 

and lying in a manger.”

"And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,

praising God and saying:

    “Glory to God in the highest

        and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2: 1 - 14).

Our key Scripture for this Christmas Day proclaims how God's terrible and mysterious works comes to us. They come through SIGNS. God is a spirit and invisible. We humans are flesh and blood and material. This is why the Word of God became flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. So that we can see Him and touch Him.

What sign did God choose to give the simple shepherds by which to recognize the new born King of the Universe? An embarrassingly simple sign. Not a baby in shiny Women's Hospital in Jerusalem. Not a baby on the Queen's bed in the royal palace. But a child "in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

This sign you may say is true to the character of God as we discover  in Holy Scriptures. Take for example, the signs that Jesus left the Church. The Church calls these signs Sacrament (sacramentum), meaning mysteries. A few examples:

#1 "Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you." (Luke 22: 19 - 20).

#2 Baptism is another Sacrament, a Sign, a Mysterium.

#3 The union of man and woman in holy matrimony is another Sign or Mysterium.

So has God in His mysterious will decided to communicate with human beings.

We welcome Jesus this Christmas in His utter simplicity and humanity.

The best joys of Christmas are the simple joys of the shepherds of Bethlehem. Enjoy the truth that we can touch God.

Merry Christmas 🎄🎂.

Daily Bible Verse @