Archive for December, 2011

Rejoice always … – 1 Thes 5:16

Reflection.  Freshen your New Year Resolutions with joy.  We end the year where we began it, with the words of Pope John Paul II: “Christ came to bring joy; joy to children, joy to parents, joy to families and to friends, joy to workers, and to scholars, joy to the sick and elderly, joy to all humanity.  In a true sense, joy is the keynote message and the recurring motif of the Gospels … Be messengers of joy.”

Prayer.  Thank You, Lord, for a grace-filled year.  Thank You for the gift of joy. 

The wolf and the lamb will feed together … They will neither harm nor destroy on My holy mountain.        – Isa 65:25

Reflection.  The peaceable Kingdom has already begun in your soul.  Share this gift with those who are lost and lonely.  Let them see that you are living in the peace and joy of Christ’s life.

Prayer.  Lord, grant that I may be a genuine carrier of Your love and mercy.  It fills me with an inner happiness just knowing that I am an instrument of Your peace. 

We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you bear toward all the holy ones.  – Col 1:4

Reflection.  Would it not be beautiful if Christmas were to generate the inner Christ within us: a habit of meditation, a living memory of the great Mystery that we have solemnly commemorated; a persuasion of faith, now acquired and confirmed?  We must live our lives in union with Christ’s life.  – Pope Paul VI

Prayer.  O Lord, with You at my side I am never alone.  How happy that makes me feel.  Thank You for Your love. 

Rejoice insofar as you are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that you may also rejoice with exultation in the revelation of His glory.  – 1 Pet 4:13

Reflection.  Decide to be happy in Christ’s love.  Pope John Paul II said, “True, you cannot always be healthy or successful, but you can always be with Christ and find strength at His side.

Prayer.  O Lord, give me perspective during the trials of my life, and humility during my successes.  Fill me with Your Spirit of joy both in good times and in bad, for You are my only true joy. 

For a Child has been born to us, a Son has been given to us.  Upon His shoulders dominion rests, and this is the Name He has been given: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.            – Isa 9:5

Reflection.  To look upon the Infant Jesus, and know that He was a Divine King, must have been an awesome experience for the shepherds.  It still is for us today.  Whoever sees this Little Child, sees the One Who sent Him.

Prayer.  There are no words in such matters.  We become still and know that we are in the presence of God.  Lord, I bow before You. 

She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  – Lk 2:7

Reflection.  Jesus is the joy of the earth; He is the physician of every human infirmity.  He is personified in every person who suffers, arousing compassion and generous love.  Jesus, therefore, is present always and everywhere.  – Pope Paul VI

Prayer.  Come, Lord Jesus.  Help me to recognize Your Presence in my life, especially in my pain.  Help me to know that You have joined Your sufferings to mine, so that I may join my suffering to Yours.

Mary’s days to be delivered were fulfilled, and she brought forth her firstborn Son. – Lk 2:6-7

Reflection.  Look upon the Baby born in Bethlehem Who is beside His Mother Mary.  Draw near to Him, prostrate yourselves to adore Him, and offer Him the gifts that you bear in your heart.                                    – Pope John Paul II

Prayer.  My Infant Lord, I bow before You with the shepherds, the wise men, and the legions of Christians who have adored You down through the ages.  Give me the best gift possible, the full knowledge of Your love. 

When the fullness of time arrived, God sent His Son, born of a woman … that He might redeem those under the Law.  – Gal 4:4-5

Reflection.  Mary traveled a long distance to reach her fulfillment.  All the while she kept these things hidden in her heart.  Her humility is a marvel to behold.  In a spirit of humble gratitude she brought forth the Divine Infant, Jesus.

Prayer.  O come let us adore Him; O come let us adore Him; O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord. 

Joseph went from Nazareth into Judea … to register together with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.  – Lk 2:4-5

Reflection.  Joseph is rarely mentioned in the Gospels, but here we see him as the protector of Mary and the Child in her womb.  He was obedient to God and to the laws of the land, but most of all he was a comfort and support to Mary.

Prayer.  Holy Spirit, Your love filled St. Joseph with strength and compassion.  May I take the same courage and tenderness from You so that I may be a comfort to those who need me.

God brought us to life together with Christ … and seated us together in heaven in Christ.  – Eph 2:5-6

Reflection.  Faith and life — these are nothing less than the realities in which we are immersed, and they are the goals to which we would draw attention.  Keep them particularly in mind during the coming happy occasion. – Pope Paul VI

Prayer.  O Lord, the celebration of Christmas draws near.  Help me to view this feast in the perspective of my faith.  Let me celebrate with joy.