The Benedictus

It is appropriate that today, Christmas Day 2016, we adopt the practice of praying this great prayer, EVERY DAY!

The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the Benedictus is part of Lauds because it is the song of thanksgiving for the coming of the Redeemer in the first part of the canticle.
It is believed to have been first introduced by Benedict of Nursia. According to Durandus, the allusion to Christ’s coming under the figure of the rising sun had also some influence on its adoption. It also features in various other liturgical offices, notably at a funeral, at the moment of interment, when words of thanksgiving for the Redemption are specially in place as an expression of Christian hope.

The Benedictus

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of His servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
that He would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember His holy covenant.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship Him without fear,
holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
to give His people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, amen



Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – 25 December – Christmas Day

Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – Christmas Day

Christmas is not the end of Advent. It is a real season of the Church year. We usually miss it because the consumer society that some of us live in has nothing to offer us, except for days to return gifts. Too often, within days after Christmas day, the decorations are down and it is over.Lorenzo Costa

This year, let’s try to really celebrate Christmas and the days that follow. Let’s enter a new Season, which has its own spirit and desires and graces.

Special Feasts begin the season and we continue the story, so that we enter more deeply into the story of Jesus’ coming to be one with our life, but also that we might enter more deeply into how Jesus comes this year to bless each of us.


“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God. John 1

We plan to celebrate the family Christmas morning, with our traditional customs,
perhaps with a Christmas tree gift sharing with the children.
When we come to church to celebrate our faith together,
there is a different feel than midnight Mass or even an early
morning Mass.
Still, the choir draws us in immediately.
We look at each other and smile and we see the bright eyes of
the elderly and single friends around the community.
We know why we are here, and it is easy to join in the singing.

Let us give thanks today. Let us repeat the sounding joy of a faith-filled Christmas.
Let us go forth to share glad tidings with our family and friends.
Let us help our Lord usher in an age of justice and peace,
beginning in our our hearts this day.

In times past, God spoke in partial and various way to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son. Hebrews 1

Closing Prayer:
This day feels so different already, dear Lord.
You promised the glory of this day by the birth of Jesus.
So humble, so simple, such a complete act of love.

Make me one of your people of the light
and help me to be faithful to your word.
I am filled with the joy of the world
and ask you to fill my heart
with a longing for your justice and peace.

My savior – you are here with me on this day,
bringing life to the waiting world.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life, amen.



Thought for the Day – 25 December

Thought for the Day – 25 December

On this day, the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to Christ in the manger, although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-son, help round out the scene.

But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after and yet compelling enough to leave behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery.

On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed, “non-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. And, like Mary and the shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts.

The precise dating in this passage sounds like a textbook on creationism. If we focus on the time frame, however, we miss the point. It lays out the story of a love affair: creation, the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, the rise of Israel under David. It climaxes with the birth of Jesus. From the beginning, some scholars insist, God intended to enter the world as one of us, the beloved people. Praise God!

And a Holy and Happy Christmas to All!  May the Christ Child live in your hearts!



Quote/s of the Day – 25 December

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December

“Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day,
even every moment in the interior temple
of your spirit, remaining like a baby in
the bosom of the heavenly Father,
where you will be reborn each moment
in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ.”

St. Paul of the Cross

Meister Eckhart once said: ‘What good is it that Christ was born 2,000 years ago if he is not born now in your heart?’

“Lord, we do far too much celebrating your actual coming in our hearts. I believe in God, but do I believe in God-in-me? I believe in God in heaven, but do I believe in God-on-earth? I believe in God out there, but do I believe in God-with-us?

“Lord, be born in my heart. Come alive in me this Christmas! Amen.”



One Minute Reflection – 25 December

One Minute Reflection – 25 December

Mary gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger…………Lk 2:7

REFLECTION – “The One who is seated on the throne of heaven is laid in a stable.
A God Who is beyond access is touched by the hands of human beings!”………………..St John Chrysostum

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, let me welcome Your Son as my Redeemer now. Then help to go to meet Him with confidence when He comes to be my Jude at the end of my earthly life. Lord Jesus, the Christ who came to us as a Babe, I love You! Amen



Our Morning Offering – 25 December

Our Morning Offering – 25 December

Nativity Prayer of St. Augustine

Let the just rejoice,
for theirJjustifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
For their Saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
For Jesus Christ is born.

The Barbadori Altarpiece is a painting by Filippo Lippi, dated to 1438 (detail)



25 December – The Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

25 December – The Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Traditional Bible Time From the Creation to The Birth of Jesus
On December 25 in the Latin Breviary’s Martyrology we have a very important time line in the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning’ God created the heavens and the earth.
In the year 2959th from the flood.
In the year 2015 from the birth of AbrahamIn the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses.
In the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King.
In the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel.
In the 194th Olympiad.
In the 752th from the foundation of the city of Rome.
In the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus.
In the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, THE BIRTHDAY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST was born according to the flesh.

The story begins with the simple lines of St Luke’s Gospel “And Joseph also went up from Galilee….to the city of David which is called Bethlehem.”  In Palestine, in the reign of Caesar Augustus, a homeless couple were driven underground to escape the night and the cold.  And there, in silence and wonder a child is born.  A child who was truly a human child but just as truly is God.  That is the mystery we celebrate today and it is belief in that mystery that makes us Christians.

Happy Birthday Jesus!







Saints and Feasts for 25 December

Nativity of the Lord (Solemnity)

St Adalsindis of Hamay
St Alburga of Wilton
St Anastasia of Sirmium
Bl Artale
St Basilée of the Via Latina
Bl Bentivoglio de Bonis
Bl Diego de Aro
St Eugenia of Rome
St Fulk of Toulouse
Bl Jacopone da Todi
St Jovin of the Via Latina
Bl Maria Therese von Wüllenweber
Bl Matthew of Albano
Bl Michael Nakashima Saburoemon
Bl Nera
St Peter Nolasco
St Romulus of Berry

Martyrs of Nicomedia