One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of St Francis De Sales OFM Cap (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church ” – Readings: 1 Samuel 24:2-20 (3-21), Psalm 57:2-4, 6, 11, Mark 3:13-19
He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him … Mark 3:14
REFLECTION – “Jesus calls those he wanted. Jesus chooses. They come to him. He calls the Twelve to be with Him. While they are with Him, listening to Him teach, witnessing the miracles He works, living with Him, the Twelve get to know Him, first hand.
They KNOW Jesus, not just about Jesus.
Jesus consecrates them as He takes them apart – forming them to carry on and continue His work.
Having consecrated them – he commissions them, as He sends them forth to preach the good news.
This explains the dynamics of genuine discipleship.
The disciple must learn TO BE WITH Jesus, before he attempts TO DO ANYTHING FOR Jesus.
We can be Apostles – only – if we have first been disciples WITH Him.” … Msgr Alex Rebello CMF (Diocese Wrexham, Wales) Claretian Priest
PRAYER – “O my God and my Father, may I know You and make You know, love You and make You loved, serve You and make Your served, praise You and make all creatures, praise You.” [St Anthony Mary Claret CMF (1807-1870)] Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant us the grace to see clearly by the light who is Light, Your only Son. Lead us in His path and send us Your Spirit. Grant us the strength to grow in holiness so that our struggle against the powers of darkness may we a victory over temptation. May the intercession of the master of spirituality, St Francis de Sales, help us and protect us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas, Readings:
1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42
He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39
REFLECTION – “John was there and two of his disciples with him.” John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26). Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord? Not in the least. He himself showed them the one they were to follow (…) He declared: “Why cling to me? I am not the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb of God (…) Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”
At these words the two disciples who were with John followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them: ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?” As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him when He called them to leave their boat (…), when He said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him. But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture: “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak; let your feet wear away his doorstep! Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.). So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him. What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night! Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth? Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7
PRAYER – Almighty God, the light of a new star in heaven, heralded Your saving love . Let the light of Your salvation dawn in our hearts and keep them always open to Your life-giving grace. May we stay with Your Son, for He will teach us Your ways. Kindly hear the prayers on our behalf of Mary our mother and of all Your saints and may St Angela of Foligno intercede today on our behalf. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave
“There are [Saints] … who are so absorbed in the divine life, that they seem, even while they are in the flesh, to have no part in earth or in human nature but, to think, speak and act under views, affections and motives, simply supernatural.
If they love others, it is simply because they love God and because man is the object, either of His compassion , or of His praise.
If they rejoice, it is in what is unseen, if they feel interest, it is in what is unearthly, if they speak, it is almost with the voice of Angels, if they eat or drink, it is almost of Angels’ food alone – for it is recorded in their histories, that for weeks, they have fed on nothing else but that Heavenly Bread, which is the proper sustenance of the soul.
Such we may suppose, to have been St John!”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
“The love of Jesus is noble and generous, it spurs us onto do great things and excites us to desire always, that which is most perfect. Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath. Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections… for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created. The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held. He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in one sovereign Good above all, from Whom all good flows and proceeds”
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter V, 3-4
St John, Beloved of the Lord, Pray for Us!
Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave
“John’s God-illumined mind,
conceived the incomparable height of divine wisdom,
when he reclined on the Redeemer’s breast,
during the holy Last Supper meal (Jn 13:25).
And because “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3)
are within the heart of Jesus, it is from there, that he drew
and from there, that he greatly enriched our wretchedness,
as people who are poor and generously distributed these goods,
taken from their source, for the salvation of the whole world.
And because this blessed John speaks about God
in a marvellous way, that cannot be compared to that of anyone else,
it is only right that the Greeks as well as the Latins
have given him the name of “Theologian”.
Mary is “Theotokos” because she has truly given birth to God;
John is “Theologos” because he saw in an indescribable way,
that the Word of God, was with the Father
before the beginning of time and was God (Jn 1:1)
and because, too, he spoke about this, with extraordinary depth.”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church
“If Moses, after having conversed
with God in the cloud,
came from the Divine interview
with rays of miraculous light encircling his head,
how radiant must have been the face of St John,
which had rested on the very Heart of Jesus,
in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge [Col. ii 3]
how sublime his writings!
how Divine his teaching!”
“Then too, as Son and Guardian of Mary,
thou hast to present us to thine own and our Mother.
Ask her to give us, somewhat of the tender love,
wherewith she watches over the Crib of her Divine Son,
to see in us, the Brothers of that Child she bore
and to admit us, to a share of the maternal affection,
she had for thee, the favoured confidant
of the secrets of her Jesus.”
Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)
One Minute Reflection – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist the Memorial of Blessed Sára Salkaházi (1899–1944) Martyr and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:1-4, Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12, John 20:2-8
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life (for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us.… 1 John 1:1-2
REFLECTION – ““Life itself was therefore revealed in the flesh.
In this way what was visible to the heart alone, could become visible also to the eye and so heal men’s hearts. For the Word is visible to the heart alone, while flesh is visible to bodily eyes as well. We already possessed the means to see the flesh but we had no means of seeing the Word. The Word was made flesh so that we could see it, to heal the part of us, by which we could see the Word…” … St Augustine (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – “I am grateful to You for the love You have given me. My dear Jesus, I place this love into Your hands: keep it chaste and bless it, so that it may always be rooted in You. And increase in me my love for You. I know that if I love You, I can never get lost. If I want to be Yours with all my heart, You will never let me stray from You. Amen. May St John the Evangelist, beloved of the Lord and Blessed Sára Salkaházi, intercede for us that we may love You Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls!
Our Morning Offering – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave
Oh Teach Me then, Dear Saint!
An Invocation of St John, Evangelist
Saint of the Sacred Heart,
Sweet teacher of the Word,
Partner of Mary’s woes
And favourite of thy Lord!
Oh teach me then, dear Saint!
The secrets Christ taught thee;
The beatings of His Heart,
And how it beat for me!
We know not all thy gifts
But this Christ bids us see,
That He who so loved all,
Found more to love in thee.
When the last evening came,
Thy head was on His breast,
Pillowed on earth, where now
In heaven the Saints find rest.
Dear Saint! I stand far off,
With vilest sins opprest,
Oh may I dare, like thee,
To lean upon His breast?
His touch could heal the sick,
His voice could raise the dead,
Oh that my soul might be
Where He allows thy head.
The gifts He gave to thee
He gave thee to impart
And I, too, claim with thee
His Mother and His Heart!
Third Day of the Christmas Octave
St John the Apostle and Evangelist (Feast)
St John the Beloved:
Bl Adelheidis of Tennenbach
Bl Alejo Pan López
Bl Alfredo Parte-Saiz
Bl Christina Ebner
St Fabiola (Died 399)
Bl Francesco Spoto
Bl Hesso of Beinwil
St José María Corbin-Ferrer
St Maximus of Alexandria
St Nicarete of Constantinople
Bl Odoardo Focherini
Bl Raymond de Barellis
Bl Roger of Verdun
Blessed Sára Schalkház S.S.S. (1899–1944) Martyr
Biography of Blessed Sára:
St Theodore of Apamea
St Theophanes of Nicaea
Bl Walto of Wessobrünn