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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 29.12.23

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 29.12.23

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1ST JOHN 2: 3 – 11

Beloved: By this we may be sure that we know Jesus Christ, if we keep his commandments. He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but who— ever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 96: 1 – 2a, 2b – 3, 5b – 6 (R.) 11a

R/. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.

O sing a new song to the Lord; 
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name. R/.

Proclaim his salvation day by day. 
Tell among the nations his glory,
and his wonders among all the peoples. R/.

It was the Lord who made the heavens.
In his presence are majesty and splendour, 
strength and honour in his holy place. R/.

ALLELUIA
Luke 2: 32

Alleluia.
A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL  
“A light for revelation to the Gentiles.”
LUKE 2: 22 – 35

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marvelled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Wonder and Awe
Friday, December 29, 2023

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 2:33–35)

When something truly supernatural takes place, the human mind that grasps that supernatural event is filled with wonder and awe. For Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, their minds were continually filled with a holy amazement at what they were witnessing.

First there was the Annunciation to our Blessed Mother. Then the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. Then the miraculous birth took place. Shepherds came to adore their child and revealed that a multitude of angels had appeared to them. Shortly after this, the Magi from the East showed up to do homage to their child. And today we are given the story of Simeon in the Temple. He spoke of the supernatural revelation he had received about this Child. Time after time, the miracle of what was taking place was placed before Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, and each time they responded with wonder and awe.

Though we are not blessed to encounter this supernatural event of the Incarnation in the same way that Mary and Joseph did, we are nonetheless able to share in their “amazement” and their “wonder and awe” by prayerfully pondering this supernatural event. The mystery of Christmas, which is a manifestation of God becoming man, is an event that transcends all time and space. It’s a spiritual reality of supernatural origin and is therefore an event that our minds of faith have full access to. Just like Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, we must hear the angel at the Annunciation, the angel in Joseph’s dream, we must witness the shepherds and Magi and, today, we must rejoice with Simeon as he gazed upon the newborn Messiah, the Savior of the World.

Reflect, today, upon how fully you have allowed your mind to engage the incredible mystery that we celebrate this holy season. Have you taken time to prayerfully read the story once again? Are you able to sense the joy and fulfillment experienced by Simeon and Anna? Have you spent time considering the minds and hearts of Mother Mary and Saint Joseph as they experienced that first Christmas? Let this deep supernatural mystery of our faith touch you this Christmas season in such a way that you, too, are “amazed” at what we celebrate.

PRAYER:
Lord, give me insight, wisdom and strength so that I can work in accord with Your will to protect the most innocent from the evils of this world. May I never cower in the face of evil, and may I always fulfill my duty to protect those entrusted to my care. Saint Joseph, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

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