Mon 23 Dec – (St John of Kanty, Pr)
Malachi 3:1-4. 4:5-6; Psalm: 25; Luke 1:57-66
Today, anything more than mild self discipline seems reserved for athletes. John of Kanty was kind, humble and generous and led an austere, penitential life. Allow this Christmas to be a time to reject self-indulgence.
Tue 24 Dec – Liturgy of the Day
2 Samuel 7:1-5. 8-12. 14. 16; Psalm: 89; Luke 1:67-79
How comforting it is to know that our God chose to come into our world, not ruling from above, but by identifying with the poor and the lowly. In Christ, God gives us a shepherd who knows and loves His people.
Wed 25 Dec – NATIVITY OF CHRIST
Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm: 96; Luke 2:1-14
On this day, the Church focuses especially on the new born child, God became human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. Discover this Christ and treasure that discovery in your hearts.
Thu 26 Dec – ST STEPHEN, FIRST MARTYR
Acts 6:8-10. 7:54-59; Psalm: 31; Matthew 10:17-22
A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.
Fri 27 Dec – ST JOHN, AE
1 John 1:1-4; Psalm: 97; John 20:2-8
John doesn’t mince his words about the way of discipleship: “The way we came to know love was that He laid down His life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16)
Sat 28 Dec – HOLY INNOCENTS, Ms
1 John 1:5. 2:2; Psalm: 124; Matthew 2:13-18
The Holy Innocents are few in comparison to abortion in our day. Today we recognise the greatest treasure God put on the earth – a human person, destined for eternity, and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Sun 29 Dec – HOLY FAMILY
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Psalm: 128; Matthew 2:13-15. 19-23
Today, parents wrestle with a whole new set of challenges as they seek to share faith in the family setting. But keeping ourselves rooted in the person of Christ and His mission, can help us weather any crisis.
Something to think about before praying: becoming peaceful and quiet.
An Excerpt from ‘The Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas à Kempis – Chapter 3 para 1 & 2
Of the good, peaceable man
First keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to be a peace-maker towards others. A peaceable man doth more good than a well-learned. A passionate man turneth even good into evil and easily believeth evil; a good, peaceable man converteth all things into good. He who dwelleth in peace is suspicious of none, but he who is discontented and restless is tossed away with many suspicions, and is neither quiet himself nor suffereth others to be quiet. He often saith what he ought not to say, and omitteth what it were more expedient for him to do. He considerith to what duties others are bound, and neglecteth those to which he is bound himself. Therefore be zealous first over thyself, and then mayest thou righteously be zealous concerning thy neighbour.
Thou knowest well how to excuse and to colour thine own deeds, but thou wilt not accept the excuses of others. It would be more just to accuse thyself and excuse thy brother. If thou wilt that others bear with thee, bear thou with others. Behold how far thou art as yet from true charity and humility which knows not how to be angry or indignant against any save self alone. It is no great thing to mingle with the good and the meek, for this is naturally pleasing to all, and every one of us willingly enjoyeth peace: but to be able to live peaceably with the hard and perverse, or with the disorderly, or those who oppose us, this is a great grace and a thing much to be commended and most worthy of a man.