Daily Mass readings and feast days

Discussion in 'Scriptural Thoughts' started by Waiting by the window, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. St. Elizabeth of Hungary continued

    Her future husband, Ludwig (Louis), often defended Elizabeth’s charitable inclinations and gave protection to her acts against her detractors. Once as Elizabeth was bringing bread and meat in the skirts of her robes to distribute to a family in need, Ludwig happened to meet her on his way back to the castle on a bitterly cold day. He noticed that she was carrying a burden and inquired tenderly what she was doing. Embarrassed at being detected in her charity, yet not wishing to deceive him, Elizabeth showed him the provisions. Instead of bread and meat, Ludwig saw nothing but masses of beautiful red and white roses! It was all the more astonishing since it wasn’t the season for fresh roses. Surprised by the grace, Ludwig took one of the roses, reverently kissed it, and kept it for the rest of his life.
    Ludwig and Elizabeth married in 1221 when she was fourteen and he was twenty-one. They enjoyed a loving marriage. Ludwig was usually away from the court, busy representing the interests of the region to Emperor Fredrick II. In the spring of 1226, Thuringia was struck with flooding, famine and pestilence. Elizabeth mobilized money, clothes, food and even ornaments from the court to give out to the needy. She had a hospital built in the valley below the castle where she went every day to tend the sick and injured. Elizabeth also aided scores of needy people daily despite being a mother of two small children. She was highly regarded among the people of Thuringia for her gentleness and compassion. More tragedy struck the next year when Ludwig, traveling to the Holy Land on crusade, was struck with the plague and died September 11, 1226. Elizabeth bore their third child, a daughter, in October and shortly after was notified of Ludwig’s death. In her grief she exclaimed, “The world with all its joys, is now dead to me.”
    At nearly the same time, Francis of Assisi had died and the brothers of his order were spreading out beyond Italy. Franciscan spirituality held a strong appeal for Elizabeth. She very much wanted to strip the materialism from her life and live in poverty. In letters to Pope Gregory IX, she made this intention known. The Pope, however, advised her to maintain her state in life and continue to perform works of charity. He recommended Master Conrad of Marburg as her spiritual director who was known to take asceticism to an almost severe degree. After seeing to the burial of Ludwig in the family crypt near Wartburg, Conrad urged Elizabeth to obtain her widow’s dowry from the estate of her husband and leave Wartburg. Elizabeth received her inheritance from her husband’s estate and promptly distributed a fourth of that to the poor. She wanted to devote herself entirely to religion, so she made arrangements for the care of her children and moved about 70 miles from Wartburg to Marburg. Elizabeth lived very austerely in a cottage in Marburg. She became one of the first Franciscan tertiaries in Germany. In the summer of 1228 Elizabeth established a hospital dedicated to St. Francis in Marburg. On top of spending long hours caring for the sick at the hospital, Elizabeth undertook many mortifications and penances that wore her down until her death in 1231 at the age of twenty-four. Prior to her death, she asked that her material possessions be distributed to the poor and that they leave just one worn out dress for her to be buried in.
    Miracles of healing started to occur through the intercession of Elizabeth. The process for Elizabeth’s canonization was begun. The papacy initiated examinations of the miracles and Elizabeth was declared a saint on May 28, 1235.
    Elizabeth preceded her father, Andrew II in death. Andrew had a largely unsuccessful reign as King of Hungary with never a peaceful moment in the kingdom. He had been excommunicated from the Church by the local bishop in the summer of 1234 for violating some aspects of an agreement he signed into law for governing Hungary. However, he appealed the excommunication sentence to Pope Gregory and was reconciled to the Church about the same time as his daughter’s canonization to sainthood and before his death on September 21, 1235. We can imagine Elizabeth pulling some strings from heaven to aid her father’s reconciliation with the Church.
    A magnificent Gothic church was constructed in Marburg dedicated to Saint Elizabeth and still stands today. Marburg was the popular site of pilgrimages to Saint Elizabeth and continues to be today after 800 years. Additionally, the miracle of the roses is commemorated with a statue of Elizabeth holding roses in front of a Neo-Gothic Church dedicated to her in Budapest's Roszak tere (Roses’ Square).
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  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    The Gospel today in the Extraordinary Rite was on the raising of Jairius's daughter from the dead.

    Of all miracles raising the dead to life are the most spectacular. The priest in the homily mentioned that in Scripture it is said that Lazarus before he was raised it actualy stunk because it was so decomposed.

    Wow! I never picked up on this before!

    Just imagine!

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  3. November 18
    Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 1 Mc 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
    [From the descendants of Alexander's officers]
    there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes,
    son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome.
    He became king in the year one hundred and thirty seven
    of the kingdom of the Greeks.

    In those days there appeared in Israel
    men who were breakers of the law,
    and they seduced many people, saying:
    "Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us;
    since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us."
    The proposal was agreeable;
    some from among the people promptly went to the king,
    and he authorized them to introduce the way of living
    of the Gentiles.
    Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem
    according to the Gentile custom.
    They covered over the mark of their circumcision
    and abandoned the holy covenant;
    they allied themselves with the Gentiles
    and sold themselves to wrongdoing.

    Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
    each abandoning his particular customs.
    All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king,
    and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion;
    they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.

    On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev,
    in the year one hundred and forty-five,
    the king erected the horrible abomination
    upon the altar of burnt offerings
    and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.
    They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
    Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt.
    Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant,
    and whoever observed the law,
    was condemned to death by royal decree.
    But many in Israel were determined
    and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean;
    they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food
    or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
    Terrible affliction was upon Israel.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158
    R. (see 88) Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
    Indignation seizes me because of the wicked
    who forsake your law.
    R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
    Though the snares of the wicked are twined about me,
    your law I have not forgotten.
    R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
    Redeem me from the oppression of men,
    that I may keep your precepts.
    R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
    I am attacked by malicious persecutors
    who are far from your law.
    R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
    Far from sinners is salvation,
    because they seek not your statutes.
    R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
    I beheld the apostates with loathing,
    because they kept not to your promise.
    R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.

    Alleluia Jn 8:12
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
    whoever follows me will have the light of life.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 18:35-43
    As Jesus approached Jericho
    a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
    and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
    They told him,
    "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
    He shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!"
    The people walking in front rebuked him,
    telling him to be silent,
    but he kept calling out all the more,
    "Son of David, have pity on me!"
    Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
    and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
    "What do you want me to do for you?"
    He replied, "Lord, please let me see."
    Jesus told him, "Have sight; your faith has saved you."
    He immediately received his sight
    and followed him, giving glory to God.
    When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

    Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul
    This feast combines the standard celebration of the dedication of the St. Peter's Basilica and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, which were both built by the Emperor Constantine during the 4th century. These sites had already been visited by pilgrims for over a century when the basilicas were built to honor the apostles buried there.

    Their significance in the Catholic Church is emphasized in the reference made to them in the obligation on Catholic bishops to make a Quinquennial visit ad limina in which they are required to go "to the tombs of the Apostles" in Rome every five years to report on the status of their dioceses or prelatures.

    This requirement was initially set out in 1585 by Pope Sixtus V, who issued the papal bull Romanus Pontifex, which established the norms for these visits. On 31 December 1909, Pope Pius X decreed that a bishop needs to report to the pope an account of the state of his diocese once every five years, starting in 1911.

    Also the feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
    Rose Philippine Duchesne, was a French religious sister and educator who was declared a saint of the Catholic Church. Along with the foundress, Madeleine-Sophie Barat, she was a prominent early member of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and founded the congregation's first communities in the United States. She spent the last half of her life teaching and serving the people of the Midwestern United States, then the western frontier of the nation.
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  4. November 19
    Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 2 Mc 6:18-31
    Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes,
    a man of advanced age and noble appearance,
    was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork.
    But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement,
    he spat out the meat,
    and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture,
    as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food
    which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life.
    Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately,
    because of their long acquaintance with him,
    and urged him to bring meat of his own providing,
    such as he could legitimately eat,
    and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice
    prescribed by the king;
    in this way he would escape the death penalty,
    and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him.
    But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner,
    worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age,
    the merited distinction of his gray hair,
    and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood;
    and so he declared that above all
    he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.

    He told them to send him at once
    to the abode of the dead, explaining:
    "At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense;
    many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar
    had gone over to an alien religion.
    Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life,
    they would be led astray by me,
    while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age.
    Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men,
    I shall never, whether alive or dead,
    escape the hands of the Almighty.
    Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now,
    I will prove myself worthy of my old age,
    and I will leave to the young a noble example
    of how to die willingly and generously
    for the revered and holy laws."

    Eleazar spoke thus,
    and went immediately to the instrument of torture.
    Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed,
    now became hostile toward him because what he had said
    seemed to them utter madness.
    When he was about to die under the blows,
    he groaned and said:
    "The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that,
    although I could have escaped death,
    I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging,
    but also suffering it with joy in my soul
    because of my devotion to him."
    This is how he died,
    leaving in his death a model of courage
    and an unforgettable example of virtue
    not only for the young but for the whole nation.

    Responsorial Psalm PS 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
    R. (6b) The Lord upholds me.
    O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
    Many rise up against me!
    Many are saying of me,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.”
    R. The Lord upholds me.
    But you, O LORD, are my shield;
    my glory, you lift up my head!
    When I call out to the LORD,
    he answers me from his holy mountain.
    R. The Lord upholds me.
    When I lie down in sleep,
    I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
    I fear not the myriads of people
    arrayed against me on every side.
    R. The Lord upholds me.

    Alleluia 1 Jn 4:10b
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    God loved us, and sent his Son
    as expiation for our sins.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 19:1-10
    At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
    Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
    who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
    was seeking to see who Jesus was;
    but he could not see him because of the crowd,
    for he was short in stature.
    So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
    who was about to pass that way.
    When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
    “Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
    for today I must stay at your house.”
    And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
    When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
    “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
    But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
    “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
    and if I have extorted anything from anyone
    I shall repay it four times over.”
    And Jesus said to him,
    “Today salvation has come to this house
    because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
    For the Son of Man has come to seek
    and to save what was lost.”

    Feast day of St. Mecthilde (Matilda) died 1298, Benedictine nun, teacher of St. Gertrude
    Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn was a Saxon Christian saint and a Benedictine nun. In the modern Benedictine calendar, her feast is celebrated on the anniversary of her death, November 19. She died in the monastery of Helfta
    Born:c.1241, Helfta
    Died:19 November 1298, Helfta
    (From the Catholic Encyclopedia)
    Gifted with a beautiful voice, Mechtilde also possessed a special talent for rendering the solemn and sacred music over which she presided as domna cantrix. All her life she held this office and trained the choir with indefatigable zeal. Indeed, Divine praise was the keynote of her life as it is of her book; in this she never tired, despite her continual and severe physical sufferings, so that in His revelations Christ was wont to call her His "nightingale".
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  5. November 20
    Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 2 Mc 7:1, 20-31
    It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
    and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
    to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.

    Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
    who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
    yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
    Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
    she exhorted each of them
    in the language of their ancestors with these words:
    "I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
    it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
    nor was it I who set in order
    the elements of which each of you is composed.
    Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
    who shapes each man's beginning,
    as he brings about the origin of everything,
    he, in his mercy,
    will give you back both breath and life,
    because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law."

    Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words,
    thought he was being ridiculed.
    As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him,
    not with mere words, but with promises on oath,
    to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs:
    he would make him his Friend
    and entrust him with high office.
    When the youth paid no attention to him at all,
    the king appealed to the mother,
    urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
    After he had urged her for a long time,
    she went through the motions of persuading her son.
    In derision of the cruel tyrant,
    she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language:
    "Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months,
    nursed you for three years, brought you up,
    educated and supported you to your present age.
    I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth
    and see all that is in them;
    then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
    and in the same way the human race came into existence.
    Do not be afraid of this executioner,
    but be worthy of your brothers and accept death,
    so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them."

    She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
    "What are you waiting for?
    I will not obey the king's command.
    I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
    But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
    will not escape the hands of God."

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1bcd, 5-6, 8b and 15
    R.(15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
    Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
    attend to my outcry;
    hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
    R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
    My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
    my feet have not faltered.
    I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my word.
    R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
    Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings.
    But I in justice shall behold your face;
    on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
    R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

    Alleluia See Jn 15:16
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    I chose you from the world,
    to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 19:11-28
    While people were listening to Jesus speak,
    he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
    and they thought that the Kingdom of God
    would appear there immediately.
    So he said,
    "A nobleman went off to a distant country
    to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
    He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
    and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
    His fellow citizens, however, despised him
    and sent a delegation after him to announce,
    'We do not want this man to be our king.'
    But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
    he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
    to learn what they had gained by trading.
    The first came forward and said,
    'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
    He replied, 'Well done, good servant!
    You have been faithful in this very small matter;
    take charge of ten cities.'
    Then the second came and reported,
    'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
    And to this servant too he said,
    'You, take charge of five cities.'
    Then the other servant came and said,
    'Sir, here is your gold coin;
    I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
    for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
    you take up what you did not lay down
    and you harvest what you did not plant.'
    He said to him,
    'With your own words I shall condemn you,
    you wicked servant.
    You knew I was a demanding man,
    taking up what I did not lay down
    and harvesting what I did not plant;
    why did you not put my money in a bank?
    Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'
    And to those standing by he said,
    'Take the gold coin from him
    and give it to the servant who has ten.'
    But they said to him,
    'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
    He replied, 'I tell you,
    to everyone who has, more will be given,
    but from the one who has not,
    even what he has will be taken away.
    Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
    bring them here and slay them before me.'"

    After he had said this,
    he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

    Feast day of St. Bernward, died 1193, Bishop of Hildesheim
    Bernward came from a Saxon noble family. His grandfather was a Count of Saxony. Having lost his parents at an early age, he came under the care of his uncle, Bishop of Utrecht, who entrusted his education to Thangmar, learned director of the cathedral school at Heidelberg. Under this master, Bernward made rapid progress in the sciences and in the liberal and even mechanical arts. He became very proficient in mathematics, painting, architecture, and particularly in the manufacture of ecclesiastical vessels and ornaments of silver and gold. He completed his studies at Mainz, where he was ordained a priest. He declined a valuable preferment in the diocese of his uncle, Bishop Volkmar, and chose to remain with his grandfather, Athelbero, to comfort him in his old age. Upon the death of the latter, in 987, he became chaplain at the imperial court and became a tutor to the royal prince Otto.

    His time as bishop happened during the era of the Saxon emperors who had their roots in the area around Hildesheim and were personally related to Bernward. During this time, Hildesheim was a center of power in the Holy Roman Empire and Bernward was determined to give his city an image fitting for one of its stature. Bernward built up the cathedral district with a strong twelve-towered wall and erected further forts in the countryside to protect against attacks by the neighboring Slavic peoples. Under his direction arose numerous churches and other edifices, including even fortifications for the defense of his city against the invasions of the pagan Normans. He protected his diocese vigorously from the attacks of the Normans.
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  6. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I love this time of year when the readings from the Book of Maccabees swings round again. Today's reading recount the incredible story of a Jewish Mother who watched her seven sons tortured and killed right before her very eyes for their Faith while she encouraged them. Of course if a Mother could do this for something that is a shadow of the Light how much more should we for the One True Church?

    I keep hoping for a Preacher to pick up on these reading as they have obvious implications for the Church today. It's never going to happen of course , but still I keep hoping.:):);)

    Antiocus was King, a Greek a descendant of those who followed Alexander the Great. In some ways he seemed to have been a nice guy, contemporary accounts describe himas a bit ofa joker , clowning around.

    But in fact it was some Jews themselves who came to him with Modernist ides of falling into line with contemporary up to date progressive religious and cultural practices.

    Some Vinegar hearted, rigid, Conservative , Traditional, Pharisees Jews, in need of help wouldn't go along with thing and so got stiffed. Most Jews though went with the flow.

    Ring any bells?
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  7. Antiochus was certainly tempting the youngest son to turn against his faith and crush his mother's hopes, but bravely the youngest one had enough faith to go through with his execution.

    Sadly, I wonder if I would hold up under the same circumstances. How would my husband hold up? my children? Please send the grace of faith, O Lord, to all Your people.
  8. November 21
    Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    Reading 1 1 Mc 2:15-29
    The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy
    came to the city of Modein to organize the sacrifices.
    Many of Israel joined them,
    but Mattathias and his sons gathered in a group apart.
    Then the officers of the king addressed Mattathias:
    "You are a leader, an honorable and great man in this city,
    supported by sons and kin.
    Come now, be the first to obey the king's command,
    as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah
    and those who are left in Jerusalem have done.
    Then you and your sons shall be numbered among the King's Friends,
    and shall be enriched with silver and gold and many gifts."
    But Mattathias answered in a loud voice:
    "Although all the Gentiles in the king's realm obey him,
    so that each forsakes the religion of his fathers
    and consents to the king's orders,
    yet I and my sons and my kin
    will keep to the covenant of our fathers.
    God forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments.
    We will not obey the words of the king
    nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree."

    As he finished saying these words,
    a certain Jew came forward in the sight of all
    to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein
    according to the king's order.
    When Mattathias saw him, he was filled with zeal;
    his heart was moved and his just fury was aroused;
    he sprang forward and killed him upon the altar.
    At the same time, he also killed the messenger of the king
    who was forcing them to sacrifice,
    and he tore down the altar.
    Thus he showed his zeal for the law,
    just as Phinehas did with Zimri, son of Salu.

    Then Mattathias went through the city shouting,
    "Let everyone who is zealous for the law
    and who stands by the covenant follow after me!"
    Thereupon he fled to the mountains with his sons,
    leaving behind in the city all their possessions.
    Many who sought to live according to righteousness and religious custom
    went out into the desert to settle there.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 50:1b-2, 5-6, 14-15
    R.(23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
    From Zion, perfect in beauty,
    God shines forth.
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    "Gather my faithful ones before me,
    those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
    And the heavens proclaim his justice;
    for God himself is the judge.
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    "Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
    and fulfill your vows to the Most High;
    Then call upon me in time of distress;
    I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me."
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    Alleluia Ps 95:8
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    If today you hear his voice,
    harden not your hearts.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 19:41-44
    As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
    he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
    "If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
    but now it is hidden from your eyes.
    For the days are coming upon you
    when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
    they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
    They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
    and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
    because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

    Feast day of the Virgin Mary's presentation in the Temple approximately 13 B.C.
    The mystic Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich saw this event and related it to be written down for our edification https://www.ecatholic2000.com/anne/lom44.shtml
    As the whole significance of the Blessed Virgin unfolded itself before my eyes in these visions I saw her no longer as the child Mary, but as the Blessed Virgin, hovering tall above me. I saw the priests and the smoke of the offering and everything through the picture; it was as if the priests behind her were uttering prophecies and admonishing the people to thank God and to pray that this child should be magnified. All those who were present in the Temple were hushed and filled with solemn awe, though they did not see the picture that I saw. It disappeared again little by little just as I had seen it come. At last I saw nothing but the glory under Mary's heart, with the Blessing of the Promise shining within it. Then this disappeared, too, and I saw the holy dedicated child in her ceremonial dress standing alone once more between the priests. The priests took the wreaths from off the child's arms and the torch from her hand and gave them to her companions. They placed a brown veil or hood on her head, and led her down the steps through a door into another hall, where she was met by six other (but older) Temple virgins who strewed flowers before her. Behind her stood her teachers: Noemi, the sister of Lazarus' mother, the Prophetess Anna, and still a third woman; the priests gave the child Mary over to them and withdrew. Her parents and near relations now approached; the singing was over, and Mary said farewell. Joachim's emotion was particularly deep; he lifted Mary up, pressed her to his heart, and said to her with tears, Remember my soul before God!' Thereupon Mary with her teachers and several maidens went into the women's dwelling on the north side of the Temple itself. They lived in rooms built in the thickness of the Temple walls. Passages and winding stairs led up to little praying cells near the Holy Place and Holy of Holies.

    Mary's parents and relations went back to the hall by the Golden Gate where they had first waited, and partook of a meal there with the priests. The women ate in a separate hall. I have forgotten much of what I saw and heard, amongst other things the exact reason why the ceremony was so rich and solemn; but I do recollect that it was so as a result of a revelation of the Divine Will.

    (Mary's parents were really well off; it was only as mortification and for almsgiving that they lived so poorly. I forget for how long Anna ate nothing but cold food; but their servants were well fed and provided for.) I saw many people praying in the Temple, and many had followed the procession to its gates. Some of those present must have had some idea of the destiny of the Blessed Virgin, for I remember Anna speaking with enthusiastic joy to various women and saying to them, Now the Ark of the Covenant, the Vessel of the Promise, is entering the Temple'. Mary's parents and other relations reached Bethoron the same day on their journey home.

    I now saw a festival among the Temple virgins. Mary had to ask the teachers and each of the young girls whether they would suffer her to be among them. This was the custom. Then they had a meal, and afterwards they danced amongst themselves. They stood opposite each other in pairs, and danced in various figures and crossings. There was no hopping. It was like a minuet. Sometimes there was a swaying, circular motion of the body, like the movements of the Jews when they pray. Some of the young girls accompanied the dancing with flutes, triangles, and bells. There was another instrument which sounded particularly strange and delightful. It was played by plucking the strings stretched on the steeply sloping sides of a sort of little box. In the middle of the box were bellows which when pressed up and down sent the air through several pipes, some straight and some crooked, and so made an accompaniment to the strings. The instrument was held on the player's knees.

    In the evening I saw the teacher Noemi lead the Blessed Virgin to her little room, which looked into the Temple. It was not quite square, and the walls were inlaid with triangular shapes in different colors. There was a stool in it and a little table, and in the corners were stands with shelves for putting things on. Before this room was a sleeping place and a room for dresses, as well as Noemi's room. Mary spoke to her again about rising often to pray in the night, but Noemi did not yet allow this.

    The Temple women wore long, full, white robes with girdles and very wide sleeves, which they rolled up when working. They were veiled.

    I never remember seeing that Herod entirely rebuilt the Temple: I only saw various alterations being made in it during his reign. Now, when Mary came to the Temple, eleven years before Christ's birth, nothing was being built in the Temple itself, but (as always) in the outer portions of it: here the work never stopped.

    Continued in the next post
  9. Continuation of the vision of Little Mary's presentation in the Temple as seen by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
    [On November 21st Catherine Emmerich said:] Today I had a view of Mary's dwelling in the Temple. On the northern side of the Temple hall, towards the Holy Place, there were several rooms high up which were connected with the women's dwellings. Mary's room was one of the outermost of these towards the Holy of Holies. From the passage one passed through a curtain into a sort of antechamber, which was divided off from the room itself by a partition, semicircular or forming an angle. In the corners to the right and left were shelves for keeping clothes and other things. Opposite the door in this partition steps led to an opening high up in the wall which looked down into the Temple. This opening had a carpet hanging before it and was curtained with gauze. Against the wall in the left-hand side of the room there was a rolled-up carpet, which, when spread out, made the bed on which Mary slept. A bracket-lamp was fixed in a niche in the wall, and today I saw the child standing on a stool and praying by its light from a parchment roll with red knobs. It was a very touching sight. The child was wearing a little blue-and-white striped dress woven with yellow flowers. There was a low round table in the room. I saw Anna come in and place on the table a dish with fruits of the size of beans and a little jug. Mary was skillful beyond her years: I saw her already working at little white cloths for the service of the Temple.
  10. November 22
    Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

    Reading 1 1 Mc 4:36-37, 52-59
    Judas and his brothers said,
    "Now that our enemies have been crushed,
    let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it."
    So the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion.

    Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month,
    that is, the month of Chislev,
    in the year one hundred and forty-eight,
    they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law
    on the new altar of burnt offerings that they had made.
    On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it,
    on that very day it was reconsecrated
    with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals.
    All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven,
    who had given them success.

    For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar
    and joyfully offered burnt offerings and sacrifices
    of deliverance and praise.
    They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields;
    they repaired the gates and the priests' chambers
    and furnished them with doors.
    There was great joy among the people
    now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed.
    Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel
    decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar
    should be observed with joy and gladness
    on the anniversary every year for eight days,
    from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.

    Responsorial Psalm 1 Chronicles 29:10bcd, 11abc, 11d-12a, 12bcd
    R.(13b) We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
    "Blessed may you be, O LORD,
    God of Israel our father,
    from eternity to eternity."
    R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
    "Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power,
    majesty, splendor, and glory.
    For all in heaven and on earth is yours."
    R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
    "Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty;
    you are exalted as head over all.
    Riches and honor are from you."
    R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
    "You have dominion over all,
    In your hand are power and might;
    it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all."
    R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.

    Alleluia Jn 10:27
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
    I know them, and they follow me.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 19:45-48
    Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
    those who were selling things, saying to them,
    "It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
    but you have made it a den of thieves."

    And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
    The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
    were seeking to put him to death,
    but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
    because all the people were hanging on his words.

    Feast day of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and martyr died 230 AD, Patroness of Musicians
    Information from Britannica
    According to a late 5th-century writings, she was a noble Roman who, as a child, had vowed her virginity to God. When she was married against her will to the (future Saint) Valerian, then a pagan, she told him that an angel of God wished her to remain a virgin. He promised to respect this wish if he were allowed to see the angel. She replied that he would if he were baptized. On his return from baptism he found Cecilia talking to the angel. She then converted his brother Tiburtius, who also saw the angel. Valerian saw the angel standing beside her, crowning her with a ring of roses and lilies. When Valerian And Cecilia married, it is written that as the musicians played at her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". The prefect Almachius had both her husband and brother-in-law killed. Cecilia distributed her possessions to the poor, then prefect Almachius ordered her to be burned. When the flames did not harm her, she was beheaded. Her feast day is celebrated in the Latin Catholic, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and in the Anglican Communion on November 22.
  11. November 23
    Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 1 Mc 6:1-13
    As King Antiochus was traversing the inland provinces,
    he heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais,
    famous for its wealth in silver and gold,
    and that its temple was very rich,
    containing gold helmets, breastplates, and weapons
    left there by Alexander, son of Philip,
    king of Macedon, the first king of the Greeks.
    He went therefore and tried to capture and pillage the city.
    But he could not do so,
    because his plan became known to the people of the city
    who rose up in battle against him.
    So he retreated and in great dismay withdrew from there
    to return to Babylon.

    While he was in Persia, a messenger brought him news
    that the armies sent into the land of Judah had been put to flight;
    that Lysias had gone at first with a strong army
    and been driven back by the children of Israel;
    that they had grown strong
    by reason of the arms, men, and abundant possessions
    taken from the armies they had destroyed;
    that they had pulled down the Abomination
    which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem;
    and that they had surrounded with high walls
    both the sanctuary, as it had been before,
    and his city of Beth-zur.

    When the king heard this news,
    he was struck with fear and very much shaken.
    Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed.
    There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow,
    for he knew he was going to die.

    So he called in all his Friends and said to them:
    "Sleep has departed from my eyes,
    for my heart is sinking with anxiety.
    I said to myself: 'Into what tribulation have I come,
    and in what floods of sorrow am I now!
    Yet I was kindly and beloved in my rule.'
    But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem,
    when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver
    that were in it, and for no cause
    gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed.
    I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me;
    and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land."

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 9:2-3, 4 and 6, 16 and 19
    R. (see 16a) I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.
    I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
    I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
    I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, Most High.
    R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.
    Because my enemies are turned back,
    overthrown and destroyed before you.
    You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    their name you blotted out forever and ever.
    R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.
    The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;
    in the snare they set, their foot is caught.
    For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
    nor shall the hope of the afflicted forever perish.
    R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

    Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
    and brought life to light through the Gospel.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 20:27-40
    Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
    came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
    "Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
    If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
    his brother must take the wife
    and raise up descendants for his brother.

    Now there were seven brothers;
    the first married a woman but died childless.
    Then the second and the third married her,
    and likewise all the seven died childless.
    Finally the woman also died.
    Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
    For all seven had been married to her."
    Jesus said to them,
    "The children of this age marry and remarry;
    but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
    and to the resurrection of the dead
    neither marry nor are given in marriage.
    They can no longer die,
    for they are like angels;
    and they are the children of God
    because they are the ones who will rise.
    That the dead will rise
    even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
    when he called 'Lord'
    the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
    and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
    for to him all are alive."
    Some of the scribes said in reply,
    "Teacher, you have answered well."
    And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

    Feast day of St. Clement I, died 100 AD, Pope, martyr
    Clement was thought to have been consecrated by Pope Peter (St. Peter). He wrote a piece that affirmed the apostolic authority of the clergy. He asserted the authority of the presbyters as rulers of the church on the ground that the Apostles had appointed them. According to tradition, Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan ; during this time he is recorded to have led a ministry among fellow prisoners. Thereafter he was executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. Clement is recognized as a saint in many Christian churches and is considered a patron saint of mariners. He is commemorated on 23 November in the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church.
    Also the feast day of St. Columbkille, died 597, Abbot
    Saint Columba was an Irish abbot and missionary Evangelist credited with spreading Christianity in what is today Scotland at the start of the Hiberno-Scottish mission. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries.
    Also feast day of Blessed Miguel Pro, a Jesuit priest who was accused of an assassination attempt against the President of Mexico in November 1927. Padre Pro had no trial, but was sentenced to death by firing squad. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt, and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, "May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!" Before the firing squad was ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, "Viva Cristo Rey!" – "Long live Christ the King! ". When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him at point-blank range 92 years ago.
    All you holy ones, please pray for us.
  12. November 24
    The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

    Reading 1 2 Sm 5:1-3
    In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
    "Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
    In days past, when Saul was our king,
    it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.
    And the LORD said to you,
    'You shall shepherd my people Israel
    and shall be commander of Israel.'"
    When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
    King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
    and they anointed him king of Israel.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
    R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    I rejoiced because they said to me,
    "We will go up to the house of the LORD."
    And now we have set foot
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Jerusalem, built as a city
    with compact unity.
    To it the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the LORD.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    According to the decree for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
    In it are set up judgment seats,
    seats for the house of David.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

    Reading 2 Col 1:12-20
    Brothers and sisters:
    Let us give thanks to the Father,
    who has made you fit to share
    in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
    He delivered us from the power of darkness
    and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
    in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    He is the image of the invisible God,
    the firstborn of all creation.
    For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
    the visible and the invisible,
    whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
    all things were created through him and for him.
    He is before all things,
    and in him all things hold together.
    He is the head of the body, the church.
    He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
    that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
    For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
    and through him to reconcile all things for him,
    making peace by the blood of his cross
    through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

    Alleluia Mk 11:9, 10
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 23:35-43
    The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
    "He saved others, let him save himself
    if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God."
    Even the soldiers jeered at him.
    As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
    "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
    Above him there was an inscription that read,
    "This is the King of the Jews."

    Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
    "Are you not the Christ?
    Save yourself and us."
    The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
    "Have you no fear of God,
    for you are subject to the same condemnation?
    And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
    for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
    but this man has done nothing criminal."
    Then he said,
    "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
    He replied to him,
    "Amen, I say to you,
    today you will be with me in Paradise."
  13. November 25
    Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 Dn 1:1-6, 8-20
    In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
    King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came
    and laid siege to Jerusalem.
    The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
    and some of the vessels of the temple of God;
    he carried them off to the land of Shinar,
    and placed the vessels in the temple treasury of his god.

    The king told Ashpenaz, his chief chamberlain,
    to bring in some of the children of Israel of royal blood
    and of the nobility, young men without any defect,
    handsome, intelligent and wise,
    quick to learn, and prudent in judgment,
    such as could take their place in the king's palace;
    they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans;
    after three years' training they were to enter the king's service.
    The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine
    from the royal table.
    Among these were men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah,
    Mishael, and Azariah.

    But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself
    with the king's food or wine;
    so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement.
    Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy
    of the chief chamberlain, he nevertheless said to Daniel,
    "I am afraid of my lord the king;
    it is he who allotted your food and drink.
    If he sees that you look wretched
    by comparison with the other young men of your age,
    you will endanger my life with the king."
    Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain
    had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah,
    Mishael, and Azariah,
    "Please test your servants for ten days.
    Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
    Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men
    who eat from the royal table,
    and treat your servants according to what you see."
    He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days;
    after ten days they looked healthier and better fed
    than any of the young men who ate from the royal table.
    So the steward continued to take away
    the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables.

    To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency
    in all literature and science,
    and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.
    At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation,
    the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.
    When the king had spoken with all of them,
    none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah,
    Mishael, and Azariah;
    and so they entered the king's service.
    In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them,
    he found them ten times better
    than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom.

    Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
    R.(52b) Glory and praise for ever!
    "Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
    And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages."
    R. Glory and praise for ever!
    "Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
    praiseworthy and glorious above all forever."
    R. Glory and praise for ever!
    "Blessed are you on the throne of your Kingdom,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever."
    R. Glory and praise for ever!
    "Blessed are you who look into the depths
    from your throne upon the cherubim,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever."
    R. Glory and praise for ever!
    "Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
    praiseworthy and glorious forever."
    R. Glory and praise for ever!

    Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Stay awake!
    For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 21:1-4
    When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
    putting their offerings into the treasury
    and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
    He said, "I tell you truly,
    this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
    for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
    but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."

    Feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria (from Wikipedia)
    According to the traditional narrative, Catherine was a princess, the daughter of Constus, the governor of Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Maximian (286–305). From a young age she devoted herself to study. A vision of the Madonna and Child prompted her to become a Christian. When the persecutions began under Maxentius, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty. The emperor summoned 50 pagan philosophers and orators to debate with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate. Several of her adversaries were won over by her arguments for Christianity and declared themselves Christians and were themselves, sentenced to death.

    Torture and martyrdom
    Catherine was imprisoned. She was scourged so cruelly and for so long that her whole body was covered with wounds, from which the blood flowed in streams. The spectators wept with pity, but Catherine stood with her eyes raised to heaven, without giving a sign of suffering or fear. Maxentius ordered her to be imprisoned without food, so she would starve to death. During the confinement, angels tended her wounds with balm. Catherine was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ also visited her, encouraging her to fight bravely, and promised her the crown of everlasting glory.

    During her imprisonment, over 200 people came to see her, including Maxentius' wife, Valeria Maximilla; all converted to Christianity and were subsequently martyred. Twelve days later, when the dungeon was opened, a bright light and fragrant perfume filled it, and Catherine came forth even more radiant and beautiful.

    Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage. The saint refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity.

    The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked execution wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered. Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded. Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence. A milk-like substance rather than blood flowed from her neck.

    Angels transported her body to the highest mountain (now called Mt. Saint Catherine) next to Mount Sinai. In 850, her incorrupt body was discovered by monks from the Sinai Monastery. The monks found on the surface of the granite on which her body lay an impression of the form of her body. Her hair still growing, and a constant stream of the most heavenly fragranced healing oil issuing from her body. This oil produced countless miracles.

    In the 6th century, the Eastern Emperor Justinian had established what is now Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt (which is in fact dedicated to the
    Transfiguration of Christ). Her relics include her left hand, said to be often warm to the touch, and her head. Her incorrupt body is not publicly displayed. Countless people make the pilgrimage to the Monastery to receive miracle healing from Saint Catherine.
    More than 1,100 years after Catherine's death, Joan of Arc identified her as one of the saints who appeared to and counseled her.
    Dear Saint Catherine of Alexandria, please pray for the parishes of whom you are the patroness, the priests, and the parishioners. You are so beautiful. Amen.
  14. November 26
    Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 Dn 2:31-45
    Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar:
    "In your vision, O king, you saw a statue,
    very large and exceedingly bright,
    terrifying in appearance as it stood before you.
    The head of the statue was pure gold,
    its chest and arms were silver,
    its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron,
    its feet partly iron and partly tile.
    While you looked at the statue,
    a stone which was hewn from a mountain
    without a hand being put to it,
    struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces.
    The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once,
    fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer,
    and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace.
    But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain
    and filled the whole earth.

    "This was the dream;
    the interpretation we shall also give in the king's presence.
    You, O king, are the king of kings;
    to you the God of heaven
    has given dominion and strength, power and glory;
    men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell,
    he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all;
    you are the head of gold.
    Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours,
    then a third kingdom, of bronze,
    which shall rule over the whole earth.
    There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron;
    it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others,
    just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else.
    The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron,
    mean that it shall be a divided kingdom,
    but yet have some of the hardness of iron.
    As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile,
    and the toes partly iron and partly tile,
    the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
    The iron mixed with clay tile
    means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage,
    but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
    In the lifetime of those kings
    the God of heaven will set up a kingdom
    that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people;
    rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms
    and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever.
    That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain
    without a hand being put to it,
    which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold.
    The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future;
    this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure."

    Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61
    R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "You heavens, bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

    Alleluia Rv 2:10c
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Remain faithful until death,
    and I will give you the crown of life.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 21:5-11
    While some people were speaking about
    how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
    Jesus said, "All that you see here–
    the days will come when there will not be left
    a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."

    Then they asked him,
    "Teacher, when will this happen?
    And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
    He answered,
    "See that you not be deceived,
    for many will come in my name, saying,
    'I am he,' and 'The time has come.'
    Do not follow them!
    When you hear of wars and insurrections,
    do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
    but it will not immediately be the end."
    Then he said to them,
    "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
    There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
    from place to place;
    and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."

    Feast day of St. Leonard of Port Maurice (1676- 1751) priest, patron of Parish Missions
    St. Leonard Casanova, who was born in Italy, was sent to the Jesuit Roman college when he was 13 years old. His uncle wanted him to become a physician, and when Leonard refused, he was disowned. Instead he became a Franciscan friar, and lived at the monastery of St. Bonaventure in rome. His preaching was so effective that he had to preach in the open air squares of the villages because there was not enough room in the churches to hold the people who wanted to hear him. Priests who served in confessionals worked extra long hours during the times when Leonard would come to preach in their villages. The topics Leonard preached about were the Immaculate Conception (which he tried to have defined as a dogma in the early 1700's), Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Leonard was an ardent supporter of the Stations of the Cross. He set up almost 600 stations of the cross throughout Italy, traveling by foot. St. Leonard wrote the Divine Praises and was most active in conducting missions, which he did for 43 years.
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  15. November 27
    Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
    King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords,
    with whom he drank.
    Under the influence of the wine,
    he ordered the gold and silver vessels
    which Nebuchadnezzar, his father,
    had taken from the temple in Jerusalem,
    to be brought in so that the king, his lords,
    his wives and his entertainers might drink from them.
    When the gold and silver vessels
    taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in,
    and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers
    were drinking wine from them,
    they praised their gods of gold and silver,
    bronze and iron, wood and stone.

    Suddenly, opposite the lampstand,
    the fingers of a human hand appeared,
    writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace.
    When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched;
    his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook,
    and his knees knocked.

    Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king.
    The king asked him, "Are you the Daniel, the Jewish exile,
    whom my father, the king, brought from Judah?
    I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you,
    that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom.
    I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve difficulties;
    if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means,
    you shall be clothed in purple,
    wear a gold collar about your neck,
    and be third in the government of the kingdom."

    Daniel answered the king:
    "You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else;
    but the writing I will read for you, O king,
    and tell you what it means.
    You have rebelled against the Lord of heaven.
    You had the vessels of his temple brought before you,
    so that you and your nobles, your wives and your entertainers,
    might drink wine from them;
    and you praised the gods of silver and gold,
    bronze and iron, wood and stone,
    that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence.
    But the God in whose hand is your life breath
    and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.
    By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down.

    "This is the writing that was inscribed:
    These words mean:
    MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it;
    TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;
    PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

    Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
    R.(59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "All you winds, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Cold and chill, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

    Alleluia Rv 2:10c
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Remain faithful until death,
    and I will give you the crown of life.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 21:12-19
    Jesus said to the crowd:
    "They will seize and persecute you,
    they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
    and they will have you led before kings and governors
    because of my name.
    It will lead to your giving testimony.
    Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
    for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
    that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
    You will even be handed over by parents,
    brothers, relatives, and friends,
    and they will put some of you to death.
    You will be hated by all because of my name,
    but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
    By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

    It is the feast day of the Miraculous medal apparition.
    Our Lady came to Rue du Bac in Paris. Here are Catherine's own words describing the apparition:
    from https://www.olrl.org/lives/laboure.shtml
    "On the 27th of November, 1830 ... while making my meditation in profound silence ... I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress. Glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph's picture. Her height was medium and Her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the color of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with Her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and Her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.

    "As I was busy contemplating Her, the Blessed Virgin fixed Her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ' This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular.'

    "There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ' O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.' Then a voice said to me: ' Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.'

    "At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter 'M', surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ' The 'M' with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.' "
    Design Element and its Catholic Meaning

    • The large letter "M" — Mary as Mother, Mediatrix interceding for us at the foot of the cross.

    • Cross and bar — Jesus' Cross of Redemption.

    • 12 stars — 12 Apostles, who formed the first Church.

    • Left Heart — The Sacred Heart, who died for our sins.

    • Right Heart — The Immaculate Heart, who intercedes for us.

    • Flames — The burning love Jesus and Mary have for us.
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  16. November 28
    Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 Dn 6:12-28
    Some men rushed into the upper chamber of Daniel's home
    and found him praying and pleading before his God.
    Then they went to remind the king about the prohibition:
    "Did you not decree, O king,
    that no one is to address a petition to god or man
    for thirty days, except to you, O king;
    otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions?"
    The king answered them, "The decree is absolute,
    irrevocable under the Mede and Persian law."
    To this they replied, "Daniel, the Jewish exile,
    has paid no attention to you, O king,
    or to the decree you issued;
    three times a day he offers his prayer."
    The king was deeply grieved at this news
    and he made up his mind to save Daniel;
    he worked till sunset to rescue him.
    But these men insisted.
    They said, "Keep in mind, O king,
    that under the Mede and Persian law
    every royal prohibition or decree is irrevocable."
    So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions' den.
    To Daniel he said,
    "May your God, whom you serve so constantly, save you."
    To forestall any tampering,
    the king sealed with his own ring and the rings of the lords
    the stone that had been brought to block the opening of the den.

    Then the king returned to his palace for the night;
    he refused to eat and he dismissed the entertainers.
    Since sleep was impossible for him,
    the king rose very early the next morning
    and hastened to the lions' den.
    As he drew near, he cried out to Daniel sorrowfully,
    "O Daniel, servant of the living God,
    has the God whom you serve so constantly
    been able to save you from the lions?"
    Daniel answered the king: "O king, live forever!
    My God has sent his angel and closed the lions' mouths
    so that they have not hurt me.
    For I have been found innocent before him;
    neither to you have I done any harm, O king!"
    This gave the king great joy.
    At his order Daniel was removed from the den,
    unhurt because he trusted in his God.
    The king then ordered the men who had accused Daniel,
    along with their children and their wives,
    to be cast into the lions' den.
    Before they reached the bottom of the den,
    the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

    Then King Darius wrote to the nations and peoples of every language,
    wherever they dwell on the earth: "All peace to you!
    I decree that throughout my royal domain
    the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared:

    "For he is the living God, enduring forever;
    his Kingdom shall not be destroyed,
    and his dominion shall be without end.
    He is a deliverer and savior,
    working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth,
    and he delivered Daniel from the lions' power."

    Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
    R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Dew and rain, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Frost and chill, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Ice and snow, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Nights and days, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Light and darkness, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
    "Let the earth bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever."
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

    Alleluia Lk 21:28
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Stand erect and raise your heads
    because your redemption is at hand.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 21:20-28
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
    know that its desolation is at hand.
    Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
    Let those within the city escape from it,
    and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
    for these days are the time of punishment
    when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
    Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
    for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
    and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
    They will fall by the edge of the sword
    and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
    and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
    until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

    "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
    and on earth nations will be in dismay,
    perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
    People will die of fright
    in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
    for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
    And then they will see the Son of Man
    coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
    But when these signs begin to happen,
    stand erect and raise your heads
    because your redemption is at hand."

    Feast day of Saint Catherine Labouré
    St. Catherine Labouré, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an early age she entered the community of the Daughters of Charity, in Paris, France. Three times in 1830 the Virgin Mary appeared to Catherine, who then was a twenty-four year old novice.

    During the first apparition on July 18, St. Catherine beheld a lady seated on the right side of the sanctuary. When St. Catherine approached her, the heavenly visitor pointed to the altar as the source of all consolation. Promising to entrust St. Catherine with a mission which would cause suffering, the lady also predicted the anticlerical revolt which occurred at Paris in 1870.

    On November 27, the lady showed St. Catherine the medal of the Immaculate Conception, now universally known as the "Miraculous Medal." She commissioned St. Catherine to have one made, and to spread devotion to this medal. At that time, only her spiritual director, Father Aladel, knew of the apparitions. For the forty-six years from the year of the apparitions until her death, only she and her confessor knew who it was to whom the famous Miraculous Medal was revealed, despite many pressures she received to reveal the secret. The years passed by, Catherine performed daily her mundane and very ordinary tasks of sewing and door keeping, unknown to the world around her, which was buzzing with the miraculous effects of the medal. Because of this humility, she is often called the Saint of Silence. When her body was exhumed for beatification 57 years after her death in 1933, it was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Her incorrupt body can still be seen today at the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity in The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, 140 Rue du Bac in Paris. She died on December 31, 1876, and was canonized on July 27, 1947. Her feast day is November 28.
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  17. November 29
    Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 Dn 7:2-14
    In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night,
    the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
    from which emerged four immense beasts,
    each different from the others.
    The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.
    While I watched, the wings were plucked;
    it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet
    like a man, and given a human mind.
    The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side,
    and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks.
    It was given the order, “Up, devour much flesh.”
    After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;
    on its back were four wings like those of a bird,
    and it had four heads.
    To this beast dominion was given.
    After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast,
    different from all the others,
    terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength;
    it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed,
    and what was left it trampled with its feet.
    I was considering the ten horns it had,
    when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst,
    and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it.
    This horn had eyes like a man,
    and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
    As I watched,

    Thrones were set up
    and the Ancient One took his throne.
    His clothing was snow bright,
    and the hair on his head as white as wool;
    His throne was flames of fire,
    with wheels of burning fire.
    A surging stream of fire
    flowed out from where he sat;
    Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
    and myriads upon myriads attended him.

    The court was convened, and the books were opened.
    I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words
    which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain
    and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.
    The other beasts, which also lost their dominion,
    were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
    As the visions during the night continued, I saw

    One like a son of man coming,
    on the clouds of heaven;
    When he reached the Ancient One
    and was presented before him,
    He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
    nations and peoples of every language serve him.
    His dominion is an everlasting dominion
    that shall not be taken away,
    his kingship shall not be destroyed.
    Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
    “Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.”
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
    “Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!”
    “You springs, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.”
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
    “Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.”
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
    “You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.”
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
    “All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.”
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
    “All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.”
    R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!

    Alleluia Lk 21:28
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Stand erect and raise your heads
    because your redemption is at hand.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 21:29-33
    Jesus told his disciples a parable.
    “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
    When their buds burst open,
    you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
    in the same way, when you see these things happening,
    know that the Kingdom of God is near.
    Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
    until all these things have taken place.
    Heaven and earth will pass away,
    but my words will not pass away.”

    Feast day of St. Saturnin
    Saint Saturnin of Toulouse, with a feast day entered for 29 November, was one of the "Apostles to the Gauls" sent out during the consulate of Decius and Gratus to Christianise Gaul after the persecutions under Emperor Decius had all but dissolved the small Christian communities.
    To reach the Christian church, Saturninus had to pass before the capitol, where there was an altar, and according to the biography , the pagan priests ascribed the silence of their oracles to the frequent presence of Saturninus. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the images they condemned him to be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke.
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  18. November 30
    Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle

    Reading 1 Rom 10:9-18
    Brothers and sisters:
    If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
    and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
    you will be saved.
    For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
    and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
    The Scripture says,
    No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
    There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
    the same Lord is Lord of all,
    enriching all who call upon him.
    For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
    And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
    And how can they hear without someone to preach?
    And how can people preach unless they are sent?
    As it is written,
    How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
    But not everyone has heeded the good news;
    for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
    Thus faith comes from what is heard,
    and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
    But I ask, did they not hear?
    Certainly they did; for

    Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
    and their words to the ends of the world.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11
    R.(10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
    R.(John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
    The law of the LORD is perfect,
    refreshing the soul;
    The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
    giving wisdom to the simple.
    R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
    R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
    The precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
    The command of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eye.
    R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
    R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
    The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever;
    The ordinances of the LORD are true,
    all of them just.
    R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
    R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
    They are more precious than gold,
    than a heap of purest gold;
    Sweeter also than syrup
    or honey from the comb.
    R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
    R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

    Alleluia Mt 4:19
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Come after me, says the Lord,
    and I will make you fishers of men.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 4:18-22
    As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
    Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
    casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
    He said to them,
    "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
    At once they left their nets and followed him.
    He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
    James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
    They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
    He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
    and followed him.

    Feast day of Saint Andrew, the Apostle, Patron of fishermen and Russia, died 61 AD
    Andrew the Apostle, also known as Saint Andrew, was an apostle of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is the brother of Saint Peter. He is referred to in the Orthodox tradition as the First-Called. According to Orthodox tradition, the apostolic successor to Saint Andrew is the Patriarch of Constantinople.
    After the death of Jesus, Andrew preached along the Black Sea and was a missionary as far as Kiev, and from there he traveled to Novgorod. Hence, he became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania, and Russia. He founded the See of Byzantium in 38 AD. He was crucified on a cross form known as "crux decussata," which is an X-shaped cross or a "saltire." Today this is commonly referred to as "St. Andrew's Cross." It is believed Andrew requested to be crucified this way, because he deemed himself "unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus."
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  19. December 1
    First Sunday of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 2:1-5
    This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
    saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
    In days to come,
    the mountain of the LORD's house
    shall be established as the highest mountain
    and raised above the hills.
    All nations shall stream toward it;
    many peoples shall come and say:
    "Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
    that he may instruct us in his ways,
    and we may walk in his paths."
    For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    He shall judge between the nations,
    and impose terms on many peoples.
    They shall beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
    one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
    nor shall they train for war again.
    O house of Jacob, come,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord!

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    I rejoiced because they said to me,
    "We will go up to the house of the LORD."
    And now we have set foot
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Jerusalem, built as a city
    with compact unity.
    To it the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the LORD.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    According to the decree for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
    In it are set up judgment seats,
    seats for the house of David.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    May those who love you prosper!
    May peace be within your walls,
    prosperity in your buildings.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Because of my brothers and friends
    I will say, "Peace be within you!"
    Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
    I will pray for your good.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

    Reading 2 Rom 13:11-14
    Brothers and sisters:
    You know the time;
    it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
    For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
    the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
    Let us then throw off the works of darkness
    and put on the armor of light;
    let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
    not in orgies and drunkenness,
    not in promiscuity and lust,
    not in rivalry and jealousy.
    But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
    and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

    Alleluia Cf. Ps 85:8
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Show us Lord, your love;
    and grant us your salvation.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Gospel Mt 24:37-44
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "As it was in the days of Noah,
    so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
    In those days before the flood,
    they were eating and drinking,
    marrying and giving in marriage,
    up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
    They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
    So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
    Two men will be out in the field;
    one will be taken, and one will be left.
    Two women will be grinding at the mill;
    one will be taken, and one will be left.
    Therefore, stay awake!
    For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
    Be sure of this: if the master of the house
    had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
    he would have stayed awake
    and not let his house be broken into.
    So too, you also must be prepared,
    for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

    Feast day of St. Edmund Campion, priest, martyr, died 1581 AD
    Saint Edmund Campion, was an English Catholic Jesuit priest and martyr. While conducting an underground ministry in officially Anglican England, Campion was arrested by priest hunters.
    At his trial, Edmund talked about a great day that is coming. Here are his words recorded in the annals of the trial.
    At his trial the lawyer for the Queen accused Father Campion of words of warning he would say during his homilies when he preached about a great day coming. They thought that he was inciting a rebellion against the crown. But Father Campion strenuously disagreed saying in his own words...

    "I pronounced a great day, not wherein any temporal potentate should muster, but wherein the terrible Judge should reveal all men's consciences, and try every man of each kind of religion. This is the day of change, this is the Great Day which I threatened, comfortable to the well being and terrible to all heretics. Any other day than this, God he knows, I meant not."

    Convicted of high treason, he showed great courage in his martyrdom. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. He was literally martyred for his preaching on the warning. Please St. Edmund, pray for us.
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  20. December 2

    Monday of the First Week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 4:2-6
    On that day,
    The branch of the LORD will be luster and glory,
    and the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor
    for the survivors of Israel.
    He who remains in Zion
    and he who is left in Jerusalem
    Will be called holy:
    every one marked down for life in Jerusalem.
    When the LORD washes away
    the filth of the daughters of Zion,
    And purges Jerusalem's blood from her midst
    with a blast of searing judgment,
    Then will the LORD create,
    over the whole site of Mount Zion
    and over her place of assembly,
    A smoking cloud by day
    and a light of flaming fire by night.
    For over all, the LORD's glory will be shelter and protection:
    shade from the parching heat of day,
    refuge and cover from storm and rain.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    I rejoiced because they said to me,
    "We will go up to the house of the LORD."
    And now we have set foot
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Jerusalem, built as a city
    with compact unity.
    To it the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the LORD.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    According to the decree for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
    In it are set up judgment seats,
    seats for the house of David.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    May those who love you prosper!
    May peace be within your walls,
    prosperity in your buildings.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Because of my relatives and friends
    I will say, "Peace be within you!"
    Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
    I will pray for your good.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

    Alleluia See Ps 80:4
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Come and save us, LORD our God;
    let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 8:5-11
    When Jesus entered Capernaum,
    a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
    "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."
    He said to him, "I will come and cure him."
    The centurion said in reply,
    "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
    only say the word and my servant will be healed.
    For I too am a man subject to authority,
    with soldiers subject to me.
    And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
    and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
    and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
    When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
    "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
    I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
    and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
    at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."

    Feast day of Saint Bibiana, died 363 AD, Virgin, Martyr, Patroness of Single women
    from Wikipedia
    According to legend, Bibiana was the daughter of a former prefect, Flavianus, who was banished by Julian the Apostate. His wife Dafrosa, and two daughters, Demetria and Bibiana, were also persecuted by Julian. Dafrosa and Demetria died a natural death and were buried by Bibiana in their own house; but Bibiana was tortured and died as a result of her sufferings. Two days after her death a priest named John buried Bibiana near her mother and sister in her home, the house being later transformed into a church. It is evident that the legend seeks to explain in this way the origin of the church and the presence in it of the bodies of the above-mentioned confessors.

    An alternate account says that in the year 363, Emperor Julian made Apronianus Governor of Rome. Bibiana suffered in the persecution started by him. She was the daughter of Christians, Flavian, a Roman knight, and Dafrosa, his wife. Flavian was tortured and sent into exile, where he died of his wounds. Dafrosa was beheaded, and their two daughters, Bibiana and Demetria, were stripped of their possessions and left to suffer poverty. However, they remained in their house, spending their time in fasting and prayer. Apronianus, seeing that hunger and want had no effect upon them, summoned them. Demetria, after confessing her faith, fell dead at the feet of the tyrant. Bibiana was reserved for greater sufferings. Bibiana was beaten to try to make her lose her faith, but she remained steadfast. Enraged at the constancy of this saintly virgin, Apronianus ordered her to be tied to a pillar and beaten with scourges, laden with lead plummets, until she died. The saint endured the torments, and died under the blows inflicted by the hands of the executioner. Her body was then put in the open air to be torn apart by wild animals, yet none would touch it. After two days she was buried.
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