January 7th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 8 Period I.
The Novena Rosary Mysteries
for January 7th are Luminous.
January 6, 2013
Feast of the Epiphany
Isaiah 60: 1-6
Arise, shine out,
for your light has come,
and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you.
Look! though night still covers the earth
and darkness the peoples,
on you Yahweh is rising
and over you his glory can be seen.
The nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look around:
all are assembling
and coming towards you,
your sons coming from far away
and your daughters
being carried on the hip.
At this sight you will grow radiant,
your heart will throb and dilate,
since the riches of the sea will flow to you,
the wealth of the nations come to you;
camels in throngs will fill your streets,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
everyone in Saba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and proclaiming Yahweh's praises.
Psalm 72: 1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
God, endow the king with your own fair judgement,
the son of the king with your own saving justice,
that he may rule your people with justice,
and your poor with fair judgement.
In his days uprightness shall flourish,
and peace in plenty till the moon is no more.
His empire shall stretch from sea to sea,
from the river to the limits of the earth.
the kings of Tarshish and the islands
will pay him tribute.
The kings of Sheba and Saba
will offer gifts;
all kings will do him homage,
all nations become his servants.
For he rescues the needy who calls to him,
and the poor who has no one to help.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the needy from death.
Ephesians 3: 2-3a, 5-6
You have surely heard the way in which God entrusted me with the grace he gave me for your sake; he made known to me by a revelation the mystery I have just described briefly—
This mystery, as it is now revealed in the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets, was unknown to humanity in previous generations: that the gentiles now have the same inheritance and form the same Body and enjoy the same promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Matthew 2: 1-12
After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, suddenly some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east asking, ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea, for this is what the prophet wrote:
And you, Bethlehem,
in the land of Judah,
you are by no means the least
among the leaders of Judah,
for from you will come a leader
who will shepherd my people Israel.’
Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared and sent them on to Bethlehem with the words, ‘Go and find out all about the child, and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.’ Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.
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Feast of the Epiphany
January 3, 2010
– (Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3a; Matthew 2:1-12) 587 years before Christ, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. Fifty years later, the Persians (people living in modern day Iran) conquered the Babylonians, and they allowed the Jews to return home. Some of my friends had a fire recently and I see the stress they are going through trying to recover from it. I cannot imagine the difficulties and stresses the Jewish people were under as they tried to rebuild their homes, their Temple, their farms 50 years after everything had been destroyed. The prophet in today’s first reading tries to encourage God’s people and assure them Jerusalem would again be a great city. He sees Jerusalem becoming a light for all the world. His vision is that people would come from distant places to visit Jerusalem to be nourished by the radiant light of God’s presence. St. Matthew sees the vision of the prophet fulfilled in the birth of Jesus and the visit of the magi.
HOMILY– Today we hear the story of the magi, mysterious visitors to the Christ child who came from the East. They are often called kings, based on the words of the prophet in our first reading and from the psalm refrain that followed, but most scholars tell us they were probably priests of an eastern religion called Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster, who lived about 1000 years before Christ, taught that there are two gods, the god of light who created all that is good and an evil god, a god of darkness who creates all that is evil in the world. Astrology was mixed in with the belief of the magi in that they apparently believed that every great person had a guiding light in heaven, which appeared as a star, and the greater the person, the brighter the star. Matthew doesn’t tell us how many magi came to visit our Lord. The number three that is part of our tradition is based on the number of gifts they brought.
It recently struck me how the story of the magi has many similarities to our coming to Mass each week. They saw a star and they realized there was a meaning behind it and went searching to see what they could find. It is normal for all of us at times to experience some natural wonder, the stars perhaps, or a beautiful sunset or the birth of a child and to get a sense there is something or someone even more wondrous behind our spiritually moving experience. Our Mass brings us together with other searchers, others who seek to know, for example, the meaning of our existence, the reason for suffering, the way to peace and joy.
One of the things that guided the magi in the right direction was the scriptures. Notice that almost the whole first half hour of the Mass centers around the scriptures. It would have been natural for the magi to expect that the newborn king of the Jews would be born in the great capital of the Jewish people, maybe even in the household of the current king of the Jews, king Herod. But no, the prophet Micah points them in the right direction. The bible is our basic guide in life, giving us our knowledge about God, about creation, about ourselves, and about how to live. Unfortunately, those who knew the bible, the Jewish chief priests and scribes didn’t benefit from what they knew. They gave correct information, but didn’t follow it themselves. That can happen in the Church as well, Church leaders may know what’s right and wrong but not live it. That’s why we must pray for our spiritual leaders. I try as hard as I can to give good guidance when I give a homily, but I also will be accountable as to how well I live what I preach.
The magi brought gifts for the newborn king. You bring gifts too: your time, your attentive presence, your participation, your financial support. In connection with that I want to thank our parishioners for their response to my appeal a few weeks ago for increased giving. We are getting out of the hole we started to get into and perhaps we’ll even regain some of the deficit we accumulated last fiscal year. Your response has been most gratifying and I am most grateful.
When the magi found the child, he did not appear to be anyone spectacular. He wasn’t dressed in royal robes or living in a palace or even in a prestigious city. His parents weren’t noteworthy and wealthy citizens. The magi found an ordinary little baby but they knew, through the guidance they had received, he was special. When we come to Mass, we know Christ is with us, but we don’t see anything special. We see others like ourselves, we see a priest, we see an altar and statues and candles, we see what appears to be bread and wine, but we believe it is much more. We believe we have found the Lord and yet we know our search is not over. There are greater things ahead.
One last comment. As I said earlier, we don’t know how many magi there were, but there was more than one. Travel was dangerous and people always traveled in groups. Even today we need to come together with others because we need one another’s support and prayers and inspiration. As Thomas Merton said, we don’t get to heaven by ourselves. We need each other’s help. May our journey this year lead us to know and love the infinite Son of God who came to lead us to eternal life. Amen.
January 6, 2013
R. In the rosary in listening to Mary's
messages, I had such a realization of
what she said about souls going
to hell. I saw a soul going through
a door and I realized they were being
condemned to hell for all eternity —
they would never return —
With blinders on my eyes, I
never had this realization as I
did that night.
The Early Christians were killed
because of their faith.
Today there is such a spiritual
battle. A fight between good and
Satan is hate —
Satan has not an ounce of love.
He is repelled by men giving love
He wants to use men for hate —
He presses on them to hate someone
that is trying to be an instrument
to spread God's love, God's message.
Satan uses fallacious reasoning
as he did with Eve in the garden.
He uses old memories and past hurts
to manipulate the person today
to project anger onto innocent
others. The person is counseled
Satan wants the person to be
tempted and give in. Eve gave
God calls us to love. We
are commanded to love God,
love our neighbor, love ourselves.
Satan wants a person to not
see their beauty and they think
negatively many times about
themselves. Then satan tries
to trick them into
hating another, trying to
win approval of others
and thinking that could
bring them the happiness
Focusing on oneself negatively
is not God's will. God loves us
so much. Thinking anger projected
against others vindictively after
we make our own misery is
really false thinking —
Projecting anger and blame on
innocent others will not
make us closer to God, that
is the source of love and happiness.
We were created to be loved and
to love. When we choose to not
love we live rebelling against
God's will — that makes us more
angry because we are disobeying
God and driving ourselves from
Happiness is an inside job.
We are to pray to God to help us love.
Faith, Hope and Love are theological
virtues. We need God's grace to get an
increase in them.
God loves us so much.
Jesus has told us over and over
again of His love —
We can be addicted to
misery — Satan wants this —
He presses on us.
God is love and in Him is
no darkness. We were created
in the image and likeness of
God is not jealous, or angry,
or vindictive —
God is all pure —
To look to explain God as
what He is not seems almost
You look from the top - down,
not from the bottom - up.
We study God, we study
His Plan for us.
We don't try to make God
out of our distorted vision —
We see through the eyes of the
We see through the eyes of
Mary who loved God
Mary who served God
Loving God is the goal and the
joy — there is not an
ulterior motive —
We get our strength from
Jesus: You were created to be
You were created to love —
Giving love —
Receiving love —
IS LIKENESS TO
MY LOVING ACTIVITY —
You were created TO LOVE
You were created to Be loved.
Loving is giving —
Loving is unity —
Loving is harmony —
The devil HATES —
The devil DIVIDES —
The devil IS CONFUSION —
wanting dialogue to win
an argument —
Giving into the devil?
Loving is why you
were created by
I am God,
I love you!
Being like Me is
being selfless — I emptied
Myself and took the nature of a slave.
Being like satan
is selfish —
Nobody can make
an angry person turn
around — being angry is
a choice to choose that
before God — God is love —
This Movement exists to tell the
world about the love of the
2 Hearts — My Heart and
Mary's Heart —
the Hearts of pure and perfect love —
Happiness is an inside job —
You have a free will to
choose to love or hate.
Satan wants you to hate —
I command you to love.
Reign of the Sacred Heart
Handmaids of the Good Shepherd are
women who love like Mary —
women who witness as women
of the light
Jesus: If a person becomes more and more
loving they live this way —
If a person chooses to be angry
every day —
what will change them —
they get more and more
rooted in anger every
day because they distance
themselves from God —
put anger before God in
And it is a choice
Compulsive behaviors mean
they keep doing it —
Addicted to misery —
Addicted to abuse
is a compulsive behavior
I am all good —
To know Me is to love —
To have joy —
It is a paradox that a
person is dark and angry
and calls themselves
Christ-like or a Christian
Love is an act of the will —
A person chooses how they
Loving is an act of the will —
It is being likened to God —
I AM LOVE
The Father and I are One!
Those living in love
pride, envy, greed,
There can be addiction to misery in
which a person does not feel,
or allows themselves to
come out of a stone heart —
Please pray for Gene, Dan, Beth, Doris,
Amanda, Betty, Adeline, Jimmy, Andrew,
Monsignor and all the people.
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by Rita Ring: Many of the entries in the Priestly Newsletter
Volume II from a spiritual journal came from this book.
for Parents and Children,
by Rita Ring, Short Meditations for both
parents and children to be used when
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God's Blue Book IV by Rita Ring. This book is about the love Jesus has for Mary and Mary has for Jesus and Jesus and Mary have for us — It is truly the Love of the Two Hearts. Mary appeared every day at the Holy Spirit Center — Fr. Carter was there. Mary's first apparition July 5, 1994. $5
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Messages From Jesus
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