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Saturday, December 31, 2022

Poem: “Christmas Carol” by: Phillips Brooks

 The earth has grown old with its burden of care.

But at Christmas it always is young.

The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair,

And its soul full of music breaks forth on the air,

When the song of the angels is sung.


It is coming, Old Earth, it is coming to-night!

On the snowflakes that cover thy sod,

The feel of the Christ-child fall gentle and white,

And the voice of the Christ-child tells out with delight,

That mankind are the children of God.


On the sad and the lonely, the wretched and poor,

That voice of the Christ-child shall fall,

And to every blind wanderer opens the door

Of a hope that he dared not to dream of before,

With a sunshine of welcome for all.


The feet of the humblest may walk in the field

Where the feet of the Holiest have trod;

This, this is the marvel to mortals revealed

When the silvery trumpets of Christmas are pealed,

That humankind are the children of God.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Photo: Curiosity


Poem: “Christmas Poem” by: Mary Oliver

Says a country legend every year:

Go to the barn on Christmas Eve and see 

what the creatures do as that long night tips over.

Down on their knees they will go, the fire 

of an old memory whistling through their minds!


I went. Wrapped to my eyes against the cold

I creaked back the barn door and peered in,

From town the church bells spilled their midnight 


and the beasts listened – 

yet they lay in their stalls like stone. 

Oh, the heretics!

Not to remember Bethlehem, 

or the star as bright as the sun, 

or the child born on a bed of straw!

To know only of the dissolving Now!


Still they drowsed on – 

citizens of the pure, the physical world, 

they loomed in the dark: powerful 

of body, peaceful of mind, 

innocent of history.


Brothers!  I whispered. It is Christmas! 

And you are no heretics, but a miracle, 

immaculate still as you thundered forth 

on the morning of creation! 

As for Bethlehem, that blazing star 


still sailed the dark, but only looked for me. 

Caught in its light, listening again to its story, 

I curled against some sleepy beast, who nuzzled 

my hair as though I were a child, and warmed me 

the best it could all night. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Photo: A Tree in Rockport


Spirituality: Pope Francis, Address to the Roman Curia 2017

 …Christmas reminds us that a faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith.
A faith that does not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow. A faith that does not raise questions is a faith that has to be questioned.
A faith that does not rouse us is a faith that needs to be roused. A faith that does not shake us is a faith that needs to be shaken.

Indeed, a faith which is only intellectual or lukewarm is only a notion of faith. It can become real once it touches our heart, our soul, our spirit and our whole being. Once it allows God to be born and reborn in the manger of our heart. Once we let the star of Bethlehem guide us to the place where the Son of God lies, not among Kings and riches, but among the poor and humble. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Naming of Jesus: The Octave of Christmas Sunday

                                                   The Naming of Jesus

The Octave of Christmas Sunday

January 1, 2023

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Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21


          Happy New Year. In this feast, we acknowledge that we are still in the first week of Christmas, that the shepherds are the first witnesses to God’s glory, that Mary silently marveled at the words of the angels and shepherds, that Jesus became a Jew in the eyes of the law during the circumcision, and that he was given the name as the one who would be God’s savior. The Jesuits celebrate this feast because we are the Society that bears the name of Jesus; it commemorates the giving of the Name Jesus to our least Society.


          In this Gospel passage, the secret is already out. The birth of Jesus was not a private moment but one in which the news was made known immediately. From the most unlikely sources, the news spreads, and stories are told. This is a model for the church as we tell the story of Jesus because his life is never a private experience. Our experience of the faith is communal, and it mirrors the world that God gives us – one that is always expanding and making new connections. 


          Our Christmas celebrations are about making connections – relating to family members and loved ones to give the blessing we heard in Numbers: May the Lord bless you and keep you. We visit loved ones to form a deeper bond, to retell memories, and to plan future visits because we fundamentally like one another and want to spend more time together. In our wisdom, we realize that the best gifts we provide one another is time spend together. It doesn’t have to have meaningful conversations; it is just that we choose to spend time and to connect. The shepherds had nothing to give Jesus, Joseph, or Mary; but they were able to connect with them and to see God’s glory in action. 


          The great sorrow of our day is loneliness and disconnectedness. When we stop by to visit someone, send a greeting card at any time of year, or just make a phone call, we connect and form bonds that are more meaningful than we can know. We are communicating that we care enough to say hello. What the other person receives is that she or he is meaningful enough for others to recognize they are suffering, isolated, disconnected, and that they matter enough for someone to see them. It is part of our corporal works of mercy to care for others in their time of need, even if it is not a very serious need. The seriousness is that someone is able to know that someone loves them enough to stop by for a visit. All the other tangled parts of relationships can get pushed aside to show that love is fundamental and is the great yearning of society.


          This is what Christmas is: God’s ever-expanding love in action. We first see the angels, then the shepherds, the innkeeper, and the magi, and soon even the Herods of the world know about God’s unfolding act of visitation. The small connections become greater, and people learn to touch the part of another person’s life that usually only God touches, and then heaven rests upon the earth, and more love and goodwill reigns in our hearts. God’s love is given as a gift one heart at a time, and it changes the world. Consider how Christ’s love continues to expand and fill the universe, and we know more work is to be done, and the blessing in Numbers is the blessing we ought to give to all we meet:  The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 

Monday: (1 John 3) We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.



Tuesday: (1 John 4) Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us.


Wednesday: (1 John 4) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.


Thursday: (1 John 4) If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 


Friday (1 John 5) Who is the victor of this world? The one who believes in Jesus, who came through water and Blood, and the Spirit testifies to him.   


Saturday (1 John 5) We have confidence that if we ask anything according to his will, God hears us.



Monday: (Matthew 4) He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.


Tuesday: (Mark 6) When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late.


Wednesday (Mark 6) After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. 


Thursday (Luke 4) Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.


Friday (Luke 5) It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” 


Saturday (John 3) Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned.


Saints of the Week


January 2: Basil the Great and Gregory Nanzianzen, bishops and doctors (fourth century), are two of the four great doctors of the Eastern Church. They are known for their preaching especially against the Arian heretics. Basil began as a hermit before he was named archbishop of Caesarea. He influenced Gregory who eventually became archbishop of Constantinople. Their teachings influenced both the Roman and Eastern Churches.


January 3: The Name of Jesus was given to the infant as the angel foretold. In the Mediterranean world, the naming of person stood for the whole person. Humans were given the power to name during the Genesis creation accounts. If one honors the name of the person, they honor the person. The name Jesus means “Yahweh saves.”


January 4: Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious (1774-1821), was born into an Episcopalian household where she married and had five children. When her husband died, she became a Catholic and founded a girls’ school in Baltimore. She then founded the Sisters of Charity and began the foundation for the parochial school system in the U.S. She is the first native-born American to be canonized.


January 5: John Neumann, bishop (1811-1860), emigrated from Bohemia to New York and joined the Redemptorists in Pittsburgh before being named bishop of Philadelphia. He built many churches in the diocese and placed great emphasis on education as the foundation of faith.


January 6: Andre Bessette, religious (1845-1937), was born in Quebec, Canada. He joined the Congregation of the Holy Cross and taught for 40 years at the College of Notre Dame. He cared for the sick and was known as a intercessor for miracles. He built St. Joseph’s Oratory, a popular pilgrimage site in Canada.


January 7: Raymond of Penyafort, priest (1175-1275), was trained in philosophy and law and was ordained in 1222 to preach to the Moors and Christians. Though he was appointed bishop of Tarragon, he declined the position. Instead he organized papal decrees into the first form of canon law. He was later elected Master of the Dominican Order. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • January 1, 1598: Fr. Alphonsus Barréna, surnamed the Apostle of Peru, died. He was the first to carry the faith to the Guaranis and Chiquitos in Paraguay. 
  • January 2, 1619: At Rome, John Berchmans and Bartholomew Penneman, his companion scholastic from Belgium, entered the Roman College. 
  • January 3, 1816: Fr. General Brzozowski and 25 members of the Society, guarded by soldiers, left St. Petersburg, Russia, having been banished by the civil government. 
  • January 4, 1619: The English mission is raised to the status of a province. 
  • January 5, 1548: Francis Suarez, one of the greatest theologians of the church, was born at Granada. 
  • January 6, 1829: Publication of Pope Leo XII's rescript, declaring the Society to be canonically restored in England. 
  • January 7, 1566: Cardinal Ghislieri was elected pope as Pius V. He was a great friend of the Francis Borgia and appointed Salmeron and Toletus as apostolic preachers at the Vatican. He desired to impose the office of choir on the Society and even ordered it. He was canonized as St. Pius V.

El nombramiento de Jesús La Octava del Domingo de Navidad

                                                 El nombramiento de Jesús

La Octava del Domingo de Navidad

1 de enero de 2023

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Números 6:22-27; Salmo 67; Gálatas 4:4-7; Lucas 2:16-21


          Feliz año nuevo En esta fiesta reconocemos que estamos todavía en la primera semana de Navidad, que los pastores son los primeros testigos de la gloria de Dios, que María se maravilló en silencio de las palabras de los ángeles y de los pastores, que Jesús se hizo judío a los ojos de la ley durante la circuncisión, y que se le dio el nombre como el que sería el salvador de Dios. Los jesuitas celebramos esta fiesta porque somos la Sociedad que lleva el nombre de Jesús; conmemora la entrega del Nombre de Jesús a nuestra Fraternidad más pequeña.


          En este pasaje del Evangelio, el secreto ya está revelado. El nacimiento de Jesús no fue un momento privado sino uno en el que la noticia se dio a conocer de inmediato. De las fuentes más improbables, las noticias se difunden y se cuentan historias. Este es un modelo para la iglesia cuando contamos la historia de Jesús porque su vida nunca es una experiencia privada. Nuestra experiencia de la fe es comunitaria y refleja el mundo que Dios nos da, uno que siempre se está expandiendo y haciendo nuevas conexiones.


          Nuestras celebraciones navideñas se tratan de hacer conexiones: relacionarnos con familiares y seres queridos para dar la bendición que escuchamos en Números: Que el Señor te bendiga y te guarde. Visitamos a nuestros seres queridos para formar un vínculo más profundo, volver a contar recuerdos y planificar visitas futuras porque fundamentalmente nos gustamos y queremos pasar más tiempo juntos. En nuestra sabiduría, nos damos cuenta de que el mejor regalo que nos brindamos es el tiempo que pasamos juntos. No tiene que tener conversaciones significativas; es solo que elegimos pasar tiempo y conectarnos. Los pastores no tenían nada que dar a Jesús, José o María; pero pudieron conectarse con ellos y ver la gloria de Dios en acción.


          El gran dolor de nuestro día es la soledad y la desconexión. Cuando visitamos a alguien, enviamos una tarjeta de felicitación en cualquier época del año o simplemente hacemos una llamada telefónica, nos conectamos y formamos vínculos que son más significativos de lo que podemos imaginar. Estamos comunicando que nos importa lo suficiente como para decir hola. Lo que la otra persona recibe es que ella o él es lo suficientemente significativo para que los demás reconozcan que están sufriendo, aislados, desconectados y que son lo suficientemente importantes como para que alguien los vea. Es parte de nuestras obras de misericordia corporales cuidar de los demás en su momento de necesidad, aunque no sea una necesidad muy grave. La seriedad es que alguien es capaz de saber que alguien los ama lo suficiente como para pasar a visitarlos. Todas las demás partes enredadas de las relaciones pueden dejarse de lado para mostrar que el amor es fundamental y es el gran anhelo de la sociedad.


          Esto es lo que es la Navidad: el amor siempre en expansión de Dios en acción. Primero vemos a los ángeles, luego a los pastores, al posadero ya los magos, y pronto incluso los Herodes del mundo saben acerca del acto de la visitación de Dios. Las pequeñas conexiones se vuelven más grandes, y las personas aprenden a tocar la parte de la vida de otra persona que generalmente solo toca Dios, y entonces el cielo descansa sobre la tierra, y más amor y buena voluntad reinan en nuestros corazones. El amor de Dios se da como un regalo, un corazón a la vez, y cambia el mundo. Considere cómo el amor de Cristo continúa expandiéndose y llenando el universo, y sabemos que queda más trabajo por hacer, y la bendición en Números es la bendición que debemos dar a todos los que nos encontramos: ¡El Señor te bendiga y te guarde! ¡Jehová ilumine su rostro sobre ti y tenga de ti misericordia! ¡Jehová te mire con bondad y te dé paz! Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo.


Escritura para la misa diaria


Primera lectura: 

Lunes: (1 Juan 3) Somos de Dios, y cualquiera que conoce a Dios nos escucha, mientras que cualquiera que no es de Dios se niega a escucharnos. Así conocemos el espíritu de verdad y el espíritu de engaño.



Martes: (1 Juan 4) Amados, amémonos unos a otros, porque el amor es de Dios; todo el que ama es engendrado por Dios y conoce a Dios. Quien no tiene amor no conoce a Dios, porque Dios es amor. De esta manera se nos reveló el amor de Dios.


Miércoles: (1 Juan 4) Amados, si Dios nos amó así, también nosotros debemos amarnos los unos a los otros. Nadie ha visto nunca a Dios. 
Sin embargo, si nos amamos unos a otros, Dios permanece en nosotros y su amor se perfecciona en nosotros.


Jueves: (1 Juan 4) Si alguno dice: “Amo a Dios”, pero aborrece a su hermano, es mentiroso; porque quien no ama a un hermano a quien ha visto, no puede amar a Dios a quien no ha visto.


Viernes (1 Juan 5) ¿Quién es el vencedor de este mundo? El que cree en Jesús, que vino por medio del agua y la Sangre, y el Espíritu da testimonio de él.


Sábado (1 Juan 5) Confiamos en que si pedimos alguna cosa conforme a su voluntad, Dios nos oye.



Lunes: (Mateo 4) Recorrió toda Galilea, 
enseñando en las sinagogas de ellos, proclamando el Evangelio del Reino, y curando toda enfermedad y dolencia en el pueblo.


Martes: (Marcos 6) Cuando Jesús vio la gran multitud, su corazón se conmovió de compasión por ellos, porque eran como ovejas sin pastor; y comenzó a enseñarles muchas cosas. Ya era tarde y sus discípulos se le acercaron y le dijeron: “Este es un lugar desierto y ya es muy tarde.


Miércoles (Marcos 6) Después que los cinco mil hubieron comido y se saciaron, Jesús hizo subir a sus discípulos a la barca y lo precedieron a la otra orilla hacia Betsaida, mientras él despedía a la multitud. Y cuando se hubo despedido de ellos, se fue al monte a orar.


Jueves (Lucas 4) Jesús volvió a Galilea en el poder del Espíritu, y la noticia de él se extendió por toda la región. Enseñaba en sus sinagogas y era alabado por todos.


Viernes (Lucas 5) Aconteció que había un hombre lleno de lepra en uno de los pueblos donde estaba Jesús; y cuando vio a Jesús, se postró , le rogó y le dijo: “Señor, si quieres, puedes limpiarme”.


Sábado (Juan 3) Jesús y sus discípulos fueron a la región de Judea, donde pasó algún tiempo con ellos bautizando. Juan también estaba bautizando en Aenon cerca de Salim, porque allí había mucha agua, y la gente venía a ser bautizada, porque Juan aún no había sido encarcelado.


santos de la semana


2 de enero : Basilio el Grande y Gregorio Nanzianzen , obispos y doctores (siglo IV), son dos de los cuatro grandes doctores de la Iglesia oriental. Son conocidos por sus predicaciones especialmente contra los herejes arrianos. Basil comenzó como ermitaño antes de ser nombrado arzobispo de Cesarea. Influyó en Gregorio, quien finalmente se convirtió en arzobispo de Constantinopla. Sus enseñanzas influyeron tanto en la Iglesia romana como en la oriental.


3 de enero: El nombre de Jesús fue dado al infante como lo predijo el ángel. En el mundo mediterráneo, el nombramiento de persona representaba a la persona entera. A los humanos se les dio el poder de nombrar durante los relatos de creación de Génesis. Si uno honra el nombre de la persona, honra a la persona. El nombre Jesús significa “Yahweh salva”.


4 de enero: Elizabeth Ann Seton, religiosa (1774-1821), nació en un hogar episcopal donde se casó y tuvo cinco hijos. Cuando murió su esposo, se convirtió al catolicismo y fundó una escuela para niñas en Baltimore. Luego fundó las Hermanas de la Caridad y comenzó la fundación del sistema escolar parroquial en los EE. UU. Es la primera estadounidense nativa en ser canonizada.


5 de enero: John Neumann, obispo (1811-1860), emigró de Bohemia a Nueva York y se unió a los redentoristas en Pittsburgh antes de ser nombrado obispo de Filadelfia. Construyó muchas iglesias en la diócesis y puso gran énfasis en la educación como fundamento de la fe.


6 de enero: Andre Bessette, religioso (1845-1937) , nace en Quebec, Canadá. Se unió a la Congregación de la Santa Cruz y enseñó durante 40 años en el Colegio de Notre Dame. Se preocupaba por los enfermos y era conocido como intercesor de milagros. Construyó el Oratorio de San José, un lugar de peregrinación popular en Canadá.


7 de enero: Raimundo de Penyafort , sacerdote (1175-1275), se forma en filosofía y derecho y se ordena en 1222 para predicar a los moros y cristianos. Aunque fue nombrado obispo de Tarragona, declinó el cargo. En cambio , organizó los decretos papales en la primera forma de derecho canónico. Más tarde fue elegido Maestro de la Orden Dominicana.


Esta semana en la historia jesuita


  • 1 de enero de 1598: P. Murió Alfonso Barréna , de sobrenombre el Apóstol del Perú. Fue el primero en llevar la fe a los guaraníes y chiquitos en Paraguay.
  • 2 de enero de 1619: En Roma, John Berchmans y Bartholomew Penneman , su compañero escolástico de Bélgica, ingresan en el Colegio Romano.
  • 3 de enero de 1816: P. El General Brzozowski y 25 miembros de la Sociedad, custodiados por soldados, abandonaron San Petersburgo, Rusia, habiendo sido desterrados por el gobierno civil.
  • 4 de enero de 1619: La misión inglesa es elevada a la categoría de provincia.
  • 5 de enero de 1548: Nace en Granada Francisco Suárez, uno de los más grandes teólogos de la iglesia.
  • 6 de enero de 1829: Publicación del rescripto del Papa León XII, declarando la Sociedad canónicamente restaurada en Inglaterra.
  • 7 de enero de 1566: El cardenal Ghislieri es elegido Papa como Pío V. Fue un gran amigo de Francisco Borgia y nombró a Salmeron y Toletus como predicadores apostólicos en el Vaticano. Deseaba imponer el oficio de coro a la Sociedad y hasta lo ordenó. Fue canonizado como San Pío V.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Poem: “The Slaughter of the Innocents” by Giles Fletcher

And yet but newly he was infanted,
And yet already he was sought to die;
Yet scarcely born, already banished,
Not able yet to go, and forced to fly:
But scarcely fled away, when, by and by,
The tyrant’s sword with blood is all defiled.
And Rachel, for her sons, with fury wild
Cries, “O thou cruel king!” and “O my sweetest child!”

Monday, December 26, 2022

Photo: Christmas bulbs


Poem: “The Marvel of the Incarnation” by: Gregory Nazianzen, 4th Century

 He who makes rich is made poor; 

he takes on the poverty of my flesh, 

that I may gain the riches of his divinity.

He who is full is made empty; 

he is emptied for a brief space of his glory, 

that I may share in his fulness.

Christ the light of lights, follows John, 

the lamp that goes before him.

The Word of God follows the voice in the wilderness; 

the bridegroom follows the bridegroom’s friend, 

who prepares a worthy people for the Lord 

by cleansing them by water in preparation for the Spirit.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Poem: “Christmas is Waiting to Be Born” by: Howard Thurman

Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes,

And the heart consumes itself, if it would live,

Where little children age before their time,

And life wears down the edges of the mind,

Where the old man sits with mind grown cold, 

While bones and sinew, blood and cell, go slowly down to death,

Where fear companions each day’s life,

And perfect Love seems long delayed,

Christmas is waiting to be born:

In you, in me, in all of humankind. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Poem: “Love Alone” by Giancarlo Menotti

The Child we seek
doesn’t need our gold.
On love, on love alone
he will build his kingdom.
His pierced hand will hold no scepter,
his haloed head will wear no crown;
his might will not be built
on your toil.
Swifter than lightning
he will soon walk among us.
He will bring us new life
and receive our death,
and the keys to his city
belong to the poor.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Photo: Tree and Glass


Prayer: Charles Borromeo

Now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace, and reconciliation – the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that Simeon rejoiced to see. This is the season that the Church as always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to God for the mercy and love we are shown in this mystery.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Photo: Piano and Tree


Poem: “In December Darkness” by: Ann Weems

The whole world waits in December darkness
for a glimpse of the Light of God.
Even those who snarl “Humbug!”
and chase away the carolers
have been seen looking toward the skies.

The one who declared he never would forgive
has forgiven,
and those who left home
have returned,
and even wars are halted,
if briefly,
as the whole world looks starward.

In the December darkness
we peer through our windows
watching for an angel with rainbow wings
to announce the Hope of the World.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

God is with Us: Christmas Sunday

                                                            God is with Us 

Christmas Sunday

December 25, 2022

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Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 96; Timothy 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14


          Merry Christmas, friends. The journey of Joseph and Mary on that long road to Bethlehem conjures up an eternal story for us, a story that appears on Christmas cards, paintings, and stained-glass windows, a story that is always fresh, and touches the deepest part of our soul. It is the story of love. Love is the reason God wanted to enter the world as one of us. The angels and shepherds rejoice that this story is being told, and all of creation settles into this moment when we know, in the firmament of our hearts, that God’s love has come for us.


          This is our moment to enter into a very quiet wonder, a hope that we could all know this God who wants to be with us, and that we can share this God with each other as a gift. This is a moment of silent mystery and joy, to be able to hold the One who is Word of God made just like us. This is a time of mutual embrace, where we hold the Christ child, and God holds us with pride and astonishment. On Christmas, as we worship in Church or gather with loved ones, we are the people we hoped we would be all year long.     


          Christmas brings about the possibilities for peace, harmony, and right relationship, at any level, whether it is within families or the family of nations. We know peace is possible, and we pray for peace throughout the year. Tonight, we get a sign. A child has been born for us, a Son is given, and he is the Son of Peace. His birth among us bring us to a liminal place, a place when heaven and earth are indistinguishable from one another, a moment in which God gently, silently kisses the earth in a sign of affection. In New England, we long to see a White Christmas because it is as if the falling snow is an expression that heaven and earth are one.


          In our Christian spirituality, we yearn to see and love the world the way God sees, knows, and loves the world. We become more understanding, patient, loving people as our worldview becomes more like Christ’s. We know that we have the desire and ability to let go of grudges, hurts, and anger and to replace it with goodwill, kindness, and radical affection for one another, in which God continues to reconcile and bring all into harmony. It is the day we know and understand that we are all brothers, sisters, friends of God, and we treat each other with dignity and honor. We see it is possible, we know it is possible, and this birth gives us the courage to make what seems impossible, a new reality based on God’s mercy.


          Mercy is born this day, a mercy that we do not deserve, but fuels our courage for reconciliation. It is not just a day when we look upon this birth in wonder; it is a day when God beholds us in wonder, to see the miracle of the persons that we are, to marvel at who we are becoming, to admire how we have become the people we hoped we would be all year long. We sit in mutual wonder and admiration in this moment of stillness, and we know this to be real and true. This is a moment of goodness, a time to share goodwill to others when it doesn’t make sense, but that our actions change the world for good. God was creative in bringing about the birth of Jesus to a young man and woman from Nazareth, and God continues to be creative in inviting us into this creative venture, where our goodness and mercy, changes the world one heart at a time. Let us bring our hearts, full of awe and wonder, to our world that is hungering for his mercy and reconciliation. Merry Christmas, my dear friends. For unto us, a child is born. For unto us, are hearts are changed.  


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 

Monday: (Acts 6) Stephen worked great wonders among the people and adversaries debated with him fiercely. They threw hit out of the city, stoned him, and laid him at Saul’s feet.  


Tuesday: (1 John) What we heard, and saw with our eyes, what we looked upon, and touched with our hands, concerns the Word of life.


Wednesday: (1 John) God is light and in him there is no darkness. We have fellowship with him. Walk in the light as he is in the light.  


Thursday: (1 John) We are friends with God if we keep his commandments. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.   


Friday (Sirach 3) God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. Take care of your father when he is old.   


Saturday (1 John 2) It is the last hour and the anti-Christ is coming. You have the anointing of the Holy One, and you have all knowledge.



Monday: (Matthew 10) Jesus said, “Beware of men who will hand you over to their courts and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be led before governors and kings.  


Tuesday: (John 20) Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and the Beloved Disciples to tell the news that Jesus has been removed from the tomb. In fear, they ran to see the tomb.


Wednesday (Matthew 2) When the magi departed, an angel told Joseph to take his wife and child to Egypt because Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.  


Thursday (Luke 2) When the days were completed for the purification, Mary and Joseph brought the child to the Temple, where they met Simeon, a righteous and devoted man.


Friday (Matthew 2) When Herod died, an angel told Joseph to return to Israel. “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”


Saturday (John 1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came to be through him. A light shines in the darkness.  


Saints of the Week


December 26: Stephen, the first Martyr (d. 35), was one of the seven original deacons chose to minister to the Greek-speaking Christians. The Jews accused him of blasphemy. Though he was eloquent in his defense, Saul of Tarsus condoned his death sentence. 


December 27: John, Apostle and Evangelist (d. 100), was the brother of James and one of the three disciples to be in the inner circle. He left fishing to follow Jesus and was with him at the major events: the transfiguration, raising of Jairus' daughter, and the agony in the garden. He is also thought to be the author of the fourth gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation. 


December 28: The Holy Innocents (d. 2), were the boys of Bethlehem who were under two years old to be killed by King Herod in an attempt to eliminate the rise of the newborn king as foretold by the astronomers from the east. This event is similar to the rescue of Moses from the Nile by the slaughter of the infant boys by the pharaoh. 


December 29: Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr (1118-1170), was the lord chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury in England during the time of King Henry II. When he disagreed with the King over the autonomy of the church and state, he was exiled to France. When he returned, he clashed again with the king who had him murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.  


December 30: The Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, was a feast instituted in 1921. It was originally the 3rd Sunday after Christmas. The Holy Family is often seen in Renaissance paintings - and many of those are of the flight into Egypt. 


December 31: Sylvester I, pope (d. 335), served the church shortly after Constantine issued his Edict of Milan in 313 that publicly recognized Christianity as the official religion of the empire and provided it freedom of worship. Large public churches were built by the emperor and other benefactors. Sylvester was alive during the Council of Nicaea but did not attend because of old age.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • December 25, 1545. Isabel Roser pronounced her vows as a Jesuit together with Lucrezia di Brandine and Francisca Cruyllas in the presence of Ignatius at the church of Sta. Maria della Strada in Rome. 
  • December 26, 1978. The assassination of Gerhard Pieper, a librarian, who was shot to death in Zimbabwe. 
  • December 27, 1618. Henry Morse entered the English College at Rome. 
  • December 28, 1802. Pope Pius VII allowed Father General Gruber to affiliate the English Jesuits to the Society of Jesus in Russia. 
  • December 29, 1886. Publication of the beatification decree of the English martyrs. 
  • December 30, 1564. Letter from Pope Pius IV to Daniel, Archbishop of Mayence, deploring the malicious and scurrilous pamphlets published against the Society throughout Germany and desiring him to use his influence against the evil. 

December 31, 1640. John Francis Regis died. He was a missionary to the towns and villages of the remote mountains of southern France.