Daily Email

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

www.johnpredmoresj.com | predmore.blogspot.com

predmoresj@yahoo.com | 617.510.9673

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment