Consacrazione a Dio Padre

Dio, Padre Nostro,
con profonda umiltà e grande riconoscenza ci apprestiamo al tuo cospetto e mediante quest’atto speciale di affidamento e di consacrazione poniamo la nostra vita, le nostre opere, il nostro amore sotto la tua paterna protezione.
Ardentemente desideriamo poterti conoscere ed amare sempre più. Umilmente aneliamo poter accogliere in noi la tua bontà ed il tuo infinito paterno amore e di donarli ad altri.
Concedici, te ne preghiamo, la grande grazia di imparare ad amare sempre più il divin Cuore del tuo amatissimo Figlio e, così rafforzati dal tuo santo Spirito, poter glorificare sempre la tua paterna ed eterna bontà, o Padre infinitamente buono.
Santa Maria, figlia del Padre e nostra Madre Celeste, prega per noi. Amen.

Il Dio dei nostri padri ha risuscitato Gesù, che voi avevate ucciso appendendolo alla croce…

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 3,6  

Ma Pietro gli disse: “Non possiedo né argento né oro, ma quello che ho te lo do: nel nome..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,10  

la cosa sia nota a tutti voi e a tutto il popolo d`Israele: nel nome di Gesù Cristo il Nazareno,..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,11  

Questo Gesù è la pietra che, scartata da voi, costruttori, è diventata testata d`angolo…

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,13  

Vedendo la franchezza di Pietro e di Giovanni e considerando che erano senza istruzione e..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,18  

E, richiamatili, ordinarono loro di non parlare assolutamente né di insegnare nel nome di..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,2  

irritati per il fatto che essi insegnavano al popolo e annunziavano in Gesù la risurrezione..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,27  

davvero in questa città si radunarono insieme contro il tuo santo servo Gesù, che hai unto..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,30  

Stendi la mano perché si compiano guarigioni, miracoli e prodigi nel nome del tuo santo servo..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 4,33  

Con grande forza gli apostoli rendevano testimonianza della risurrezione del Signore Gesù..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 5,30  

Il Dio dei nostri padri ha risuscitato Gesù, che voi avevate ucciso appendendolo alla croce…

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 5,40  

Seguirono il suo parere e, richiamati gli apostoli, li fecero fustigare e ordinarono loro..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 5,41  

Ma essi se ne andarono dal sinedrio lieti di essere stati oltraggiati per amore del nome..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 5,42  

E ogni giorno, nel tempio e a casa, non cessavano di insegnare e di portare il lieto annunzio..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 6,14  

Lo abbiamo udito dichiarare che Gesù il Nazareno distruggerà questo luogo e sovvertirà i..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 7,55  

Ma Stefano, pieno di Spirito Santo, fissando gli occhi al cielo, vide la gloria di Dio e..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 7,59  

E così lapidavano Stefano mentre pregava e diceva: “Signore Gesù, accogli il mio spirito”…

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 8,12  

Ma quando cominciarono a credere a Filippo, che recava la buona novella del regno di Dio..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 8,16  

non era infatti ancora sceso sopra nessuno di loro, ma erano stati soltanto battezzati nel..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 8,35  

Filippo, prendendo a parlare e partendo da quel passo della Scrittura, gli annunziò la buona..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 9,17  

Allora Anania andò, entrò nella casa, gli impose le mani e disse: “Saulo, fratello mio, mi..

 Atti degli Apostoli – Atti_degli_Apostoli  At 9,20  

e subito nelle sinagoghe proclamava Gesù Figlio di Dio.

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Psalm 90:17  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Ezekiel 16:14  “Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord GOD.

2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

1 Peter 4:14  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Psalm 128:1,2  A Song of Ascents. How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. • When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.

Philippians 2:12,13  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; • for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

2 Thessalonians 2:16,17  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, • comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

 

Il Signore ha manifestato in tutto il mondo la sua salvezza

Dai «Discorsi» di san Leone Magno, papa

(Disc. 3 per l’Epifania, 1-3.5; PL 54,240-244)
Il Signore ha manifestato in tutto il mondo la sua salvezza

    La Provvidenza misericordiosa, avendo deciso di soccorrere negli ultimi tempi il mondo che andava in rovina, stabilì che la salvezza di tutti i popoli si compisse nel Cristo.
    Un tempo era stata promessa ad Abramo una innumerevole discendenza che sarebbe stata generata non secondo la carne, ma nella fecondità della fede: essa era stata paragonata alla moltitudine delle stelle perché il padre di tutte le genti si attendesse non una stirpe terrena, ma celeste.
    Entri, entri dunque nella famiglia dei patriarchi la grande massa delle genti, e i figli della promessa ricevano la benedizione come stirpe di Abramo, mentre a questa rinunziano i figli del suo sangue. Tutti i popoli, rappresentati dai tre magi, adorino il Creatore dell’universo, e Dio sia conosciuto non nella Giudea soltanto, ma in tutta la terra, perché ovunque in Israele sia grande il suo nome (cfr. Sal 75,2).
    Figli carissimi, ammaestrati da questi misteri della grazia divina, celebriamo nella gioia dello spirito il giorno della nostra nascita e l’inizio della chiamata alla fede di tutte le genti. Ringraziamo Dio misericordioso che, come afferma l’Apostolo, «ci ha messo in grado di partecipare alla sorte dei santi nella luce. È lui che ci ha liberati dal potere delle tenebre e ci ha trasferiti nel regno del suo Figlio diletto» (Col 1,12-13). L’aveva annunziato Isaia: Il popolo dei Gentili che sedeva nelle tenebre, vide una grande luce e su quanti abitavano nella terra tenebrosa una luce rifulse (cfr. Is 9,1). Di essi ancora Isaia dice al Signore: Popoli che non ti conoscono ti invocheranno, e popoli che ti ignorano accorreranno a te (cfr. Is 55,5).
    Abramo vide questo giorno e gioì (cfr. Gv 8,56). Gioì quando conobbe che i figli della sua fede sarebbero stati benedetti nella sua discendenza, cioè nel Cristo, e quando intravide che per la sua fede sarebbe diventato padre di tutti i popoli. Diede gloria a Dio, pienamente convinto che quanto il Signore aveva promesso, lo avrebbe attuato (Rm 4,20-21). Questo giorno cantava nei salmi David dicendo: «Tutti i popoli che hai creato verranno e si prostreranno davanti a te, o Signore, per dare gloria al tuo nome» (Sal 85,9); e ancora: «Il Signore ha manifestato la sua salvezza, agli occhi dei popoli ha rivelato la sua giustizia» (Sal 97,2).
    Tutto questo, lo sappiamo, si è realizzato quando i tre magi, chiamati dai loro lontani paesi, furono condotti da una stella a conoscere e adorare il Re del cielo e della terra. Questa stella ci esorta particolarmente a imitare il servizio che essa prestò, nel senso che dobbiamo seguire, con tutte le nostre forze, la grazia che invita tutti al Cristo. In questo impegno, miei cari, dovete tutti aiutarvi l’un l’altro. Risplenderete così come figli della luce nel regno di Dio, dove conducono la retta fede e le buone opere. Per il nostro Signore Gesù Cristo che con Dio Padre e con lo Spirito Santo vive e regna per tutti i secoli dei secoli. Amen.

RESPONSORIO        

 In questo giorno di luce è apparso il Salvatore del mondo, annunziato dai profeti, adorato dagli angeli. * I magi vedono la sua stella, e pieni di gioia portano doni.
 Un giorno santo risplende per noi: venite, nazioni, adorate il Signore.
 I magi vedono la sua stella, e pieni di gioia portano doni.

Monday (January 7): From darkness and death to light and life

Daily Reading & Meditation

Monday (January 7): From darkness and death to light and life

Scripture: Matthew 4:12-17,23-25

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death  light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

23 And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every  infirmity among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

Meditation: Do you know the joy and freedom of the good news (Gospel) of the kingdom of God? John the Baptist’s enemies had sought to silence him, but the good news of God’s kingdom of salvation cannot be silenced. As soon as John had finished his testimony Jesus began his in Galilee. Galilee was at the crossroads of the world and much traffic passed through this little region. It had been assigned to the tribes of Asher, Naptali and Zebulum when the Israelites first came into the land (see Joshua 9). For a long time it had been under Gentile occupation (non-Jewish nations). 

Jesus brings the light and truth of salvation to the world
The prophet Isaiah foretold that the good news of salvation would reach Jews and Gentiles in the “land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations” (Isaiah 9:1). Jesus begins the proclamation of the Gospel here to fulfill the word of God. The Old Testament prophets spoke of God’s promise to send a Redeemer who would establish God’s rule. That time is now fulfilled in Jesus who brings the light and truth of the Gospel to the world.

The “good news” brings peace, hope, truth, promise, immortality, and salvation
Jesus takes up John’s message of repentance and calls his hearers to believe in the good news he has come to deliver. What is the good news which Jesus brings? It is the good news of peace – the Lord comes to reconcile and restore us to friendship with God. The good news of  hope – the Lord comes to dwell with us and to give us a home with him in his heavenly kingdom. The good news of  truth – the Lord Jesus sets us free from the lies and deception of Satan and opens our mind to understand the truth and revelation of God’s word (John 8:32). The good news of promise – Jesus fulfills the promise of God to reward those who seek him with the treasure of heaven. The good news of immortality – Jesus overcomes sin and death for us in order to raise our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body which will never die again. And the good news of salvation – the Lord Jesus delivers us from every fear, every sin, and every obstacle that would keep us from entering his everlasting kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.  

The Gospel is the power and the wisdom of God – both power to change and transform our lives and wisdom to show us how to live as sons and daughters of our Father in heaven. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord makes it possible for us to receive his word with faith and to act upon it with trust and obedience.

The Gospel demands a response of faith and obedience to God’s gift of salvation
In announcing the good news, Jesus makes two demands: repent and believe! Repentance requires a change of course – a turning away from sin and disobedience and a turning towards the Lord with faith and submission to his word of truth and righteousness (right living according to God’s truth and moral goodness). The Holy Spirit gives us a repentant heart, a true sorrow and hatred for sin and its bad consequences (the wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23), and a firm resolution to avoid whatever would lead us into sin. The Holy Spirit gives us grace to see our sin for what it is – rebellion and a rejection of the love of God. God’s grace helps us to turn away from all that would keep us from his love. 

Faith or belief is an entirely free gift which God makes to us. Believing is only possible by grace and the help of the Holy Spirit who moves the heart and converts it to God. The Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the mind and makes it possible for us to accept and to grow in our understanding of the truth. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit we can know God personally and the truth he reveals to us through his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. To believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior is to accept God’s revelation of his Son as the eternal Word of God and the Redeemer who delivers us from the tyranny of sin, Satan, and death. God the Father made the supreme sacrifice of his Son on the cross to atone for our sins and to bring us back to himself. 

Do you want to grow in the knowledge of God’s love and truth? Ask the Holy Spirit to renew in you the gift of faith, the love of wisdom, and the heart of a disciple who desires to follow the Lord Jesus and his will for your life.  

“Lord Jesus, your ways are life and light!  Let your word penetrate my heart and transform my mind that I may see your power and glory. Help me to choose your ways and to do what is pleasing to you.”

Psalm 2:7-8,10-11

7 I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you. 
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 
11 Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling 
12 kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him. 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The true light of revelation to the Gentiles, by Chromatius (died 406 AD)

“The Evangelist commemorated in this passage the prophet’s words: ‘Beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light’ (Matthew 4:15-16) In what darkness? Certainly in the profound error of ignorance. What great light did they see? The light concerning which it is written: ‘He was the true light that illumines everyone who comes into this world’ (John 1:9) This was the light about which the just man Simeon in the Gospel declared, ‘A light of revelation to the Gentiles and a glory for your people Israel’ (Luke 2:32). That light had arisen according to what David had announced, saying, ‘A light has arisen in the darkness to the upright of heart’ (Psalm 112:4). 

“Also, Isaiah demonstrated that light about to come for the enlightenment of the church when he said, ‘Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you’ (Isaiah 60:1). Concerning that light also Daniel noted, ‘It reveals the profound and hidden things, knowing those things which are in darkness and the light is with it’ (Daniel 2:22), that is, the Son with the Father, for even as the Father is light, so too is the Son light. And David also speaks in the psalm: ‘In your light shall we see light’ (Psalm 36:9), for the Father is seen in the Son, as the Lord tells us in the Gospel: ‘Who sees me, sees the Father’ (John 14:9) From the true light, indeed, the true light proceeded, and from the invisible the visible. “He is the image of the invisible God,” as the apostle notes (Colossians 1:15).” (excerpt from TRACTATE ON MATTHEW 15.1)

[Note: Chromatius was an early Christian scholar and bishop of Aquileia, Italy. He was a close friend of John Chrysostom and Jerome. He died in 406 AD. Jerome described him as a “most learned and most holy man.”]

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

 

Feast of Epiphany (January 6): “They fell down and worshiped Jesus”

Daily Reading & Meditation

 Feast of Epiphany (January 6): “They fell down and worshiped Jesus”

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12  

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 6 `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;  for from you shall come a ruler  who will govern my people Israel.'” 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; 8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; 11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;  but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. 3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you;  your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. 5 Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice;  because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah;  all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.   

Meditation: If Jesus truly is who he claims to be, the eternal Son of God and Savior of the world, then why is he not recognized by everyone who hears his word and sees his works? John the Evangelist states that when Jesus came into the world the world knew him not and his own people received him not (John 1:10-11). Jesus was born in obscurity. Only the lowly shepherds recognized him at his birth. Some wise men also found their way to Bethlehem to pay homage to the newborn King of Israel. These men were not Israelites, but foreigners. They likely had read and discussed the Messianic prophecies and were anxious to see when this Messianic King would appear. God led them by means of an extraordinary star across the desert to the little town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

John Chrysostom (347-407 AD), in his homily on this passage from Matthew 2, explains the significance of the star of Bethlehem:

“Note how fitting was the order of events: the wise men saw the star, were received by the Jews and their king; they heard prophecy to explain what had appeared; the angel instructed them; and then they journeyed from Jerusalem to Bethlehem by the guidance of the star. From all this we learn that this was not an ordinary star, for no other star has this capacity to guide, not merely to move but to beckon, to “go before them,” drawing and guiding them along their way. The star remained after bringing them to the place, in order that the child might also be seen. For there is nothing conspicuous about the place. The inn was ordinary. The mother was not celebrated or notable. The star was needed to manifest and illumine the lowly place, until they had reached their destination at the manger.” [The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 7:3]

In their thirst for knowledge of God, the wise men from the East willingly left everything, their home and country, in pursuit of that quest. In their diligent search they were led to the source of true knowledge – to Jesus Christ, the Light and Wisdom of God. When they found the newborn King they humbly worshiped him and gave him gifts fitting for a king.

The Lord of the universe who revealed the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East so they could come and worship Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and King of Kings (Revelations 19:16), gives each one of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. It is through the help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and opens the eyes of the mind, that we are able to understand, accept, and believe the truth which God has revealed to us through his Son, Jesus Christ. In faith, the human will and intellect cooperate with grace. “Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace” (Thomas Aquinas).

To know and to encounter Jesus Christ is to know God personally. In the encounter of the wise men with Jesus we see the plan of God to give his only Son as King and Savior, not just for the Jewish people but for all the nations as well. The Lord Jesus came that both Jew and Gentile might find true and lasting peace with God.  Let us pray today that Jew and Gentile alike will find the Lord and Savior on their journey of life. Do you bring the light of Jesus Christ to those you meet through the witness of your life and testimony?

“Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for bringing salvation to all the nations. May the gospel of salvation be proclaimed to every nation today and to every person on the face of the earth.  Help me to be a good witness of the joy of the gospel to all I meet.”

Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! 
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! 
7 In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! 
8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! 
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba  bring gifts! 
11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! 
12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The glory of Christ’s divinity is revealed, by Chromatius (died 406 AD)

“Let us now observe how glorious was the dignity that attended the King after his birth, after the magi in their journey remained obedient to the star. For immediately the magi fell to their knees and adored the one born as Lord. There in his very cradle they venerated him with offerings of gifts, though Jesus was merely a whimpering infant. They perceived one thing with the eyes of their bodies but another with the eyes of the mind. The lowliness of the body he assumed was discerned, but the glory of his divinity is now made manifest. A boy he is, but it is God who is adored. How inexpressible is the mystery of his divine honor! The invisible and eternal nature did not hesitate to take on the weaknesses of the flesh on our behalf. The Son of God, who is God of the universe, is born a human being in the flesh. He permits himself to be placed in a manger, and the heavens are within the manger. He is kept in a cradle, a cradle that the world cannot hold. He is heard in the voice of a crying infant. This is the same one for whose voice the whole world would tremble in the hour of his passion. Thus he is the One, the God of glory and the Lord of majesty, whom as a tiny infant the magi recognize. It is he who while a child was truly God and King eternal. To him Isaiah pointed, saying, ‘For a boy has been born to you; a son has been given to you, a son whose empire has been forged on his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6).'” (excerpt from TRACTATE ON MATTHEW 5:1)

[Note: Chromatius was an early Christian scholar and bishop of Aquileia, Italy. He was a close friend of John Chrysostom and Jerome. He died in 406 AD. Jerome described him as a “most learned and most holy man.”]

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager