23 Dec Psalm 25:4 (“Master from Kanty”)
“Make known to me your ways, Lord; teach me your paths.” ~ Psalm 25:4 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: It is interesting that in today’s secular Christmas, rife with excess and materialism, that the Church in her wisdom has chosen to venerate the life of St. John of Kanty. The “Master from Kanty” was gifted with an intellect beyond compare during his time, but his most noble trait may have been his heroic charity for the poor. Christmas for many can be a time filled with the stress of meeting expectations or worse a time that exasperates the separation between the rich and the poor (materialism/selfishness). The story is told of how St. John was moved to take his full dinner plate and give it away to a passing beggar. He returned to find his plate miraculously full! God created us to empty ourselves and make our life a gift to others. Like our Lord’s humble beginnings in the manger, St. John strove to impoverish himself for the sake of others. He lived an austere life of poverty taking on only what was needed to sustain himself, choosing to give away all that he could to the poor. St. John sought so fervently to diminish himself that he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the intent of being martyred for the faith by the Turks. On the eve of Christmas, 1473, our Lord welcomed home His good and faithful servant with the pearl of great price in his hands, salvation.
Faith Challenge: As you celebrate the birth of our Lord this CHRIST-mas, give the greatest gift of all…yourself. Remember the least of our brothers and sisters; the poor and the humble among us.
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: Why Shepherd’s
Saint of the Day: St. John of Kanty (d. 1473)
Faith Quote: “Christmas is the feast day of a Child, of a newborn Baby. So it is your feast day too! You wait patiently for it and get ready for it with joy, counting the days and even the hours to the holy night of Bethlehem.” ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II (1994 Christmas message to children)
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (22% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa.
* Evangelize: Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Mt 28:19.