Sunday, December 30, 2012

Monday of the Octave of Christmas

31 December 2012

Today is also the Feast of St. Sylvester.
A link has been added tracing the history of this saint.

"On the seventh day of Christmas...
my true love gave to me...
seven swans a swimming..."

Symbolism: The seven swans a swimming
refers to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Wisdom, Understanding, Courage,
Wonder & Awe, Right Judgement,
Knowledge and Reverence

Scripture: "And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him:
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel
and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety."
Isaiah 11:2

Readings for the Day:
1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96
John 1:1-18

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sunday of the Octave of Christmas

30 December 2012

Today is also the Feast of the Holy Family.
A link has been added with the History of this Feast Day.

"On the sixth day of Christmas...
my true love gave to me...
six geese a laying..."

Symbolism: The six geese a laying symbolizes
the six days of creation.

Scripture: "And God saw everything that he had made. And they were very good. And it became evening and morning, the sixth day. And so the heavens and the earth were completed, with all their adornment. And on the seventh day, God fulfilled his work, which he had made. And on the seventh day he rested from all his work, which he had accomplished."
Genesis 1:31 and 2:1-2

Readings for the Day:
Sirach 2:2-6. 12-14 or 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28
Psalm 128 or 84
Colossians 3:12-21
Luke 2:41-52

Saturday of the Octave of Christmas

29 December 2012

Today is also the Feast Day of St.Thomas Becket.
A link has been added tracing the history of this saint.

"On the fifth day of Christmas...
my true love sent to me.....
five gold rings......"

Symbolism: The five gold rings is symbolic of the
Pentateuch or Torah....
the first five books of the Bible.
(Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers & Deuteronomy)

Scripture: "And they read from the book of the law of God, distinctly and plainly, so as to be understood. And when it was read, they did understand."
Nehemiah 8:8

Readings for the Day:
1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96
Luke 2:22-35

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday of the Octave of Christmas

28 December 2012

Today is also the Feast of the Slaughter of the Innocents.
A link has been added with the history of this feast.
Two more links have been added. One with information
about the Slaughter of the Innocents and another with the
Coventry Carol, a Christmas song
about the Slaughter of the Innocents.

"On the fourth day of Christmas....
My true love gave to me.......
Four calling birds........"

Symbolism: The Four Calling Birds stand for
the Four Gospel Writers...
Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

Scripture: "And he said to them:
“Go forth to the whole world and
preach the Gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15

Readings of the Day:
1 John 1:5-22
Psalm 124
Matthew 2:13-18

Thursday of the Octave of Christmas

27 December 2012

Today is also a Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist.
A link has been added giving the history of this saint.

"On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
three French Hens...."

Symbolism: The three French Hens are symbols for the Three Things that Last: Faith, Hope & Love.

Scripture: "But for now, these three continue: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13

Readings for the Day:
1 John 1:1-4
Psalm 97
John 20:1a, 2-8

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday of the Octave of Christmas

26 December 2012

Today is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
A link has been added about the life of this first martyred saint.

Today, being St. Stephen's Day, is the day on which the song GOOD KING WENCESLAUS was to have taken place. King Wenceslaus was a kind, Christian king who was martyred, as well. A link has been added about his life and another link has been added where you may hear the carol about this caring saint.

"On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.....
Two Turtle Doves..."

Symbolism: TWO TURTLE DOVES stands for the two different sections of the Bible....the OLD TESTAMENT and the NEW TESTAMENT.

Scripture: "And Moses returned from the mountain, carrying the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, written on both sides, and accomplished by the work of God. Also, the writing of God was engraved on the tablets."
Exodus 32:15-16

Readings of the Day:
Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Psalm 31
Matthew 10:17-22
25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!
Today begins the Church's celebration of the 12 Days of the Christmas Season...the 12 days until the celebration of the Epiphany.

The readings for the day are listed below.

Centuries ago, the song THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, was used as a way for Christians to share their faith with their children. Each symbol represented an aspect of the faith. To the right is a link explaining the historical grounds for this tradition. We will use the words of the song on this site as our way to share in the celebration of the Birth of our Savior.

"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree."

Symbol: The Partridge in a Pear Tree is the sacrificed Savior, Jesus Christ, on the "tree" of the Cross.

Scripture: "And they arrived at the place which is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink, mixed with gall. And when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it. Then, after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots, in order to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying: “They divided my garments among them, and over my vestment they cast lots.” And sitting down, they observed him. And they set his accusation above his head, written as: THIS IS JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS. Then two robbers were crucified with him: one on the right and one on the left. But those passing by blasphemed him, shaking their heads, and saying: “Ah, so you would destroy the temple of God and in three days rebuild it! Save your own self. If you are the Son of God, descend from the cross.” And similarly, the leaders of the priests, with the scribes and the elders, mocking him, said: “He saved others; he cannot save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him descend now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; so now, let God free him, if he wills him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” Then, the robbers who were crucified with him also reproached him with the very same thing. Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over the entire earth, even until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Then certain ones who were standing and listening there said, “This man calls upon Elijah.” And one of them, running quickly, took a sponge and filled it with vinegar, and he set it on a reed and he gave it to him to drink. Yet truly, the others said, “Wait. Let us see whether Elijah will come to free him.” Then Jesus, crying out again with a loud voice, gave up his life. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn into two parts, from top to bottom. And the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split apart. And the tombs were opened. And many bodies of the saints, which had been sleeping, arose. And going out from the tombs, after his resurrection, they went into the holy city, and they appeared to many. Now the centurion and those who were with him, guarding Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were very fearful, saying: “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
Matthew 27:33-54

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98
Hebrews 1:1-6
John 1:1-18

Monday, December 24, 2012

4th Monday of Advent ~ Christmas Eve

24 December 2012

As a note, the Religious Interactive Page will continue throughout the Christmas Season.
We wish you all a very blessed Christmas!

Jesse Tree Story: JESUS
Jesse Tree Symbol: CHI-RO

Scripture: "And it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, so that the whole world would be enrolled. This was the first enrollment; it was made by the ruler of Syria, Quirinius. And all went to be declared, each one to his own city. Then Joseph also ascended from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, Then it happened that, while they were there, the days were completed, so that she would give birth. And she brought forth her firstborn son. And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. And there were shepherds in the same region, being vigilant and keeping watch in the night over their flock. And behold, an Angel of the Lord stood near them, and the brightness of God shone around them, and they were struck with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: “Do not be afraid. For, behold, I proclaim to you a great joy, which will be for all the people. For today a Saviour has been born for you in the city of David: he is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the celestial army, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.” And it happened that, when the Angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us cross over to Bethlehem and see this word, which has happened, which the Lord has revealed to us.” And they went quickly. And they found Mary and Joseph; and the infant was lying in a manger. Then, upon seeing this, they understood the word that had been spoken to them about this boy. And all who heard it were amazed by this, and by those things which were told to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told to them."
Luke 2:1-20

Commentary: "For Unto Us a Child is Born..." Gloria in Eccelsius Deo!

Readings for the Day:
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89
Luke 1:67-79

Sunday, December 23, 2012

4th Sunday of Advent

23 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: MARY
Jesse Tree Symbol: A WHITE LILY

Scripture: "Then, in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God, to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary. And upon entering, the Angel said to her: “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” And when she had heard this, she was disturbed by his words, and she considered what kind of greeting this might be. And the Angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God. Behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and you shall bear a son, and you shall call his name: JESUS. He will be great, and he will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. And he will reign in the house of Jacob for eternity. And his kingdom shall have no end.” Then Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, since I do not know man?”
And in response, the Angel said to her: “The Holy Spirit will pass over you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. And because of this also, the Holy One who will be born of you shall be called the Son of God. And behold, your cousin Elizabeth has herself also conceived a son, in her old age. And this is the sixth month for her who is called barren. For no word will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” And the Angel departed from her."

Luke 1:26-38

Mary was the temple God prepared for his Son, more beautiful than Solomon's magnificent temple in Jerusalem.  She was the woman whose seed, Christ, would crush the serpent's head, as God had promised. 
The symbol is the lily, a sign of purity.
Readings for the Day:
Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45


Saturday, December 22, 2012

3rd Saturday of Advent

22 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: JOSEPH

Scripture: "Then Joseph, her husband, since he was just and was not willing to hand her over, preferred to send her away secretly. But while thinking over these things, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to accept Mary as your wife. For what has been formed in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall give birth to a son. And you shall call his name JESUS. For he shall accomplish the salvation of his people from their sins.” Now all this occurred in order to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in her womb, and she shall give birth to a son. And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means: God is with us.” Then Joseph, arising from sleep, did just as the Angel of the Lord had instructed him, and he accepted her as his wife.”
Matthew :19-24

Commentary: Through the story of Joseph, we learn to trust in God's Will. Although Joseph could have quietly divorced Mary,he chose instead to stand firm by her side, will God's help....even if he did not understand God's Will.

Readings of the Day:
1 Samuel 1:24-28
1 Samuel 2
luke 1:46-56

Friday, December 21, 2012

3rd Friday of Advent

21 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: JOHN THE BAPTIST
Jesse Tree Symbol: SCALLOPED SHELL

Scripture: "Then, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being procurator of Judea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, under the high priests Annas and Caiaphas: the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. And he went into the entire region of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, just as it has been written in the book of the sermons of the prophet Isaiah: “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. And what is crooked shall be made straight. And the rough paths shall be made into level ways. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Therefore, he said to the crowd that went out in order to be baptized by him: “You progeny of vipers! Who told you to flee from the approaching wrath? So then, produce fruits worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God has the power to raise up sons to Abraham from these stones. For even now the axe has been placed at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not produce good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire.” And the crowed was questioning him, saying, “What then should we do?” But in response, he said to them: “Whoever has two coats, let him give to those who do not have. And whoever has food, let him act similarly.” Now the tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” But he said to them, “You should do nothing more than what has been appointed to you.” Then the soldiers also questioned him, saying, “And what should we do?” And he said to them: “You should strike no one, and you should not make false accusations. And be content with your pay.” Now all were thinking about John in their hearts, and the people were supposing that perhaps he might be the Christ. John responded by saying to everyone: “Indeed, I baptize you with water. But there will arrive one stronger than me, the laces of whose shoes I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit, and with fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. And he will purify his threshing floor. And he will gather the wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Indeed, he also proclaimed many other things, exhorting the people. But Herod the tetrarch, when he was corrected by him concerning Herodias, his brother’s wife, and concerning all the evils that Herod had done, added this also, above all else: that he confined John to prison."
Luke 3:1-20

Commentary: As we continue to wait in our Advent, we are reminded to repent from sin. John plays a part in the prophecies of Isaiah. He was the "voice crying out in the wilderness." Listen...

Readings of the Day:
Song of Soloman 2:8-14
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Psalm 33
Luke 1:39-45

Thursday, December 20, 2012

3rd Thursday of Advent

Jesse Tree Story: MICAH

Scripture: "And you, Bethlehem Ephrata, are a little one
among the thousands of Judah. From you will go forth
he who shall be the ruler in Israel, and his landing place
has been set from the beginning, from the days of eternity."
Micah 5:2

Commentary: The prophet Micah told us where Christ would be born.  "And you Bethlehem out of you shall He come forth unto me, that is to be the ruler in Israel." 

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Luke 1:26-38

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

3rd Wednesday of Advent

19 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: DANIEL
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE HOUR GLASS

Scripture: "And while I was still speaking and praying and
confessing my sins, and the sins of my people, Israel, and
offering my prayers in the sight of my God, on behalf of the
holy mountain of my God,as I was still speaking in prayer,
behold, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at
the beginning, flying swiftly, touched me at the time of the
evening sacrifice. And he instructed me, and he spoke to me
and said, “Now, Daniel, I have come forth to teach you and
to help you understand. At the beginning of your prayers,
the message came forth, yet I have come to explain it to you
because you are a man who is seeking. Therefore, you must
pay close attention to the message and understand the vision.
Seventy weeks of years are concentrated on your people and
on your holy city, so that transgression shall be finished, and
sin shall reach an end, and iniquity shall be wiped away, and
so that everlasting justice shall be brought in, and vision and
prophecy shall be fulfilled, and the Saint of saints shall be
anointed. Therefore, know and take heed: from the going forth
of the word to build up Jerusalem again, until the Christ leader,
there will be seven weeks of years, and sixty-two weeks of years;
and the wide path will be built again, and the walls, in a time of
anguish. And after sixty-two weeks of years, the Christ leader
will be slain. And the people who have denied him will not be
his. And the people, when their leader arrives, will destroy the
city and the sanctuary. And its end will be devastation, and,
after the end of the war, the desolation will be set up. But he
will confirm a covenant with many for one week of years;
and for half of the week of years, victim and sacrifice will
nearly cease; but there will be in the temple the abomination
of desolation. And the desolation will continue even to the
consummation and the end.”
Daniel 9:20-27

Commentary: Daniel was told in a vision the exact time when the Redeemer of the world would come. "From the going forth to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks." 

Readings of the Day:
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71
Luke 1:5-25

Monday, December 17, 2012

3rd Tuesday of Advent

18 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: JUDITH
Jesse Tree Symbol: A CROSS & SPEAR

Scripture: "And so, when she heard that Uzziah had promised
that he would hand over the city with the passing of five days,
she sent to the elders Chabris and Charmis. And they came to
her, and she said to them: “What is this word, by which Uzziah
has consented to hand over the city to the Assyrians, if within
five days no help arrives for us? And who are you to test the Lord?
This is not a word that will provoke mercy, but rather one that
may excite wrath and enkindle fury. You have set a time limit
for the mercy of the Lord, and you have established a day for him,
according to your choice. But, since the Lord is patient, let us
be repentant about this same matter, and let us beg his indulgence
with many tears. For God will not threaten like man, nor will he
be inflamed to anger like a son of man. And, for this reason,
let us humble our souls before him, and, continuing to serve
him in a spirit of humility, let us speak to the Lord with tears,
so that he may act according to his will in his mercy toward us.
So then, just as our heart is disturbed by their arrogance, so also
may we glory in our humility.For we have not followed the
sins of our fathers, who abandoned their God in order to worship
strange gods. Because of this crime, they were given over to
their enemies: to the sword, and to pillaging, and to confusion.
But we know no other God except him. Let us wait with
humility for his consolation, and the Lord our God will
requite our blood by the afflictions of our enemies, and
he will humble all the nations that will rise up against us,
and he will cause them to be without honor.
And now, brothers, because you are the elders among

the people of God, and their very soul hangs upon you,
rescue their hearts by your eloquence, so that they may
remember that our fathers were tested in order to prove
whether or not they truly worshiped their God.
They are obliged to remember how our father Abraham

was tested, and being proved by many tribulations, he was
made the friend of God. So Isaac, so Jacob, so Moses, and
all that have pleased God, passed through many tribulations,
remaining faithful. But those who did not accept the trials
with the fear of the Lord, and who brought forward their
impatience and the disgrace of their murmuring against the Lord,
were exterminated by the exterminator, and they perished by

serpents. And as for us, therefore, let us not revenge ourselves
for these things that we suffer.But, in considering these same
sufferings to be less than our sins deserve, let us believe that
the scourges of the Lord, by which we are corrected like
servants, have occurred for our improvement and not
for our destruction.”
Judith 8:9-27

Commentary: Judith killed the leader of the Assyrian army with a sword and saved the Israelite nation. She prefigured Mary whose "Fiat" brought salvation to all mankind. 

Readings for the Day:
Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-25

3rd Monday of Advent

17 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: JONAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE WHALE

Scripture: "The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The abyss has walled me in. The ocean has covered my head."
Jonah 2:6

"For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Matthew 12:40

Commentary: Jesus used the story of Jonah, who was swallowed by a
whale and miraculously disgorged upon the shore on the third day,
to point out his own burial and resurrection. 

Readings of the Day:
Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:1-17

Sunday, December 16, 2012

3rd Sunday of Advent

16 December 2012

Today is GAUDETE SUNDAY, Sunday of Rejoicing for Emmanuel will come.
"Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you oh Israel."

Jesse Tree Story: EZEKIEL
Jesse Tree Symbol: A BROKEN CHAIN

Scripture: "And you shall say to them: Thus says the
Lord God: Behold, I will take up the sons of Israel,
from the midst of the nations to which they have gone,
and I will gather them together on every side, and I will
lead them onto their own soil. And I will make them
one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and
one king will be ruler over all. And they will no longer
be two nations, nor will they be divided any more into
two kingdoms. And they will no longer be defiled by
their idols, and by their abominations, and by all their
iniquities. And I will save them, out of all the settlements
in which they have sinned, and I will cleanse them. And
they will be my people, and I will be their God. And my
servant David shall be the king over them, and they shall
have one shepherd. They shall walk in my judgments, and
they shall keep my commandments, and they shall do them.
And they shall live upon the land that I gave to my servant

Jacob, in which your fathers lived. And they shall live upon it,
they and their sons, and the sons of their sons, even for all time.
And David, my servant, shall be their leader, in perpetuity.
And I will strike a covenant of peace with them. This will

be an everlasting covenant for them. And I will establish them,
and multiply them. And I will set my sanctuary in their midst,
unceasingly. And my tabernacle shall be among them. And I
will be their God, and they will be my people. And the Gentiles
shall know that I am the Lord, the Sanctifier of Israel, when my
sanctuary will be in their midst, forever.”
Ezekiel 37:21-28

Commentary: The prophet Ezekiel told the Israelites that their
captivity would be broken and salvation would come to them one day.

Readings of the Day:
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

Friday, December 14, 2012

2nd Saturday of Advent

15 December 2012

Jesse Tree Story: JEREMIAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE CROSS

Scripture: "For this city has been a cause of fury and indignation to me, from the day when they built it, until this day, in which it will be taken away from my sight, because of all the wickedness of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah, which they have done, provoking me to wrath, they and their kings, their leaders and their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. And though I taught them and instructed them, rising at first light, they were not willing to listen, so that they would receive discipline. And they have placed their idols in the house where my name is invoked, so that they defiled it."
Jeremiah 31:31-34

Commentary: Jeremiah's life resembled the life of Jesus in his mission and suffering.

Readings of the Day:
Sirach 48: 1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80
Matthew 17: 9a, 10-13

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2nd Friday of Advent

14 December 2012

Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and Doctor of the Church. Please refer to the link on the side bar to the right for more information on this saint.

Jesse Tree Story: ISAIAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: A RAIN CLOUD

Scripture: "Send down dew from above, O heavens, and let the clouds rain down upon the just! Let the earth open and spring forth a savior! And let justice rise up at once! I, the Lord, have created him."
Isaiah 45:8

Commentary: He foretold Christ's birth, life, mission and sufferings, death and resurrection. Once he prayed: "Let the clouds rain down on the Just. Let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior." 

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 48: 17-19
Psalm 1
Matthew 11:16-19

2nd Thursday of Advent

13 December 2012

Today is the Feast Day of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr. Please refer to the link on the right side bar for more information on this saint.

Jesse Tree Story: DAVID
Jesse Tree Symbol: STAR OF DAVID

Scripture: " But the Spirit of the Lord withdrew from Saul, and a wicked spirit from the Lord disturbed him. And the servants of Saul said to him: “Behold, an evil spirit from
God disturbs you. May our lord order, and your servants, who are before you, will seek a man skillful in playing a stringed instrument, so that when the evil spirit from the
Lord assails you, he may play with his hand, and you may bear it more easily.” And Saul said to his servants, “Then provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him
to me.” And one of the servants, responding, said: “Behold, I have seen the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, a skillful player, and very strong and robust, a man fit for war, and prudent in words, a handsome man. And the Lord is with him.” Therefore, Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, “Send to me your son David, who is in the pastures.” And so, Jesse took a donkey laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid from one of the goats, and he sent them, by the hand of his son David, to Saul. And David went to Saul, and stood before him. And he loved him exceedingly, and he made him his armor bearer.
And Saul sent to Jesse, saying: “Let David remain before my
sight. For he has found favor in my eyes.” And so, whenever  the evil spirit from the Lord assailed Saul, David took up his stringed instrument, and he struck it with his hand, and Saul was refreshed and uplifted. For the evil spirit withdrew from him."
1 Samuel 16:14-23

Commentary: David, the king and prophet, descended from the royal line of Christ. In David's psalms, he foretold many things about the coming of the Savior. 

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalm 145
Matthew 11:11-15

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2nd Wednesday of Advent

12 December 2012

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Please refer to the link on the right side-bar for more information on this feast.

Jesse Tree Story: JESSE

Scripture: "And a rod will go forth from the root of Jesse, and a flower will ascend from his root."
Isaiah 11:1

Commentary: The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Savior
would be born from the root of Jesse and that he would sit
upon the throne of David.

Readings of the Day:
Zechariah 2:14-17
Judith 13
Luke 1:26-38

Monday, December 10, 2012

2nd Tuesday of Advent

Jesse Tree Symbol: MANNA

Scripture: And they set out from Elim. And the entire multitude of the sons of Israel arrived at the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month, after they departed from the land of Egypt. And the entire congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them: “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat around bowls of meat and ate bread until filled. Why have you led us away,
into this desert, so that you might kill the entire multitude with famine?” Then the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, I will rain down bread from heaven for you. Let the people go out and collect what is sufficient for each day, so that I may test them, as to whether or not they will walk in my law. But on the sixth day, let them prepare what they use for carrying, and let there be double what they were accustomed to collect on a single day.”
And Moses and Aaron said to the sons of Israel:
“In the evening, you will know that the Lord has led you away from the land of Egypt. And in the morning, you will see the glory of the Lord. For he has heard your murmuring against the Lord. But as for us, truly what are we, that you would whisper against us?” And Moses said: “In the evening, the Lord will give you flesh to eat, and in the morning, bread in fullness. For he has heard your murmurings that you have murmured against him. For what are we? Your murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord.” Moses also said to Aaron: “Say to the whole  congregation of the sons of Israel, ‘Approach before the Lord. For he has heard your murmuring.’ ”And when Aaron spoke to the entire assembly of the sons of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. And behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “I have heard the murmuring of the sons of Israel.

Say to them: ‘In the evening, you will eat flesh, and in the morning, you will be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”Therefore, it happened in the evening: quails, rising up, covered the camp. Likewise, in the morning, a dew lay all around the camp. And when it had covered the face of the earth, it appeared, in the wilderness, small and as if crushed with a pestle, similar to hoar-frost on the ground.
When the sons of Israel had seen it, they said one to
another: “Manhu?” which means “What is this?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them: “This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is the word that the Lord has instructed. Let
each one collect as much of it as is sufficient to eat. One omer for each head. According to the number of your souls which live in a tent, so will you take of it.” And the sons of Israel did so. And they collected: some more, others less. And they measured by the measure of an omer. He who collected more, did not have too much; nor did he who prepared less, find too little. But each one gathered according to what they were able to eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it behind until morning.” And they did not listen to him, but they left some of it behind until morning, and it began to swarm
with worms, and it putrefied. And Moses became angry against them. Then each one collected, in the morning, as much as would be sufficient to eat. And after the sun became
hot, it melted. But on the sixth day, they collected a double portion, that is, two omers for each man. Then all the leaders among the multitude came, and they discoursed with Moses. And he said to them: “This is what the Lord has spoken: Tomorrow, the rest day of the Sabbath, has been sanctified to the Lord. Whatever would be done, do it now. And
whatever would be cooked, cook it now. Then anything that will have been left over, store it until morning.” And they did just as Moses had instructed, and it did notputrefy, nor were there any worms found in it. And Moses said: “Eat it today, because it is the Sabbath of the Lord. Today it will not be found in the field. Gather for six days. But on the seventh day, it is the Sabbath of the Lord, for which reason it will not be found.”
And the seventh day arrived. And some of the people,
going out to collect it, did not find it. Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will you be unwilling to keep my commandments and my law? See how the Lord has given you the Sabbath, and, because of this, on the sixth day he distributes to you a double portion. Let each one remain with
his own, and let no one go forth from his place on the seventh day.” And the people kept the Sabbath on the seventh day. And the house of Israel called its name ‘Manna.’  It was like white coriander seed, and its taste was like wheat flour with honey. Then Moses said: “This is the word that the Lord has instructed: Fill an omer of it, and let it be kept for future generations hereafter, so that they may know the bread, with which I nourished you in the wilderness, when you had been led away from the land of Egypt.” And Moses said to Aaron, “Take one vessel, and put manna into it, as much as an omer is able to hold.
And store it in the sight of the Lord, to keep for your generations, just as the Lord instructed Moses.” And so, Aaron placed it in the tabernacle, in reserve. Now the sons of Israel ate manna for forty years, until they arrived in a habitable land. With this food they were nourished, even until they touched the borders of the land of Canaan. Now an omer is a tenth part of an ephah.
Exodus 16:1-36

Commentary: The manna which the Jews ate in the desert for forty years was a symbol of Christ, the true Bread which descended from heaven.

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96
Matthew 18:12-14

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2nd Monday in Advent

Jesse Tree Story: MOSES

Scripture: "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him. If any man will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it."
Deuteronomy 18:18-19

Commentary: God said to Moses: "I will raise up for them a
prophet like you from among their kinsmen.
And I will put my word in his mouth." 

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 85
Luke 5: 17-26

2nd Sunday in Advent

Jesse Tree Story: JOSEPH

Scripture: One day, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem, Israel said to Joseph, "Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem. Get ready; I will send you to them." "I am ready," Joseph answered. "Go then," he replied; "see if all is well with your brothers and the flocks, and bring back word." So he sent him off from the valley of Hebron. When Joseph reached Shechem, a man met him as he was wandering about in the fields. "What are you looking for?" the man asked him. "I am looking for my brothers," he answered. "Could you please tell me where they are tending the flocks?" The man told him, "They have moved on from here; in fact, I heard them say, 'Let us go on to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan. They noticed him from a distance, and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another: "Here comes that master dreamer! Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here; we could say that a wild beast devoured him. We shall then see what comes of his dreams." When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from their hands, saying: "We must not take his life. Instead of shedding blood," he continued, "just throw him into that cistern there in the desert; but don't kill him outright." His purpose was to rescue him from their hands and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came up to them, they stripped him of the long tunic he had on; then they took him and threw him into the cistern, which was empty and dry. They then sat down to their meal. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, balm and resin to be taken down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers: "What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood? Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites, instead of doing away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh." His brothers agreed. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. Some Midianite traders passed by, and they pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and took him to Egypt. When Reuben went back to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not in it, he tore his clothes, and returning to his brothers, he exclaimed: "The boy is gone! And I--where can I turn?" They took Joseph's tunic, and after slaughtering a goat, dipped the tunic in its blood. Then they sent someone to bring the long tunic to their father, with the message: "We found this. See whether it is your son's tunic or not." He recognized it and exclaimed: "My son's tunic! A wild beast has devoured him! Joseph has been torn to pieces!" Then Jacob rent his clothes, put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned his son many days.
Genesis 37:12-34

Commentary: Joseph, another son of Jacob, prefigures Christ. He was betrayed by his brothers, imprisoned unjustly and saved Egypt from death by starvation. He never lost faith and was exulted by God. 

Readings of the Day:
Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126
Phillipians 1:4-6, 8-11
Luke 3:1-6

Saturday, December 8, 2012

1st Saturday of Advent

Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Please click on the link to the right to learn more about this Feast Day.

Jesse Tree Story: JUDAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE CROWN & SCEPTRE

Scripture: "The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs, while tribute is
brought to him, and he receives the people's homage."
Genesis 49:10

Commentary: When Jacob gave the birth right to his
fourth son, Judah, he proclaimed: "The sceptre shall
not depart from Judah nor the staff from between his
feet until he comes to whom it belongs."

Readings of the Day:
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

Friday, December 7, 2012

1st Friday of Advent

Today we celebrate the Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Please click the link to the right to learn more about this saint.

At sundown today, our Jewish brothers and sisters begin the celebration of Hanukkah. This celebration hearkens back to the days of the Maccabeus war...when God made the candles in the Great Temple shine bright for 8 days even though there was only enough oil for 1 day, ultimately keeping the invaders at bay. There is also a link to the right for more information about Hanukkah (Chanukah).

Jesse Tree Story: JACOB
Jesse Tree Symbol: A LADDER

Scripture: "Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God's messengers were going up and down on it. And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: "I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing."
Genesis 28:12-14

Commentary: God renewed his promise to Isaac's son, Jacob, through a dream in which he saw  angels ascending and descending a ladder which reached from heaven to earth. 

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 29: 17-24
Psalm 27
Matthew 9:27-31

Thursday, December 6, 2012

1st Thursday of Advent

Today is the optional memorial for St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Please click on the link to the right for more information on this memorial.

Jesse Tree Story: ISAAC

Scripture: "I will bless you and make your descendants
as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the
seashore; your descendants will take possession of the
gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the
nations of the earth will find blessing, because you
obeyed my command.” Genesis 22:17-18

Commentary: Since God saved Isaac from the
sacrificial altar, he was able to carry on God's
promise to Abraham. 

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

1st Wednesday of Advent

Jesse Tress Story: ABRAHAM
Jesse Tree Symbol: A RAM

Scripture: " I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command."
Genesis 22:17-18

Commentary: When Abraham was about to sacrifice his own son, God gave him a ram to offer instead. He then promised Abraham that the entire world would be blessed by one of his descendants--Christ. 

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 25:6-10
Psalm 23
Matthew 15:29-37

Monday, December 3, 2012

1st Tuesday of Advent

Jesse Tree Story: NOAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE ARK

Scripture: "'Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves shall he
be to his brothers.' He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the
God of Shem! Let Canaan be his slave. May God expand
Japeth, and may he dwell among the tents of Shem; and
let Canaan be his slave!'"
 Genesis 9:25-27

Commentary: The Ark represents the promise of salvation given by God through Noah. It also symbolizes the Church by which we travel tempestuous waters of life.

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72
Luke 10: 21-24

1st Monday of Advent

Today is the Feast Day of Francis Xavier.
Please refer to the Link to the right to learn more about this special Saint.

Jesse Tree Story: ABEL
Jesse Tree Symbol: A LAMB

Scripture: "Yahweh asked Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?'
'I do not k now,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's guardian?'
'What have you done?' Yahweh asked. 'Listen!
Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground.
Now be cursed and banned from the ground that has
opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood at your hands.'"
Genesis 4:9-11
Commentary: God chose certain persons to foreshadow
something related to Christ or to His Kingdom.
Just as the blood of Abel cried out to God,
so Christ's blood calls for forgiveness and grace.
Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm  122
Matthew 8:5-11

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent

Jesse Tree Story: ADAM & EVE
Jesse Tree Symbol: AN EATEN APPLE

Scripture: "I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel."
Genesis 3:15

Commentary: The first promise of the coming of the Redeemer, Christ, was made to Adam and Eve in Paradise after they disobeyed God.

Readings for the Day:
Jeremiah 33: 14-16
Psalm 25
1 Thessalonians 3: 12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advent 2012


Every Advent, Christmas, Lent & Easter, we come together to walk the journey of the seasons as a school. In this YEAR OF FAITH, please join us on our journey as we discover the deeper meaning of the Liturgical Seasons.

During Advent, we will be building a JESSE TREE. Every day, this site will post a Jesse Tree Symbol that goes with a story from Scripture. There will also be a short commentary about the symbol and scripture. The Liturgical Readings for the Day will also be notated, along with any special Feast Days or traditions. Feel free to use the links at the right of the page to navigate to sites, where you can access the Readings for the Day and other information.

We hope that you and your family have a FAITH-FILLED Advent Season.

The Jesse Tree

"O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign for all people, standing before the silence of kings, to whom the gentiles offer their prayers.  Come and deliver us."

The Jesse Tree helps us to remember that Advent is a time of waiting for the coming of the Savior.  It is a symbol of life and growth and is expressed through the ancestry of an individual.  The image is not unusual to us since we also speak about our family tree or our roots.

Jesse, whom the tree is named after, was the father of King David.  The tree reminds us of all the people who waited for the coming of the Savior.  We decorate the tree with symbols that remind us of some of the people who waited for the coming of the Savior--the patriarchs and matriarchs (our fathers and mothers in faith), the prophets, and the parents of the Lord.

If you would like to have your own Jesse Tree for your family in your home, please refer to links posted on the sidebar for assistance.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Monday

9 April 2012

As we are finished with our Lenten Journey of 40 Days of Stories, I will be posting interesting tidbits of information to mark the Easter Season.

Today's topic: EASTER EGGS

Easter eggs are seen by many non-believers as a throw-back to pagan ritual, thereby negating the importance of the season. But our Eastern brothers and sisters of the Byzantine Rite may have a different take on the subject. There is a legend that Mary Magdalene went to Rome after Jesus' death and resurrection. There, she went to Tiberius to chastise him about how Jesus had been treated and to share with him the wonderful news of Jesus' resurrection. Upon hearing the story, Tiberius said that Jesus had no more risen from the dead as that egg is red. Mary had used an egg as an example of the empty tomb. No sooner had Tiberius said these words did the egg turn red..hence our Easter eggs are reminiscent of this legend. The egg also harkens to the Passover Plate....the symbol for rebirth as seen by thousands through the years.

Readings for the Day:
     Acts 2:14, 22-33
     Psalm 16
     Matthew 28:8-15

Collect for the Day:
"O God, who give constant increase to your Church by new offspring, grant that your servants may hold fast in their lives to the Sacrament they have received in faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever Amen."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Sunday



Holy Saturday & the Easter Vigil

7 April 2012

Today is Holy Saturday. Tonight will be the Easter Vigil, the third pillar of the three liturgies that comprise Triduum. Please refer to the link at the right. The link contains many activities you can do with your family.

Our 40 DAYS OF STORIES is now complete. I urge you to look at some of the links to the right and use the activities found there to really mark this HOLY SATURDAY, the Vigil of Easter, so that tomorrow's resurrection may be fully experienced. One particular tradition in our family, is to make RESURRECTION COOKIES. Through this activity, the family physically experiences Christ's Passion. There is a link for that family activity at the right, as well.

Readings for the Vigil:
     Genesis 1:1-2:2
     Psalm 104
     Genesis 22:1-18
     Psalm 16
     Exodus 14:15-15:1
     Exodus 15
     Isaiah 54:5-14
     Psalm 30
     Isaiah 55:1-11
     Isaiah 12
     Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4
     Psalm 19
     Ezekiel 36:16-28
     Psalm 42
     Romans 6:3-11
     Psalm 118
     Mark 16:1-7

Collect for the Day:
"Christ became obedient for us unto death, even to the death of the cross. Amen."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

6 April 2012

Today is Good Friday.

Our story today tells of when Peter Was Scared.
The scriptural basis for this story can be found in Mark 14.

"And while Peter was in the court below, one of the maidservants of the high priest arrived. And when she had seen Peter warming himself, she stared at him, and she said: “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”  But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you saying.” And he went outside, in front of the court; and a rooster crowed. Then again, when a maidservant had seen him, she began to say to the bystanders, “For this is one of them.” But he denied it again. And after a little while, again those standing near said to Peter: “In truth, you are one of them. For you, too, are a Galilean.” Then he began to curse and to swear, saying, “For I do not know this man, about whom you are speaking.”  And immediately the rooster crowed again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he began to weep."

Readings of the Day:
     Isaiah 52:13-53:12
     Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-14, 15-17, 25
     Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
     John 18:1-19:42

Collect for the Day:
"Remember your mercies, O Lord, and with your eternal protection sanctify your servants for whom Christ your Son, by the shedding of his Blood, established the Paschal Mystery. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Thursday

5 April 2012

Today is the Feast of Holy Thursday. We remember the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and instituted the Eucharist. We also remember his prayer in Gethsemane and his betrayal by Judas. It is the first day in a 3--day liturgy known as TRIDUUM. To full participate in TRIDUUM, one must attend all 3 of it's parts: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.

I have also added some links to the right with activities you might want to do with your kids over the next few days.

Today's story tells of when Judas Leaves the Last Supper.
The scriptural basis for this story can be found in both Matthew 26 & John 13.

"And while they were eating, he said: “Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me.” And being greatly saddened, each one of them began to say, “Surely, it is not I, Lord?” But he responded by saying: “He who dips his hand with me into the dish, the same will betray me. Indeed, the Son of man goes, just as it has been written about him. But woe to that man by whom the Son of man will be betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had not been born.” Then Judas, who betrayed him, responded by saying, “Surely, it is not I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said it.”
Matthew 26:21-25

"“Amen, amen, I say to you, that one among you shall betray me.”  Therefore, the disciples looked around at one another, uncertain about whom he spoke. And leaning against the bosom of Jesus was one of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved. Therefore, Simon Peter motioned to this one and said to him, “Who is it that he is speaking about?”And so, leaning against the chest of Jesus, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus responded, “It is he to whom I shall extend the dipped bread.” And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now none of those sitting at table knew why he had said this to him. For some were thinking that, because Judas held the purse, that Jesus had told him, “Buy those things which are needed by us for the feast day,” or that he might give something to the needy. Therefore, having accepted the morsel, he went out immediately. And it was night."
John 13:21-30

Reading of the Day:
     Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
     Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
     1 Corinthians 11:23-26
     John 13:1-15

Collect for the Day:
"O God, who have called us to participate in this most sacred Supper, in which your Only Begotten Son, when about to hand himself over to death, entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity, the banquet of his love, grant, we pray, that we may draw from so great a mystery, the fullness of charity and of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wednesday of Holy Week

4 March 2012

Today's story tells of Jesus Washing the Feet of His Disciples.
The scriptural basis for this story can be found in John 13.

"He rose up from the meal, and he set aside his vestments, and when he had received a towel, he wrapped it around himself. Next he put water into a shallow bowl, and he began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel with which he was wrapped. And then he came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to him, “Lord, would you wash my feet?” Jesus responded and said to him: “What I am doing, you do not now understand. But you shall understand it afterward.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you will have no place with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Then Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him: “He who is washed need only wash his feet, and then he will be entirely clean. And you are clean, but not all.” For he knew which one would betray him. For this reason, he said, “You are not all clean.” And so, after he washed their feet and received his vestments, when he had sat down at table again, he said to them: “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you speak well: for so I am. Therefore, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of one another. For I have given you an example, so that just as I have done for you, so also should you do. Amen, amen, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his Lord, and the apostle is not greater than he who sent him. If you understand this, you shall be blessed if you will do it."

Readings of the Day:
     Isaiah 50:4-9
     Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
     Matthew 26:14-25

Collect for the Day:
" God, who willed your Son to submit for our sake to the yoke of the Cross, so that you might drive from us the power of the enemy, grant us, your servants, to attain the grace of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tuesday of Holy Week

3 April 2012

Our story today tells of the Woman Who Anoints Jesus.
The scriptural basis for this can be found in

"Then six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethania, where Lazarus had died, whom Jesus raised up. And they made a dinner for him there. And Martha was ministering. And truly, Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at table with him. And then Mary took twelve ounces of pure spikenard ointment, very precious, and she anointed the feet of Jesus, and she wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was soon to betray him, said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the needy?” Now he said this, not out of concern for the needy, but because he was a thief and, since he held the purse, he used to carry what was put into it. But Jesus said: “Permit her, so that she may keep it against the day of my burial. For the poor, you have with you always. But me, you do always not have.”

Readings of the Day:
     Isaiah 49:1-6
     Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17
     John 13:21-33, 36-38

Collect for the Day:
"Almighty ever-living God, grant us so to celebrate the mysteries of the Lord's Passion that we may merit to receive your pardon. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. "

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Monday of Holy Week

2 March 2012

Our story today tells of the Stones That Would Shout.
The scritural basis for this story can be found in Luke and the Psalms.

"The stone which the builders have rejected, this has become the cornerstone." Psalm 118

"Then, as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” So they said, “Because the Lord has need of it.” And they led it to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they helped Jesus onto it. Then, as he was traveling, they were laying down their garments along the way. And when he was now drawing near to the descent of Mount Olivet, the entire crowd of his disciples began to praise God joyfully, with a loud voice, over all the powerful works which they had seen, saying: “Blessed is the king who has arrived in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory on high!” And certain Pharisees within the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” And he said to them, “I tell you, that if these will keep silent, the stones themselves will cry out.” Luke 19

Readings of the Day:
    Isaiah 42:1-7
    Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14
    John 12:1-11

Collect for the Day:
"Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, though in our weakness we fail, we may be revived through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

1 April 2012

Please refer to the link at the right for more information about this Feast.

Our story today tells of How Esther Saved Her People.
The scriptural basis for this story can be found in Esther.

" And so, on the third day, Esther had put on her royal apparel and was standing in the atrium of the king’s house, which was inside, opposite the king’s hall, while he was sitting on his throne in the council room of the palace, opposite the entrance of the house. And when he saw Esther the queen standing there, she pleased his eyes, and he extended toward her the golden scepter, which he held in his hand, and she approached and kissed the top of his scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, queen Esther? What is your request? Even if you ask for half of the kingdom, it will be given to you.” But she responded, “If it pleases the king, I beg you to come with me today, and Haman with you, to the feast that I have prepared.” And immediately the king said, “Call Haman quickly, so that he may obey Esther’s will. And so the king and Haman came to the feast, which the queen had prepared for them. And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine abundantly, “What are you asking for that should be given to you? And which things do you require? Even if you request half of my kingdom, you will obtain it.” Esther answered him, “My petition and prayer is this: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to give me what I ask, and to fulfill my petition, let the king and Haman come to the feast which I have prepared for them, and tomorrow I will open my mind to the king.” And so Haman went out that day joyful and cheerful. And when he saw that Mordecai was sitting in front of the gate of the palace, and that he alone did not get up for him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was very indignant. But, concealing his anger and returning into his house, he gathered to him his friends and Zeresh, his wife. And he explained to them the greatness of his riches, and the influence of his sons, and how, with such glory, the king had elevated him above all his rulers and servants. And after this, he said, “Also, queen Esther has called no one else to the feast with the king, except me. And I will be dining with the king again tomorrow. And though I have all these things, I consider that I have nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting in front of the king’s gate.” And Zeresh his wife and his other friends answered him, “Order a great beam to be prepared, having a height of fifty cubits, and in the morning speak to the king, so that Mordecai may be hanged from it, and so you will go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This advice pleased him, and so he ordered a high cross to be prepared. "

Readings of the Day:
     Mark 11:1-10
     Isaiah 50:4-7
     Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
     Philippians 2:6-11
     Mark 14:1-15:47

Collect for the Day:
"Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

31 March 2012

Today's story is of Judith Saving Her People.
The scriptural basis for this story is found in Judith 13.

" So then, when it had become late, his servants hurried to their lodgings, and Vagao closed the chamber doors, and he went away. But they were all drowsy from the wine. And Judith was alone in the chamber.  Moreover, Holofernes, being very inebriated, was fast asleep, reclining on his bed. And Judith told her handmaid to stand outside before the chamber, and to watch. And Judith stood in front of the bed, praying with tears, and her lips moved in silence, saying: “Confirm me, O Lord God of Israel, and in this hour look kindly upon the works of my hands, so that, just as you promised, you may raise up Jerusalem, your city, and so that, believing through you that this plan is able to be accomplished, I may succeed.” And when she had said this, she approached the pillar, which was at the head of the bed, and she released his blade, which was hanging tied to it.
 And when she had unsheathed it, she grabbed him by the hair of his head, and she said, “Confirm me, O Lord God, in this hour.” And she struck him twice on his neck, and she cut off his head, and she took off his canopy from the pillars, and she rolled away the trunk of his body.  And after a little while, she went out, and she delivered the head of Holofernes to her handmaid, and she ordered her to put it in her bag. And the two went out, according to their custom, as if to prayer, and they passed through the camp, and having circled around the valley, they came to the gate of the city. And Judith, from a distance, spoke to the watchmen on the walls, “Open the gates, for God is with us, and he has acted with his power in Israel.” And it happened that, when the men had heard her voice, they called the elders of the city. And all rushed toward her, from the least to the greatest. For, until then, they held no hope that she would return. And, enflaming the lights, they gathered all around her. But she climbed up to a higher place, and she ordered them to be made silent. And when all had quieted down, Judith said: “Praise the Lord our God, who has not abandoned those who hope in him. And by me, his handmaid, he has fulfilled his mercy, which he promised to the house of Israel. And he has killed the enemy of his people, by my hand this night.” Then, taking the head of Holofernes from the bag, she displayed it to them, saying: “Behold, the head of Holofernes the leader of the military of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, under which he reclined in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God struck him by the hand of a woman. But, as the Lord himself lives, his angel has been my guardian both from my departure, and while staying there, and when returning from there. And the Lord has not permitted me, his handmaid, to be defiled, but he has called me back to you without the pollution of sin, rejoicing in his victory, in my escape, and in your liberation.  Confess everything to him, for he is good, for his mercy is with every generation.” Then everyone adored the Lord, and they said to her, “The Lord has blessed you by his power, because, through you, he has reduced our enemies to nothing.” Furthermore, Uzziah, the leader of the people of Israel, said to her: “O daughter, you have been blessed by the Lord, the most high God, above all the women on earth. Blessed is the Lord, who made heaven and earth, who has guided you in harming the head of the leader of our enemies. For he has so magnified your name this day, that your praise will not retire from the mouth of men, who will be mindful of the power of the Lord forever, because you have risked your life for the sake of the distress and tribulation of your people, and you have prevented our ruin before the sight of our God.” And all the people said: “Amen. Amen.” And so, Achior was called, and he drew near, and Judith said to him: “The God of Israel, to whom you gave testimony, has avenged himself on his enemies. He has cut down the head of all unbelievers, by my hand this night. And, so that you may determine that this is so, behold, the head of Holofernes, who, in the contempt of his pride, despised the God of Israel and threatened Israel with ruin, saying, ‘When the people of Israel have been captured, I will instruct your sides to be pierced through with a sword.’ ” Then Achior, seeing the head of Holofernes, and being distressed by fear, fell upon his face on the ground, and his soul became agitated. In truth, after this, when he had recovered his breath, he fell down before her feet, and he showed reverence for her, and he said: “Blessed are you by your God, in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation that will hear of your name, the God of Israel will be magnified over you.”

Readings of the Day:
     Ezekiel 37:21-28
     Jeremiah 31:10-13
     John 11:45-56

Collect for the Day:
" God, who have made all those reborn in Christ a chosen race and a royal priesthood, grant us, we pray, the grace to will and to do what you command, that the people called to eternal life may be one in the faith of their hearts and the homage of their deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

30 March 2012

Today's story is of Daniel in the Lions' Den.
The scriptural basis for this story can be found in Daniel 6.

" Therefore, these men said, “We will not find any complaint against this Daniel, unless it is against the law of his God.” Then the leaders and governors took the king aside privately and spoke to him in this way: “King Darius, live forever. All the leaders of your kingdom, the magistrates and governors, the senators and judges, have taken counsel that an imperial decree and edict should be published, so that all who ask any petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of you, O king, will be cast into the den of lions. Now, therefore, O king, confirm this judgment and write the decree, so that what is established by the Medes and Persians may not be altered, nor will any man be allowed to transgress it.” And so king Darius set forth the decree and established it. Now when Daniel learned of this, namely, that the law had been established, he entered his house, and, opening the windows in his upper room towards Jerusalem, he knelt down three times a day, and he adored and gave thanks before his God, as he had been accustomed to do previously. Therefore, these men, inquiring diligently, discovered that Daniel was praying and making supplication to his God. And they approached and spoke to the king about the edict. “O king, did you not decree that every man who makes a request to any of the gods or men for thirty days, except to yourself, O king, would be cast into the den of lions?” To which the king replied, saying, “The sentence is true, and according to the decree of the Medes and Persians, it is not lawful to violate it.” Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, of the sons of the captivity of Judah, is not concerned about your law, nor about the decree that you have established, but three times a day he prays his supplication.” Now when the king had heard these words, he was greatly grieved, and, on behalf of Daniel, he set his heart to free him, and he labored even until sunset to rescue him. But these men, knowing the king, said to him, “You know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is that every decree which the king has established may not be altered.” Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. And the king said to Daniel, “Your God, whom you always serve, he himself will free you.” And a stone was brought, and it was placed over the mouth of the den, which the king sealed with his own ring, and with the ring of his nobles, so that no one would act against Daniel. And the king departed into his house, and he went to bed without eating, and food was not set before him, moreover, even sleep fled from him. Then the king, getting himself up at first light, went quickly to the den of lions. And coming near to the den, he cried out with a tearful voice to Daniel and spoke to him. “Daniel, servant of the living God, your God, whom you serve always, do you believe he has prevailed to free you from the lions?” And Daniel, answering the king, said, “O king, live forever. My God has sent his angel, and he has closed the mouths of the lions, and they have not harmed me, because before him justice has been found in me, and, even before you, O king, I have committed no offense.” Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and he commanded that Daniel should be taken out of the den. And Daniel was taken out of the den, and no wound was found in him, because he believed in his God Moreover, by order of the king, those men were brought who had accused Daniel, and they were cast into the lions’ den, they, and their sons, and their wives, and they did not reach the bottom of the den before the lions seized them and crushed all their bones. Then king Darius wrote to all peoples, tribes, and languages dwelling in all the land. “May peace be increased with you. It is hereby established by my decree that, in all my empire and my kingdom, they shall begin to tremble and fear the God of Daniel. For he is the living and eternal God forever, and his kingdom will not be destroyed, and his power will last forever. He is the liberator and the savior, performing signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has freed Daniel from the lions’ den.” Thereafter, Daniel continued through the reign of Darius until the reign of Cyrus, the Persian."

Readings of the Day:
     Jeremiah 20:10-13
     Psalm 18:2-7
     John 10:31-42

Collect for the Day:
"Pardon the offenses of your peoples, we pray, O Lord, and in your goodness set us free from the bonds of the sins we have committed in our weakness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

29 March 2012

Today's story tells of Susanna's Trial.
The scritural basis for this story can be found in Daniel 13.

"But when the maids had departed, the two elders arose and hurried to her, and they said, “Behold, the doors of the orchard are closed, and no one can see us, and we are in desire for you. Because of these things, consent to us and lie with us. But if you will not, we will bear witness against you that a young man was with you and, for this reason, you sent your maids away from you.” Susanna sighed and said, “I am closed in on every side. For if I do this thing, it is death to me; yet if I do not do it, I will not escape your hands. But it is better for me to fall unavoidably into your hands, than to sin in the sight of the Lord.” And Susanna cried out with a loud voice, but the elders also cried out against her. And one of them hurried to the door of the orchard and opened it. And so, when the servants of the house heard the outcry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door to see what was happening. But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed, for there had never been anything of this kind said about Susanna. And it happened on the next day, when the people came to Joakim her husband, that the two appointed elders also came, full of wicked plans against Susanna, in order to put her to death. And they said before the people, “Send for Susanna, daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.” And immediately they sent for her. And she arrived with her parents, and sons, and all her relatives. Moreover, Susanna was exceedingly delicate and beautiful in appearance. But those wicked ones commanded that her face should be uncovered, (for she was covered,) so that at least they might be satisfied with her beauty. Therefore, her own and all who knew her wept. Yet the two appointed elders, rising up in the midst of the people, set their hands upon her head.  And weeping, she gazed up to heaven, for her heart had faith in the Lord. And the appointed elders said, “While we were taking a walk in the orchard alone, this one came in with two maids, and she shut the doors of the orchard, and she sent the maids away from her. And a young man came to her, who was in hiding, and he lay down with her.  Furthermore, since we were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, we ran up to them, and we saw them consorting together. And, indeed, we were unable to catch him, because he was stronger than us, and opening the doors, he leaped out. But, since we had apprehended this one, we demanded to know who the young man was, but she was unwilling to tell us. On this matter, we are witnesses.” The multitude believed them, just as if they were elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. But Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said, “Eternal God, who knows what is hidden, who knows all things before they happen, you know that they have borne false witness against me, and behold, I must die, though I have done none of these things, which these men have maliciously invented against me.” But the Lord heeded her voice. And when she was led away to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel. And he cried out with a loud voice, “I am clean of the blood of this one.” And all the people, turning back towards him, said, “What is this word that you are saying?” But he, while standing in the midst of them, said, “Are you so foolish, sons of Israel, that without judging and without knowing what the truth is, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? Return to judgment, because they have spoken false witness against her.”  Therefore, the people returned with haste, and the old men said to him, “Come and sit down in our midst and show us, since God has given you the honor of old age.” And Daniel said to them, “Separate these at a distance from one another, and I will judge between them.” And so, when they were divided, one from the other, he called one of them, and he said to him, “You deep-rooted ancient evil, now your sins have come out, which you have committed before, judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and setting free the guilty, though the Lord declares, ‘The innocent and the just you must not put to death.’ Now then, if you saw her, declare under which tree you saw them conversing together.” He said, “Under an evergreen mastic tree.” But Daniel said, “Truly, you have lied against your own head. For behold, the angel of God, having received the sentence from him, will split you down the middle. And, having put him aside, he commanded the other to approach, and he said to him, “You offspring of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you, and desire has perverted your heart.  Thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they, out of fear, consorted with you, but a daughter of Judah would not tolerate your iniquity.  Now then, declare to me, under which tree you caught them conversing together.” He said, “Under an evergreen oak tree.” And Daniel said to him, “Truly, you also have lied against your own head. For the angel of the Lord waits, holding a sword, to cut you down the middle and put you to death.” And then the entire assembly cried out in a loud voice, and they blessed God, who saves those who hope in him. And they rose up against the two appointed elders, (for Daniel had convicted them, by their own mouth, of bearing false witness,) and they did to them just as they had wickedly done against their neighbor, so as to act according to the law of Moses. And they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved on that day. But Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter, Susanna, with Joakim, her husband, and all her relatives, because there had been found in her no disgrace. And so Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thereafter. And king Astyages was laid to rest with his fathers. And Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom."

Readings of the Day:
     Genesis 17:3-9
     Psalm 105:4-9
     John 8:51-59

Collect for the Day:
"Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you, and look kindly on those who place their hope in your mercy, that, cleansed from the satin of their sins, they may persevere in holy living and be made full heirs of your promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."