Saturday, December 12, 2009

Prayer of the Day

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession for the Holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke thee in their necessities, and since thou art the ever Virgin Mary, and Mother of the True God, obtain for us from thy most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, of burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance.


One Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father...
in gratitude for the Miraculous Portrait as a continuing miracle and testimony.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Reading 1
Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.


God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.”

Responsorial Psalm
Judith 13:18bcde, 19

R. You are the highest honor of our race.

Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.

R. You are the highest honor of our race.

Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.

R. You are the highest honor of our race.

Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.


Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

Saint of the Day

December 12

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The feast in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the sixteenth century. Chronicles of that period tell us the story.

A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.

He was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared and within it a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.

Eventually the bishop told Juan Diego to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan Diego’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Diego to try to avoid the lady. The lady found Diego, nevertheless, assured him that his uncle would recover and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.

When Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees. On Juan Diego’s tilma appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. It was December 12, 1531.

Office of Readings

O Lord, open my lips.
– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Antiphon: Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

(repeat antiphon*)

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

(repeat antiphon*)

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

(repeat antiphon*)

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

(repeat antiphon*)

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

(repeat antiphon*)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


(repeat antiphon*)

The Lord's goodness and his people's infidelity
Psalm 105 (106)

Remember us, Lord, and bring us your salvation.
Give praise to the Lord, for he is good,
for his kindness is for ever.
Who shall tell of his powerful deeds?
Who shall proclaim the praises of the Lord?
Blessed are they who keep his decrees,
who do right at all times.
Remember us, Lord, in your love for your people,
and bring us your salvation,
so that we may see the good things you have kept for your chosen ones,
that we may rejoice in the joys of your people,
that we may glory with those whom you have made your heirs.
Like our fathers, we too have sinned:
we have done wrong, we have transgressed.
Our fathers, in Egypt, did not understand your miracles;
they did not remember the abundance of your mercies,
but rebelled as they approached the Red Sea.
Still he saved them, for his own name’s sake,
and to make known his mighty power.
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up.
He led them through its depths as if through a desert.
He saved them from the hands of those who hated them,
he set them free from slavery at the hands of their enemies.
The water covered their oppressors:
not one was left alive.
Then they believed his word,
and they sang his praises.
But soon they forgot what he had done,
and refused to submit to his direction.
They embraced desire in the desert
and put God to the test in the waterless places.
He gave them all they requested,
he filled their hearts with his abundance.
But in the camp, they grew jealous of Moses
and Aaron, consecrated to the Lord.
The earth opened and swallowed Dathan,
covered the party of Abiram.
Fire broke out against them,
flames burnt up the sinners.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Remember us, Lord, and bring us your salvation.
Psalm 105 (106)

Beware! Never forget the covenant of the Lord your God.
At Horeb they made a calf
and worshipped a statue.
They exchanged the glory of their people
for the likeness of a bull, that eats grass.
They forgot their God, who had saved them,
who had done great miracles for them in Egypt,
wonders in the land of Ham,
terrors at the Red Sea.
Then he said that he would destroy them,
but Moses, his chosen one, was there:
he stood in the breach before him
to turn aside his wrath,
to prevent the destruction.
To them, the Promised Land meant nothing,
they did not believe the Lord’s word.
They stayed muttering in their tents,
they were deaf to the voice of the Lord.
So he raised his hand against them
to crush them in the desert,
to scatter their seed among the nations,
to disperse them in foreign lands.
They made themselves followers of Baal-Peor,
they ate the sacrifices of the dead.
They angered the Lord by their actions,
and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and gave judgement,
and the plague was stopped.
For this, he is revered as one of the just,
from generation to generation,
for all eternity.
At the waters of Meribah they so angered the Lord
that Moses suffered on their account:
they so embittered his spirit
that his lips spoke rash words.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Beware! Never forget the covenant of the Lord your God.
Psalm 105 (106)

Save us, Lord, collect us together from among the nations.
They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had told them they must.
They mingled themselves with the peoples,
and learned to do as they did.
They served the same idols
until it became their undoing.
They sacrificed their own sons
and their daughters to demons.
They poured out innocent blood.
The blood of their own sons and daughters
was sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.
Their blood polluted the land,
and their actions defiled them.
They devoted themselves to whoring.
The Lord blazed out in anger against his own people,
he detested his own chosen race.
He gave them into the hands of foreigners,
they were conquered by those who hated them.
Their enemies persecuted them
and humbled them beneath their hands.
Many times he freed them,
but they turned him against themselves
by falling back into wickedness.
Still he looked upon their distress
when he heard their cries.
He remembered his covenant,
and in his infinite kindness he repented.
He made them an object of pity
and kindness to all their captors.
Save us, O Lord, our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
so that we may proclaim your holy name,
and rejoice as we praise you.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from the beginning and for all time.
And all the people shall cry, “Amen!”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Save us, Lord, collect us together from among the nations.
The Lord proclaims his word to Jacob;
– to Israel, his laws and decrees.

Reading Isaiah 29:1-8

Woe, Ariel, Ariel,
city where David encamped.
Let a year or two pass,
let the feasts make their full round
then I will lay siege to Ariel,
and there will be moaning and bemoaning.
You will be an Ariel for me,
like David I will encamp against you,
I will blockade you with palisades,
and mount siege-works against you.
Thrown down – you will speak from the ground,
your words will come muffled by dust.
Your voice will rise from the earth like a ghost’s,
you will speak from the dust in a whisper.
Suddenly, unexpectedly,
you will be visited by the Lord of Hosts
with thunder, earthquake, mighty din,
hurricane, tempest, flame of devouring fire.
The horde of your enemies shall be scattered like fine dust,
the tyrant horde like flying chaff;
the horde of all the nations at war with Ariel
shall vanish like a dream, like a vision at night.
And all those fighting against her,
the entrenchments besieging her,
shall be like the hungry man who dreams he eats,
and wakes with an empty belly,
like the thirsty man who dreams he drinks
and wakes exhausted, his throat parched;
so shall it be with the horde of all the nations
making war on Mount Zion.

Reading A sermon by Blessed Isaac, abbot of Stella
Mary and the Church

The Son of God is the first-born of many brothers. Although by nature he is the only-begotten, by grace he has joined many to himself and made them one with him. For to those who receive him he has given the power to become the sons of God.

He became the Son of man and made many men sons of God, uniting them to himself by his love and power, so that they became as one. In themselves they are many by reason of their human descent, but in him they are one by divine rebirth.

The whole Christ and the unique Christ – the body and the head – are one: one because born of the same God in heaven, and of the same mother on earth. They are many sons, yet one son. Head and members are one son, yet many sons; in the same way, Mary and the Church are one mother, yet more than one mother; one virgin, yet more than one virgin.

Both are mothers, both are virgins. Each conceives of the same Spirit, without concupiscence. Each gives birth to a child of God the Father, without sin. Without any sin, Mary gave birth to Christ the head for the sake of his body. By the forgiveness of every sin, the Church gave birth to the body, for the sake of its head. Each is Christ’s mother, but neither gives birth to the whole Christ without the cooperation of the other.

In the inspired Scriptures, what is said in a universal sense of the virgin mother, the Church, is understood in an individual sense of the Virgin Mary, and what is said in a particular sense of the virgin mother Mary is rightly understood in a general sense of the virgin mother, the Church. When either is spoken of, the meaning can be understood of both, almost without qualification.

In a way, every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s Word, a mother of Christ, his daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful. These words are used in a universal sense of the Church, in a special sense of Mary, in a particular sense of the individual Christian. They are used by God’s Wisdom in person, the Word of the Father.

This is why Scripture says: I will dwell in the inheritance of the Lord. The Lord’s inheritance is, in a general sense, the Church; in a special sense, Mary; in an individual sense, the Christian.

Christ dwelt for nine months in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb. He dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith. He will dwell for ever in the knowledge and love of each faithful soul.

Concluding Prayer

Almighty God, may the splendour of your glory dawn in us and dispel all the darkness of the night
so that at the coming of your only-begotten Son
we may be seen to be children of the light.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.