Sunday, January 6, 2013


Prayer to Jesus in the Manger

O Divine Redeemer Jesus Christ,
prostrate before Thy crib,
I believe Thou art the God of infinite Majesty,
even though I do see Thee here as a helpless babe.
I humbly adore and thank Thee for having so humbled Thyself for my salvation as to will to be born in a stable.
I thank Thee for all Thou didst wish to suffer for me in Bethlehem,
for Thy poverty and humility,
for Thy nakedness, tears, cold and sufferings.

Would that I could show Thee that tenderness which Thy Virgin Mother had toward Thee,
and love Thee as she did.
Would that I could praise Thee with the joy of the angels,
that I could kneel before Thee with the faith of St. Joseph,
the simplicity of the shepherds.
Uniting myself with these first adorers at the crib,
I offer Thee the homage of my heart,
and I beg that Thou wouldst be born spiritually in my soul.
Make me reflect in some degree the virtues of Thy admirable nativity.
Fill me with that spirit of renunciation,
of poverty, of humility,
which prompted Thee to assume the weakness of our nature,
and to be born amid destitution and suffering.
Grant that from this day forward,
I may in all things seek Thy greater glory,
and may enjoy that peace promised to men of good will.



Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Reading 1
Is 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Second Reading
Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:

You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Mt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.


January 6

St. André Bessette (1845-1937)

Brother André expressed a saint’s faith by a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph.
Sickness and weakness dogged André from birth. He was the eighth of 12 children born to a French Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at 12, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed: shoemaker, baker, blacksmith—all failures. 
He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.

At 25, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a year’s novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget (see Marie-Rose Durocher, October 6), he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. 
“When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained 40 years,” he said.

In his little room near the door, he spent much of the night on his knees. On his windowsill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of St. Joseph, to whom he had been devoted since childhood. When asked about it he said, 
“Some day, St. Joseph is going to be honored in a very special way on Mount Royal!”

When he heard someone was ill, he visited to bring cheer and to pray with the sick person. 
He would rub the sick person lightly with oil taken from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Word of healing powers began to spread.

When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse. Not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. His superiors were uneasy; diocesan authorities were suspicious; doctors called him a quack. “I do not cure,” he said again and again. 
“St. Joseph cures.” In the end he needed four secretaries to handle the 80,000 letters he received each year.

For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of St. Joseph. Suddenly, the owners yielded. André collected 200 dollars to build a small chapel and began receiving visitors there—
smiling through long hours of listening, applying St. Joseph’s oil. Some were cured, some not. The pile of crutches, canes and braces grew.

The chapel also grew. By 1931 there were gleaming walls, but money ran out. 
“Put a statue of St. Joseph in the middle. If he wants a roof over his head, he’ll get it.” 
The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal took 50 years to build. The sickly boy who could not hold a job died at 92.

He is buried at the Oratory. He was beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2010. 
At his canonization in October 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said that St. Andre "lived the beatitude of the pure of heart."


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.

– Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.

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.

– Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.

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.

– Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.

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.

– Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.

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.

– Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.

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.

– Come, let us worship Christ, who has appeared to us.


Bethlehem, of noblest cities
none can once with thee compare:
thou alone the Lord from heaven
didst for us Incarnate bear.
Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told his birth;
to the lands their God announcing,
hid beneath a form of earth.
By its lambent beauty guided,
see, the eastern kings appear;
see them bend, their gifts to offer,
gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.
Solemn things of mystic meaning:
incense doth the God disclose;
gold a royal Child proclaimeth;
myrrh a future tomb foreshows.
Holy Jesu, in thy brightness
to the Gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit
endless praise to thee be paid.

Psalm 71 (72)
The Messiah's royal power

The kings of Tharsis and the islands will pay tribute to the Lord, their king.

Give the king your judgement, O God,
give the king’s son your righteousness.
Let him judge your people with justice
and your poor ones with wisdom.
Let the mountains bring peace to your people,
let the hills bring righteousness.
He will give his judgement to the poor among the people,
he will rescue the children of the destitute,
he will lay low the false accuser.
He will endure with the sun, beneath the moon,
from generation to generation.
He will come down like rain on the pasture,
like a shower that waters the earth.
In his time, righteousness will flourish
and abundance of peace,
until the moon itself is no more.
He will rule from coast to coast,
from the world’s centre to its farthest edge.
The desert-dwellers will cast themselves down before him;
his enemies will eat dust at his feet.
The kings of Tharsis and the islands will bring tribute,
the kings of Arabia and Sheba will bring gifts.
All the kings will worship him,
all nations will serve him.
Because he has given freedom to the destitute who called to him,
to the poor, whom no-one will hear.
He will spare the poor and the needy,
he will keep their lives safe.
He will rescue their lives from oppression and violence,
their blood will be precious in his sight.
He will live long, and receive gifts of gold from Arabia;
they will pray for him always,
bless him all through the day.
There will be abundance of grain in the land,
it will wave even from the tops of the mountains;
its fruit will be richer than Lebanon.
The people will flourish as easily as grass.
Let his name be blessed for ever,
let his name endure beneath the sun.
All the nations of the earth will be blessed in him,
all nations will acclaim his greatness.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone works wonders.
Let his majesty be blessed for ever;
let it fill all the earth. Amen, 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.

The kings of Tharsis and the islands will pay tribute to the Lord, their king.

Psalm 95 (96)
The Lord, the universal King and judge

Worship the Lord in his holy sanctuary, alleluia.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
day after day, proclaim his saving power.
Proclaim his glory to the nations,
proclaim to all peoples the wonders he has done.
For the Lord is great; great is the praise we owe him,
he is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of the nations are foolishness,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Majesty and splendour are all about him,
power and honour in his holy place.
Bring to the Lord, clans of the peoples,
bring to the Lord glory and power,
bring to the Lord the glory that belongs to his name.
Bring your offerings, enter his courts,
worship the Lord in holy attire.
Tremble at his presence, all the earth.
Say to the nations: “The Lord reigns!”
For he has set the world firm, so that it cannot be shaken,
and he will judge the peoples with fairness.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad,
let the sea and its fullness resound.
The fields will rejoice, and all that is in them,
all the trees of the woods will rejoice
at the Lord’s presence – for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge all the world with justice.
He will judge all the peoples with fairness.

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.

Worship the Lord in his holy sanctuary, alleluia.

Psalm 96 (97)
The glory of God in his judgements

Praise God, all his angels, alleluia.

The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice,
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and dark mist surround him,
his throne is founded on law and justice.
Fire precedes him,
burning up his enemies all around.
His lightnings light up the globe;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains flow like wax at the sight of the Lord,
at the sight of the Lord the earth dissolves.
The heavens proclaim his justice
and all peoples see his glory.
Let them be dismayed, who worship carved things,
who take pride in the images they make.
All his angels, worship him.
Zion heard and was glad,
the daughters of Judah rejoiced
because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you are the Lord, the Most High over all the earth,
far above all other gods.
You who love the Lord, hate evil!
The Lord protects the lives of his consecrated ones:
he will free them from the hands of sinners.
A light has arisen for the just,
and gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord
and proclaim his holiness.

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.

Praise God, all his angels, alleluia.

The heavens have proclaimed his justice,
– and all peoples have seen his glory.

Isaiah 60:1-22

Arise, shine out, for your light has come,
the glory of the Lord is rising on you,
though night still covers the earth
and darkness the peoples.
Above you the Lord now rises
and above you his glory appears.
The nations come to your light
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look round:
all are assembling and coming towards you,
your sons from far away
and your daughters being tenderly carried.
At this sight you will grow radiant,
your heart throbbing and full;
since the riches of the sea will flow to you,
the wealth of the nations come to you;
camels in throngs will cover you,
and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
everyone in Sheba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing the praise of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar will gather inside you,
the rams of Nebaioth will be at your service.
They will come up, for acceptance, to my altar,
to adorn the Temple of my glory.
Who are these flying like a cloud,
like doves to their cote?
Yes, for me the ships are assembling,
vessels of Tarshish in the front,
to bring your sons from far away,
and their silver and gold with them,
for the sake of the name of the Lord your God,
for the sake of the Holy One of Israel who has made you glorious.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls
and their kings will be your servants.
For though I struck you in anger,
in mercy I have pitied you.
And your gates will lie open continually,
shut neither by day nor by night,
for men to bring you the wealth of the nations
with their kings leading them;
for the nation and kingdom that refuses to serve you shall perish,
such nations shall be utterly ruined.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
with cypress and plane and box,
to adorn the site of my sanctuary,
to glorify the resting place of my feet.
The sons of your oppressors will come to you bowing,
at your feet shall fall all who despised you.
They will call you ‘City of the Lord’,
‘Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’
Though you have been abandoned,
and hated and shunned,
I will make you an eternal pride,
a joy for ever and ever.
You will be suckled on the milk of nations,
suckled on the riches of kings,
and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your saviour,
that your redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.
For bronze I will bring gold;
for iron, silver;
and bronze for wood;
and iron for stone;
I will put Peace in as magistrate,
and Integrity as the government.
Violence will no longer be heard of in your country,
nor devastation and ruin within your frontiers.
You will call your walls ‘Salvation’
and your gates ‘Praise.’
No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor moonlight shine on you,
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
your God will be your splendour.
Your sun will set no more
nor your moon wane,
but the Lord will be your everlasting light
and your days of mourning will be ended.
Your people will all be upright,
possessing the land for ever;
a shoot that the Lord has planted,
my handiwork, designed for beauty.
The least among you will become a clan
and the smallest a mighty nation.
I, the Lord, have spoken;
in due time I shall act with speed.


Shine out, Jerusalem, shine out, for your light has come:
the glory of the Lord is rising on you.

Your rays shall light the Gentiles on their path;
kings shall walk in the splendour of your sunrise.
The glory of the Lord is rising on you.

A sermon by Pope St Leo the Great

The Lord has made his salvation known to the whole world

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. 
He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ.

A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. 
The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above.

Let the full number of the nations now take their place in the family of the patriarchs. Let the children of the promise now receive the blessing in the seed of Abraham, the blessing renounced by the children of his flesh. In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; 
let God be known, not in Judaea only, but in the whole world, so that his name may be great in all Israel.

Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles. Let us give thanks to the merciful God, who has made us worthy, in the words of the Apostle, to share the position of the saints in light, who has rescued us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. As Isaiah prophesied: the people of the Gentiles, who sat in darkness, have seen a great light, and for those who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death a light has dawned. He spoke of them to the Lord: The Gentiles, who do not know you, will invoke you, and the peoples, who knew you not, will take refuge in you.

This is the day that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, when he knew that the sons born of his faith would be blessed in his seed, that is, in Christ. Believing that he would be the father of the nations, he looked into the future, giving glory to God, 
in full awareness that God is able to do what he has promised.

This is the day that David prophesied in the psalms, when he said: All the nations that you have brought into being will come and fall down in adoration in your presence, Lord, and glorify your name. Again, the Lord has made known his salvation; 
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognise and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, 
as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ.

Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.


The prophets foretold the coming of the Saviour,
the angels adored him when he came;
today is the great day on which he was made visible.
The Magi rejoiced when they saw his star,
and brought him gifts.

A holy day has shone upon us:
come, you peoples, and worship the Lord.
The Magi rejoiced when they saw his star,
and brought him gifts.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.

Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

On this day, Lord God,
by a guiding star you revealed your Only-Begotten Son
to all the peoples of the world.
Lead us from the faith by which we know you now
to the vision of your glory, face to face.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.