June 24 - “John is his name...”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today’s Mass Readings are so beautiful but again, I will only be able to post part of the Readings due to the limit on words permitted for each thread. However, the full text for the Readings for this Solemnity of St. John the Baptist can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062420-day.cfm

Reading 1

Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb He gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in His quiver He hid me.
You are My servant, He said to me,
Israel, through whom I show My glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as His servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to Him
and Israel gathered to Him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, He says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. (Is 49:1-6)

Responsorial Psalm - from Ps. 139

R. (14) I praise You, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, You have probed me, you know me:
You know when I sit and when I stand;
You understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest You scrutinize,
with all my ways You are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly You have formed my inmost being;
You knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are Your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also You knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise You, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading 2 - from Acts 13:22-26 and Allleluia verse from Lk 1:76

Gospel (Lk 1:57-66, 80)

Come Holy Spirit, open the ears of our hearts to hear Your Truth, that we may speak and do Your Truth in Love. Jesus we trust in You! Mary, Mother of the Church pray for us. St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist, pray for us and for all those in most need of God’s Mercy.

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Dear Stephie,

Thanks, again! Always a joy to see your Faith-Full and loving “heart”! Surely you please the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The Two Scripture Readings I posted today for the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist are Scriptures that are among my favorites – especially the verses from Psalm 139. What an encouragement for all of us to hear how close God is to us when we listen carefully to His Words:

…You have formed my inmost being;
You knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are Your works.

May we be as courageous as was St. John the Baptist, in our own humble witness to Jesus. We may or may not be called to give our lives as John did, but we can give our voices as John did and be like him crying out in the desert of this world: "Make Straight the Way of the Lord! "

By God’s Grace let us be a “Light” as our Mother Mary and St. John the Baptist were in this world by remaining in His Love:

O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in Your servants, in the Spirit of Your holiness, in the fullness of Your power, in the perfection of Your ways, in the truth of Your virtues, in the communion of Your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in Your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen. – Prayer of Fr. Olier

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A strong Marian spirit defines the Foreign Missions of Paris

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"The Blessed Virgin is much loved and honored at the Foreign Missions of Paris (MEP, for Missions Étrangères de Paris ). This is so true that one of its famous missionaries, Saint Théophane Vénard, wrote in a letter dated 1851 that Mary is “the second providence of the missionary.” Could one express more eloquently the devotion instilled in every missionary for this Holy Mother of all vocations? I wholly subscribe to this spirit, in my heart and in my faith. And the above remark came to us from a MEP missionary who fulfilled the vocation of every MEP missionary, to the point of holiness!

Why is our Marian spirit so important? First of all because for a missionary, the Blessed Virgin is a symbol of this surrender to the will of God. The Virgin was totally offered, abandoned, even in her response to the Archangel: “Let it be done according to your will.” Mary’s will or fiat is at the core of all missionary response, which is a total commitment of our person, in a serene abandonment to the call.

I also see the response to this vocation as a gift of our self, in order to serve, just like the Virgin Mary did. The vocation leads to a commitment for every missionary to go out on the journey, in service to God and the Church. This was a source of strength for me when I served in China. I could feel the presence of Our Lady, who was an efficient partner. She was there to witness my initial commitment, my unreserved “yes” when I left Paris, and I found her again in China, where she welcomed me with open arms and assisted my ministry…

Today, as Bishop of La Rochelle (France), I can attest that the Blessed Virgin is still by my side, and continues to bring the same message. She brings a grace that is always available. We should always remember that the image of Mary at the foot of the Cross proves her absolute fidelity. My diocese is the bearer of this fidelity, just as Our Lady of Recouvrance (“Finding again”) is our patroness.

With the Marian message, we can never get lost. We eventually find our way back. More than a bridge that I cross, this message is a guideline, a focal point towards the coming of Christ for me as a shepherd and as a fisher of men.

The Most Rev. Georges Colomb, Bishop of La Rochelle and Saintes (France)

Excerpt from an article published in the magazine Ave Maria issue #63, March 2020 ( Ave Maria is published quarterly in French by the Marie de Nazareth Association.)

Read more on mariedenazareth.com:

A MEP Missionary in Rome

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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Dear hazcompat,

Thanks so very much for your post. The excerpt from the article in Ave Maria magazine (#63 March 2020) by Bishop of La Rochelle (France), The Most Rev. Georges Colomb, is one of the most beautiful tributes to Mary that I have read in a long time, especially by a Bishop!

YES Maria Christi!

I went to mass today and – before hearing a word of the homily; I was struck with the power and repetition emphasizing God’s hand in each life in the womb.

Long before the was pro-life ( and the odious other thing) politics in America, God let His people know He was the Father of all lives. From womb to tomb and beyond.

Was going to post similar to yours, but could not have done a better job. God bless you.

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Dear CaptFun,

Thanks so much for your Sincere and Loving “heart” – open to God’s Truth revealed in Jesus through Mary, by the power of His Holy Spirit. Please do post your own witness to the Love God has given to you for Jesus through Mary. Each soul God creates is unique. Let us remember Mary’s last recorded words in Scripture to the servants at Cana:

“Do whatever He tells you.”

In my post today (June 25) I only reflected on today’s Gospel but there were 2 beautiful options given for the Alleluia verse:

Alleluia, alleluia!
The Word of God is something alive and active:
it can judge secret emotions and thoughts. (Heb 4:12)
Alleluia!

Or:

Alleluia, alleluia!
If anyone loves Me he will keep My word,
and My Father will love him,
and We shall come to him. (Jn14:23)
Alleluia!

I thank the Lord for All the Graces He gives us, especially the grace of Marian Devotion, which is so important to Him for our sakes! Thanks for your heart and your reply - it was such a blessing to me and hopefully to others who may read it also.

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