Daily Devotion for December 10, 2019
Christ is beardless and youthful in the Early Christian style. His pose recalls that of an enthroned Roman emperor. He is holding a scroll with the seven seals as described in the book of Revelation. He sits on an orb that represents the world.
Below him are the Four Rivers of Paradise. On his right, Christ extends a victory wreath (Roman symbol) to Saint Vitalis, who is accompanied by an angel. On his left stands another angel who is introducing Bishop Ecclesius. Ecclesius is presenting a model of the Church to Christ.
The foundations of the church were built under the authority of Bishop Ecclesius. Notice that both Saint Vitalis and Bishop Ecclesius are labeled above their heads.)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Today we join the SS Peter & Paul Children’s Choir at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (Buffalo, NY), for an Advent Carol rehearsal.
I strongly suggest you maximize this video and watch it in full screen (click the tiny rectangle at the bottom right of the YouTube box), since the charm of it lies in watching the children.
For a Heart Open to God's Word
God, as you gave us the sun to lighten our days, so you have given us your Word to lighten our minds and our souls. I pray that you will pour out on me your Spirit as I pray today, that my heart and mind may be opened to your Word, and that I may learn and accept your will for my life.
Shine within my heart, loving God, the pure light of your divine knowledge; open the eyes of my mind and the ears of my heart to receive your Word, this day and always,
An Advent Prayer
God, grant me the grace to be patient and vigilant in watching, waiting, and listening attentively, so that I won't miss Christ when he comes knocking at my door. Remove whatever hinders me from receiving the gifts which the Savior brings — Joy, peace, justice, mercy, and love. And let me always remember that these are gifts that are only received by giving; let me remember, during this season and throughout the year, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the outcast, the prisoner, the weak, and the defenseless, with my prayers and with my substance.
In the name of Christ I pray,
Song of Praise
Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all people on earth: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
O people of God bless the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit: bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart.
All Bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 135:13-18 (Contemporary English Version)
The name of the Lord will be remembered forever,
and he will be famous for all time to come.
The Lord will bring justice and show mercy
to all who serve him.
Idols of silver and gold
are made and worshiped in other nations.
They have a mouth and eyes, but they can’t speak or see.
They are completely deaf, and they can’t breathe.
Everyone who makes idols and all who trust them
will end up as helpless as their idols.
Romans 8:18-25 (New ASV)
consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Notes on the Scripture
In the first verse, Paul tells us that our happiness at the revelation of Christ will be greater than the pain we suffer during our lives. This is a wonderful comfort. We often feel that we suffer greatly during our lives. Just realize: no matter how much you have suffered, the joy and happiness that awaits you is greater!
Our struggles to free ourselves from pain are ultimately futile. Through our will and our nature, we make ourselves slaves to the corruption of the world. We are slaves to what we see. But what we hope for, and with the certainty of faith know that we will receive, cannot be seen. That is the very nature of faith and hope. Therefore, we wait for redemption eagerly.
We most specifically celebrate our waiting in December, during the season of Advent. Like children waiting for Santa Claus, we celebrate our waiting for the time when Christ will come again by waiting to celebrate His birth. Do you remember being a small child, lying in bed on Christmas Eve, so anxious for Christmas morning that you could hardly stand it? It seemed like forever. And Christmas always came, finally.
Just so, we wait for Christ to come again. Sometimes we wait in terrible pain, but no matter how anxious we become, we cannot force time to move faster. Christ will come when it is God's will for Him to come; we cannot make it happen any faster. We are like children on Christmas Eve, but now we have learned that we must simply wait, relying for comfort on our knowledge that the day will come.