O Antiphon of the Day:
O radiant dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death!
1 day & some hours till the BIRTH of CHRIST,
and this is the 25nd day of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Quote or Joke of the Day:
A children’s catechism class was learning the Apostles Creed.
Each child had been assigned a sentence to repeat.
The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”
The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son.
“When he had completed his sentence, there was an embarrassing silence.
Finally, one child piped up, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (NAB Lk 2:8-12)
The birth of Christ was announced FIRST to the shepherds, by an angel. Shepherds were considered ‘low class’ citizens in a society with a definite, and defined, caste system. Shepherds were the outcasts, and rarely went into town, bathed, shaved, or even ate well. The animals they tended were considered more valuable than the ‘rough and tough’ people tending them. The announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds is in keeping with that of the lowly being singled out as the recipients of God’s favors and blessings. What the angel said to the sheperds was specific, and prophetic: this child born in Bethlehem IS the Savior, THE Messiah, and THE Lord. Interestingly, Luke is the only gospel writer to use the title “Savior” for Jesus [a great trivia question].
As Savior, Jesus is looked upon as the one who rescues humanity from sin, and delivers humanity from seperation with God. The title christos, “Christ,” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew masiah, “Messiah,” or “anointed one.” Among certain groups in first-century Palestinian Judaism, the title was applied solely to “an expected royal leader from the line of David who would restore the kingdom to Israel.”
The Messiah is the one who brings salvation to all humanity, Jew and Gentile alike. Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus in Luke and Acts [another great trivia question]. In the New Testament it is also applied to the ‘Yahweh’ in the Old Testament. When used with Jesus, it points to his transcendence and dominion over humanity.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #23:
Requests for admission to the Secular Franciscan Order must be presented to the local fraternity, whose council decides upon the acceptance of new brothers and sisters. Admission into the Order is gradually attained through a time of initiation, a period of formation of at least one year, and profession of the rule. The entire community is engaged in the process of growth by its own manner of living. The age for profession and the distinctive Franciscan sign are regulated by the statutes. Profession by its nature is a permanent commitment. Members who find themselves in particular difficulties should discuss their problems with the council in fraternal dialogue. Withdrawal or permanent dismissal from the Order, if necessary, is an act of the fraternity council according to the norm of the constitutions.