Minute Meditations

Belong to God Alone
From this moment on, anything concerning me is no longer of any interest to me. I must belong entirely to God and God alone. Never to myself.
--St. Bernadette Soubirous
— from Sisterhood of Saints

Holy InnocentsListen to Audio

Herod "the Great," king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother and his sister's two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was "greatly troubled" when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of "the newborn king of the Jews," whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also "do him homage." They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and "ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under." The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children..." (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.


The Holy Innocents are few, in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day. But even if there had been only one, we recognize the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus' death and resurrection.


"Purify us as we serve these, your mysteries, by which you grant justification even to those who lack understanding" (Prayer Over the Gifts, Feast of the Holy Innocents).

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-12-28


Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.


By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving care.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day,
starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.
I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,
seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
Lectionary: 698

Reading 1 1 Jn 1:5—2:2

This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, "We have fellowship with him,"
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, "We are without sin,"
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Responsorial Psalm PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8

R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Had not the LORD been with us—
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.

Alleluia See Te Deum

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white robed army of martyrs praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 2:13-18

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
"Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Joy at the birth of Christ is short-lived. The cross looms from the outset. He is a hunted child. Mary, Joseph and Jesus must flee the wrath and brutal response of a cruel ruler who has been duped.
  • Lord the massacre of innocent lives continues across our globe. Unjust rulers wreak havoc leaving behind a trail of human misery. Genocide, atrocities, refugee camps, hunger, disease and major displacement are the order of our day. Let me be a witness to non-violence and welcoming presence to all displaced people who are forced to migrate.


Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you.
I can tell you everything that troubles me.
I know you care about all the concerns in my life.
Teach me to live in the knowledge
that you who care for me today,
will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: 1 John 1:5--2:2

View NAB Reading at USCCB.org

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Feast)

He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins. (1 John 1:9)

It's impossible to read the chilling story of Herod's slaughter of the boys in Bethlehem without shuddering. It's also hard not to think of the curse of abortion, which continues to destroy holy innocents in our day—not just one time in one place, but day after day in city after city. But in the face of this horrific truth, God calls us to walk in the light. So stand up, and let that light shine on you today.

Perhaps you have been involved in an abortion, as a client or as a provider. Perhaps you have pressured a pregnant relative or friend to consider one or pretended you didn't know what was going on. If so, know that God's mercy is far greater than your sin. There is forgiveness and healing for you.

Perhaps you have harshly judged a pregnant woman who chose abortion, condemning instead of trying to understand and help her. If so, remember Jesus' caution about not casting the first stone (John 8:7). Ask him to help you love this person more.

Perhaps you have voiced opposition to abortion for many years, but now you are tempted to give up, feeling that the tide will never turn. You too need to seek God's forgiveness and find strength to persevere. Statistics show that a new generation of pro-life young people is rising up. God may be calling you to join these newcomers and become a mentor to them.

St. John says we delude ourselves if we think any of us is without sin. But we are just as deluded if we will not accept the forgiveness he freely offers us.

Every human life is precious to our Father: the life of the unborn baby, the life of the frightened mother, the life of the abortionist, the life of the passive Christian, the life of the discouraged activist. His unconditional love reaches out to each of us, strengthening us to move forward in a life-affirming way. So let's never give up the fight; let's never stop promoting the sacredness of all life. Let's keep trying to heal this devastating wound in our society—and let us do it all with love.

"Father, receive all the little ones slain in our era. Collect the tears of the guilty as well, and use them to bring about change."


Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
Matthew 2:13-18

Voice Was Heard


Today's first Holy Scripture says that if we say we have not sinned or have no sins, then we are lying, and what's the bad part about it?  It's what we are doing to ourselves.  We arrived a few minutes early to a Saturday evening Mass, a vigil Mass for Sunday to beat the blizzard and to take all the kids.  As we walked in, two confessionals were open, and I could see the feet of one priest, a monsignor waiting.  Who is waiting? It is the Lord.  Yet, I kept on and passed by, "I just confessed two weeks ago, don't really need to go in".  My wife took the bait of the Lord and confessed.  As soon as she came and sat in the pews with us, I took off, even if I didn't need, I knew what was there...something very few go for...total forgiveness of sins and healing.  To tell you the truth, it was one of the most impacting confessions I've ever had.  And even for the first time I was like asked to do some type of deliverance prayer, and ask the Lord Jesus to fill my soul.  But, supposedly, I "had no sins" right?  And we won't know what they are many times until we come to the Lord.  Those open doors to the confessional were little gates to Heaven, and everyone else had passed them by...perhaps.  And perhaps we lie to ourselves all the time in many ways, excusing our sins that we don't want to let go.  We hear that we want to find a cure for cancer...but don't want to give up the causes of cancer, smoking, things we eat and drink, contraception pills, and the list goes on and on.  We want to be saved from a possible demise without facing the reality we are bringing it onto ourselves...the very same with sin.  This salvation thing then, seems like risky business, for us that don't actually take the time to care.
The Psalms pray on: "Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare."  So...we have been saved?  The whole thing about our Lord having saved us, is us actually accepting it.
"Broken was the snare and we were freed."  And this happened when our Lord died on the tree.  He told the little man up the tree, the sinner to come down from there...and the Lord was put on the tree to suffer and die for that little man's sins.  If the little man will not accept he was freed, he is not saved.  If the little man accepts and is saved, converted into Love of God, then salvation has come.  So salvation is there for everybody.
"Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."  I invite you to do what I did...go into the little gates that lead to Heaven.  Mercy abounds, the doors are open...do not let a little chance go by!!
In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is being sought after, and the angels tell St. Joseph "Rise, take the child and his mother..."  And once again, he takes the mother of the Lord and Jesus and goes...obedience to the max.  And what ensues is exactly like the Book of Revelation says "Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth.c 5She 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.d 6The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days".  See how darkness, the devil represented by the dragon pursues to kill the light.  What's worse is that it was a mere manifestation of the demonic we can not always see.  Because most of the time it occurs in secret, in silence, and only speaking loudly when the Lord is more present in your life.  This is a message of great light and hope.  Especially if you find yourself in tough times, like when St. Joseph and our Blessed mother were moving in the middle of the night, with only a message and the child Jesus as their hope and their light.  The atrocities behind the scenes today are many.  People losing faith.  People caring little.  People secretly living in sin.  People carrying little sins instead of Jesus close to their heart.  Only when we go into the gates of mercy will we find Jesus.  Because sin says "I don't care" to any degree.  It is a degree of darkness.  And with Him there is no darkness.  Stop trying to live in sin and live in light, stop trying to have it both ways.  A funny thought hit me through the weekend, 'what if I asked you to be the best hypocrite there is?" of being a Christian.  I mean, go all out, loving Jesus the Christ full heartedly and then trying to live in sin.  Once you truly taste Christ, sin will not win.  It is the truth because Jesus rules with an iron rod.  It is He who has the ultimate say...and victory forever



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