In Chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas are told to go to on a mission (v2). How did they get this mission? How was it that God spoke to them and they knew that they had a specific mission to accomplish? They prayed. They worshiped and listened. They also fasted.
Some people may say that fasting is something done in the past; that Jesus would not want us to fast any more. But here we see at least six believers fasting. The fruit of this fasting and worship is clarity in God’s will. The fasting was a gift of self to God. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, worship is now an act of thanksgiving for His goodness and mercy towards us. When united to worship, this fasting takes on the disposition of the worship that it accompanies. Gift giving assumes a relationship between the giver and the one receiving the gift. So the first Catholics saw themselves as having a relationship with Jesus. Continue reading
Chapter twelve accounts the death of the First Apostle James and the arrest of Peter. Herod wants to be popular among the people and has many guards to guard him. The biblke states that there were four squads of four guards. Doing the math, that means sixteen guards were guarding Peter to keep him in jail. He was shakled by “double chains”. Two chains are holding Peter in place and two guards are right next to him on each side. Two guards are right outside the door and the others are about the place. Sounds like he is heavily guarded. Does this have anything to do with the resurrection of Jesus and only the two at Jesus’ tomb? Who knows. Either way, Peter getting out is not a very likely prospect.
Lord Jesus, You willingly suffered a painful death for the sake of my salvation. Today I join my pain with yours—my illness, my loneliness and my heartache as well as my physical suffering; all for the sake of the souls in purgatory and for the Fruitfulness of St Mary and St Joseph Parishes. Send your Holy Spirit on all members of these parishes and those who attend these parishes. Bless them. Bless their ministries, bless all our families and our priests. I also pray that more holy priests and religious will come into your service from these parishes. Have pity on your servant, Lord, listen to my prayer, for to you I lift up my soul. Amen.
We have so much to be grateful for; our family, friends and our parish. Jesus has been so generous to have given us many priests and religious to help us as we grew to become the people we are today. Now is our time to pray for them and for new men and women to join the ranks of such holy people to continue to be an inspiration to us and our families. We will end Novena for Holy Vocations on Friday, on January 7, the Feast Day of the Epiphany, we will begin to pray for Holy Vocations at the end of every Mass. Please pray this prayer every day.
Dear Jesus, I arise today knowing the you are with me, that you see me and that you hear me. I offer to you this day, though the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my aches and pains, sorrows and humiliations: the cross I have this day. I desire to carry it with you like Simon of Cyrene, and I offer it to for all intentions of your Sacred Heart, especially that you bless your Church with an abundance of holy priests, religious sisters and brothers to work for the good of your kingdom. I trust in you, Lord, and pray that many young people also trust in you and say “Yes” to your call to follow you wherever you lead, since you are Love and goodness itself. Amen.
Are you interested in a peaceful, meditative and spiritual uplift during the holidays by doing something for someone else through prayer? The Novena begins on November 30, (the month of all souls, and the feast day of St. Andrew), and it ends on December 24. It is piously believed that whoever does this will obtain what is asked. What a beautiful way to pray for someone special, a relative, a friend, or holy soul in Purgatory. Just believe. If you devoutly pray for a poor holy soul, Christ grants them entrance into the Eden of Heaven on HIS birthday, December 25. What a great gift for that poor soul. It is said if you help a holy soul, that soul will never forget you, and that soul will pray and will always be there for you. Pretty neat don’t you think? Here is the Novena:
HAIL and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God!, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.