December – 2014

December 7
The wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh
“The holy Spirit is the kind of energy that helps you to be compassionate, to be healed of your ill being…Each of us has a seed of mindfulness within ourselves. If we practice walking, sitting, smiling, breathing, eating, doing things every day with mindfulness, we help that seed of mindfulness in us to grow, and it will generate that energy of mindfulness that helps us to be alive, fully present in the here and the now, helping us to understand, to accept, forgive, and to love, to be healed…We have that energy in ourselves, and if we know how to practice, we can generate that energy from within.”

The gospel according to Mark (1.1-8)
1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ…2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord…” 4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan…6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”

December 14
The wisdom of Mother Teresa
“Silence is Prayer. Prayer is Faith. Faith is Love. Love is Service. The Fruit of Service is Peace.”

The Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians (5.12-18, 20-23)
12…Respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the [Lord’s community]…13esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak…15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God…20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil. 23May the God of peace sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and pure at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

{alt, John 1.6-10, 14}

December 21
The wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

The wisdom of Voltaire
“Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”

The gospel according to Luke (1.46-55, the Magnificat)

Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior who has looked with favor on me. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy are God’s names. Divine mercy is for those who revere holiness from generation to generation. God has shown strength and has scattered the arrogant in the thoughts of their hearts. God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly. God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. God has helped Israel, in remembrance of divine mercy, according to the promise that was made to our ancestors.”

The wisdom of Laura Ingalls Wilder
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

The wisdom of Dr Seuss
“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

The gospel according to Luke (2.7-14, 16, 20)
7 Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of God’s presence stood before them, and divine glory shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among all people!” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen…

December 28
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians (4.7)
You are no longer in bondage; you are a child of God, and as God’s child you are also an heir.

The wisdom of Abdul Kalam
“As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can happen to me.”

The gospel according to Luke (2.22-24, 39-40)
22When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Holy One 23(as it is written…“Every firstborn male shall be dedicated to the Holy One”), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is [required by the tradition], “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 39When they had finished everything required…they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.


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