In His Steps

A Daily Prayer and Scripture Guide 2010



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JANUARY     FEBRUARY     MARCH


MARCH
ST. JOSEPH

St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus was a descendant of the royal house of David.

St. Joseph, as earthly father of Jesus was a provider. He took Mary to be his wife,as an angel told him in a dream that the child she was bearing was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was to become Savior of his people.

"His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph... a man who always did what was right... "but" an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Do not be afraid to take Mary to your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she was conceived. She will have a son and you will name him Jesus - because he will save his people from their sin." (Matt 1:18-21)

St. Joseph was also his family's protector. He later took the child Jesus and His mother to escape as an angel told him of Herod's plan plan to kill the baby. They left during the night for Egypt, where they stayed until Herod died.

".. an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, "Herod is looking for the child in order to kill him. So get up, tke the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave." (Matt 2:13)

St. Joseph was later called to be priest of the house that God had blessed him with. Again as instructed by an angel, he brought Mary, his wife and their son Jesus, to Nazareth in Galilee where the boy Jesus grew strong and wise.

"After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said..." go back, because those who tried to kill the child are dead..." he went to the province of Galilee and made his home in a town named Nazareth. (Matt 2:19-23)

St. Joseph passed from the world with perfect faith and peace of heart, assisted by Mary and Jesus, sometime before the beginning of Jesus' ministry. St. Joseph is Patron of a Happy Death, Protector of Virginity, and Patron of the Universal Church.


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FEBRUARY
San Pedro Bautista

San Pedro Bautista was sent in 1581, as missionary to the Philippines, where he built a house of prayer in San Francisco del Monte in Quezon City, staying there in 1696-1699. The provincial house of the Franciscans in the Philippines still exist in that place.

Born in Spain in 1542, San Pedro joined the Franciscans of San Gregorio Magno Province where was ordained and devoted himself to preaching and teaching, especially among the poor and less fortunate.

San Pedro is the recognized founder of the hot springs in Los Banos, Laguna. He determined its medical element and promoted it among the sick persons. He was also first to organize a parish choir in the Philippines. He did not only organize them, but taught them how to use musical instruments made in bamboo. He became known in building the liturgical life of the people where ever he was assigned. He also strongly defended the rights of the indigenous peoples of Zambales. He affirmed their basic human rights and taught the slave drivers to recognize God's dignity in their lives. It was a firm, moral stand that opened the people's minds on the value of life.

On their way to the Philippines, San Pedro and his companion missionaries stopped over in Mexico and spent three years there evangelizing the natives.

In 1592, San Pedro, obedient to King Philip II's civil mandate,  was sent as ambassador to Japan. His diplomatic mission succeeded and he won favors with the Japanese authorities. He received permission to stay on in Japan and to build a church and friary in Kyoto. He labored zealously and his companions in mission, converted many to the faith

Their success in making converts and establishing churches and hospitals caused them to become a threat to a community leader, Hideyoshi. A fierce persecution broke out and in 1596, Christians were rounded up and thrown in jail. Along with the mission-companions. San Pedro was forced to make a long and horrendeous march to NAgasaki. They died by crucifixion in 1597.

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JANUARY
http://www.saintjohnbosco.ca/images/Janssen.jpg
St. Arnold Janssen

St. Arnold Janssen is the father, leader and founder of the Society of the Divine Word (S.V.D.) Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters (SSps), and Holy Spirit Perpetual Adoration Sisters (SSpSAP).

Born in Goch, Germany in 1837, St. Arnold was ordained a priest in 1861, became chaplain and director of the Ursuline convent in Kempen in 1873, and led the diocesan Apostleship of Prayer as Director in 1874.

Following St. Paul's exhortation to the Philippians, "Have this in mind, which was in Christ Jesus", St. Arnold built up the spiritual ideal that the best form of devotion to the Heart of Jesus is to make our wishes conform to those of His heart. Like Jesus, we should live our lives not for our own honor and glory, but according to God's will and for His glory.

St. Arnold considered this mandate for himself and his missionary society, teaching his followers that sanctification is God's work, but it requires human cooperation. He once remarked: "An essential feature of surrender to God is to desire to have His will concerning us fulfilled in every regard... then God will enlighten us to sanctify and enable us to do all things in Him Who strengthens us".

For St. Arnold, the will of God and religious obedience were one. He once wrote: "Look upon the will of your superiors as the holy will of God and try to comply in all simplicity and sincerity." He would have been deeply grateful to read the new document on authority and obedience from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life (May 2008): "to seek the will of God means to seek a friendly and benovelent will that desires our fulfillment... Obedience is not humiliation, but the truth on which the fullness of human persons is built and realized. Hence, the believer so ardently desires to fulfill the will of the Father as to make of it his or her supreme aspiration."

In His farewell conference in June 1908, the Founder concluded his recommendations for the future of the Mission House with these words: "May God's will be done; this most holy will must always be adored!"

St. Arnold died in 1909.

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JAN. 20

WEDNESDAY

 


GOD SPEAKS HIS WORLD


FIRST READING

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51

David spoke to Saul: “Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.” But Saul answered David, “You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.” David continued: “The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.” Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.” Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine. With his shield bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David. When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, the Philistine held David in contempt. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods and said to him, “Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.” David answered him: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.” The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line in the direction of the Philistine. David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground. Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword. Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath he dispatched him and cut off his head.

PSALM

Psalm 144:1b, 2, 9-10

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war. My refuge and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I trust, who subdues my people under me. O God, I will sing a new song to you; with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise, You who give victory to kings, and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.

GOSPEL

Mark 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION

 

STRETCH YOURSELF. Imagine a withered hand, useless, lifeless and dead. I can imagine myself as withered hand - being in communication for the longest time, but always just going with the flow.


When the Lord said, "Stretch out your hand", He was reaching out on the man. The Lord keeps on reaching out not just to the man, but to all of us,. He is asking all of us to actively reach out for Him in return and receive the blessing being offered.


I am a recipient of so much blessing. Like the man, the Lord has healed from debilitating disease. He has reached out and healed me. In recognition of this healing, I wish to be life-giving to others as well; to actively reach out to brothers and sisters, and acknowledge how great our God is.



 

Do we actively reach out to the Lord and to our brothers and sisters?





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Cluster Paul,
Feb 1, 2011, 5:23 AM