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The Christmas Season

December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas!

Now that Christmas has finally arrived, we have over two weeks of celebration
(until the Baptism of the Lord, January 9)!

Check out Christmas Customs for the Home for ideas to make the most of the season.



May you delight in Him
as He delights in you!

Christmas Day

December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas!!

Jesse tree:

Nativity, Luke 1:1-19
Suggested symbol: manger scene
The image I’m using here can be downloaded in printable form here: 4jesse-tree-pictures

Who but
our Blessed Lord
could make a party
out of homelessness?
a government’s oppression
serve the end
of prophesy?
Who but He
could fill a stable
with the joy
of Paradise?
He lights up
by simply
being there.

That’s why He goes
where it is darkest,
for He’s needed there
the most.

You’ve emboldened me,
O Lord,
to open wide
of my heart.

If You
desire the worst
You’ll find it here.
Illuminate me
from within!

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2016


Blessed Christmas Eve!

Jesse tree:
Blessed Virgin Mary, Luke 1:46-55
Suggested symbol: lily

The handmaid
of the Lord
in Him.
That’s who she is.

That’s all she needs.

And it
must be
the same
with me.

Friday, Fourth Week of Advent (O Emmanuel, St. John of Kanty)

December 23, 2016


Blessed St. John of Kanty’s Day!

You can find his story here.

Here’s today’s antiphon:

O Emmanuel,
Our King and Lawgiver,
The Awaited one of the peoples
And their Savior
Come to save us, O Lord, our God


Note the relationship to these scripture passages:
Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son
and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
(see also Matthew 1:22)

Jesse Tree
Joseph, Matthew 1:18-24
Suggested symbol: carpenter’s tools
The image I’m using here can be downloaded in printable form here: 4jesse-tree-pictures

The son of David
is a carpenter,
with rugged hands,
accustomed to
a life of toil
the government
of Rome.
He finds his bride
with Child,
ponders long
what he should do,
decides to set her free,
but quietly.

The angel intervenes
and Joseph takes his wife
into his humble home,
takes on the fatherhood
of God’s Incarnate Son,
the Promised One!

I did my best
with what I knew,
but I am grateful,
that you step in
and still fill in
what You
want me to do!

Thursday, Fourth Week of Advent, O King of the Gentiles

December 22, 2016


Blessed Thursday!

Here’s today’s O Antiphon:

O King of the Gentiles
And their desired One
Cornerstone who binds two into one
Come and save man
Whom You fashioned from the slime of the earth


Note the relationship with these Scripture passages:
Isaiah 2:4:
And he shall judge the Gentiles,
and rebuke many people
(see also Psalm 2:7-8, Ephesians 2:11-13, 20-21, Genesis 2:7)

Jesse tree:
Zerubbabel, Ezra 2:1-2, 3:1
Suggested symbol: sword & mason’s trowel

The image I’m using here can be found in printable form here:4jesse-tree-trowel

By God’s decree
a pagan king
the land of Israel.
He sent the exiles home
to build
the house of God.

took up the challenge,
led the caravan
to raise the ruins,
fight off enemies,
gave of himself,
to offer
lawful sacrifice
to God.

My quest
to be restored,
O Lord,
can be an uphill battle.
Strengthen me
to make the journey,
clear the ruins,
fight the enemies,
to raise
a pleasing fragrance
up to You.

Wednesday, Fourth Week of Advent, St. Peter Canisius, O Dawn

December 21, 2016


Blessed St. Peter Canisius’ Day!


You can find his story here.

O Rising Dawn,
Splendor of eternal light
And Sun of justice
Come to give light to those sitting in darkness
And in the shadow of death


Note the relationship with these Scriptures:
Revelation 22:16:
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things concerning the churches.
I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
(see also Isaiah 9:1, John 8:12 & 12:46, Psalm 19:6-7)

Jesse Tree:
Jeconiah (Babylonian exile), Matthew 1:11-12, Psalm 137:1
Suggested symbol: tears/weeping willow

The image I’m using here can be downloaded in printable form here: 4jesse-tree-pictures

The hammer fell
and they knew why
and knew
what they must do
as they lamented
what they’d lost.
The temple burned
he land destroyed
they grieved their sins
on foreign soil.

The land received its rest–
the Sabbaths
it had been denied.

Seventy years
rolled by…

Messiah’s line
in Jeconiah
was suppressed
but stayed alive.

My sins
catch up with me
and take me down
to wake me up
to make the changes
that will lead
to better things
O Lord,
deliver me!

Tuesday, Fourth Week of Advent, (December 20, O Key of David)

December 20, 2016


Blessed Tuesday!

Here’s today’s O Antiphon:OKey

O Key of David
And Scepter of the house of Israel
What You open, no one shuts
What You shut, no one opens
Come, deliver from the chains of prison
Those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death

Note its relationship to these passages: Isaiah 22:22:
And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder:
and he shall open, and none shall shut:
and he shall shut, and none shall open.
(see also Isaiah 9:6, 42:7, Revelation 3:7)

Jesse Tree
King Josiah, 2 Kings 22:8-13
Suggested Symbol: scroll

The image I’m using here can be downloaded in printable form here: 4jesse-tree-pictures


Two kings
have come and gone
and left the kingdom
in wickedness.
The Lord
they filled the land
with blood.
Their children slain
while men indulged their lusts–
until Josiah took the throne.

His heart was pure
He turned to God,
repaired the temple
of the Lord
wherein was found
the long-forgotten Law.

The book was read.
Josiah tore his robes
and mourned
to learn
how badly
they had broken
every covenant,
how justly
they deserved
the wrath of God.

He tore down idols,
banished temple prostitutes,
deposed false priests,
profaned the pagan altars,
called the kingdom
back to God.

When time was full
another voice* would call
the people
to reform their ways
abandon wickedness,
to be washed clean
before the day
of God.

I do not even know,
O Lord,
the depth
of wickedness
within my soul.
I’ve only scratched
the surface.
I need You
to shine Your Light
and set me right,
that I might welcome You
in holiness.

*St. John the Baptist

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