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WALK IN THE SPIRIT December 2019 Issue 334 Commencement March 1992

"Abba Father ! Abba Mother!"

ISSN 1391-5967

Publication: Fr. Siri Oscar Abayaratne Kithu Dana Pubuduwa

SHARING ON PRAYER December 2019 God created all things and Mary gave birth to God. God who made all things made Himself from Mary. In this way He remade all that He made. He who was able to make all things out of nothing. When they had been defaced could not re-make them without Mary’s help. God is then Father of all created things and Mary is the Mother of all that has been re-created. God is the Father of the institution of all things and Mary is Mother of the restitution of all things. God begot Him through whom all things were made and Mary gave birth to Him thro’ whom all things are saved. God begot Him without whom nothing at all exists and Mary gave birth to Him without whom nothing that exists is good. “The Lord indeed with you.” Fr. Siri Oscar Abayaratne


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrñ' ud l< hq;= l=ula±hs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Sunday 1st December 2019 Isaiah:2/1-5 Psalm:122/1-9 (122/1-2, 4-9) Romans:13/11-14 Mathew:24/37-44

Introduction Today, on the first Sunday of Advent, Holy Mother the Church is starting another liturgical year. 'Advent' means arrival or coming. Throughout the period of Advent we reflect on the arrival of Christ Jesus in Bethlehem as an infant, His glorious coming at the end of the world to judge us according to the good and the bad we have accomplished, and His daily arrival among us through the gift of grace. The glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ can be at any moment. And in whatever way it is manifested, we are called to be always ready and stay alert for His arrival. If so, let us live righteously and thus ready at any time to meet Christ the real and just Judge. The First Proclamation The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of

First Sunday of Advent

PS Wk 1 Zion shall go forth instruction and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Prayerful Awareness The prophet is speaking to the people of the day of the Lord or His coming in a context full of hope. Thus people are exalted to a new experience of hope with the prophecy that states the exaltation of Jerusalem and the lifting up of the temple. Here the mountain of the Lord means the place on which the temple was built, the mountain of Jerusalem or mount Zion. Similarly it depicts an era of peace with the dawning of the day of the Lord. Swords used at war hammered into ploughshares and spears into sickles indicate the reign of peace. Here the invitation of the prophet for the people of God or the House of Jacob is to walk in the light of the Lord already dawned. Responsorial Psalm I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house. of the Lord!" Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem…. The Second Proclamation Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers: the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Prayerful Awareness St. Paul counsels the Christians to be ready for the day of the Lord. Here his exhortation is, not to be engaged in reveling and drunkenness, in debauchery and licentiousness, in quarrelling and jealousy and to make no provision for the flesh, in gratifying its desires. Also he asks the Christians to let their armour be the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore as we prepare ourselves for His advent, let us conduct ourselves becomingly and put on attitudes that make space for the Light that is Christ to work on us. The Gospel Proclamation For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field, one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this, if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

Prayerful Awareness With the comparison of the Second Coming of the Son of Man with the day of Noah, is shown forth the destruction that would take place suddenly and therefore the need to stay prepared at all times. Thus the Gospel proclamation advises us on the need to stay alert as Christians for the glorious coming of the Son of Man that would occur at an unexpected moment. Our Son-ship The Advent Season that we are stepping onto today extends for a period of 4 weeks. Throughout this period we are reminded of the necessity of being prepared and alert, thus ready for the Second Coming, irrespective of the date and manner it would manifest. Similarly, the day of the Lord is a day on which the whole of the Universe arrive at its fulfillment, the dawn of a new heaven and earth and passing over to a new existence. Therefore the invitation is to wait in hope for His Second Coming. Although individually and collectively we are faced with persecutions and utter helplessness or whatever situation we are in, our hope should be on the renewal that takes place on the day of His Second Coming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the great day that the entire Universe including myself, my brother as well as animals and beasts will be renewed. Therefore let us light our lamps of hope and enter into prayer. Prayer Starter Abba Father, Abba Mother, we are waiting in hope for the Second Coming of Your Son. Grant us the divine power and guidance required to prepare ourselves for the day of enlightenment that would dispel the darkness we are passing through.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Monday 2nd December 2019 Isaiah:4/2-6 Psalm:122/1-2, 4-9 Mathew:8/5-11, 13

St. Bibiana The church of St. Bibiana in the city of Rome has existed since the 5th Century. The time and the circumstances of her suffering are uncertain. According to legend, she was a native of Rome and her parents were apprehended on account of their Christian beliefs. Bibiana and her sister were stripped of all they had in the world and suffered deprivation for five months but she spent that time in their own house in fasting and prayer. When attempts by an ill-reputed woman, Rufina, to change her ways of thinking failed, blows were found to be equally fruitless. Then she was scourged severely and she breathed her last. Her body was left out in the open to be eaten by scavenging dogs; but none touched it. The Gospel Proclamation When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress." And he said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion answered, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. .... When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. .... And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go, let it be done for you according to your faith." And the servant was healed in that hour. Prayerful Awareness The Roman centurions are mentioned

St. Bibiana with honour in the New Testament. There was the centurion who recognised Jesus on the cross as the Son of God. Then the one who discovered Paul was a Roman citizen and did all he could to help Paul and even save him from being murdered by a rioting mob. There was something special about the centurion at Capernaum - the love and care he showed to his servant. May be the servant was a slave, but nevertheless, the centurion was determined to do everything in his power to save him. He had power and the final say over the servant. The touch of love or that extra concern the centurion had towards the servant speaks volumes of his inner build up, which was in par with the teachings of Our Lord. When he came to Jesus, it was his unusual love and unexpected gentleness towards his servant that moved our Lord. Those who love and care for their neighbours are always near and dear to Him. The centurion was a Gentile and Jesus was a Jew. Jews placed themselves on higher pedestals and in many ways or areas of life they treated the Gentles as inferior beings. They always placed Gentiles at arm's length. But Jesus' attitude towards Gentiles was completely different. In "Jesus and the Samaritan woman" (John 4/5-26) it is very clear that to Him every one was a son/daughter of the Father. His aim was to gather the scattered sheep back into the fold. His immediate reaction to the Centurion's request was, "I will go and make him well." And we have Jesus healing at a distance. The sufferer was not in actual contact and he had neither seen nor touched Him. Even science sees that there are forces whose ways of working are mysterious. This power does not tread the ordinary paths and channels or travel by ordinary contacts. Prayer Starter Help us to place our faith on a sound footing. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Jeremiah:1/4-9 Psalm: 117/1-2 Mark:16/15-20

The First Proclamation Now the word of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month. Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a boy'; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, "Now I have put my words in your mouth. Fix your gaze on Jesus Your designs are great O Lord of the Hosts, and we rejoice therein.... O how we pray for us to be in a world where there is love and acceptance, harmony and freedom, justice and fairness, faithfulness and trust-

St. Francis Xavier worthiness and so on; where we do not have to be on the constant watch out for 'The Others' who are always 'Out to Get Us'...! This seems to be exactly what the Lord has designed for in His Kingdom; this is S/His promise for the faithful; those who choose to be S/His people, the faithful, those who seek S/ His Face and turn away from their own untimely, destructive, wasteful, insensitive and greedy ways, shall be reaping this reward. We, the co-creators have the responsibility of bringing S/His Kingdom about; simply by sowing what we'd (really) like to reap. God has set up the system, where those who choose to be good and bad all have S/His blessings; and then we have to consciously create what we really want! We need to journey towards being in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, gradually growing in our awareness of the whole Spirit, who is taking us (who are disconnected/ broken) on the journey of connecting us back with ourselves, our bodies and the wondrous systems therein, our human brethren starting with our families, our relations, villages, towns, nations along with all the races, the uncountable other species closely and distantly related to us, the abundant ecosphere we are housed in, the star system our mother earth is a member of, our neighbourhood in the Milky-way and so on.... Then will we begin to see what Jesus promised for us, the things which kings and prophets have not seen, our eyes seeing the blessedness of the whole creation, where heaven and earth is full of S/His Glory, and S/His reign is forever..... Prayer Starter We thank You Lord for Your blessed design, the entirety of Your creation so wondrous and us stay in Your fatherly and motherly love, and be grateful...!

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Wednesday 4th December 2019 St.John of Damascus,Priest,Religious Doctor Isaiah:25/6-10 Psalm:23/1-6 Mathew:15/29-37

The First Proclamation Please read Isaiah 25/6-10 meditatively. The Gospel Proclamation After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet and he cured them, .... And they praised the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way. The disciples said to him, "Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd? Jesus said to them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish." Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Prayerful Awareness Do you ever feel that God is so busy with important concerns that He

could possibly be aware of our needs? Just as Jesus was concerned about these people's NEED for FOOD, He is concerned about our DAILY NEEDS. There is nothing too LARGE for Him to handle and no need too SMALL to escape His interest. Jesus Christ is INCOMPARABLE. He had no wealth nor influence and had neither training nor education. His relatives were not influential. Yet, He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed multitudes without medicine and made NO CHARGE for His services. He never practiced medicine, yet, He healed more BROKEN HEARTS and BROKEN BODIES than doctors. This feeding of 4,000 is a separate event from feeding of the 5,000 confirmed by Mark 8/19-20. This was the beginning of Jesus' expanded ministry to the Gentiles Jesus had already fed more than 5,000 with just five loaves and a .few small fish. Here, in a similar situation, the disciples were again perplexed. How easily we throw up our hands in despair when faced with difficult situations. Like the disciples, we often forget that if God has cared for us in the PAST, He will do the same NOW. When facing unbearable situations, let us remember how God cared for us and TRUST HIM to work faithfully again. When Jesus gives, He gives us over and above. Four thousand people ate, were satisfied. Seven basketfuls of broken pieces were left over! Jesus our Savior, the ever compassionate One who healed the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, is the EVER PERFECT ONE. He is altogether LOVELY. Prayer Starter Jesus, the One who is greater than any storm, help us to place all our fears in Your hands and rest in Your unfailing love.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Thursday 5th December 2019 Isaiah:26/1-6 Psalm:118/1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27 Matthew: 7/21, 24-27

Gospel Proclamation Jesus said to his disciples: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined." Prayerful Awareness

ever happens? Do we have this kind of 100% faith in Him? This is the kind of relationship He calls for. Jesus said "I will be with you always until the end of the age" (Mathew 28:20). As a test Jesus asked, “Do you love me?” and went on to say, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14: 15). And to all who keep His Commandments, He promised to intercede and grant them the gift of the Holy Spirit of God, who will be with them always (John 14:16). Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot accept, because they neither see nor know Him, but you will know Him and He will be in you and remain in you. All who accept the Holy Spirit and live according to His guidance will fulfill the Will of God and are called sons and daughters of God; as His Children (Rom. 8:14) to be His witnesses to bring Him Glory (Isaiah 43:7). As children of God, we are called to display His qualities in our lives same as Jesus Christ, since we too are created to His own image (Genesis 1:27). The Holy Spirit, will be our Friend within, to whom we can talk or pray. He will help us and give us strength and wisdom to love Jesus and keep His word in our lives. Then Jesus said, “and my Father will love him, and we (the Holy Trinity) will come to him and make our dwelling with him”. How great is our God. In the First Reading Prophet Isaiah speaks of the Day of the Lord, when songs will be sung in the land of Judah of the strong city built on the eternal Rock and based on the security provided by God. Where the gates will be opened for the just to enter. He humbles those in high places and brings down the lofty city. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor. Prayer Starter

Most people try to know God by reading or listening to the word of God but fail to practice the word or do God’s Will. Some may use the Name of Jesus, but do not practice a relationship with Him in their life. Also, there are people who live in the illusion of working for the Lord, but fail to be His witnesses at times of trials, to discover tragically, that they have not known Him well. In this season of Advent, let us listen to the call of Jesus. Jesus calls us to have a strong relationship with Him like the house built on the rock. How close are we to Jesus? Do we know Him well enough to trust Him and know that He is there with us Help us, Lord Jesus, our Saviour, all the time, even at times we face trials? Do we rely on Him and ask for His help for the glory of Your Name; wipe away and depend on Him without the slightest our sins, rescue us for the sake of Your doubt, without deviating from Him what- Name. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Friday 6th December 2019 Isaiah:29/17-24 Psalm:27/1,4,13-14 Mathew: 9/27-31

The First Proclamation Shall not Lebanon in a very little while become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest? On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant shall be no more and the scoffer shall cease to be; all those alert to do evil shall be cut off - ...Therefore thus says the Lord who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob. No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no longer shall his face grow pale. For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction. The Gospel Proclamation As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith let it be done to you" and their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, "See that no one knows of this". But they went away and spread

St. Nicholas, Bishop the news about him throughout that district. Gaze at Jesus Our Lord Jesus Christ emptied His heavenly glory and came into this world to fulfill an assignment of Father God, i.e. to gain salvation for all mankind. This was revealed to us in the Gospel of St. John (ch.3/16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, instead, through Him the world is to be saved. Jesus was fully aware of His mission in building the Kingdom of God. So He spent every moment of His public life to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to free the oppressed and announce the year of mercy. Jesus faced a lot of opposition and challenges from the Pharisees, but was able to overcome them with constant dependence on His Father God. My sonship Do I have an active faith in God that increases day by day? Everyday in many ways, we can express an active faith in God. In doing so our faith increases and our certainty of God's love and care is strengthened. Each one of us has a definite plan for our lives. How often do we become aware of this and accept same. Many a time when we are faced with life's storms, we grope in fear and insecurity of which we are not in control. We forget the presence of Jesus in our lives and suffer in vain and in tension. The two blind men not only gained sight but also a new vision for their future. Prayer Starter The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps.27/1.....)

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Saturday 7th December 2019 Isaiah:30/19-21,23-26 Psalm:147/1-6 Mathew:9/35-10/1,6-8

Introduction Let us read today’s Proclamations meditatively where the central theme is the mercy of God, our Abba Father, Abba Mother, who, despite our sinfulness, set in motion a plan for the restoration of divine sonship, i.e. to make us qualify to be members of God’s Kingdom/ Family, for us to be with Him in eternity. For this is how God loved the world: He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3:16). Song of Praise (Psalm 147: 1-6) Alleluia! Praise Yahweh -- it is good to sing psalms to our God -- how pleasant to praise him. Yahweh, Builder of Jerusalem! He gathers together the exiles of Israel, healing the broken-hearted and binding up their wounds. He counts out the number of the stars, and gives each one of them a name. Our Lord is great, all-powerful, his wisdom beyond all telling. Yahweh sustains the poor, and humbles the wicked to the ground. Prayerful Awareness Through today’s Gospel Proclamation our Lord Jesus Christ empowers the twelve disciples (who later came to be known as His Apostles because 'Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness and when He saw the crowds He felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd) to carry out

St.Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor His mission of proclaiming God’s Kingdom, and to drive out unclean spirits, and to cure the people of all kinds of disease and illness. Everything our Lord did or said was always according to Abba Father / Mother’s Will and was full of symbolic meaning. Twelve denoted the twelve tribes of Israel, God’s chosen people, descendants of Abraham, who we call the father of faith. Today, we of the faith are His chosen people by extension, and this same mission is given to us! And He empowers us through the Holy Spirit that emanates from the Father and the Son, with the gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-13) and fruits (Galatians 5: 22-26) of the Spirit in order to carry out His commission to us! And we too are asked to ‘ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest’ because 'the harvest is rich but the labourers are few’. In today’s First Proclamation God promises through Prophet Isaiah thus: ‘Yes, people of Zion living in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious to you when your cry for help rings out; as soon as he hears it, he will answer you. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes.’ The above is a reference to the time Jesus walked the earth, which is a partial fulfillment of the prophecy, as well as the time to come after His Second Coming in full power and glory to wrest control from the evil kingdoms of the world after the great tribulation, which will see the total fulfillment of the prophecy ‘on the day Yahweh dresses his people's wound and heals the scars of the blows they have received’, and with a reference to God’s Holy Spirit, ‘Your ears will hear these words behind you, 'This is the way, keep to it,' whether you turn to right or left.’ Amen! Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrñ' ud l< hq;= l=ula±hs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Sunday 8th December 2019

Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah:11/1-10 Psalm: 72/1-2,7-8, 12-13,17 Romans:15/4-9 Mathew:3/1-12

Introduction Advent is the season in which we wait in hope of the fulfillment of the promise of God Almighty. With the advent of Christ, not only did the messianic age foretold by the prophets dawn on us but also God did instill His Will in the hearts of men. The desire of Holy Mother the Church is that the hope of the glorious Second Coming of the Lord will grow in us for which we are made ready right throughout the four Sundays of Advent. Even the proclamations of the Word during this season are meant to kindle this hope in us. What the human ear has never heard nor the eye has never seen on this earth will begin to manifest with the advent of the Lord. St. Paul too preparing the community for the Lord's coming is extending an invitation to plead with the Lord to grace us with patience and courage to live in unity following the example of Christ. Let us invoke the Lord for power to be witnesses of the Gospel, making our own the mission of John the Baptist, as revealed in the Gospel proclamation. The First Proclamation A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. …. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. …

Ps Wk II

Prayerful Awareness The First Proclamation makes it obvious that prophet Isaiah is speaking of a righteous and peaceful dominion of the Messiah from the tribe of David. Under His dominion followed by a just judgment, a harmonious nature will manifest among the entire creation. The phrase "the spirit of the Lord" in the second verse reminds us that it is the Lord who enables the king to rule the country with righteousness and the presence of God will make him experience the action of God. Similarly, "the spirit of knowledge" mentioned in verse nine means a knowledge that surpasses human intelligence indicating the surrender of one's entire life and behavior to God. Therefore let us pray for the grace to lead our lives in deep surrender. The Second Proclamation For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the gory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore i will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name. Prayerful Awareness With the encounter of the risen Lord, St. Paul, since the day he acknowledged Jesus Christ as his Lord and Master was

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


proficient in proclaiming and witnessing to his experience of this encounter. It was not simply a teaching or a proclamation but purely an affirmation of his life experience. The great Good News written in the Old Testament influences us as well in the same manner due to its enlivening quality. Let us pray for the power of God, the source of steadfastness and encouragement, to enable us to live in harmony with one another in accord with Jesus Christ who came for the redemption of all nations. The Gospel Proclamation In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan confessing their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of wipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful that I is coming after me. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his

hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Prayerful Awareness It is John the Baptist who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." How unique, complex and tremendous is the task entrusted to him by the Lord? If one is to prepare the way of the Lord, he should surely know of the way. And also he should be a person who is traversing the same path. St. John the Baptist, while he was still in his mother's womb, recognized the Lord Jesus and rejoiced in him. "And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb" (Luke 1:41). Even John the Baptist was immensely courageous as to give a correct response in front of Pharisees and Sadducees for he was simply filled with the Holy Spirit. He who was well convinced of his mission as the precursor of Jesus Christ was awake to where he really was at every moment of his life. Bearing such humility as to exclaim, "He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry," he was also well attuned to the Will of God. Our Sonship "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Where are we as a people chosen to prepare the way of the Lord? How mindful are we of living in harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus? Let us detect what hinders it and repent. Like St. John the Baptist let us step on to the place where we should be as befitting to our vocation. Prayer Starter Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet Your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to His company (From the Collect).

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary his children through Jesus Christ, Genesis: 3/9-15, 20 according to the good pleasure of his Psalm: 98/1-4 will, to the praise of his glorious grace Ephesians:1/3-6,11-12 that he freely bestowed on us in the Luke:1/26-38 Beloved...... Prayerful Awareness

Monday 9th December 2019

Here we have a morsel of what went on in Paul's mind. Gifts and wonders of God passed his eyes. Did Paul think that The Immaculate Conception of he had chosen God's works. No. What the Blessed Mother Paul declared was just the opposite. God On 8th October 1854, Pope Pius had chosen him. "You did not choose IX, urged by a majority of the world's me; I chose you and appointed you." Catholic Bishops, solemnly emphasized (John 15:16). How wonderful to know in his Bull, "Ineffabilis Deus": "We that Almighty God has chosen us "even declare, announce and define that the before the world was made." Think of doctrine which states that the Blessed the talents He has given without our Virgin Mary was preserved, in the first asking. By developing and using the instant of her conception, by a singular talents we can be useful citizens of His grace and privilege of God Omnipo- Kingdom. But solely by ourselves we tent and because of the merits of Jesus can never achieve serenity of mind. He Christ the Saviour of the human race, alone can give this to us. The prime idea free from all stain of original sin, is of God's choice is that we Christians revealed by God and must be believed should be holy, blameless and different firmly and with constancy by all the from other people. The word 'holy' carfaithful." There are many passages in ries in it the idea of difference. Because the writings of the early Church Fa- they are different from ordinary men and thers, beginning with in a few years of women, they are holy; so are priests. So the death of St. John which implicitly is a church because it is different from justify the belief in Mary's Immaculate other buildings. Sunday is holy as it is Conception. In the Eastern Church its different from other days. "Praise God feast was observed since the 7th Cen- for His grace ....." (vs.6) . "The grace tury, in the Western since the 9th. The of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God promulgation of this decree was thus makes to us of His own life, infused by a culmination of centuries of tradition the Holy Spirit, into our soul, to heal it of liturgically celebrating Mary's sinless sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying birth and holy life status. or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us, the source of the work of The Second Proclamation sanctification. Therefore if any one is in Blessed be the God and Father Christ, he is a new creation; the old has of our Lord Jesus Christ who has passed away, behold, the new has come. blessed us in Christ with every spir- All this is from God, who through Christ itual blessing in the heavenly places, reconciled us to Himself. (C.C.C.1999) just as he chose us in Christ before Prayer Starter the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in Make us holy citizens of Thy Kinglove. He destined us for adoption as dom. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Tuesday 10th December 2019 Isaiah:40/1-11 Psalm:96/1-3,10-13 Mathew:18/12-14

The First Proclamation 'Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Fix your gaze on Jesus Thank You O Lord, for your desire, your will becomes clearer by the minute.... Sentience (self-awareness) has an inclination to feel separated; and to that extent, perceives a feeling of existential anxiety - like, ‘something over there is out to get me’! Thus, all of human life becomes a warfare; and Christian life is more so, since we choose to face our dread in the hope that the struggle will not last always. Instead of responding with aggression, denials and escapism, we hold the tension. The troubles/anxieties are removed in love; when sin is pardoned and the error eliminated/ erased. What is this sin/error? It is the foundational belief and thereby the experience of separation. In truth, we’re never ever alone or separated; how can we ever be separated from the creation? It is but a construct/creation within our own minds. And, in embracing the great atonement of the death of Christ, the mercy of God is experienced and we are free to rejoice in the glory of His justice.s In Christ and His sufferings, true penitents receive from the Lord’s hand double for all their sins. Listen to the Loving Lord, ‘How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the Will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish’. Prayer Starter Lord, prepare our hearts to be receptive to Your word, to have the conviction by Your Spirit, to experience Your Heavenly Kingdom.... O Abba Father, O Abba Mother...

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrñ' ud l< hq;= l=ula±hs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Wednesday 11th December 2019 Isaiah:40/25-31 Psalm:103/1-4, 8,10 Mathew:11/28-30

Gospel Proclamation "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Prayerful Awareness

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life (John 3:16). When Jesus said “come to me, my yoke is light”, He wants everyone to come to Him and to know Him. He only asks us to follow His teachings/Commandments and observe them, and He said such are people who love Him (John 14:21). For such people He will ask His Father and the Father will give another Advocate to be with them always (John 14:16). Jesus said; “The advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name, will teach you about everything, And remind you of all that I told you’’ (John 14:26). When the Holy Spirit comes, He will teach us to live just lives according to the Will of God. St. Paul in his message to Thessalonians (5:16-18) said “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks (in good and bad as God is in Control), for this is the Will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” The Holy Spirit will give us strength, wisdom and power to live as children of God. The Holy Spirit will make everything light and we will not be the same when we have the Holy Spirit within us, to teach us and help us and we can pray and ask

St. Damasus, Pope for His help at times we need help. The Holy Spirit will teach us the Truth about everything and teach us more about God, His great Love and Mercy and about Jesus and His Word and help us to have a close relationship with Him. When we come to know more about God (Triune God) and about His great Love, we will be able to love Him. In John 14:23 Jesus said “whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit), will come to him and make our dwelling with him’’. How fortunate such a person is. If, God is with us, who could be against us. The First Reading Speaks to us about the Creator. To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see; Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because He is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing. .,.. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Prayer Starter Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth and all of us, we worship You. We thank and praise You for Your great Love and Mercy for us and for Your Begotten Son our Saviour and Lord who came to earth to pay for our sins and teach us the way for Salvation and raise us to call You, Our Father. We also thank You for granting Your Spirit to guide us and help us, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Thursday 12th December 2019 Zechariah:2/14-17 OR Revelation:11/19; 12/1-6,10 Psalm:Judith:13/18, 19 Luke:1/26-38 OR Luke:1/39-47 The First Proclamation Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earth quake, and heavy hail. A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour the child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our

Our Lady of Guadalupe comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God." Prayerful Awareness In the first reading (Revelations), St. John is describing his vision of the woman and the dragon. The woman is described as, light (“whose dress was the sun”) and as the hope of a new beginning (“She was soon to give birth”). The dragon is the darkness waiting to destroy the light and the promise of a new beginning. “With his tail he dragged a third of the stars out of the sky … He stood in front of the woman, in order to eat her child….” Why is this woman so important? Or why is our beloved mother Mary so important? It’s because she was willing to say “YES” to a calling that could bring her unbearable pain, of losing her child to the dragon. Even though the dragon was right in front of her, waiting to eat her child and had no physical protection, except the most divine protection of God which is invisible to human sight but clear to her, through faith. So she gave birth to hope, the Savior of the world. “Then she gave birth to a son… But the child was snatched away and taken to God and his throne." She had faith until the end, and God took care of her. “The woman fled to ... a place God had prepared for her, where she will be taken care of…” So let us also ask God's grace to say YES in faith, and take a step forward. Even though we see the dragon in front of us, let us not be afraid to go forth to do God's Will like Mary, our Mother showed us. Prayer Starter Dearest Mother, please pray for us so that we may receive the strength to say “Yes” and face the dangers of life with faith.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Friday 13th December 2019 Isaiah:48/17-19 Psalm:1/1-4, 6 Mathew:11/16-19

The First Proclamation Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea, your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me. The Gospel Proclamation "But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.'' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon''; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."

St. Lucy, Virgin, Martyr

Prayerful Awareness Jesus preached the Gospel - the GOOD NEWS - to everyone who wanted to hear it. The gospel is that the KINGDOM of God has come, that God is with us and that He cares for us. Christ can heal, not just that of physical sickness, but of spiritual sickness as well. There is no sin or problem too great or too small for Him to handle. Jesus' words were good news because they offered FREEDOM, HOPE, PEACE OF MIND and eternal life with God. No matter what He SAID and DID, the people of His generation took the opposite view. No wonder Jesus compared them to children sitting in the market place. They were cynical - believed that people always acted selfishly, because He challenged their comfortable, secure and self-centred lives. They justify themselves because listening to God may require us to change the way we live. We see their mental tendency, always acted in a certain way, contrary to the truth. John came neither eating nor drinking and they said, "He has a DEMON". The Son of Man - Jesus, came eating and drinking and they said "He is a glutton, a drunkard and a friend of tax collectors and 'sinners'. These are all hostile accusations. Prayer Starter Heavenly Father, the world around us can feel threatening, overwhelming and dangerous. But You give us peace, strength and help.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Saturday 14th December 2019 St. John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor Sirach:48/1-4,9-11 Psalm:80/1, 2, 8, 14, 15, 17, 18 Mathew:17/10-13

First Proclamation …. How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah! Has anyone reason to boast as you have? ... taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God's wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Blessed, those who will see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love; for we too shall certainly have life. The Gospel Proclamation And the disciples put this question to him, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' He replied, "Elijah is indeed coming, and he will set everything right again; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognise him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of man will suffer similarly at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking of John the Baptist. Prayerful Awareness Let us read today’s Proclamations meditatively, where the central theme is about the preparer of the coming of the Messiah, which is very apt in this season of Advent. The last two verses of the last book in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6) states thus: 'Look, I shall send you the prophet Elijah before the great and awesome Day of Yahweh comes. He will reconcile parents to their children

and children to their parents, to forestall my putting the country under the curse of destruction.' Today’s Gospel Proclamation follows the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor where the three disciples (Peter, James and John) beheld the Lord’s glory in the company of Moses and Elijah, and the Lord admonishes them to keep it secret till after His Resurrection. Jesus’ intention was to give the three key disciples a glimpse of the glory of heaven (remember Peter wished to remain there forever!) in order to strengthen their faith prior to His death on the cross. This is the setting which prompted them to ask the question from the Lord on their way down the mountain because they had had a glimpse of the fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah must come before the Messiah, which was a stumbling block for most Jews to believe Jesus as the Messiah because they did not recognize the role of John the Baptist, as a type of Prophet Elijah, as the preparer of the way for the people to receive the Messiah. ‘In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in the desert of Judaea, 'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.' This was the man spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said: "A voice of one that cries in the desert, 'Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.' " (Mathew 3:1-3). ‘After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.' (Mark 1:14-15). Accordingly, we see the opening message of both John the Baptist and Jesus is to repent of our sinful ways, to prepare ourselves to become members of God’s Kingdom, which was qualified for us by our Lord Jesus Christ on His sacrificial death on the cross as recompense for our sins, to anyone who believes this Good News! Amen! Alleluia!

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Sunday 15th December 2019 Isaiah:35/1-6,10 Psalm:146/6-10 James:5/7-10 Mathew:11/2-11

Introduction Today is the third Sunday in Advent and only less than ten days for the Solemnity of the Birth of our Lord. During the time of Advent, Holy Mother the Church awakens us to three special occasions that bears much significance to human life and they are: - The historical birth of our Lord - The risen Lord daily entering into our lives and our communities - His glorious second coming at the end times The entire Universe waits with eager longing for the glorious second coming of the Lord Jesus that is revealed through the proclamations of the day. As given in the first proclamation, on this great occasion "They shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of the Lord." The Gospel Proclamation presents the fore-runner of the Lord, St. John the Baptist. The Second Proclamation taken from the letter of James is while being a direct presentation of the second coming of the Lord, also mentions that we should wait in steadfast faith and patience for this great event. The First Proclamation The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom, like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

Third Sunday of Advent Ps Wk III Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you." Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Prayerful Awareness Many are the wishes, hopes and promises presented by prophet Isaiah. Affirming that they will be fulfilled at the coming of the Lord the prophet reveals "Do not be afraid, Look your God is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you." He is our only savior and he saves us from the triple enemy of the devil, world and the flesh that drags us into sin. Also he redeems us from the evils of power, wealth and pride that enslave us. In consequence "They shall see the glory of Lord, the splendor of our God." In one way what is mentioned above is with regard to Christmas and also signs of his glorious second coming. The Gospel Proclamation When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?' Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


no offense at me. As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to kook at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way before you' Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Prayerful Awareness St. John the Baptist was the last prophet in the Old Testament as well as the person who prepared the way for the Lord for which reason he declares, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). While in prison when John sent his disciples to inquire of Him, he reveals the mission that is being accomplished by Him whereby He proclaims that the new domain has already been started. Although St. John the Baptist was a true prophet, he went beyond his prophetic mission. Since he was entrusted with the task of preparing the way of the Lord, he was considered greater than any other human being. With the advent of Christ the new reign of God has begun and the Lord proclaims that the least in this Kingdom is endowed with special grace. The Second Proclamation Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may

not be judged. See, the judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful . Prayerful Awareness Through this proclamation St. James invites the Christians to wait in patience till the Second Coming of the Lord. It is an invitation not to lose heart in waiting for the coming of the Lord that is during Christmas as well as for His glorious Second Coming. In this regard St. Paul states as follows: "May he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints" (1 Thessalonians 3:13). The gift He has bestowed on us to keep our hearts holy and spotless is the gift of repentance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Repentance and conversion. Are we aware of these gifts and do we make use of them? Let us be mindful. My sonship Similar to St. John the Baptist then, who should be the heralds of the glorious Second Coming of the Lord? It is you and I, the Christian community. Just as St. John the Baptist was in his day, we too should be the heralds of repentance. First I should constantly make use of the gift of repentance and take steps to keep my heart pure and blameless and then help and guide my family, the society I live in and the parish community to follow the same. Neither can we stop at that, but move further as to reorient our village, province and land contributing our might to give birth to the Kingdom of God. Prayer Starter The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way f the wicked he brings to ruin.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Monday 16th December 2019

Feast of St. John of Kanty, Priest

Numbers:24/2-7,15-17 Psalm:25/4-9 Mathew:21/23-27

The Gospel Proclamation When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" Jesus said .., "I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?" ...." If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin,' we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things." Prayerful Awareness What Jesus said, the things He did, were all extraordinary. His teachingsyes, they touched the listeners in a new way and challenged them. They were urged to take positive action, to swim upstream. No wonder the Jewish authorities asked Him what right He had to do them. Of course, Jesus had the direct answer to their question. He saw through the question. He saw the inner motive of the question which was full of vice with many strings attached. Besides, a direct answer meant inviting a premature end to His mission and life. Jesus knew that everything had to be done according to the divine plan and the final hour or crisis had not yet come. The way Our Lord tackled the question is very interesting.

The question of the Jewish authorities was countered with a question of His own. This placed them in a dilemma. Jesus asked them whether John's right to baptize came from heaven or from men, whether it was divine or human. Were the people who went to John responding to a divine challenge or merely a human impulse. If they said the ministry of John was from God, they had no alternative but to admit that Jesus was the Messiah. John bore ample testimony to that fact. If the Jewish authorities had answered that John's ministry was from men, then they would have to bear the anger of the people as they were convinced that John was a prophet. After being silent for a moment they gave their answer - 'We do not know.' What a self-condemnation it was! As members of the Sanhedrin they ought to have known better - to distinguish between true and false prophets. The very dilemma humiliated them. What a shameful humiliation it was! "They deliberately assumed ignorance of fear and the cowardly silence of expediency, that are shameful things. If we know the truth we are under obligation to tell it though the heavens should fall." (The New Daily Study Bible). "The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with a view to peace and harmony. They should take care that the regulations and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal interest against that of the community." (C.C.C.2236)."Authority without love is tyranny." (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen) Prayer Starter Teach us Your ways, O Lord, make them known to me. Teach me to live according to Your truth, for You are my God, who saves me. I always trust in You. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Tuesday 17th December 2019 Genesis:49/1,2,8-10 Psalm:72/1-4,7-8,17 Mathew:1/1-17 The First Proclamation Then Jacob called his sons, and said, "Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come. Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father. Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion, like a lioness - who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his.

Fix your gaze on Jesus

O Lord, that we would come to the feeling of been One with You and Yours.... In the Gospel today we see a long narration of the genealogy of Jesus. This is important. Think how proud those folks are, who can trace their lineage back to some noble person identified in History. Those who can presently relate to some VIP, are normally suffused with the feeling of being worthy. The feeling of belongingness, of being close, of being One with a bigger whole is necessary- nay essential for a person's feeling of self-worth. So what if we could develop the feeling of being one with the Whole - meaning, we feel we are united with God; our Father who art in heaven and also on earth! We'd belong to the clan of 'Judah', who holds the 'Sceptre', the 'Ruler's Staff' and be 'Worthy'.

It is our sense of being separate that robs us of this closeness to God our Creator. This sense is in fact a falsehood we've accepted in to our belief systems. We (you and I) are essentially a microcosm of the macrocosm; a microscopic depiction of the cosmological whole. We are complete in ourselves even as the Universe is complete in itself. It is necessary for us to come to view (and understand) that relationships that bind us all together define, maintain and uplift us! We are not defined by what we are singularly - for example, however skilled you may be as a brain surgeon, without another human being to work your magic on, what use would these hard-won skills be? What we are, the gifts and blessings we realise in life, are essentially the means, the tools for being in relationship with another. And it is this relationship which provides us with our sustenance, and upholds and justifies our continued existence. And this seems to be the essence of what Jacob seems to be imparting to his children. For some, he may appear to be laying the foundation for an autocracy, defining a sort of ruling class; but on the other hand he seems to be saying something like, well - there is the mind which has to monitor the body as a whole and control/ balance it, and then there is the heart too! Of course there is the liver, the lungs, the skin etc., none of which is more important than the other, each serving the others, as is their assigned role/purpose.

Prayer Starter

Lord, journey us towards the truth; we are lost in being anchored down with manifold falsehoods and erroneous beliefs. Show us Your truth that we may shed these unholy beliefs.... and come to experience Your love in an ever more closer manner.... as our Father, and our Mother...

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Wednesday 18th December 2019 Jeremiah:23/5-8 Psalm:72/1-2,12-13, 18-19 Mathew:1/18-24

The First Proclamation The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The Lord is our righteousness." Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, "As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt" but "As the Lord lies who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them." Then they shall live in their own land.. Gaze on Jesus Jeremiah beautifully combines the Old Testament occurrence and the New Testament prophesy, which was yet to take place at the time Jeremiah spoke. "As the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites out .... (vs.7) As the Lord lives, who brought the descendants ... (vs.8) The Jewish people were enslaved to Pharaoh and they were set free by Mo-

ses. Jesus, the God man was humiliated and was tortured to death on the cross. Jesus suffered mental, psychological and physical pain, in order to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind, the penalty which man was unable to pay, himself. The great exchange took place on the cross, when God Man took upon Himself the repercussions on account of the sins of men. Thus, through this act of compassion, Jesus set man free from the enslavement to sin. Therefore, Jesus is referred to as new Moses. Please read Matthew 1/18-25 and especially verse 21. My sonship Can I claim for myself the words: "As the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel ...." (vs. 8). Has Jesus been instrumental in setting me free from my enslavement to sin, habits and fears? Let me reflect ... when? ... how?.... Prayerful Awareness Christianity is the personification of Jesus. A Christian is supposed to meet the person of Jesus daily. We meet Jesus in and through the Scriptures, the Eucharist and when two or three gather in the Name of Jesus. And as we meet Jesus, who is alive, we are set free, from our enslavements. It may not happen instantly, may be one has to keep meeting Jesus for a long time. But someday, Jesus will act. Prayer Starter If Jesus sets me free, I will truly be free. Jesus have mercy on me. Jesus heal me. Jesus save me. Jesus free me.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Thursday 19th December 2019 Judges:13/2-7,24-25 Psalm:71/3-6.16-17 Luke:1/5-25

The Gospel Proclamation In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, ... His wife ... was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, .... But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. Once when he was serving as priest before God ..., Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, .... When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; .... But the angel said, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. ... even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God ... Zechariah said ..."How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." The angel replied, "I am Gabriel, I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, ... you will become mute, ... until the day these things occur. Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, .... When he did come out, he could not speak to them, ... After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, .... Prayerful Awareness God, the ultimate promise keeper, is the inner healer who heals wounds by His promises. And so it is amazing for us, when we come to the Bible, to find promises everywhere. Promises on every page. Promises about nearly every

aspect of life. Promises even about what happens after life. God is not hesitant about making promises. He loves to make promises. There are thousands and thousands of promises He has made, recorded in the Word of God. Promises to Israel, promises to kings and prophets, promises to the Church. And yes, even promises to you and me. Today the first reading and the Gospel proclamation are about the promise of the births of Samson and John the Baptist. These were announced by the angels. Prior to Christmas, the Church makes us reflect about an important word, viz."barren". The two women who had no children were not able to have any. In the people of Israel, barrenness was borne with difficulty: one could probably say that the inability to give life was considered almost a curse, because not having children prevented the fulfilment of the Lord's commandment to fill the earth with new lives. These barren women receive the grace of the Lord and they are able to conceive. From barrenness, the Pontiff continued, "the Lord is capable of reopening a new lineage, a new life: this is today's message." Therefore, when humanity is exhausted, it can no longer go onward, grace comes, the Son comes and salvation comes. And in this way, the exhausted creation makes way for the new creation and thus we can call it a "new creation". Therefore, the truly marvelous miracle of creation leaves room for an even more marvelous miracle : recreation. Let us pray for the barrenness in our spirits, which prevents the fulfilment of the Lord's commandment to fill the earth with new lives with a Holy soul. Prayer Starter You Lord, marvelously created the world and more marvelously re-created it.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrñ' ud l< hq;= l=ula±hs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Friday 20th December 2019 Isaiah:7/10-14 Psalm:24/1-6 Luke:1/26-38

The Gospel Proclamation In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. ..."Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said ..., "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. Prayerful Awareness This message begins with the expression, “In the sixth month”. It was six months since Elizabeth, who was

considered barren, has conceived in her old age, as a Gift from God. This child became St. John the Baptist, who came into this world to prepare the path for Jesus Christ. When the angel said to Mary (a young girl), “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you” she was surprised at the greeting and tried to understand the significance of these words. Then the angel said “Do not be afraid!” and related the entire message for her. It was when she asked the angel, as to how this could happen, that the angel disclosed, her relative Elizabeth has conceived in her old age, to make Mary firm in her belief that nothing is impossible for God and this is the Will of God. Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to Your Word” to oblige to the Will of God. Mary was brought into this world by God for a particular purpose and that is why her mother St. Anne, at her old age, was blessed with Mary as a baby. Now we know that this baby was born by God’s grace, without the original sin, as declared by Holy Mary herself when she appeared to three small children at Lourdes. When St. Bernadette asked as to who she was, she said “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Mary as a young girl was very humble, God fearing and God loving. This helped her to accept the mission placed on her, to serve God, guided by the Holy Spirit. At Baptism, we too received the Holy Spirit when we or our God Parents, pledged our lives to Jesus Christ to become sons and daughters of God, to be guided by the Holy Spirit. But, will we give up everything as Holy Mary did as a young girl, to accept a call on our lives to serve the Lord? The first reading Isaiah 7:14 said “The virgin shall be with child and bear a Son, and shall name Him Immanuel” Prayer Starter We thank and praise You God, our loving Father, for selecting Mary to be the Holy Mother for Jesus and for all of us, Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Saturday 21st December 2019 Peter Canisius (Priest, Doctor) Prayerful Awareness Song:2/8-14 OR In the passage of scripture we see Zephania:3/14-18 how God has chosen an ordinary poor Psalm: 33/2-3.11-12, girl to do extraordinary things. Here Mary after conceiving Jesus, decided 20-21 to pay her cousin Elizabeth a visit. Not Luke:1/39-45 only Mary but Jesus too came to visit Elizabeth and baby John whom Elizabeth was carrying. The scene created by Luke is heart-warming exciting and endearing. When Mary greeted her, Elizabeth was filled by the Holy The Second Proclamation Spirit and actually shouted for joy and Sing and shout for joy, people of prophesied that the Lord's Mother had Israel! Rejoice with all your heart, come to visit her. Jerusalem! The Lord has stopped Mary represents all humanity when your punishment; he has removed all she embraced her role in God's plan your enemies. The Lord, the king of Israel, is with you; there is no reason of salvation. Mary trusts rather than now to be afraid. The time is coming doubts the angel's prophecy. The child when they will say to Jerusalem, in Elizabeth's womb, John the Baptist "Do not be afraid, city of Zion! Do leaps in joy, recognizing the salvation, not let your hands hang limp! The that has come to his house. Mary did Lord your God is with you; his power not understand nor did she have prior gives you victory. The Lord will take knowledge how her life was going to delight in you, and in his love he will be from thereon. But she had implicit give you new life. He will sing and be faith in the Father whom she trusted and loved with all she had. She stepped into joyful over you, the unknown, putting her faith and trust The Gospel Proclamation in God. When God chose Mary to be Soon afterward Mary got ready the Mother of God she made herself to and hurried off to a town in the hill be a living sacrifice accepting a crown country of Judea. She went into of joy and a cross of sorrow. God Zechariah's house and greeted Eliz- chooses a person in order to use him abeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's for His glory. greeting, the baby moved within her. Prayer Starter Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Abba Father, I commit my life to Spirit and said in a loud voice, "You are the most blessed of all women, You. You are my Lord and my God. and blessed is the child you will bear! Teach me to be faithful like mother Why should this great thing happen Mary. Go before me so that I may follow to me, that my Lord's mother comes You, grant me the grace to be steadfast to visit me? For as soon as I heard in my faith and not be distracted by the your greeting, the baby within me cares of this world. Help me to trust You jumped with gladness. How happy and be humble before You. Teach me you are to believe that the Lord's how to die to self so that You may be glorified in Jesus' Name I pray. message to you will come true!"

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Sunday 22nd December 2019

Fourth Sunday of Advent Ps Wk IV

Isaiah:7/10-14 Psalm:24/1-6 Romans:1/1-7 Mathew:1/18-24

Introduction Only two days more to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Through the Eucharistic theme of the day Holy Mother the Church is inviting us to enter into the powerful experience of God being with us in both good and bad times. We who are already in this experience are waiting same as usual to celebrate even this Christmas in a myriad of ways. Actually speaking, is there space in our hearts for Christ to be born during this Christmas? Are we ready to acknowledge Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Master giving the authority of our life to Him? Or else, is our preparation for Christmas simply external? Let us see where we are wrong, repent and convert and enter into prayer pleading with the Lord for the needed power. The First Proclamation Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz saying, 'Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Prayerful Awareness It seems that in every age, man has shown deep faith and much interest in marvelous signs. Similarly, the fact of requesting a 'sign' from God even during the time of Isaiah clearly sets forth the hope of fulfillment of Messianic expectation. The real sign granted by God was His living presence which was imperceptible to human intelligence. Further, the word Emmanuel too means, 'God is with us.' Therefore, His own conception in a virgin's womb, coming to the world to the extent of living among us as a true man well reflects the immense concern and unconditional love for man in Him, who is God Almighty. Moreover, choosing a very special young woman for the intended task and calling her clearly, depicts the way He engages in unfolding and unraveling His plan through a person who is fully dedicated, set apart and free from every other attachment but totally in conformity with Him. The Second Proclamation Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Prayerful Awareness Christ our Lord is the epitome of the plan of God revealed through ages and generations. It was Christ the Lord who ransomed us from sin and opened for us the gates of eternal salvation. Before his encounter with Jesus the Lord, St. Paul was merely a good Pharisee, equipped with worldly wisdom. With his encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, the real wisdom, what he till then had considered good and held on to, turned out to be mere rubbish. Wisdom of God surpasses human wisdom and intelligence. Similarly, the word 'Lectiome' in Hebrew is a term applied for a listening heart. Through acknowledging Christ as the only authority of our lives, we become listeners of His voice. Then, not only our lives will be renewed but also start proclaiming Him through us. The Gospel Proclamation Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,

Prayerful Awareness God who is love never forgets His promises. Appointing Joseph of the house of David, as the foster father of Christ indicates His royal son-ship and naming Him Jesus brings out the meaning that God saves. Further, God gets the contribution of not only the mother of God but also Joseph to unfold His plan. It is not easy to pay heed or say "Amen," to the voice of God. Yet, even in spite of this inability and difficulty when we say 'Yes,' 'Amen,' we are automatically filled with grace and power to live in it. Also we come to enjoy the taste of the love of God and divine light. This blessed life-journey full of grace was the experience of both Mother Mary and St. Joseph. Both of them were people fully conformed to the Will of God. My sonship If our hearts are burning with egoism, where can we find the serenity of love that wins men during this Christmas? Do we live in hatred and anger and cursing each other and our life and family are devoid of prayer? Then, let us wake up and repent and experience a true change of heart that makes space for the Lord Jesus Christ to be born in us. Prayer Starter The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord and who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation. Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob .

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Monday 23rd December 2019 Malachi:3/1-4;4/5-6 Psalm:25/4-5, 8-10,14 Luke: 1/57-66

St. Thorlac He is one of the few canonized saints of the remote island of Iceland. For centuries, before the coming of the Viking, it was peopled by Irish monks who lived on the edge of the world on what they called Ultima Thule. The Vikings came in the 8th & 9th Centuries, and by the beginning of the 10th century, the country was divided into two dioceses, Shalholt & Holar. Born at Fljotashilth in 1133, he was ordained a deacon when he was barely 15 and priest by the age of 18. A promising young man, he was sent to England and France to study. While abroad, he became a canon regular of St. Augustine and full of reforming zeal, returned to Iceland in 1161, a time when clerical life in Iceland was rather lax. After 15 years as a bishop, he died on 23rd December 1193. He was canonized by the local Assembly of Bishops of Iceland 5 years after his death. The Gospel Proclamation Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, "No, he is to be called John." They said to her, "None of your relatives has this name." Then they began motioning to his father to find out, what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a

Feast of St. Thorlac, Bishop writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea...... Prayerful Awareness John the Baptist is the only saint in Christendom who has his birthday observed - in addition to his day of death, 29th August. The honour is restricted to the Blessed Mother (8th September) besides the Lord Himself. In Palestine, the birth of a child was an occasion of great joy. This joy was further made greater if the child was a boy. The joy experienced by Elizabeth's house was doubled as the child was male and added to this is the fact they were childless. The all important thing in the midst of all these was naming the child and the usual practice of the day was to name the child after the father's lineage. To the surprise of the neighbors Elizabeth said that her son must be named John which Zechariah indicated that it was his will. How grateful must the parents have been to God for this gift from Him in their old age. Besides, they must have sighed a deep breath of relief as the Almighty had taken away the disgrace. It was all in His plan for their family. They must have seen the things positively and thanked the Lord profusely. What a great blessing and joy must the parents have experienced through this matchless gift of God! How wonderful it is to see the Will and plan of God for Zechariah's family. What they asked for was granted, but was delayed to fit well to His plan. Their child was the link between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Prayer Starter Help us to see things the way You see them. "Thy Will be done. Amen".

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Tuesday 24th December 2019 2 Samuel:7/1-6,8-11,16 Psalm:89/2-5, 8-10,14 Luke:1/67-70

The First Proclamation Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent." Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you." But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place and be disturbed no more; ... and I will give you rest from all your enemies. ... Fix your gaze on Jesus David, a precursor to our Lord Jesus, was at rest. He sat in his house, quietly and undisturbed. The Lord had given him rest from his enemies, and he enjoyed

St.John of Kanty, Priest that rest. Though a man of war, he was for peace, and did not delight in war. He enjoyed the moment of calm between episodes of war, and was in his element when sitting in his house, meditating on the law of God. He had built a palace for himself and a city for his servants; and now was thinking of building a habitation for the ark. Thus would he make a grateful return for the honours God put upon him. When God, in his providence, has done much for us, we should gratefully contrive as to what we may do for Him and His glory. Thus would David utilise the present calm, and make good use of the rest God had given him. Now that he was not called out to serve God and Israel in the high places of the field, he would employ his thoughts, time and estate, in serving Him in another way, and not indulge himself in ease, much less, in luxury. When God, in His providence, gives us rest, and finds us little to do of worldly business, we must do so much the more for God and our souls. Contrast this to the thinking of Nebuchadnezzar. That proud man thought of nothing but the might of his own power, and the honour of his own majesty; this humble soul is full of contrivance, how to glorify God and give honour to him. And how God resisteth the proud and giveth grace and glory to the humble, the later proclamation by Nathan showed. Gracious, grateful souls never think they can do enough for God, but, when they have done much, are still projecting to do more and devising liberal things. They cannot enjoy their own accommodations while they see the church of God in distress and under a cloud. David can take little pleasure in a house of cedar for himself, unless the ark have one. Prayer Starter Instill within me a heart and mind that is grateful â&#x20AC;Ś. O Lord... and I shall find rest in your house!

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrñ' ud l< hq;= l=ula±hs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Wednesday 25th December 2019 Midnight Mass: Isaiah:9/2-7 Psalm:96/1-3,11-13 Titus:2/11-14 Luke:2/1-14 Mass during the day: Isaiah:52/7-10 Psalm:98/1-6 Hebrews:1/1-6 John:1/1-18 OR 1-5, 9-14

Gospel Proclamation In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. ... All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, .... He went to be registered with Mary to whom he was engaged and who was experiencing a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she 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. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people, to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you, you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. And suddenly

Christmas Day there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" Gaze at Jesus The angel announced to the shepherds that “This very day in David’s town your savior is born.” With the angel’s disclosure, the shepherds were placed in a unique situation to witness the birth of the Savior. It is significant to understand why it was to the shepherds that the Good News was announced first. Is it because of their simplicity? The scripture in Titus reads as follows, “For God has revealed his grace for the salvation of the whole human race. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passion and to live controlled, upright and godly lives in this world, as we wait for the blessed Day we hope for, when the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ will appear. He gave Himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us pure people who belong to Him alone and are eager to do good”. As we are celebrating our Savior's birth, let us ask ourselves today, 'Lord, why have You chosen me to know the Savior'? The call is more than to immerse in the celebrations. Let us accept that the knowledge of God’s saving grace through Jesus is unique and I am given the good news to tell the world, there is hope for us beyond our wealth and power. Prayer Starter (Isaiah 9: 2) The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them. You have given them great joy, right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Thursday 26th December 2019 Acts:6/8-10; 7/54-59 Psalm:31/3-7,15,16 Mathew:10/17-22

The Gospel Proclamation Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Gaze at Jesus In this scripture passage, Jesus speaks to His disciples of the end times, who will be facing persecution. Jesus is forewarning His disciples about what they are supposed to face and how they are to conduct themselves. Jesus encourages the disciples by saying, "Do not worry about what you are to say or how you are to speak, when the hour comes you will be given what you are to say. ... Our sonship

St.Stephen Proto, Martyr Jesus was rejected by King Herod who wanted to get rid of Him. But that was not possible because Jesus came to this world to build the Kingdom of God and win salvation for all people. In doing so Jesus had to visit several synagogues to teach the truths which came from His Father God and faced great opposition from the Pharisees. Their teachings were devoid of love, but Jesus' teachings were full of Spirit and love. Further, the Pharisees did not assist the people to implement the teachings in their lives. Jesus gave a meaning to the Sabbath day and He is the Lord of the Sabbath. In view of Jesus' departure from this world, He is forewarning His disciples about what they are supposed to face and how they are to conduct themselves. Jesus encourages the disciples by saying, "Do not worry about what you are to say or how you are to say it, when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." Finally, Jesus says an all important thing, "but whoever endures to the end will be saved". Let us look at the first Christian martyr among Jesus' followers whose feast is celebrated today by the Holy Church. He was filled and overwhelmed with the Spirit of God and bore witness to Christ until the last. There are three parallel points in the life of Jesus and Stephen. Both were killed on trumped up reasons. Both forgave their executioners. Jesus gives up His spirit into the hands of the Father and Stephen to the hands of Jesus whom he saw standing at the right hand of the Father. Both made their lives meaningful in self-sacrifice. Prayer Starter

As Christians we have to follow Jesus. He continually calls us, "Come follow me". He calls us to share His life, You are indeed my rock and my forin renouncing our own ways, to embrace tress; for your name's sake lead me and the cross and follow Him. If we gaze at guide me..... (Ps.31/3....) Jesus closely, from the beginning, baby

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Friday 27th December 2019 1 John:1/1-4 Psalm:97/1-2,5-6, 11-12 John:20/1-8

The Gospel Proclamation Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrapping lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed Prayerful Awareness Today we celebrate the feast of St. John, the Apostle and Evangelist. John describes himself as the apostle whom Jesus loved. No one understood the heart of Christ more than John. That is why John, in his writing, gives us a clear picture of Christ. Entering history, Jesus was and is God in the flesh and God in focus - seen heard and touched.

Feast of Apostle John, Evangelist John walked and talked with Jesus, saw Him heal, heard Him teach, watched Him die, met Him arisen and saw Him ascend. And John enjoyed fellowship with the Father and the Son all the days of his life. So he presents to us God is Light, God is Love and God is Life. In our dark world, God is Light. In our cold world God brings the warmth of Love. In our dying world God brings Life. John emphasizes the basics of faith so that we can be confident in our faith. According to the Gospel, John who is the only disciple who had reached the tomb first, also went in, saw and believed. He is the symbol for all those baptized in the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was the first to believe the resurrection of Jesus. The two words - saw, believed - (John:20/8) speak volumes to us. Our sonship Can we imagine how fortunate and what joy the disciples would have felt to see the resurrection of Jesus through their own eyes. Though we do not see the victorious resurrection through our naked eyes, today we see the risen Lord through the eye of faith. This is because Jesus is living in our midst, making His presence felt among us. Through Mathew 28:20, Jesus has given a promise to the disciples, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of age." Let us believe and make this promise ours too. We see countless people suffering pain, in sickness, loneliness and frustration. It is our vocation to seek them and build in them confidence that Jesus' warmth is always there. We have only to submit to Jesus. Our living experiences will be fruitful to them. Prayer Starter The Lord reigns. Let the earth be glad. Let the distant shores rejoice. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Saturday 28th December 2019 Feast of Holy Innocents (Martyrs) 1 John:1/5-2/2 Psalm:124/2-5, 7-8 Mathew:2/13-18

The Gospel Proclamation Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, "Out of Egypt I have called my son." When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation. Rachel weeping for her children, she refused to be consoled, because they are no more."

Prayerful Awareness

If Blessed Mother had read and explained today's Gospel reading to her Son, what would have been the reaction of Jesus? What would have been the feeling experienced by Blessed Mother about the painful situation?

It is no doubt, Mary as a mother would have grieved very much at the death of innocent children on behalf of the life of her Son. After listening, Jesus too would have been grieved. However, in the presence of God's Holiness and mysterious nature, without any doubt they would have experienced the same painful situation in the light of the Spirit. It was in this light that both our Lord and Blessed Mother were able to walk confidently up to the Cross. John, the beloved apostle of Jesus, also witnessed Jesus in the same light of the Spirit. Our God is light. There isn't any darkness in Him. Our God is also truth, freedom and holiness. We are born in God, we dwell in God and so we must walk in the light and make sure that the truth dwells in us. John, even in the depths of darkness, he was able to entrust himself to God, witnessing in following Jesus. He invites all in the community to enter into this experience. Also to enter into deliverance of Jesus through His Holy Blood. We as children of God, should not deceive ourselves and become liars, saying that we do not sin and there is no darkness in us. We have to keep ourselves from sin, forgive others and love unto death, be faithful in the face of violence and persecution, protect the least of our brothers and sisters. We must not harm others but love our enemies. We are to walk with Jesus in the Spirit in the presence of the Father.

Prayer Starter

Help us Holy Spirit to overcome darkness in our day to day pain and struggle by viewing them through the overpowering light of Your Spirit. Also empower us to gain the invaluable gift of deliverance of our own inclinations through the Holy Blood of Jesus. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Sunday 29th December 2019

Sirach:3/2-6,12-14 Psalm:128/1-5 Colossians:3/12-21 Mathew:2/13-15, 19-23

Introduction The Holy Family should be the role model of the Christian family since it sets forth before us a fitting example of how the lifestyle of a Christian family should be and its purpose in life. Creator is the source, the origin of family. Thus, the Holy Family not only shows us the vision but also the Will of God regarding family life. Therefore the duty falls on us to pay our highest respect to the Holy Family. The First Proclamation For the Lord honours a father above his children, and he confirms a mother's right over her children. Those who honor their father atone for sins, and those who respect their mother are like those who lay up treasure. Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children, and when they pray they will be heard. Those who respect their father will have long life, and those who honor their mother obey the Lord; My child help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if his mind fails, be patient with him, because you have all your faculties do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and will be credited to you against your sins.

Feast of the Holy Family

Prayerful Awareness Existence and stability of family life depends on the mutual and reciprocal love between parents and children. The dignity of the family members would be respected to the extent there exists authentic love and sincerity among each other through which the source of family, the God Almighty is glorified, since the respect for each other is actually offering love and respect due to God. Fear and respect for God is the first stage of wisdom and we are fortunate when we accomplish His Will in our lives, since it is a source of blessing that we come to enjoy as a family. God is also a Trinity and thus leads a life of unity, bound to each other with the love given and received by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Love infinite is the sole characteristic of Trinitarian existence. Accordingly, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one true God. We who are created in His image demonstrate through our family life the Trinitarian nature of God or the likeness of God. Thus, family life is also the deepest community life led on earth. The Second Proclamation As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and ad-

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


monish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. The Gospel Proclamation Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, "Out of Egypt I have called my son." When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child's life are dead." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled. "He will be called a Nazorean." Prayerful Awareness Let us reflect for a while to see what the day's good news is, offered by the Holy Family through the Gospel Proclamation. It is the life journey of a

Christian family. Whatever we encounter in life is a source of strength for the journey. Everything depends on God. Our faith journey will be strengthened to the extent we depend on God. The significance here is the family environment being turned into the dwelling place of God which is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Emmanuel, God is with usâ&#x20AC;?. Also the life in the family is like a lamp that lights up the world. Christ said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world". Whatever challenges, problems and unexpected experience we will be faced with, the journey of faith, hope and love is a blessing to one's family, society as well as the entire Universe. Righteousness is to live in love with faith and to accomplish the Will of God. Our sonship Just like the Holy Family, we too are called by the Lord for a specific mission. Therefore, in order to accomplish the mission of Christ until the end of the world, we should be as true participants, sincerely loyal, obedient and in conformity with the Holy Catholic Church that He has established. And let us model our lives on the life of the Holy Family for the task of enriching the Church while being integrated into the Church of the poor through a simple lifestyle. Our final aim should be the Kingdom of God. And for this, let us plead for the grace of the Holy Spirit. Prayer Starter Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways. You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


zzY=oaOd;auhdfKkS" uu Tnjykafiag jkaokd kuialdr lrĂą' ud l< hq;= l=ulaÂąhs ug wK l< uekjZZ

Monday 30th December 2019 1 John:2/12-17 Psalm:96/7-10 Luke:2/36-40

The First Proclamation I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world - the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches - comes not from the father but from the world. And the world and its desires are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever. Prayerful Awareness God's gifts to all people in Jesus yes, that is what this passage highlights. Our attention is drawn to the necessity of walking in the light; that is with Christ, and the dangers of the dark. It is well worth to remember our true identity and what has been done for us. Our sins have been forgiven, no matter who we are. We know the One Who is from the beginning. All of us are equipped with the strength needed to overcome the evil one and its ways. We 've got to be alert and draw from the fountain, the strength, guidance and protection which are freely available to His children. Be-

ing equipped with all these should one stoop down to lesser things and ways of this world and the evil one? Being aware of the availability of that all-important divine protection and providence, help us to be stable in the face of temptation and insecurity forced on us by the evil one. Of the sins which are typical of the world, there is desire of the flesh. When we hear this, we think all it has to do is exclusively with sexual sin. "To be subject to physical desire is to judge everything in this world by purely material standards. It is to live a life dominated by sense. It is to be gluttonous in eating habits, soft in luxury, slavish in pleasure, lustful and lax in morals, selfish in the use of possessions, heedless of all the spiritual values and extravagant in the gratification of material desires. The flesh's desire is heedless of the Commandments of God, the standards of God and the very existence of God. Anyone who demands a pleasure which may be the ruin of someone else, anyone who has no respect for the personalities of other people in the gratification of personal desires, anyone who has made a god of comfort and ambition in any part of life, is the servant of physical desire. (The New Daily Study Bible). "The tenth Commandment unfolds and completes the ninth, which is concerned with concupiscence of the flesh. It forbids coveting of the goods of another, as the root of theft, robbery and fraud, which the seventh Commandment forbids. "Lust of the eyes" leads to the violence and injustice forbidden by the fifth Commandment. Avarice, like fornication, originates in the idolatry prohibited by the first three prescriptions of the law. The tenth Commandment concerns the intentions of the heart, with the ninth, it summarizes all the precepts of the law. (C.C.C.2534). Prayer Starter Guide us to take God to the centre of our lives. Amen.

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"


Tuesday 31st December 2019 1 John:2/18-21 Psalm:96/1-2,11-13 John:1/1-18

The Gospel Proclamation In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it. A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light. The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him. He came to his own and his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God .... The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory.... John witnesses to him. He proclaims: 'This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.' Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received -- one gift replacing another .... No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. Fix your gaze on Jesus Lord, we stand in wonder at the astounding event we celebrated recently, depicted in the Gospel today .... The Holy Lord Himself, the Creator of all that is

St. Sylvester I, Pope seen and unseen, the fountain of all that is, the unseen Energy/Intelligence underlying our existence, the Living Word of God, becomes incarnate/material in a very special way, in a manner and in a form that we humans could easily relate to! God is reaching out to S/His creation to win back what has turned it's back to the loving creator. In a concise manner, this presumably is what has transpired up to this stage. The scriptures proclaim that the Word became manifested as the creation at the beginning; the Spirit of God processed the creation so formed, evolving the Triunic Energy/ Intelligence, to become Material in such a manner that Life emerges there-from. Next step was the inducing of self-awareness to the emergent life, together with environmental awareness. Thereafter, to move forward to develop intelligence; the ability to discern causality relationships and the ability to learn in a conscious manner. Next comes the stage where the creator begins to relate to the emergent progeny, imparting information regarding the relationship, and instructions to realise the divine destiny and so forth. This effort was however unfruitful to a large measure. God, the Supreme Intelligence, communicates S/His promises to present Himself in a manner that the chosen progeny could relate easily to. S/ He promises a 'Son' to those who refuse the relationship, who lacked awareness of the Union, who did not understand the preceding steps / processors completed. We are now at the stage where we consciously can celebrate the fulfilment of God's promises in the manner we could easily relate to. Praise be to the Lord our God! Prayer Starter Humbly do we thank You Lord for Your sustained efforts to bring us to the truth of our being, our divine nature, our relationship with You, thank You for being here for us O Father, O Mother ...

"Abba Father! Abba Mother!"

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Walk in the Spirit December 2019  

Published by Kithu Dana Pubuduwa

Walk in the Spirit December 2019  

Published by Kithu Dana Pubuduwa

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