Regnum Christi

Regnum Christi Daily Meditations

January 31, 2024 – Made for God

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest

 

Mark 6:1-6

 

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So, he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. He went around to the villages in the vicinity teaching.

 

Introductory Prayer: O Lord, you said that blest are they who find no stumbling block in you. I want to be a blest person, so that you may find in me no obstacle to the holiness you want for me. I believe in you, but I long for a greater faith to see and respond to the signs of your hand moving in my world. I love you, Lord, and wish to lead my brothers and sisters to you through my testimony, through my being truly convinced that you are the life of all people.

 

Petition: Lord, grant me the gift of total surrender to your will for me in all things.

 

  1. “Where Did This Man Get All This? What Mighty Deeds are Wrought by His Hands”: How beautiful it is to contemplate the humble and meek Christ! He now manifests, to the shock and awe of the worldly-minded, the signs of his true origin and the nature of his true mission. The power of God, the power of the supernatural, now intervenes in what is merely natural through the mere “carpenter’s son.” The “signs of credibility” that Christ enacts through his mighty words and deeds powerfully point to his divine origins and invite his contemporaries to faith. It is an invitation to leave behind them the superficial category of Jesus as just a nice neighbor (which means they can live the same as before) and receive the gift of Christ as Redeemer (which means change and conversion). Are there signs in my life that the Lord is looking to change me, to change my behavior in some way so I might live more by faith and charity? How much longer will I resist before I am won over by his goodness?

 

  1. “And They Took Offense at Him”: It is a sacrifice to give God his place in the ordinary flow of our day. To do so, we need to sacrifice our sense of self-sufficiency, by which we are inclined to be the prime mover of everything in our world. We need to sacrifice our vanity, which desists from efforts to adore God since they bring little or no applause from those around us. We need to sacrifice the comfort of our naturalism, our horizontal view of things. Ultimately, this sacrifice is a work of love responding to a divine invitation to share in God’s life––love, because he is asking and wants to see us giving. Let us move our hearts to embrace this sacrifice joyfully, for the sake of love. It helps to see that in this passage there are no neutral states. Those who reject the invitation to love are turned to love’s opposite––hate, specifically the hatred of the supernatural. It is a tragedy at work in our culture in many places, giving rise to the forces of anti-evangelization. Let us pray and be vigilant that it may never become our tragedy.

 

  1. “He Was Not Able to Perform Any Mighty Deed There”: Our Lord makes himself vulnerable to us, to our willingness to believe. He comes only to make us happy and to elevate our lives to be more beautiful, deeper in meaning and richer in fruits. He wants to bring into our life his power to work miracles and to move mountains of fear and burdens that we encounter. He comes to be ointment for our wounds and consolation for our weary hearts. The only thing he needs to make us happy, then, is our faith, our unconditional and active faith. Without it (since he respects our freedom), we cripple his capacity to act in our life as Savior and Lord. How sad it is to see how easily we refuse such a selfless and beautiful gift.

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord, teach me to receive you with a heart ready to leave my rationalistic way of acting and choosing. Help me to know how to read your invitations with supernatural faith and to follow them in true obedience, where true love proves itself.

 

Resolution: I will be very obedient to the lights I receive today from the Holy Spirit, acting on them with promptness and generosity.

January 31, 2024 – Made for God Read More »

January 28, 2024 – Jesus and the Evil One: A Major Mismatch

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Mark 1:21-28

 

Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

 

Introductory Prayer: Oh, Holy One of God, what do you have to do with us? We know that you have the words of eternal life and can command the evil one to depart. You have power over all evil and can conquer all sin. You are ready to do this because of your unconditional love for us, and I am ready to listen humbly to your word and respond, so that I may be healed and have life forever with you.

 

Petition: Jesus, help me to trust in your power to heal me of my sin.

 

  1. His Way of Teaching: Jesus teaches with authority—of course he does, because he is the Son of God! He is the one who has the words of eternal life. He has been at the Father’s side from all eternity. He has come to teach us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. So many voices in our world today can confuse us and make us doubt our faith. Can we not just listen with hearts of faith to the simple message that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?

 

  1. Jesus Is in Charge: Jesus commands the evil one, and he submits. The evil one fears Christ’s power. The evil one is silenced and chased out by a mere word from Christ. So often we worry and fear that sin and evil have a grip on us that we cannot break. We worry we cannot live up to what the Lord expects of us. Yet, his word makes that evil one flee immediately. He can do the same in our lives if we put our total trust in him.

 

  1. The Evil I Cannot Overcome: What is the major evil or sin that I have not been able to expel? What is the primary fault or defect in my life? All my effort to improve has been blocked by this insidious power, greater than my virtue. I need to turn to Christ and put my trust in his word of life. I need to ask him to free me from that power which consumes me and holds me back from loving and giving myself to him and to others.

 

Conversation with Christ: Speak that word of life, Lord. Free me from the power of the evil one. Do not let him run my life or keep me from your love. Give me your grace and I will be satisfied.

 

Resolution: I will be bold and trust in the Lord’s power to help me overcome my faults and the power of the devil’s influence on my life.

January 28, 2024 – Jesus and the Evil One: A Major Mismatch Read More »

January 5, 2024 – He Knows You Already

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop

 

John 1:43-51

 

Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to hear your voice in this Scripture passage and to receive with an open heart whatever you want to tell me. I believe in you, hope in you, and love you.

 

Petition: God the Father, help me to be steadfast in your love.

 

  1. Serving God Requires Perseverance: John the Baptist has done his job of redirecting others to Christ: He is not mentioned in the Gospel reading today. The focus has shifted to Jesus calling his future Apostles, prepared beforehand by the Baptist. As with Andrew, those who are prepared to meet Christ discover in him a great treasure that they cannot keep to themselves. This time, Philip encounters Christ and shares this discovery with Nathaniel. When Nathaniel reacts skeptically, Philip doesn’t give up. He knows that personal experience is more powerful than words, so he brings Nathaniel to meet Jesus. If we try to bring others to Christ, we could run into similar obstacles: hesitation, skepticism, lack of interest…. Do we give in too easily, or do we try to engage others in a more active way?

 

  1. Jesus Wants Us: When Nathaniel does meet Jesus, he is surprised to discover that Jesus knows him and appreciates him for who he is. There is probably more background to Jesus’ simple words than the Gospel tells us, because they win Nathaniel over instantly. Perhaps we sometimes forget that Jesus, as God, is our creator, and when he calls a person (and in one way or another he calls every person), he does it knowing exactly whom he is calling. It is not a general altar call: it is a personal, direct call to our hearts, rooted in a real understanding of us as we are. He knows and loves us better than any mere human being ever could. When we really experience that and help others to do so too, then his call becomes irresistible.

 

  1. Learning to See the Greater Works of God: Jesus promises Nathaniel that he will see “greater things” in the future; in fact, he will witness most of the miracles of Jesus first-hand and will see many manifestations of the Father’s love for the Son. Indeed, this is often the way Jesus works with all of us. We may be won over by an impressive experience of God, but as our relationship with God deepens, we see “greater things”—not necessarily more spectacular things. As our appreciation for spiritual things grows, we become more attuned to God’s work, and we can pick up on the work of grace in our lives and in the lives of others. That profound transformation is much greater than any miraculous physical healing or any merely sentimental experience. We need faith and trust and attentiveness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit—plus a healthy dose of patience—if we really want to see how God works; but the wait will definitely be worth it.

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, it is very comforting and encouraging to realize that you know me through and through, that you love me and want me to follow you. Thank you for your love! Help me to bring others to you as well. Give me wisdom and perseverance to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. Help me to discern the wonders of your grace in my life and in the lives of those around me.

 

Resolution: I will take the time to reflect on the ways God has worked in my life and, through me, in others. I will analyze how I can better collaborate with his grace.

 

January 5, 2024 – He Knows You Already Read More »

January 4, 2024 – The Right Word at the Right Time

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

 

John 1:35-42

 

John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Lamb of God come into the world to save us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. I humbly offer you now my mind and heart to focus on your Divine Word, so I may better know and understand your will for me.

 

Petition: Jesus, help me to put you first in my life and strive to help others to know you.

 

  1. Knowing When to Let Go:Here, we see St. John the Baptist in action and the fruits of his fidelity to God’s plan. As he discreetly redirects two of his best disciples to follow Christ, his humility is in full play. Not only does he accept the fact that he must take second stage to Jesus; he actively works for this to happen. It can be very difficult for us to seek only God’s glory and the good of those around us. Our hearts easily attach themselves to people, to areas of responsibility and to the attention we may get because of what we do—whether it be in our profession, private lives, parish or in a volunteer religious organization. However, if we really want to do God’s will, we have to know when it’s time for us to let go. Like John the Baptist, the only thing we should have our hearts totally set on is establishing Christ’s Kingdom.

 

  1. Facing the Consequences: Thanks to St. John the Baptist’s faithfulness to his mission, two men—Andrew and John—meet Jesus and recognize that he is the Messiah. John the Baptist never knew the final results of his actions, but he trusted in the Holy Spirit and did what he felt God wanted. The one phrase he spoke in that moment—“Behold the Lamb of God”—had repercussions for the history of the Church and the world. Without those words spoken at that moment, we might never have had the Gospel of St. John, his letters and the book of Revelation, or the evangelizing work of St. Andrew. Jesus might have called Andrew and John some other way, but they would have lost precious time. We ourselves do not know how much is hanging on our fidelity to God’s plan in our life. Before saying “no” to God, we should ask ourselves if we’re willing to risk the consequences for ourselves and for others.

 

  1. Sharing the Treasure: Andrew, in turn, went to share the news of meeting Jesus and recognizing him as the Messiah with his brother Simon. Simon might well have laughed at him or ignored him. Jesus was not considered a likely figure for Messiahship—he was a carpenter’s son from a little town that another future Apostle, Nathaniel, referred to with scorn. However, Andrew knew that he’d found a treasure and felt the need to share his discovery with his family and friends. Thanks to his enthusiasm, Simon, the future St. Peter, met Jesus. The rest is history. We should ask ourselves: Have I really discovered Jesus in the light of faith? Have I discovered the hope and joy that come from knowing him as my savior? If so, have I overcome any fear, timidity or human respect that might keep me from sharing this treasure with others?

 

Conversation with Christ: Thank you, my Lord, for helping me to see the way to serve you better. Thank you for the saints, who show us how to be your apostles in the world. Give me the wisdom to know your will in my life and the strength and trust to follow through with it!

 

Resolution: From now on, I will try to be more courageous in sharing my faith with others and in getting them involved so that they can have a life-changing personal encounter with Christ.

January 4, 2024 – The Right Word at the Right Time Read More »

January 3, 2024 – Be Inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Weekday

 

John 1:29-34

 

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that all Christians are called to proclaim you with their lives and to follow the path you have taught. I want to grow closer to you and to be more the person you want me to be. I love you and long to be transformed by your grace!

 

Petition: Holy Spirit, help me to be attentive and docile to your inspirations.

 

  1. Trust in the Lord and Let Him Lead You: Although John the Baptist knew that he was sent as the Precursor of the Messiah, he did not initially know who the Messiah would be. But he did not let uncertainty about the details stop him. He knew that God had a plan and that he was called to play a part in it; as soon as he knew what direction to go, he went, regardless of not knowing his exact destination. Sometimes we can want to have total knowledge of God’s plan, and we hesitate to go forward until we’re sure we know exactly what to do. However, God rarely gives us a full view of his plan before we start out. He wants us to trust in him, to act on what we do know, and to be confident that God will bring his plan to a good end. Not that we shouldn’t have all the foresight we can, but we can’t expect God to let us in on his “master plan.” When God calls us, our response should be to follow without questioning God’s ways.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide: The fact that we have to trust in God and allow him to reveal his plan as we go along means that we have to be very attentive to his work in our life. John the Baptist recognized Jesus because he was paying total attention to the signs God was giving him: The Holy Spirit revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah. God will usually not speak to us through visions and special signs; however, if we have St. John the Baptist’s attitude of openness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and seeing God’s will in the events around us, we will be able to discern his plan for our life and fulfill it. The most important time to listen to God is in prayer, so setting aside time to be with God has to be part of our daily routine.

 

  1. Dealing with the Unexpected: When St. John the Baptist realized that Jesus was the Messiah, it might have been a surprise. They were related through their mothers’ families, and they may have known each other in youth before John went out into the desert. However, John clearly states that he did not know who the Messiah was until the moment the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus’ true identity. John may well have shared the common opinion that Jesus was a man like any other, albeit outstanding in justice and piety. The important thing is that he doesn’t doubt the divine inspiration. Rather, he immediately acts on it, proclaiming Jesus to his followers. In our own lives, God may well ask us to do the unexpected, or we may see his will in places we least expect it. We need to have St. John the Baptist’s readiness to see God’s hand and act on it, even if it goes contrary to our expectations.

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, knowing your will in my life can be hard at times. Even when I think I do know what you want from me, it can be difficult to follow through—especially when it is something that I did not expect or that requires that I go beyond my “comfort zone.” But, Lord, I do want to do your will. Grant me the same spirit of docility and dedication as St. John the Baptist!

 

Resolution: Today I will renew in prayer my personal commitment to always seek to know and follow God’s will in my life. I will try to heed the inspirations that the Holy Spirit gives to guide me on the right path.

January 3, 2024 – Be Inspired! Read More »

January 2, 2024 – Aspiring to Humility

 

 

 

 

 

Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church

 

John 1:19-28

 

This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God who came into this world to save us because you love us. Your Incarnation fills me with hope. The only response I can give is to love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind.

 

Petition: Jesus, help me to learn from St. John the Baptist how to bring others to you.

 

  1. Making Jesus Known: The next few days have readings on John the Baptist. These lead up to this Sunday’s feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the manifestation of Jesus to the world. Tradition has linked several similar events to Epiphany. Although the first one is the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem, Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan is also a key moment of revelation—of epiphany—of Jesus’ mission and divinity. Thus, although the Baptism of the Lord has its own feast day a week after Epiphany, the two events have a common result: They make known the truth of Jesus. A first question we need to ask ourselves is: What am I, a believer in Christ, doing to make the truth of Jesus known to others?

 

  1. The Power of Humility: In this reading, John the Baptist demonstrates the attitude fundamental to making Christ known: humility. John the Baptist had the chance to be considered the Messiah, the Christ. True, eventually the deception would have become known, but for a while he could have had all of Israel at his feet. All too often today, people give in to temptation and compromise their principles to get glory and power for a day—think of businessmen who inflate their company’s profits, or scientists who fake their results. Their inevitable downfall is tragic. St. John the Baptist knows that the only way he can serve God and fulfill his mission in life is to direct all glory to God and none to himself, never presuming to be more than he is. We, too, can live as true Christians and make Jesus present to others only if we put aside our own pride and vanity.

 

  1. Living Love: What really makes John the Baptist’s message effective is that he doesn’t just preach his message; he is his message. He preaches penance, but first he lives it, going out into the desert and living an ascetic life. He baptizes with water, but first he gets into the water. If we want to make Jesus known to others, we first have to know him ourselves. We cannot preach the essence of the Gospel, the message of love, if we don’t live love in our daily lives. We can’t criticize, judge others, and always “look out for number one” (where “one” is ourselves) and still hope to be an effective apostle of Christ. However, if with the help of God’s grace, we do our best to put love into action, then words will hardly be necessary. Our example alone will change people’s lives.

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord, when I look at myself and my life, I see that too often I have been selfish, focused on what I enjoy and on what I want. Help me to love you above all things. Help me want to make you known by living love, even at the cost of my own pride and comfort.

 

Resolution: I will make an extra effort today to show through my actions what it means to love Christ and one another.

January 2, 2024 – Aspiring to Humility Read More »

January 1, 2024 – Our Mother Knows the Song of the Angels

 

 

 

 

 

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

 

Luke 2:16-21

 

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are my friend, my Father, and my protector. I come to you on this new day confident in your presence. I renew my love for you, trusting in your guiding hand.

 

Petition: Lord, I want to hear the angels sing. Help me learn to listen.

 

  1. Sometimes We Need a Little Help: Would the shepherds have been impressed to find Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus if the angels had not explained what was happening? They would have just thought it was a poor, vagabond family—unimpressive and unassuming like their own lives as shepherds. Yet the angels opened them to a reality that they would never have imagined or perceived. In my life God has also sent me angels who help me discover him: the faith of a parent or grandparent, the sweet, innocent faith of a child, the good example of a friend, a teacher, a priest, or a nun, the example of our Holy Father. Mary also teaches me to discover God in her Son. Do I thank God for these angels that he has sent me? Do I follow their advice and look for Christ in the simple, ordinary circumstances of my life?

 

  1. Hints of a New Song: In a symphony, the first movement only hints at the central theme. Mary had first heard this theme from the angel Gabriel. Now the shepherds take up this theme—the hymn of the angels—and even though the shepherds play their part with great enthusiasm, it probably makes very little noise outside the little town of Bethlehem. Yet the song had begun, and it would grow to a crescendo as Christ lived out his mission. History unfolds God’s mysterious plan of salvation. I am part of that history, of that symphony. Do I do my best to continue Mary’s song, God’s song, by living my commitments and taking part in apostolate?

 

  1. And His Name Shall Be “God Saves”: Mary and Joseph take up the hymn. They know the secret: this child will save Israel and will save all mankind. They begin to explain to the world, using an ancient name, Joshua (Yeshua), a name that now becomes not just a promise but a person. This is God’s new name. This is our God: God Saves. He is not merely a God who is the source of everything. Our God is intimately committed to us, and he puts himself “in the line of fire” to save us. Man had suspected that God was Creator, and the Jews had received the surprise of his friendship, but neither Gentile nor Jew dreamed that God was also this type of love. Do I dare to dream of God’s goodness? Do I let Christ give me peace and hope in the midst of this despairing world?

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have heard something new today. You remind me this Christmas that it is time for a new song, a song of confidence and hope. Mary teaches me this song, this good news. I want to bring this good news more deeply into my life. I know that you are helping me to discover you more each day. Help me also to bring others to discover you.

 

Resolution: In Mary’s presence, I will strive today to “sing this new song” (the Christian virtue I have determined to cultivate) by making a special effort in one aspect of living this virtue.

 

January 1, 2024 – Our Mother Knows the Song of the Angels Read More »

December 31, 2023 – Rooted in Love

 

 

 

 

 

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

 

Luke 2:22-40

 

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

 

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, you were a small child in your Mother’s arms. You were a baby who needed the protection of Joseph. You felt their goodness and love. Today I want to celebrate this love of your family. I want to enter into this love and bring it also to my own family. I believe and trust that you will help me in this.

 

Petition: Lord, help me discover the wonders of the love of the Holy Family.

 

  1. The Bridegroom Is with You: Our God is a God of love. A family participates in this love because God is the source of the love that draws them together. The love that is so spontaneous, as well as so sacrificial, in a family shows the presence of Christ’s love. Jesus makes this love spring forth. It is homage to his Father and homage to his love for us. Am I aware of Christ’s loving presence in my family? Do I strive to collaborate with his love?

 

  1. Family and Covenant: A family is fruit of a covenant, and God is part of this covenant. God has always wanted to make man part of his family, beginning with Adam and Eve. The Holy Family demonstrates the definitive covenant of God’s love for each of us. They live it with wonder and, like Abraham, they put their faith totally in God, bonding themselves totally to his will and to his love. They play their parts in the working of God’s plan, and God will keep his promise to them, making them providential collaborators in his plan of salvation. We can be sure of God’s faithful love in the family. We can be sure that he is working his plan of salvation with faithfulness. Do I strive for unity in my family by living supernatural charity?

 

  1. Spiritual Inheritance: The Holy Family is a source of blessing. My family is also a source of blessing, even though moments of sorrow are bound to happen. When I live with faith my role in the family, I help to bring these blessings on the world. Often it is the example of Christian families that attracts others to the faith. Often the most powerful apostles, whether lay or consecrated persons, are fruit of the strong faith that is lived in the family. A family should not be closed in on itself; like the Holy Family, it has a mission. It must promote God’s message in the world through example and action. Do I give example to the members of my family? Do I strive to be an apostle both inside and outside the home?

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for sanctifying family life by your presence. I want to discover you more in my family and those around me. Help me to accompany my loved ones in their moments of both joy and sorrow. You are with us, Lord. Help us to be your apostles.

 

Resolution: I will take a moment to listen attentively to and speak with a member of my family who may not have received much attention from me recently.

 

December 31, 2023 – Rooted in Love Read More »

December 30, 2023 – A Child and Wonder

 

 

 

 

 

The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

 

Luke 2:36-40

 

There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was 84. She never left the Temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come like Anna today to live the one thing necessary in my life: my relationship with you. I believe that you are faithful to your promises. I believe that you will triumph over sin and death. I love you, Lord.

 

Petition: Lord, help me to see how I can better witness to you.

 

  1. She Worshipped: We all have something we worship. Wisdom teaches us whom we should truly worship: God alone. God deserves our full hearts, because he is the one who is our true Father. In worship we rediscover our greatest treasure, as did the Prodigal Son: “I shall get up and go to my father” (Lk 15:18). In worship we return to that place where we are most deeply welcomed and cared for, to that place where we discover our true friend, where we become more deeply our true selves. Worship also opens us to receive God’s graces. It helps us appreciate the gifts that God wants to give us. Do I strive to worship God with all my heart, mind, and soul during the Eucharistic Celebration?

 

  1. She Spoke About the Child to All: Prayer and worship here on earth do not end only in going to church. They allow us to discover the good news about God’s love, so that we can also share this good news with others. Prayer that does not lead us to evangelize is self-deception. Our Holy Father shows us this intimate connection between prayer and evangelization. He invites us to give to others what we have discovered in being close to Christ. He challenges us to bring others to Christ. Am I living this contemplative and active spirit?

 

  1. The Child Grew and Became Strong, and the Favor of God Was Upon Him: Christmas is a message of hope. God is quietly preparing the future. A child and a young person are reminders that God does not give up on the world, that in each generation he can find new ways of bringing his salvation to all mankind. Am I youthful, spiritually speaking? Am I always trying to learn what God wants to teach me each day, striving to form those virtues that will make me a better instrument of God’s grace? As one who follows Christ, I should have confidence that God’s favor also rests on me; that he looks at my humble, often hidden efforts with great love; that in spite of my weakness he is helping others through me to see the good news that he is present and active in their lives.

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I thank you for your presence and care. You have made me in your image, and in the presence of your Son I discover the depths of your love. Help me to grow in wonder at your love today, and help me to bring your good news to others.

 

Resolution: Today I will spend a quiet moment before the child Jesus and thank him for his presence here among us. I will also strive in a particular way to be cheerful and friendly to everyone I meet.

December 30, 2023 – A Child and Wonder Read More »

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Alex Kucera

Atlanta

Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!