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December 22

O Rex Gentium or O King of the Nations
O King of the Gentiles (Jeremiah 10:7; Haggai 2:7),
and the Desired of all, You are the Cornerstone that binds two into one (Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:20). * Come, and save man whom You fashioned out of clay (Genesis 2:7).

 

1 Samuel 1:24-28; Luke 1:46-56

This is the season of promises. Just what is a promise? A promise is a basis for expectation and central to our faith experience. Indeed, our relationship to God is based on promises -- God’s and ours. God’s promises are the basis for our expectations in this life and in the life to come. The promises of God’s people reflect our faith and our obedience to God. We do well, at this time, to reflect on the lives of some women who played a significant role in the fulfillment of God’s promises in our faith history. They help us see where we too can be agents of God’s promises in the world.

Hannah believed in God’s promises to her and she kept her promises to God. After many prayers for a child, the Lord gave her Samuel, whom she gave back to the Lord. In giving back Samuel, Hannah proclaimed the gift God had given her as part of the glorious heritage of the people of God. For her gift of humility in bearing the Christ Child according to God’s plan and not her own, Mary has been blessed by every generation. With her gift, she proclaimed the promises of God to grant mercy to the children of Israel forever. Both of these women focused the needs and circumstances of their personal lives on the promises of God for all people. Both of them rejoiced in a Lord and Savior that gives mercy and life to the lowly. Their stories and gifts give life and meaning to God’s promises to each of us. We will be filled with good things.

Our ability to see our own life stories in terms of God’s promises to all people, not in terms of our own personal agendas, is also a gift – the gift of faith that comes from God, and the gift of faith we share with each other. During this season of great expectations for gifts, our faith in God’s promises and our promises to God are the greatest gifts we can give to each other. When others see that we believe in God’s promises by showing humility, courage, compassion, love, and joy instead of arrogance, selfishness, conceit, hatred and greed, we are giving them a gift. As people who stand on the promises, living our lives in faith is also a gift to God. God kept a promise when Jesus was born. We keep a promise when we rejoice in that wondrous gift. 

By Barbara Dilly

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)