Sunday, December 23, 2012

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of December 23, 2012

Catholic Charities. Providing Help. Creating Hope. 

VISION: Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

MISSION: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", we are called to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same.

GOALS: Catholic Charities is devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. Working to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

WHAT WE DO: Organizing Love. "As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community" (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20)

On Sunday, (Fourth Sunday in Advent,   we read from the Gospel of Luke about Mary’s Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth.  Both are expecting their first born.  Again, joy is the experience of this encounter.  Elizabeth declares that her son “leapt for joy” at the sound of her voice, knowing that the Christ was with her.  As Advent draws to a close, and we enter into the holy time of the celebration of the Incarnation, let us know that joy and peace that only God can give.  Further, let us share that joy and peace with everyone we encounter, knowing, like Elizabeth and St. John in her womb, that truly God Is With Us.

Catholic Charities shares that joy and peace of God with each of our clients.  We are aware that sometimes a visit to our office may be the only time a person and family are treated with such respect and not just another number waiting to be seen.  We believe that as a ministry of the Church, we provide the love and compassion required of us.  Though our cases may be tough, and persons visiting us may be stressed out due to their circumstances, we witness to that peace and joy that comes from the essence of our mission and vision.  We celebrate that God is With Us each day and with each encounter.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements



Pontiff Thanks Delegation From Italian Region of Molise for Donation of Christmas Tree

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2012 ( Pope Benedict XVI received in audience a delegation from the Italian region of Molise, which this year has donated the fir tree raised next to the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square. The lighting ceremony will take place later on today.

The Pope thanked the delegation for the silver fir - which was accompanied by eight other smaller trees destined for the Apostolic Palace and various other locations around the Vatican.

The Holy Father said that event of God becoming man was to "dispel the shadows of sin, bringing His divine light to humanity."

"This highest of lights, symbolized and recalled by the Christmas tree, has not only shown no sign of dimming through the passing of the centuries and the millennia, but rather continues to shine upon us and to illuminate every person who comes into the world, especially in moments of uncertainty and difficulty."

Recalling the words of Christ, who proclaimed, "I am the light of the world", Pope Benedict said that there have been many attempts to "extinguish the light of God."
These attempts, the Pope continued, are meant "to replace it with the glare of illusion and deceit" and "have heralded episodes of tragic violence against mankind."
"This is because the attempt to cancel the name of God from the pages of history results in distortion, in which even the most beautiful and noble words lose their true meaning."

Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25.  Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord
On this day the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to Christ in the manger, although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-Son, help round out the scene.
But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after, and yet compelling enough to leave behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery.
On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed, “un-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. And, like Mary and the shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts.



Thinking about Christmas presents?  Consider connecting justice with a gift for your loved one.  Catholic Relief Services, FAIR TRADE Products.

PAPAL INTENTIONS:   December 2012

General Intention: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

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