The BreadCast
Daily Exposition of the Readings of Catholic Mass, from the book 'Our Daily Bread' by James H. Kurt (now with Chanted Verses, and added text of Prayer for the Day). Additional cast - SaintsCast, entries from the book 'Prayers to the Saints' (also by James Kurt). Both books bear imprimatur.

O blessed disciples of Paul

and shepherds of the Church

who imitated so well

your father in the faith

who imitated only

the Lord Jesus Christ

and thirsted for His Cross –

pray this holy Apostle

be our father, too,

and you with him,

that we too might embrace the Cross;

teach us the sound doctrine

handed on to you

that we may hand it on

and all souls

might fight the good fight

and run the race with Jesus

unto eternal life.

Pray for all the shepherds of the Church

that they be faithful as you have been

to rightful authority.

Direct download: Jan._26_Timothy_and_Titus.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Heb.9:15,24-28;   Ps.98:1-6;   Mk.3:22-30)

 

“His death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions.”

 

By his death Jesus has disarmed the devil; the Lord has destroyed Satan’s power by His holy sacrifice.  Because of Jesus’ innocent blood, “Satan has suffered mutiny in his ranks and is torn by dissension,” for none of his adversarial accusations can stand before such pure love.  “He cannot endure, he is finished”… and with him, sin also dies, for there is no longer anyone to accuse us of our sin.  It is as if Jesus says, “Kill me if you will,” and once having done so, Satan has nothing left in his arsenal.  Once taking all our sins out of his bag and piercing the Savior through with their cumulative strength, what more power has he to effect death?  Death has its day, and life – the life that is the love of the Son – has triumphed over it: our sins’ effects have come full force against our Lord and Maker, and “His right hand has won victory” over them.

And so this great promise the Lord can make, this astounding statement He brings to our ears: “I give you my word, every sin will be forgiven mankind and all the blasphemies men utter.”  Though the sin against the Spirit will not be forgiven – for how can he who calls salvation condemnation find the grace of God; how can lies find discourse with Truth? – yet all the sins man has committed in his ignorance and lust will be washed clean in Jesus’ blood when any soul comes humbly to Him.  And in consequence of this blessed mercy, “those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance,” for our Savior has “entered heaven itself that He might appear before God now on our behalf.”  Yes, He serves as mediator now, interceding before the Father against our transgressions, that He might prepare for us a path to His kingdom.  His cross and His sacrifice stand as our ladder unto heaven.

“The Lord has made His salvation known” by the offering of His Son, and to “all the ends of the earth” “His holy arm” is revealed.  He has appeared once in weakness to take away our sins, but “He will appear a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.”  And so, as we are washed clean of sin in His blood, we must stand ready for His final coming, for our promised reward, “sing[ing] praise to the Lord.”

 

*******

O LORD, cast all the demons far from us

that we might worship you in faith and truth

and come to your kingdom.

YHWH, we should be offering you and your Son songs of praise, not blaspheming against your goodness toward us.  For He has come to deliver us from sin, to cast Satan from our midst that we might enter your kingdom and glorify your NAME – let us not doubt or deny the grace you send us; let us not court condemnation with a hardened heart.

There is a pride from which we suffer, LORD, a pride and a fear.  We are unable to humble ourselves before your majesty or receive the love you bring.  Our hands are grasping and our hearts impure, and so we do not see how much we need the salvation wrought by your Son.  Help us to turn from our sin, to seek the blood of Jesus upon our souls, that we might become pure and innocent as children before you, living only in the truth, and so, joyfully singing your praise.

Direct download: BC-012411-M_3_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O you who persecuted

the Church of God

but then preached the faith

in earnest,

you upon whom

abundant mercy fell,

whose weakness became strength

as each day in bearing

extraordinary torments

you grew closer to God –

show us the way

to Heaven.

Pray we fall continually

from our horse,

from our pride,

and allow the Lord

to change our lives.

Pray repentance

be our constant food,

that the love of Jesus

and His forgiveness

we shall ever know

in greater measure.

Direct download: Jan._25_Conversion_of_St._Paul.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Sm.3:3b-10,19;   Ps.40:2,4,7-10;   1Cor.6:13c-15a,17-20;   Jn.1:35-42) 

“The Lord came and revealed His presence,

calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’” 

The call of Samuel, the call of Peter and his brother(s), and the call of us all to “glorify God in [our] body.”  As “Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord” when the Lord called to him, so we must all have the Holy Spirit within ourselves, we must each “know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,” if we are to hear and answer the call of God.  As the disciples were so set upon finding the Christ, so our hearts, too, must be set upon Him, if we are to hear the words, “We have found the Messiah.”  He lives, brothers and sisters, and in His Temple He dwells.  And each of us He would make His temple; each of us He calls to be His disciple this day.  Listen for His voice, and go as you are led.

Samuel was but a boy when he was called, and with the pure obedience of a child he responded to God’s voice.  Blessed was he to live with the high priest in the Lord’s temple, a forerunner of Christ in his living with the Lord from his youth, in his dedication to God and His will.  But now the Temple that is Jesus has come into the world, and makes His home with any so inclined, any who would take their rest at this holy Tabernacle of God.  He comes indeed now to make His home with us, even in the Sacrament He offers each day.  And do we respond as the boy Samuel?

“John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’”; and so the two disciples find themselves called, and so they follow the Lord: “they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with Him that day.”  And one called his brother first to the Lord; and so Peter, the rock of the Church, comes to Christ… and so are all gathered unto the Lord.  And John still points to Jesus to this day, and Peter is still the rock of His teaching and the minister of His Body – and we are all now joined to them.

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” brothers and sisters.  Do you not understand that you are called to a holiness that equals His own?  This you should know, this you should understand – His call you should hear ringing in your ear.  And “with ears open to obedience” you should answer, “Here I am,” and become one with the Blessed Lamb, pure as the flesh of His sacrifice.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "This World of Sin" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******  

O LORD, help us to abandon sin

and all things of this world

that we might follow your Son to Heaven.

YHWH, help us to turn from our sins that we might find you.  Help us to leave this world behind that we might walk with your Son to the kingdom.  This world is passing away; let us not pass with it but come to your presence on high.

O LORD, you show sinners the way to you.  You instruct us in your mercy to repent and believe in the Gospel your Son brings to us.  As He calls to our souls, let us be humble and obedient to His Word, that like the Ninevites we shall be spared, that like Peter and Andrew and James and John we shall abandon our moorings to follow Him, and so enter into your kingdom.

Heaven awaits us, O LORD, by your grace.  You send your Son to call us there.  But we are attached to so many things of this earth and need your help to find the strength to leave them all behind.  O let our hearts be open to fully receive the goodness you would share with us!

Direct download: BC--012212-Su_OT_3_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O most devout spiritual guide,

great pastor of your flock

and of all souls,

you who speak to us

even this day

with your words of wisdom

and blessed direction –

pray every branch

of Jesus’ vine

may aspire to His perfection;

in whatever state we find ourselves,

let us set our hearts

on loving the Lord

and serving Him and neighbor

prayerfully.

Teach us to pray faithfully,

to offer our lives

in all situations,

all for the glory of God.

Our call may we hear

and heed by your intercession,

following the Christ and carrying His Cross

as He leads.

Direct download: Jan._24_Francis_de_Sales.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(2Sm.1:1-4,11-12,19,23-27;   Ps.80:2-7;   Mk.3:20-21) 

“They mourned and wept and fasted until evening

for Saul and his son Jonathan.” 

For David’s leading his men in mourning for Saul, it might have been said of him what was said of Jesus: “He is out of His mind.”  But even to the end David proves himself sincere in his respect for God’s anointed, even slaying the man who claims to have dispatched the king upon Saul’s request (after he had dealt himself a mortal wound).  David is not anxious to claim the throne for himself, as so many around him suppose he should be.  Like Christ, he does not grasp at what is his, but continually humbles himself before his Lord and God, and waits and accepts the will of the Father.

And so David weeps and fasts for the man who forever sought his life.  And so he is given “tears to drink in ample measure.”  And so he cries with the Israelites, “fed with the bread of tears” at the death of their king.  Jonathan, David truly loved.  He was indeed better to him than any brother or any lover.  For him his tears are understandable.  Jonathan repeatedly saved David’s life, to the point of provoking the wrath of his father against himself.  But there is no explanation for his love of Saul, other than the Lord loved him and had blessed him.  And so, David’s love is as the love of God.  His tears fall from on high.

And what shall we say of our gospel today?  Jesus and His disciples are so pressed upon by the crowds of people, they made it “impossible for them to get any food whatever.”  We should remember this situation when we consider the Lord’s family coming to “take charge of Him.”  We should understand their concern for His health when we interpret their statement that “He is out of His mind.”  They mean not that He is insane, but that He needs someone to look after His temporal needs, lest He tax Himself overmuch.

But the Lord’s strength, like David’s love, also comes from on high – it is not earthly.  And His work is His food, and the Father will take care.  His mourning and weeping and fasting and dying for us is blessed by His Father, and will bear fruit unto His kingship in heaven.  If He did not live by the standards of heaven, there would be no hope for our salvation, for why should He die for sinners such as us, other than it is the Father’s love?

*******

O LORD, your love for us goes beyond reason,

beyond the death we deserve for our sin.

YHWH, your Son must be out of His mind for loving us as intensely as He does.  Why should He so forget Himself for those who have betrayed Him, those who have sought His life?  We ask this day: Why did David mourn over Saul, and why does Jesus die on the Cross?

He spends Himself for our sakes, obedient to your will in all things, sacrificing Himself for those you would save.  And He cares not that those for whom He prays, those whom He heals by a word from His mouth, shall turn upon Him on the day you have assigned.  He desires only what you desire, dear God: that your wayward children shall not perish.

As for a brother He gives Himself; members of your family He would make us.  With us He has been fed with the bread of tears, and from these He comes to rescue our souls.  O LORD, let us not drown in the surrounding sadness!  Let us rise from our fall with Him.

Direct download: BC-012112-Sa_2_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Heb.8:6-13;   Ps.85:8,10-14;   Mk.3:13-19)

 

“I will be their God

and they shall be my people.”

 

“Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him, glory dwelling in our land”; for absolute oneness do we find with our Lord and God through the ministry of His only Son.  For the Lord has said of His new covenant, “All shall know me, from least to greatest,” promising: “I will place my laws in their minds and I will write them upon their hearts.”  There shall be no separation from His presence for those who believe; His “kindness and truth shall meet” in us as they have in Jesus.  Alleluia!

But yet does the time move toward perfection.  Though the new covenant be fulfilled in Jesus, it is still being fulfilled in the world and among those who dwell in the world.  We know this because the Lord says of the covenant to come, through His prophet Jeremiah: “They shall not teach their fellow citizens or their brothers, saying, ‘Know the Lord’” – there being no need any longer to teach the perfected – and also, “Their sins I will remember no more,” meaning that sin will no longer exist.  But Jesus upon commissioning the twelve apostles sends them out “to preach the good news” and “to have authority to expel demons,” and to this day there is need, and great need, for instruction in the Word of God and healing by the expulsion of sin in Holy Confession.  This ministry still in place, we know we have yet to reach perfection; we know we have yet to find absolute oneness with Christ and His sacrifice… and so, perfect union with the Father yet awaits us.

“He appointed the twelve as follows: Simon to whom He gave the name Peter; James, son of Zebedee; and John, the brother of James (He gave these two the name Boanerges, or ‘sons of thunder’); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon of the Zealot party, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.”  Upon these the new covenant is founded.  By their ministry it shall grow, taking root in the world and bearing much fruit.  And though Matthias must take the place of the traitorous Judas, there is no breaking the line that comes from these foundation stones: all of the coming kingdom is traced to them and from them, for they are anointed by the Son and by them God will make all His children. 

Brothers and sisters, “the Lord Himself will give His benefits; our land shall yield its increase.”  In His Church as in His arms make your home, for His blessings are upon us and shall be fulfilled.

 

*******

O LORD, let us be companions of your Son

that we might be made one with you.

YHWH, as your Son is joined to you and the apostles to Him, so let us be joined to them that we might be joined to Jesus and you, and your promise might be fulfilled and your NAME be written on our hearts.  O let it be so, that all shall know you, that we shall be your people.

O LORD, let truth spring out of the earth as your justice looks down from Heaven.  Let the union of Heaven and earth accomplished in your Son be accomplished in us as we join ourselves to Him.  O let us walk in the way of His steps that we might find salvation!

LORD, forgive us our sins, remember them no more – cast all evil from us.  May the priests who stand in your Son’s place absolve us of all wrongdoing as we come on our knees before them.  Your power be upon us for good; by your Word let us be taught, till we are entirely one with you, living in your New Covenant, living in the flesh of Christ, as His holy Body.

Direct download: BC-012111-F_2_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O martyr of the Lord extraordinaire

who suffered unspeakable torture

but was not bowed

by such savagery,

who spoke of great faith,

singing of God’s glory

even as your limbs

were crushed,

even as all the brutality

the world could inflict

sought to break

your spirit –

help us to conquer the world

as you have done,

as the Lord has done in you,

not to be afraid

but rather to serve

our Savior and His Cross

in joy

as His blessed disciples;

pray we, too, shall enter the heavenly gates

open to those in whom the Spirit speaks

even unto death.

Direct download: Jan._22_Vincent.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Heb.7:25-8:6;   Ps.40:7-10,17;   Mk.3:7-12)

 

“Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through Him,

since He forever lives to make intercession for them.”

 

Oh how the people approach Him today, seeking healing, seeking grace: “a great crowd followed Him from Galilee, and an equally great multitude came to Him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan, and the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon” – from all around they came to press upon Him, to press upon Him…  “All who had afflictions kept pushing toward Him to touch Him.  Unclean spirits would catch sight of Him, fling themselves down at His feet, and shout, “You are the Son of God!”  So great were their numbers He needed to take refuge in a fishing boat.  Oh “the press of the crowd against Him,” the press of the crowd.  They could not resist drawing toward Him who stood at the center of the universe, Him who stood in the place of God, Him who was God.  Greater than the pull of gravity was the pull of their hearts toward salvation.

And do you think He has left you, brother?  Do you say, “Where is He now that I need healing, that I may press upon Him myself?”  He has not left you alone; He has multiplied His presence and increased His grace through the ministry of His apostles.  They now go out to those who would press upon Him, and through these priests they find the high priest, He who is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.”  Indeed, He is not on earth anymore and His ministry is not earthly – yet He is ever present to all who stretch forth their hands to Him.  Do you not know the immense mercy available to you in the Sacrament of Confession?  Do you not realize the heavenly food you eat in Holy Communion?  Press upon Him this day; approach the priests who, despite their imperfections, hold the power He has left in our midst, and to your loving God you will come.

“Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry now,” and “He is mediator of a better covenant,” an eternal covenant.  Brothers and sisters, “we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in heaven, minister of the sanctuary and of that true tabernacle set up not by man but by the Lord.”  What greater gift could we ask for?  How much more exalted could we be called to be than to receive mercy from Him who dwells in the heart of the Father, than to take food from the hands of Him who holds the hand of God?

 

O Lord, “may all who seek you

exult and be glad in you,

 And may those who love your salvation

say ever, ‘The Lord be glorified.’”

 

*******

O LORD, your Son has taken on our flesh

that He might draw us

into the sanctuary of your presence 

O let us join ourselves to Him!

YHWH, your Son is able to save all those who approach Him, for He sits with you in the heavenly sanctuary having offered Himself for our sakes.  And so the crowds press upon Him, and so the devils cannot but recognize His power over them… and so we are saved from our sin by our faith in Him and offering ourselves to you through His hands.

O LORD, may we be an acceptable sacrifice to you, joined well to the sacrifice of Jesus.  May we say with Him, “I come to do your will,” and think of nothing but obedience to your call.  Write your law within our hearts that we might transcend the darkness of this place as we align our lives with your Son’s and die to all that keeps us from you.  He is made perfect forever in your presence and intercedes for us to be made perfect with Him.  O let us press upon Him this day that we might ever glorify your NAME.

Direct download: BC-012011-Th_2_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O holy virgin martyr,

O innocent child

who offered your life

more freely than a bride

to her husband,

more courageously than a warrior

in battle,

who though lacking in years

was not lacking in faith

nor desire to honor

your only Spouse…

you who were honored

by the Fathers of the Church

and are remembered to this day

as a holy offering,

a lamb of God sacrificed in flames

yet professing ever

your love for Christ –

but a small measure of your courage

would save our souls.

Pray but a drop of His blood

we may know

falling from our veins.

Direct download: Jan._21_Agnes.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Heb.7:1-3,15-17;   Ps.110:1-4;   Mk.3:1-6)

 

“Without father, mother, or ancestry,

without beginning of days or end of life,

like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

 

We hear today more specifically about “Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Most High God,” whose name means “king of justice” and also “king of peace,” who is therefore so like our King Jesus; it is in his line the Lord takes His place.

“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor,” King David declares of his Lord and our Lord.  Indeed before the dawn of light upon earth, Jesus is King: He is the only-begotten Son of God whose rule is from everlasting to everlasting; and His priesthood, like that of Melchizedek, is “in virtue of the power of a life which cannot be destroyed” – not by physical descent but by spiritual ascension.  From God Himself He receives His kingship and His priestly anointing.

In contrast to the eternal priesthood and princely headship of our Lord and Savior, we see in our gospel those whose power comes only by “virtue of a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent,” and which is, therefore, passing away.  Indeed, before their eyes it passes this day as Jesus stands before the Pharisees at the front of the synagogue and calls them to acceptance of the greater glory now in their midst.  But they “closed their minds against Him” as they refused to realize the limitations of their own calling as leaders of the people, choosing to cling to a dying law and a power which is being taken from them even as a greater is offered, rather than stretching forth their hands to the Lord, in whom the law takes life and finds fulfillment, through whom all power comes…

Yes, the Lord “stretch[es] forth” “the scepter of [His] power” even as the man stretches forth his “shriveled hand” here at the front of the synagogue, before all the people and their teachers on a sabbath day, and finds it “perfectly restored.”  The same He would do for each of them and for all of us, if we but recognized His transcendent power and glory, if we but realized He is the Son of God.

 

*******

O LORD, your Son is of the Spirit

but we are of the flesh;

help us to offer this poor flesh

through His eternal priesthood.

YHWH, in the line of Melchizadek your Son comes to us, without beginning of days or end of life, for by you He is begotten before the world was brought forth.  And so His power is like your own, and so in Him we shall not die but be healed of all evil upon us.

 

We praise you, LORD, for your justice toward us, for the presence of your Son.  For in Him we take our refuge; in Him we find our salvation.  O let us freely reach out our hands to the grace He offers that He might stretch forth His scepter toward us and we be made whole in your sight!

The Day you make is one of peace, O LORD, and so the Son you send brings to us that peace.  Let us give to Him our possessions, even our very body and soul; for all He touches He sanctifies, and so we will thus be blessed by Him.

No hardened heart could ever destroy Him or His love.  Let us sacrifice ourselves with Him, LORD, that we might join Him at your right hand.

Direct download: BC-011911-W_2_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O soldier for Christ

who sought with such courage

to embrace His Cross,

to die a death

worthy of such a Lord,

you whose heart

was so set

on imitating the suffering

only He knew

and so were rewarded

with the crown of martyrdom –

where is our courage;

where is our strength?

Pray for us,

O warrior of our Lord and God,

that our lives

may bear witness

to approach your own,

that we shall not shrink

from the Cross before us

but with your same zeal

seek to make it our own.

Pray the blood of Christ upon us.

Direct download: Jan._20_Sebastian.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:05 PM

O Holy Father of the Church,

Pastor of the sheep of our Lord

who have given your life freely

for the name of Christ

and its spreading

throughout the earth,

you whose blood was shed

by the persecutors

of the body

but whose soul

was ever in the Hand of God –

pray our lives

shall be lived in integrity

and our death correspond,

that a blessed witness

we too shall give

to the glory of God

and His Son Jesus Christ,

and so lead others

to that same glory.

May none of the flock

or their shepherds

fear the sacrifice of their lives.

Direct download: Jan._20_Fabian.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Heb.6:10-20;   Ps.111:1-2,4-5,9-10;   Mk.2:23-28)

 

“I will indeed bless you, and multiply you.”

 

God promised to bless Abraham, to make his descendants numerous as the stars; and “He swore by Himself,” “by oath,” to carry out His promise, thus giving an unshakable, “unchangeable” “firmness to [the] promise.”  God does not go back on His word.  And so, “after patient waiting, Abraham obtained what God had promised”; He became the father of many nations, of all those of faith.

Now if God is so faithful, should we who are “heirs of His promise,” who are children of Abraham in the faith and so the sharers of the same blessings promised to him, should not “we who have taken refuge in [God]… be strongly encouraged to seize the hope which is placed before us”?  For we, “through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises”; and greater promises than Abraham do we receive at the hand of our Lord now, for our “hope extends beyond the veil through which Jesus, our forerunner, has entered on our behalf.”  As David “entered God’s house… and ate the holy bread which only the priests were permitted to eat,” and “even gave it to his men,” so Jesus enters His Father’s house, passing through the gates of heaven into the sanctuary, into the holy of holies, and there partakes of bread at His Father’s hand… and indeed shares it with us, His brothers.

Oh brothers and sisters, each day we partake of the bread of the angels from the hand of the Lord; it surrounds us like the “standing grain” around the disciples.  And does it not prove to us that “great are the works of the Lord, exquisite in all their delights”?  Doesn’t it reveal to our souls that our hope in Him is “a sure and firm anchor,” that His love for us is strong and all His promises are fulfilled in our midst, before our eyes?  “God is not unjust.”  No, “gracious and merciful is the Lord.”  “Holy and awesome is His name,” and He shares the glory of His presence with all His children: “He has given food to those who fear Him.”  So, let us “not grow lazy” in faith but take strength in this food He supplies.  “He will not forget [our] work and the love [we] have shown Him by [our] service.”  But let us continue to serve Him in our brothers; let us “show the same zeal till the end,” that all His promises we may taste.  Indeed, the more we eat His bread, the more we accomplish His work, the more His blessings are multiplied, in us and in the world!

“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”  The gift of God’s rest is ours, releasing us from slavery.  Freedom we find in His name, blessing we find in His promise – His rest is upon us as we remain in Him.  And “He will forever be mindful of His covenant”: His blessings shall ever increase in our souls.

 

*******

O LORD, your Son has entered into your presence

that we might be fed with the Bread of Life –

let us hope always in Him.

YHWH, if Abraham’s cause for hope was great, how much greater is our own, we for whom Jesus has passed through the veil of death that we might enter your presence?  Now that your Word has been made flesh and been given to us as food for our journey, how much stronger should our faith be, and so, how much surer our work?  We should not bend in the wind like standing heads of grain but know the glory to which we are called as we reach up to you through the grace that is with us by the sacrifice of your Son.

O LORD, you are indeed gracious and merciful; you look upon our needs and answer them.  You promise to be with us always and increase and multiply our works, so long as we remain faithful to you.  Let us trust in your Word to us and find hope always that you are near.  In Jesus your Son, you have walked among us – your great love for man let us never forget.

Give us the food we need even this day, O LORD, the Bread that is our very life.

Direct download: BC-011811-Tu_2_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Heb.5:1-10;   Ps.110:1-4;   Mk.2:18-22)

 

“You are a priest forever,

according to the order of Melchizedek.”

 

 Without beginning or end is the holy priesthood of our Lord; high above all sacrifices reigns His own.

“Taken from among men” is Jesus our high priest “and made [our] representative before God.”  Like others He is in this respect; yet the “gifts and sacrifices” He offers are infinitely greater than any that have ever been, for it is Himself He lifts up for our sins.  “He is Himself beset by weakness,” though not His own; He is Himself pierced for transgression, though not of His making – and in the cross of our condition He bears “in the flesh,” in the crucifixion He suffers at our hands, does the high priest become the victim whose blood covers the earth with redemption.  Yes, “Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”  What other high priest can boast as much?

And yet the people would limit the grace that pours forth in the blood of His sacrifice, in the sweet-smelling flesh He offers, to a dying law which has been corrupted by the hands of man.  They fail to see that the old is subsumed by the new… and so the Lord seeks to teach them to receive the “new wine” He would pour into their hearts with minds open to the light of God.  They do not yet know the joy His disciples experience just being in the presence of the Messiah, the bridegroom of all faithful souls; as yet their hearts have not been circumcised by the nails of the sacrifice He makes in their name.  But soon their time will come, we pray.  When He is lifted up, perhaps they shall see.

And in our psalm we have David’s verse of Jesus: “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.’”  Jesus is David’s Lord even then, for Jesus our Savior has always been.  Beautifully does David speak of this as well, in the voice of God: “Before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”  As the dew covers the earth unseen before the sun rises, so before the Father pronounced the words “Let there be light” – first bringing the universe into being by the power of His Word – Jesus was eternally present, even as the water the Spirit moved upon.

And so He has “princely power,” seated at the right hand of God.  And so He “rule[s] in the midst of His enemies,” His sacrifice destroying the death which seemed to take hold of Him.  And so, like the order of Melchizedek, which came well before the institution of the Israelite’s priestly line, from all eternity His salvific priesthood is – and shall last until the end of time.

 

*******

O LORD, you sent your Son to offer Himself

in our stead;

may we be clothed anew in His grace.

YHWH, the priesthood of your Son is from all eternity and will last until the end of time for the expiation of our sins.  And the sacrifice He offers is Himself in the suffering and death He endures in our midst.  Though He rules forever at your right hand, He humbles Himself to suffer at our hands that the evil in our hearts might be washed clean by the blood He freely sheds.  O let us be made as new wineskins able to receive the grace He pours forth.

Jesus is our Prince who fights our battles and puts all our enemies under His feet.  He crushes the head of the devil and destroys all the weakness by which we are beset, and He does this by the weakness He endures and the death He suffers for our sakes.  O LORD, let us know the glory He would bring to our poor souls, the salvation wrought by His holy sacrifice, and let us join ourselves to that sacrifice by fasting and doing penance in His stead as long as He is apart from us, until the Day He returns.

Direct download: BC-011711-M_2_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Sm.3:3b-10,19;   Ps.40:2,4,7-10;   1Cor.6:13c-15a,17-20;   Jn.1:35-42) 

“The Lord came and revealed His presence,

calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’” 

The call of Samuel, the call of Peter and his brother(s), and the call of us all to “glorify God in [our] body.”  As “Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord” when the Lord called to him, so we must all have the Holy Spirit within ourselves, we must each “know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,” if we are to hear and answer the call of God.  As the disciples were so set upon finding the Christ, so our hearts, too, must be set upon Him, if we are to hear the words, “We have found the Messiah.”  He lives, brothers and sisters, and in His Temple He dwells.  And each of us He would make His temple; each of us He calls to be His disciple this day.  Listen for His voice, and go as you are led.

Samuel was but a boy when he was called, and with the pure obedience of a child he responded to God’s voice.  Blessed was he to live with the high priest in the Lord’s temple, a forerunner of Christ in his living with the Lord from his youth, in his dedication to God and His will.  But now the Temple that is Jesus has come into the world, and makes His home with any so inclined, any who would take their rest at this holy Tabernacle of God.  He comes indeed now to make His home with us, even in the Sacrament He offers each day.  And do we respond as the boy Samuel?

“John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’”; and so the two disciples find themselves called, and so they follow the Lord: “they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with Him that day.”  And one called his brother first to the Lord; and so Peter, the rock of the Church, comes to Christ… and so are all gathered unto the Lord.  And John still points to Jesus to this day, and Peter is still the rock of His teaching and the minister of His Body – and we are all now joined to them.

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” brothers and sisters.  Do you not understand that you are called to a holiness that equals His own?  This you should know, this you should understand – His call you should hear ringing in your ear.  And “with ears open to obedience” you should answer, “Here I am,” and become one with the Blessed Lamb, pure as the flesh of His sacrifice.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Calling" from Loving Spirit, third album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let the Church be as the Body of your Son,

the Temple of the Holy Spirit. 

YHWH, you call us all to enter your Temple, to be as your tabernacles in this world, holy and true to your Word, to your call to our souls.  Help us to answer you readily, to become as temples of the Holy Spirit, built firmly into your House, the Church.

O LORD, our own bodies you would make temples.  As your Son you call us to be.  And obedient to your Word we shall indeed become as He; offering our lives in union with His, your Law shall be written upon our hearts and we shall be as your sons.

Humble as the child Samuel, simple and pure in our understanding of your presence – in perfect innocence let us come to you, LORD, and all we do shall be blessed.  And we will grow in holiness before you; and we will rest always with you.  Your Son has purchased us at the cost of His life…  Let us glorify you in all we think, say, and do, and we will be a worthy Temple.

Direct download: BC-011512-Su_OT_2_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O father of monks

and all who would give themselves

completely to the Lord,

you who have been so obedient

to the word of God,

to His call

to sell everything,

to renounce all possessions

and follow Him –

how we need your prayers

this day,

when love for material things

possesses our very bodies

and souls,

when prayer and penance

seem things of the distant past.

Make present to us

the blessed call of the Lord,

the renunciation of the world,

that we too might find

the riches of Heaven

you knew so well.

Pray we give up all for God.

Direct download: Jan._17_Anthony_the_Abbot.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Heb.4:12-16;   Ps.19:8-10,15,Jn.6:63;   Mk.2:13-17)

 

“Nothing is concealed from Him.”

 

In God’s eyes all men are sinners; this is what His penetrating vision cannot help but see.  Yet it is just such sinners as we He has come to call, to call away from our sin.  The Pharisees cannot bear this sword of truth to pierce their soul, and so they take up the sword of anger against those who are being redeemed, and He who is redeeming them.  Let us not be as these hardened hearts, brothers and sisters, but expose our sin to the Lord’s sharp gaze, that He might heal us by His grace.

That Jesus Himself sees all that is in a man is indicated by His “overhearing the remark” of the complaining Pharisees today, and more clearly elsewhere in His reading their and His disciples’ thoughts without a word being spoken (e.g. Mt.17:25).  As nothing is concealed from the Father, so nothing is concealed from the Son: “The reflections and thoughts of the heart” are open to Him.  And He knows the troubles that affect each of us.  And these, even of the Pharisees, He would heal, even as a wise physician – but we indeed must come with our souls exposed and prepared for surgery.

And though this process can be painful, and though we might say to ourselves, “We are not deserving” – though the questions of the Pharisees might be our own – yet we must witness Jesus’ attitude toward Levi and his fellow tax collectors/sinners.  Yet we must see how He defends these from attack, not bringing their shame before them as the Pharisees would, but with a heart set only on forgiveness.  For indeed “we have a great high priest,” one who takes our sins upon Himself, one who suffers with us our weakness in order to save us from its consequences.  And so with Levi and his friends we should “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor,” both in the confessional and at the Eucharistic table, for our need He has come to fill with His love.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul”; Jesus is this law made flesh.  “The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye”; to remove the darkness of our vision, the all-seeing God has come.  “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever,” and as long as we come before Him, trembling for our sin, we shall live on in His love.

 

Shine your light upon our souls, O Lord,

and remove all darkness from them.

In your grace you make us whole;

with you let us be holy.

*******

O LORD, your Son has come to save us from our sins;

may the light of His Word dispel all darkness

from our souls.

YHWH, let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor in your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer.  For you see into the depths of our hearts; you know well the sin that is within us – yet you are merciful in judging us, desiring only to heal us of our sickness.  O let us always come humbly before you to find your blessing upon our souls, that we might ever serve you well with our poor lives!

O mighty God, O all-seeing and all-knowing LORD, let us treasure your Word, your Law, which is as balm for our troubled spirits.  Let us welcome your Son to our table that He might feed us with your truth, that we might find wisdom and learn by your grace to live forever in joy in your presence.

How we need your Son, our high priest, as our physician, He who gives Himself to take away our sin.  O LORD, may we indeed find your favor through Him, obediently answering His call to salvation.

Direct download: BC-011511-Sa_1_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Heb.4:1-5,11;   Ps.78:3-4,6-8;   Mk.2:1-12)

 

“The promise of entrance into His rest still holds.”

 

But only those with faith in Him shall be made whole.

Paul says of the Israelites in the desert, “The word which they heard did not profit them, for they did not receive it in faith.”  Though they had seen “the glorious deeds of the Lord and His strength and the wonders that He wrought,” they yet became “wayward and rebellious, a generation that kept not its heart steadfast nor its spirit faithful to God.”  Yet they disobeyed and disbelieved.  And so they entered not into His rest; they received not the grace of union with the Lord in His peaceful kingdom, but rather died in the desert in their sin.  Thus does Paul warn us not to “fall in imitation of Israel’s unbelief,” but ever to “strive to enter into that rest” God holds for all His faithful.

And the faith necessary to enter God’s rest is illustrated clearly in our gospel today, as is the woe of unbelief.  It is “when Jesus saw [the] faith” of those who lowered the paralytic through the ceiling to Him that He said to this poor soul, “My son, your sins are forgiven”; and it is upon hearing these grace-filled words from the Savior’s mouth that some of the scribes, those faithless souls so much the descendants of their faithless fathers, grumbled against Him and accused Him of “blasphemy.”  And as the Lord here makes clear the equation of forgiveness and healing (“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk again’?”), commanding indeed the paralyzed man: “Stand up!  Pick up your mat and go home,” so does this healed soul, washed clean of all his sin, with his companions and all those of faith who stand “awestruck” as they look on… so do these enter God’s rest – even as the scribes gnash their teeth.

Brothers and sisters, “God rested from all His work on the seventh day,” and that rest awaits all at their completion of the Lord’s work in this world.  This truth Jesus reveals in our midst even this day.  And so we “should put [our] hope in God, and not forget the deeds of God but keep His commands”; for “it is we, who have believed, who enter into that rest,” so long as we keep faith in Him.

 

*******

O LORD, let us enter into your rest,

that we might rise and carry souls to you.

YHWH, how shall we have our sins forgiven if we have not faith in you and in your Son; how shall we enter into your rest if we turn away from you?  We must come to you and to your Son, believing in the salvation wrought by you and letting nothing stand in our way… and you will bless us and gather us into your arms.

O Lord Jesus, forgive us all our sin this day.  Cast far from us all that keeps us paralyzed, all that prevents us from rising and following you.  Take away our rebellious souls, our unfaithfulness before you – O may we hear your gracious words calling us to stand and walk with you!  O may we know the peace of your forgiveness!

O LORD, you are our God, and in you alone we find our rest, we find healing from all our sickness and sin.  Help us to be strong in faith ourselves and serve to bring others to you as well.  You await our coming to you; let nothing else matter to us at all.

Direct download: BC-011411-F_1_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Heb.3:7-14;   Ps.95:6-11;   Mk.1:40-45)

 

“Today, if you should hear His voice,

harden not your hearts.”

 

Today we see Jesus continuing His healing ministry, and we see how it becomes “no longer possible for [Him] to enter a town openly” because of the public proclamation of His wondrous and powerful works.  We see also how, though “He stayed in desert places… people kept coming to Him from all sides,” for His work must be accomplished.  But we see most particularly the way we must come to Him to find our own healing.

“Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made us,” David sings, calling all to their proper place before God.  And this the leper in our gospel does today, indicating indeed to all the attitude we must have toward Jesus, the place we must find at His feet.  With soft hearts we must come before our Lord in tears for the sin upon our souls.  Not like those in the Egyptian desert can we be, those who “saw [His] works for forty years” yet “tested and tried” Him constantly.  This generation indeed He “loathed” in His anger, calling them “a people of erring heart” who “know not [His] ways.”  On the contrary, our hearts must burn with a tender love of God and one another as we approach the Lord in the desert where He waits to save us from our sin.  He will match any tenderness of our own.  “Moved with pity” we shall find Him, ready to gather our broken spirits into His arms.

“Take care, my brothers, lest any of you have an evil and unfaithful spirit and fall away from the living God.”  See that your hearts are never “hardened by the deceit of sin.”  It is always “today” and the Lord is always calling to your soul, always requiring your life from you – always offering His love to you.  Offer your own in return, that you shall not be cast from His presence, that you shall not be ostracized like this leper from the community, but remain ever in His holy fold as “the flock He guides” with His gentle hand… and finally that you might “enter into His rest.”  He calls you to healing at His hand; hear and answer on your knees.

 

*******

O LORD, make our hearts soft and our spirits loving,

as your Son;

let us bow down to Him.

YHWH, let us not be of erring and unfaithful heart but let our love match your own and that of your Son, for He looks on our poor condition with pity and reaches out His hand to heal us of our sin, of our weakness before you.  Why should we harden our hearts against Him when all He wishes is to save us?  Let us accept and treasure such blessing which comes only from you.

So blind we can easily become, O LORD, so blind to your presence among us and your works done for us.  So easily we are led astray; so easily we become deaf to your Word speaking to our hearts.  O let our hearts not be hardened! but let us come humbly before you to worship you and call on your holy NAME.  This is what brings life to our souls.  In this worship alone do we find our rest. 

O LORD, set us free from all pride, from all failure to remember your presence before us….  Be not angry with your wayward children but gather us into your loving arms.

Direct download: BC-011311-Th_1_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Heb.2:14-18;   Ps.105:1-4,6-9;   Mk.1:29-39)

 

“Since He Himself was tested through what He suffered,

He is able to help those who are tempted.”

 

And help them He does.  Die for us He must.  Each healing is a move of love which takes His life as sacrifice for our sins. 

Jesus died on the cross for us, yes.  He opened His arms and let His healing blood pour forth for all “the children of Abraham,” all those of faith.  But His whole life, and especially His ministry of preaching and healing, is a dying, is a robbing of “the devil, the prince of death, of his power.”  We see clearly in our gospel today how Jesus “free[s] those who through fear of death had been slaves their whole life long,” how He lays down His life for “the whole town [which] was gathered outside the door” of “the house of Simon and Andrew.”  After healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law of a debilitating fever, He cures all who press upon Him, all “who were variously afflicted”; from them “the demons He expelled.”

And in these cures, in these expulsions of demons, do we not see our “merciful and faithful high priest” who has come “to expiate the sins of the people” at work in “blood and flesh,” dying for the nation’s salvation?  Has the Lord not equated such healing with salvation, declaring there is no difference between forgiving sins and saying “be well” to the troubled soul (Mk.2:9)?  And do not these demons desire to cry out that He is the Christ even as He gouges the life from them as He Himself dies?  Does their rule not escape them now with every word of the Spirit He speaks?  But He does “not permit the demons to speak,” for they would reveal who He is only that He might be tempted to become ruler on earth of these people who would certainly seek to crown Him king.  But the salvation He brings rises beyond this dying life, and the Son of God has no relations with the prince of darkness and his lying rule.

And so our Lord “went into [the] synagogues preaching the good news and expelling demons throughout the whole of Galilee.”  So He went forth robbing the devil of His reign, suffering and dying all the while, all the way to the cross, where His ministry is accomplished.  And we, brothers and sisters, do we not continue His ministry to this day?  Has the Lord not left the dying to us now – a cross upon each of His disciples’ backs to fill up what is yet lacking in His sacrifice?  Is this not the great gift He gives us?  And in His steps, by the apostles’ instruction, in union with His Church, do you walk through the suffering and darkness of this world to the Lord’s eternal light?  For your sake has He died.  So “seek to serve Him constantly” as He does you.

 

*******

O LORD, in flesh and blood your Son has come

to drive all demons away from us

and save us from the power of death.

YHWH, your Son has come to heal us, to cast all our sin far from us, releasing us from all power of the devil.  Death itself He conquers for our sakes, suffering all the weakness of our human condition that He might free us from its bonds.  He has made Himself captive to flesh and blood that we might fly unto the kingdom with Him.  And so, let us glorify His Name!

O LORD, how your Son lays down His life as He walks among us, taking our sickness upon Himself.  How much He suffers as we come to Him to find our healing – how brokenhearted He is to witness our travail.  But He does not turn from His mission or rest in His accomplishments; on He goes from place to place, redeeming all who come to Him.  And this path leads inevitably to the Cross, to His death and our freedom from all sin.  Let us praise Him for the sacrifice He makes, for His offering His life for our sakes.

Direct download: BC-011211-W_1_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O shepherd and doctor

of God’s holy Church,

is this not what you would declare

with all your breath

to the ends of the earth:

“Jesus is the Son of God

and God Himself”?

Would you not proclaim

the true light of Scripture

and the Word, the Light,

become flesh in our midst?

Know, O saint of the Lord,

that your words reach our ears

and our hearts

even to this day,

and this day we proclaim you holy

and your words true –

continue to speak to us;

please intercede for us,

that the Truth you declared

so fearlessly

will be taken up again

by those in His stead today. 

 

Direct download: Jan._13_Hilary.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Heb.2:5-12;   Ps.8:2,5-9;   Mk.1:21-28)

 

“A completely new teaching in a spirit of authority!”

 

Thus do the people exclaim at the power of the word which issues forth from the mouth of Christ, into whose hands “all things” have been subjected.  The devils see Him and shriek: “I know who you are – the holy one of God!”  They know Him and they fear Him, for He has indeed “come to destroy” them and whatever authority they seemed to have.  He it is who has come to return man to his rightful “rule over the works of [God’s] hands.”  God has “crowned [man] with glory and honor, and put all things under his feet”; and though “at present we do not see all things thus subjected” because of man’s sin, because he has subjected himself to the works of the devil, yet Jesus has come to bring “many sons the glory,” to reveal in His own person the power of God present in all mankind.

And how does the Lord Jesus Christ destroy the devils?  How does He redeem man from their clutches, from their possession?  By suffering.  By dying.  Yes, even now we “see Jesus crowned with glory and honor” – the glory and honor to which we are all called – “because He suffered death.”  By suffering death He conquered death, and thus any power the devil wielded by its weight upon our souls.  And we are free!  The devils are cast from us because He has walked among us; He has come into the synagogue and “taught with authority.”  And so the pride of the devil is broken, and we see the angels’ place as servants to man as we see the dignity to which men are called in this Son of Man.

And the Lord “is not ashamed to call [us] brothers.”  Though by our weakness, by our sinfulness, our disobedience, certainly we merit shame – and so, rightly does David cry to God, “What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?” – yet He does care for us, He is mindful of us…  He suffers and dies for us, taking our shame upon Himself in His only Son.  And what the Lord has earned we should not spurn, but treasure the grace that is ours through our Brother’s sacrifice.  Let us put ourselves under His authority that His authority might be our own, and the devil shall be gone.

 

*******

O LORD, all things are under the authority of your Son,

who came to save us from all evil.

YHWH, what authority is upon your Son!  Your own authority, your own glory.  He has power over all the earth, and the unclean spirits are subject to His command.  There is nothing outside his rule, for His rule is your own.

And through your Son, and through His suffering, this rule, this glory, becomes our own.  Since He has come as our Brother, we become your sons with Him.  And so, great authority you place upon your children, LORD, upon the men you call forth; for you call us to share in the work of your Son and in His consecration.

Greater than the angels is Jesus, our Savior.  O LORD, only He leads us to your glory this day.  May we know the blessing that is ours through the Holy One of God and listen to His teaching.  Let all men to the ends of the earth hear of His fame and believe in Him, that all might praise Him in the great assembly.

Direct download: BC-011111-Tu_1_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Heb.1:1-6;   Ps.97:1-2,6-7,9;   Mk.1:14-20)

 

“This is the time of fulfillment.”

 

Brothers and sisters, no longer does God speak to us “in fragmentary and varied ways”; this is “the final age,” in which “He has spoken to us through His Son, whom He has made heir of all things and through whom He first created the universe.”  With full voice does He make Himself known now, for “this Son is the reflection of the Father’s being, and He sustains all things by His powerful word.”  Jesus is the Christ, and in Him the will of God is fulfilled.

And is it any wonder the disciples “immediately abandoned their nets and became His followers,” that at once they joined Him in “proclaiming the good news of God”?  For here is the One they have been waiting for, the voice they have been longing to hear, and what can they do but heed His call to join in speaking the very Word of God?  James and John even “abandoned their father Zebedee,” a good man, for the greatest of men, the Son of Man, God Himself, had come to them: their hearts could not resist for here indeed was the pure reflection of their Father in heaven, whom even Zebedee desired above all.  (With his blessing we can presume they go, the “nets in order” they leave behind.)

O brothers and sisters, do you know who this is has come into your midst?  Do you realize who has joined your race?  This Jesus whom the Father deems His Son sits at “the right hand of the Majesty in heaven,” “far superior to the angels,” far superior to all creation, for indeed all creation has come to be through Him, who is one in being with the Father.  Here is the heart of our creed, this Jesus, this Christ, who is God Himself, and yet also Man with us.  Of His Son the Father says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him,” and indeed “all gods are prostrate before Him.”  He is “the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods,” who are no gods at all, unable to stand before the glory of His majesty.

And so should we not bow down to Him?  Should we not follow when He calls, “Come after me”?  Do we not wish to join with Him who is our salvation, who has “cleansed us from our sins,” on the way that leads to “the reign of God”?  Yes, the kingdom of God has come to us in the Person of Jesus the Son; there is nothing more to wait upon.  The time has come.  Let us now follow Him.

 

*******

O LORD, let us worship your Son in His glory;

let us follow Him unreservedly this day. 

YHWH, let us abandon all things to follow your Son; with the angels let us bow down and worship Him.  For He is the pure reflection of your Being all our hearts have been hoping to see, and so let us answer His call for our lives.

O LORD, you are the Most High over all the earth and your Son has joined you at your right hand.  His glory is far above anything of Heaven or earth, for His glory is your own – and that glory He would bring to each of us, if we would but turn from our sins and set our hearts on His reign.  O let us worship Him!

Speak to us this day, O LORD, through your only Son; call us to His side that we might do your will and rejoice in your glory.  Let us not be deaf to His powerful Word but be transformed by its proclamation and find the time of fulfillment at hand.  Alleluia!

Direct download: BC-011011-M_1_OT_IR.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Is.55:1-11;   Is.12:1-6;   1Jn.5:1-9;   Mk.1:7-11) 

“A voice came from the heavens,

‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” 

Brothers and sisters, God “has testified on behalf of His Son.”  With His own voice and by “the Spirit, the water, and the blood,” He has borne witness that Jesus is the Christ.  And should we not believe and so conquer the world?

To the waters Jesus comes, and by His baptism makes them holy, that we in turn might be made holy by our baptism in them.  Upon Him the Spirit descends like a dove, that new life might be breathed into our souls.  And for our sake He will be crucified, that in His blood we may be redeemed.  All speaks of our salvation!  The water, the Spirit, and the blood – and all He is and does – give credence to the declaration from the mouth of the Father that this is His Son, and that we shall find life in Him alone.  The Baptist has been sent to prepare the way before Him, proclaiming, “One mightier than I is coming after me.”  Let us “listen, that [we] may have life.”

Do your souls not desire the food from heaven?  Are you not “thirsty,” are you not hungry for the bread of Truth?  Listen to the Lord, “Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.”  For though high are His “ways above your ways” and His “thoughts above your thoughts,” though this food is well beyond your grasp, yet as “from the heavens rain and snow come down” and nourish the earth, so does the Spirit descend upon us, so do the waters of baptism nourish our faith – so does the blood of His sacrifice become our spiritual drink and His body our spiritual food.  And so we become “confident and unafraid.”  And so by our faith we do conquer the world.

Brothers and sisters, “the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” “is begotten of God,” for he becomes a son even as He is.  And what power has the earth over Him who created it?  And so what can stand before such faith?  And nourished by this faith what can we do but love, as our God who is but love?  To believe in Him is to love Him and to love Him means to love others; for faith in God who has always been brings love of those who are with us now, and so hope for heaven which is to come.  This is the will of God for our souls this day.  This is the life into which He would baptize our race.  So, let us “sing praise to God for His glorious achievement” as we cleanse ourselves in the water His Son makes pure.

Written, read and chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

Music is "Not as This World Gives" by Carie Fortney; used by permission. 

*******

O LORD, your beloved Son is in our midst;

let us believe in Him that we might find our way to you. 

YHWH, your Word has come down from the heavens and watered the earth; your Son has come to save us.  And so we may now draw water from this fountain of salvation – we may be baptized in Him and in His blood.  Speak to us this day by the power of the Spirit of the blessing that is ours by faith in your Christ.

O LORD, we may conquer the world and ourselves if we but believe in Jesus.  Though you are far above our thoughts and our ways, you are brought near to us by the presence of your beloved Son in our midst this day.  Let us listen to Him and His apostles and prophets, that we may no longer live our lives in vain but be confident and unafraid in the joy of our Savior.

O LORD, let us be begotten by you even as your Son.  Let your Spirit descend upon us, too, as we rise from the waters of Baptism He has made pure.  Make us fertile and fruitful in Jesus, that we might ever partake of His Body and Blood.

Direct download: Baptism_of_the_Lord_Year_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

(1Jn.5:14-21;   Ps.149:1-6,9;   Jn.3:22-30)

 

“The Son of God has come and has given us discernment

to recognize the One who is true.”

 

John’s disciples had difficulty recognizing “the One who is true.”  They saw everyone “flocking to Him” and away from their master, so they came to their master questioning.  But John was forthright: “I am not the Messiah,” he said, “I am sent before Him.”  And now that He has come, the Baptist’s joy is complete.

Brothers and sisters, “we know that we belong to God, while the whole world is under the evil one.”  “We are in the One who is true.”  Jesus has brought us to such knowledge.  And this knowledge, this reality of the eternal life of God, should make us rejoice with our psalmist.  It should make our lives ones of thanksgiving in which we “praise His name in the festive dance” and “with timbrel and harp.”  For, yes, “the Lord loves His people” and we are His faithful who “exult in glory.”  Let us “be glad in [our] maker.”

The world is under sin, and there is deadly sin which destroys the soul lurking in the world.  The devil is real as well, and will not simply go away.  And though only God can cast him away ultimately, we can pray against much of his work in this world, “petition[ing] God,” interceding for our brothers who falter in sin that is not deadly… and finding their release through the grace of God.  With this “confidence in God: that He hears us whenever we ask for anything according to His will,” we have a great gift and a great strength in this dark world – we can bring light to it, the light of the only Son.  But we must always be as “the body” He adorns “with victory.”  We must have the same attitude as the Lord’s “best man,” and say with the Baptist, “He must increase while I must decrease.”  We must find our joy in Him and not in our works or in our pride.  He is all and He is true, and He leads us to the kingdom in His baptism in water and the Spirit.  Brothers and sisters, we must see the grace we have in our midst.  Jesus is ours.

 

*******

O LORD, let us remain in you

and rejoice at the coming of your Son. 

YHWH, in Baptism we are begotten by you and protected from all sin and selfishness.  Let what you have begun in us become complete – let all sin be taken from us that we might rejoice forever in your presence.

O LORD, let our joy be complete.  Now that your Son has come and drawn us into His flesh and blood, now that He has cleansed us from our sins and made us whole again, let us decrease as He increases within us, until He is all in all in us… until we exult in the glory of your kingdom.

O LORD, let all your children praise your holy NAME and sing of the grace upon all the lowly ones of God.  O true God, let us be your own, born again in your Son, in the Spirit upon Him.  And we shall be ready even to die with Him that we might find new life in Him with all our brothers and sisters.

Save us from sin, dear LORD, and let us live in your glory.

Direct download: Saturday_after_Epiph.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Jn.5:5-13;   Ps.147:12-15,19-20;   Lk.5:12-16)

 

“Whoever possesses the Son possesses life.”

 

What does our psalmist mean when he sings: “He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat He fills you,” but that we are in Christ?  What are those “borders” but the flesh of Christ?  What is this wheat but the manna, the Sacrament of His Body He gives us to feed upon during our earthly journey?  And this word which “runs swiftly,” what is it but the Spirit which enlivens the Body of Christ, which brings the flesh of Christ to life?  And why should we not “glorify the Lord,” the God of life, who provides His Son and His Spirit, who makes the world and all that is in it, who calls us to believe, as the human beings we are, in the name of the Son, that we might find all three who testify to truth and “are of one accord”?

It is through the Son we come to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.  If we believe in God the Father, we believe “the testimony He has given on His own Son’s behalf,” and we find the eternal life that is thus ours through the Son.  May the Spirit run quickly to us and teach us and guide us along the way of God.

In our gospel Jesus heals a leper.  He reaches out His hand “to touch him” and so draws him into Himself, into the borders of His holy flesh, and he is made whole.  He wills it so, that the bars of all our gates be strengthened, that all enter into Him – that we be healed, whole in Him, and that our children, the fruit of our own bodies be blessed by their truly being begotten therefore of Him.  If we are in Him, so will our children be, so will all the works we perform.  But we must come as the leper, “bowed down to the ground.”  We, too, must see Jesus and be moved to humble ourselves before His loving glory.  In faith we, too, must desire His touch upon our flesh, to be released from all sin, to be made whole again.  And we must do as He instructs us through the power of the Spirit; then we shall find life with the Father in heaven.

If it is remarkable that the Son of God would draw the leprous man into His sacred flesh and make him His own, it is perhaps more remarkable that He would do the same for us poor sinners – that being possessed by Him, we possess Him, and so we enter life by the flesh of Christ.

 

*******

O LORD, let all men know

that Jesus Christ is the Son of God

and eternal life to all who believe in Him. 

YHWH, by a word from your mouth and the touch of your hand, we are healed of all our ills; your Son has come to save us.  He is all we need to find eternal life – let Him live within us.

You testify, O LORD, by the word of the Spirit that Jesus is your beloved Son and we should believe in Him.  Your testimony let us embrace in faith that the life you desire for us we may know.

Your Word of truth runs swiftly, LORD, and brings peace to our gates and borders.  Our very flesh is anointed in your Son – in Him your Spirit is upon us.  And we are blessed as your children; we are made whole in your sight.  Let your Word run to all the world, that all might know of the glory you bring us in Jesus your only Son, in the water upon Him and in His sacrificial blood.  In faith let all bow down before Him, seeking a word from His mouth and the touch of His hand.

Direct download: Friday_after_Epiph.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Jn.4:19-5:4;   Ps.72:1-2,11,14-15,17;   Lk.4:14-22)

 

“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Today the Son has come into our midst.  Today He has “unrolled the scroll” of the Word of God and read aloud the words written of Him for all to hear.  Today the WORD is brought to life.  As “appealing” as is the discourse which flows forth from His gracious lips, so much greater is the Spirit that is upon Him.  For by that Spirit and in His sacred flesh He shall “bring glad tidings to the poor… proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and release to prisoners.”  In word and deed He “announce[s] a year of favor from the Lord.”  In Him all time comes together.  In Him it is all one moment.  And this moment reveals the love of God.

And by the Son we are begotten, by His love: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God.”  And so, children we become with the one Child most blessed.  And if we are all one child born of the love of God and His Word, what can we do but love one another?  Does one not love his own flesh and bone?  And so, “whoever loves God must also love his brother,” for his brother is of him as he is of God and both are His children in love, born of the flesh of the one Christ.

“In Him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.”  It is not for the few He has come, but for all.  For God is the Father of all and the Son possesses and reveals all that is of the Father.  “All nations shall proclaim His happiness,” for all peoples shall find their happiness in Him alone, who is love and which love is itself our happiness and our hope.

Speak to us, Lord Jesus.  Work through us, dear God.  Let your Commandment of love be fulfilled in us.  Let our love be fixed on God and let us love our brother.  May we hear the words you speak in our midst today.  May your Spirit make us children of the Father.

*******

O LORD, Jesus is the Christ;

your Spirit is upon Him and He has come to save us –

let us declare His praise. 

YHWH, your Word is fulfilled in Jesus and in the Spirit upon Him.  Glad tidings the poor hear from His blessed lips, and we who are blind may now see your glorious presence in our midst.  From our prisons let us be released, that we might love as Jesus loves.

If we remain in your Son, we will be able to keep your commands and so be blessed forever.  You will give us power to conquer the world, to conquer the world even as He has done.  O LORD, in Him may our lives be governed with justice, that our mouths might bless you all our days.

O LORD, if we keep our eyes and ears and hearts fixed on Jesus, we will know your love and be able to share in that love.  Truly we will love you and our brother, and every blessing will be ours by the grace upon your Son.  Your Name be praised by the tongues of men for all the goodness He brings us

Direct download: Thursday_after_Epiph.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O redeemer of captive slaves,

those enslaved to sin

and those enslaved

by the clutches of the world –

preach to us this day

the freedom found

under the Cross of Christ

and in the repentance of heart

blessed by the grace

upon the Church.

Teach us well

the path to Heaven,

which is wrought not in comfort and peace

but in struggle against sin,

in the laying down of our lives

before our persecutors.

Ransom us from wayward

thoughts and actions,

and from the snares

of the adversary

who waits for our misstep.

In Christ alone

may we find our rest.

Direct download: Jan._7_Raymond_of_Penafort.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(1Jn.4:11-18;   Ps.72:1-2,10,12-13;   Mk.6:45-52)

 

“If we love one another, God dwells in us,

and His love is brought to perfection in us.”

 

Jesus has just fed the five thousand men with the five loaves and two fish.  He has performed a great miracle before the eyes of His disciples and through their hands.  Yet “their minds were completely closed to the meaning of the events,” and when He comes walking toward them on the water in the middle of the night as their boat is tossed about by a storm, they are “terrified.”  They are afraid because they are not yet perfect.  John tells us in his first letter, a letter of love: “Love is not yet perfect in one who is afraid” and “perfect love casts out all fear.”  The disciples will not be perfect, will remain afraid, until after the death and resurrection of the Lord, and, really, until Pentecost, when the Spirit falls upon them.  As John states, “The way we know we remain in Him and He in us is that He has given us of His Spirit.”

His Spirit is the Spirit of love and He, our Lord Jesus, is Himself love.  John follows both the clauses, “If we love one another” and “When anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,” with the statement that God dwells in us.  Jesus and love are equated as the Spirit and love are equated above.  Why?  Because “God is love” and both Jesus and the Spirit are God, and so are love.

Brothers and sisters, our love must be brought to perfection, and it is “brought to perfection in this: that we should have confidence on the day of judgment” – that we should have no fear of the punishment we deserve, that we know fully of His love.  Jesus takes a step to preparing the disciples against the judgment, against fear and for love, by walking toward them on the water.  He means to teach them that they should not be afraid of the wind and the waves which rock our boat in this world, nor should they be afraid of His miraculous, overwhelmingly loving presence.  Let us learn what Jesus would teach the disciples: “Do not be afraid!”  “For He shall rescue the poor man when he cries out.”  He is love and He will save us.  Let our minds open to His presence as we love one another, and let that love be brought to absolute perfection in us.  May His Spirit be with you.

 

*******

O LORD, your Son has come among us as a Man –

how can we recognize His glory in our midst;

how can we love as He has loved? 

YHWH, why should we be afraid of your love, of your glory among us?  Why would we rather remain in darkness than come into your light?  Why can we not believe that your Son has walked among us and that He invites us to become one with you?  How can our hearts bear such blessing?

O LORD, cast all the fear from us; let us not shrink from your presence, from your overwhelming love, but welcome it in our hearts with gratitude and a return of love to you and others.  Let it be our desire to be saved and so glorify Jesus’ coming into our midst.  Let Him enter our boat this day, and with Him let us remain.

Dwell within us, O LORD God.  Dwell within us and rule over us with your justice and love.  Hear us as we cry out to you; have pity on our afflicted souls.  Speak to us: “Do not be afraid!” and open our eyes to your eternal protection.

Direct download: Wednesday_after_Epiph.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Jn.4:7-10,   Ps.72:1-4,7-8,11;   Mk.6:34-44)

 

“Justice shall flower in His days, and profound peace,

till the moon be no more.”

 

Our psalm (of Solomon, the king of peace and wisdom) relates the infinite justice of God, He who “defend[s] the afflicted among the people” and “save[s] the children of the poor.”  Such is the judgment of our God, who “rule[s] from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth”: His perfect justice He showers upon all.

And how is this justice effected?  It is already evident from what we have said, from what our psalmist has sung of His Name, and our letter from John leaves no question – “God is love.”  His ultimate justice and love have been “revealed in our midst in this way: He sent His only Son to the world that we might have life through Him.”  In sending Jesus “as an offering for our sins,” His perfect love and perfect justice meet and kiss and become one.  He bleeds for us, and so our sins are forgiven.

And what clearer proof that we all “have life through Him” is shown in our gospel, in which Jesus feeds the masses.  First He teaches them with the Word “at great length.”  Having pity on them, He feeds their souls with Truth.  But His pity does not end there – His concern extends to the physical as well as the spiritual… for He knows all our weakness, and He feeds the peoples’ bodies as well as their souls.

What a beautiful picture this is: the people “neatly arranged like flower beds,” Jesus raising the bread to heaven and pronouncing the blessing, the disciples distributing it, and Jesus Himself dividing the fish among them.  All eat and all are satisfied.  Here is a picture of the Lord’s justice and love.  And this scene we enact each day at Mass, listening to His Word, His teaching, and then eating the bread of life He distributes among us.  May the Lord be praised!

And what have we to do to receive this bread of life but heed the words John offers and “love one another.”  For “love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God.”  And this knowledge we find in our love is that His justice is true and endures forever in the perfect peace His presence brings.  Let us have faith forever.

 

*******

O LORD, you sent your Son

to shepherd all afflicted and fainting souls;

may we be nourished by His love. 

YHWH, you send your Son to rule over us with His love, to feed us with His own Body and Blood.  May justice flower in His day and all the ends of the earth be blessed with His peace.  And let us love as He has loved; let us lay down our lives for one another.

O LORD, upon your holy mountain let us take our rest, our souls arranged like flower beds, our hearts yielding to your Word.  May your rule be made complete even in this deserted place where men are as sheep without a shepherd.  To this place let your Son come and make it as your eternal home.  Give us something to eat this day, LORD, by the hand of Jesus and His apostles, or we shall faint for weariness, or we shall starve to death.

It is only your love which sustains us, LORD, only our being joined to you.  May we eat our fill of your goodness, and never be apart from your reign.

Direct download: Tuesday_after_Epiph.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O shepherd who walked

in the humble stead

of your flock,

who worked so diligently

among those in your care,

speaking to their hearts;

you who gathered into schools

the little ones,

who saw to the education

of the children…

and all this in a foreign land –

pray for the country in which you ministered,

that its lambs

once again be raised

in the faith

and its strangers

be once again shepherded

by one as anxious as you

for their well-being.

Here let us find the grace of Christ

to redeem

the lowly

and the lost.

Direct download: Jan._5_John_Neumann.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(1Jn.3:22-4:6;   Ps.2:7-8,10-11;   Mt.4:12-17,23-25)

 

“Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh

belongs to God.”

 

And for every spirit that acknowledges Him, He answers all prayers: “Whatever we ask we shall receive at God’s hands.”   “Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance…”  And so, when “they carried to [Jesus] all those afflicted with various diseases and racked with pain,” He heard this prayer made in faith, made in the belief that He could do this, and as Matthew so simply and wonderfully states, “He cured them all.”  They had listened to His preaching: “Reform your lives!  The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  They accepted it, humbly, taking no offense at His words and His actions – but believing in Him.   And so He could perform such wonders for them, He whose spirit is true; and so “on those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”

And now we should “give heed” and “take warning”; now we should “put the spirits to the test to see if they belong to God.”  Now we must clearly acknowledge Jesus as the Christ and know what John tells us, “There is in you One greater than there is in the world,” and follow that Spirit within us.  Are we “keeping His commandments and doing what is pleasing in His sight”?   Do we “remain in Him”?  He is never far away and He will hear all of our prayers and cure us of all ills, if we but believe in Him, if we but heed His teaching – if we reform our lives.  We show our belief in Him when we follow His commandments, and we follow His commandments when we reform our lives.   Thus we prove that we speak His language; in our love we reveal His Spirit in us.

“The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son, this day I have begotten you.’”  Even in our psalm are spoken the words of the Father to Jesus; and they are spoken to us, if we believe that He is the Christ.   This is the salvation the Father offers; it is for us to accept it and live it.  For a greater gift we cannot expect, more love He could not show – this is His Son, this is God… believe in Him.   There is nothing else you need seek.

 

*******

O LORD, all those who seek the truth

come to your Son,

and you make them your children. 

YHWH, we shall be healed of every ill; all darkness will be banished from our midst, if we turn from our sins, if we seek to reform our lives – if we believe in the Name of your Son, that He has come in the flesh and is our Savior.  And then our every prayer shall be answered, for we shall be living in your love.

It is not of the world we are to be, O LORD, not of the darkness of this place.  For the world does not recognize that Jesus has come, nor has it ears to hear Him.  But our ears are attuned to His voice and the truth He speaks to our heart.  Let us not be deceived by those who would deny the truth, those who would speak against what is plainly before them.  Let us hold fast to the teaching of your Son and His apostles, and we shall have power to overcome all such evil by His love.

Give us all we ask of you, LORD; give us a world remade in your image.

Direct download: Monday_after_Epiph.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O mother through marriage

and religious Mother,

who indeed became mother of many,

many sisters whom you led

in the faith

and many children whom you taught

in your schools –

in your wisdom

teach many still

the path of Christ,

the way of charity He has trod,

that renewed will those be

who call you Mother,

and instructed well

those in their classrooms

throughout the land.

What should we teach our children,

dear Mother?

Have we not forgotten the lesson of Christ?

Pray for us, I beg,

this day,

that the way and the truth

we shall follow.

Direct download: Jan._4_Elizabeth_Ann_Seton.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.60:1-6;   Ps.72:1-2,7-8,10-13;   Eph.3:2-3a,5-6;   Mt.2:1-12)

 

“They were overjoyed at seeing the star,

and on entering the house

they saw the child with Mary His Mother.”

 

And so our prophecy of Isaiah and our psalm of David come to pass: “Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you… the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.”  And “the kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.  All kings shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him.”  And so we have the revelation made known to the Apostle Paul and all His holy ones: “The Gentiles are now coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

Yes, the Light of Jerusalem has come, and it draws the ends of the earth by its radiance.   Here is the star which rises in our midst; here is the true light which shines upon all men.   And all men are drawn to it – none can deny its brightness before us, its truth and its glory.  And who is this king but the One of “justice” and “profound peace”?   Who is He but the One who “shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor He shall save.”   And so all must make themselves poor before Him, laying their gifts at His blessed feet.

Today we celebrate the coming of Light to the nations, the manifestation of Jesus Christ to this world covered in darkness.  And we find our hope and our joy in Him as did the magi two thousand years ago.   For He continues to reveal Himself to our hearts.  He continues to show His peace and justice to all who look for His coming.   Let our eyes be raised to the heavens and our hearts be diligent in seeking Him, and we will be led to His crib.   There the Mother holds Him in her arms; there before such beauty we should empty our souls in adoration of His blessed presence, like these magi who “prostrated themselves and did Him homage.”   Then we shall rise fulfilled.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.

 

Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, lead us by your light

to lay down our lives before you.

YHWH, into this world of darkness you have sent a great light and now all nations desirous of truth, desirous of light, follow that light to find you, dear Father in Heaven.  As the magi followed the star to find the Baby Jesus with Mary His Mother, so all poor souls follow your Son to find you who have created us all; for He is in you, and looking upon His innocent face we see you, our LORD and God, and the light is ours.

There is no division in your House, O LORD; all souls are called into your presence.  Your star you make obvious for all to see that none may be left by the wayside but all keep to the road that leads to life.  Help us, O LORD, to empty ourselves of all that keeps us from gazing at your light, all that makes our eyes blind to your glory.  May we with the magi prostrate ourselves before your Child, offering all we have to Him and so to you.  He is the King that shall rule us all – let us embrace His coming.

Direct download: Epiphany_of_the_Lord_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

(1Jn.2:29-3:6;   Ps.98:1,3-6;   Jn.1:29-34)

“Look there! 

The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

“This is God’s chosen One.”  This is He upon whom “the Spirit descend[s]” – who takes away our sins and makes us pure by His own baptism “with the Holy Spirit.”  He who walks with Him walks in holiness, for “everyone who acts in holiness has been begotten by Him” – we have become “children of God” because we have now the grace of the only Son.

Listen to the manner in which the Baptist “sing[s] joyfully before the King, the Lord” in our gospel today: “I saw the Spirit descend like a dove from the sky, and it came to rest on Him.”  How like music, like “the harp and melodious song,” is his witness to the Lord Jesus Christ.  His exclamation of Jesus as the holy Lamb of God, offered as a sacrifice pure and undefiled, resounds to the ends of the earth more eloquently and with greater power than “the trumpets and the sound of the horn” of which David sings in our psalm.  Here is the voice proclaiming the Truth, the message our ears have so longed to hear.

“The very reason [John] came baptizing with water was that [Jesus] might be revealed to Israel,” and “the reason [Jesus] revealed Himself was to take away sins” – all this for our salvation.  Yes, brothers and sisters, “in Him there is nothing sinful.”  And we must be like Him.  Insofar as we sin, we have “not seen Him or known Him.”  Insofar as a man “keeps himself pure, as He is pure,” he is His child, knowing Him most intimately, and may exclaim in wonder with John the evangelist: “What love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God!”

All sin and struggle with sin all the while they are on earth.  There are many times when we must admit that we do not see Him or know Him in order for Him to be revealed in our lives, in order for us to find His blessed purity.  We must confess our sins that we might sing His praise.  But all the while the Son is with us, the Lamb intercedes to remove our sins.  And always we must look to Him whom the Baptist proclaimed to be “what we are,” to become “like Him” when His light comes to its fullness and His Spirit is all we know.

*******

O LORD, your saving power, your Lamb,

has come to take away the sin of the world –

may all nations rejoice in such blessing.

YHWH, Jesus is your Chosen One, your only Son, the pure reflection of your Being… and we must be like Him.  We must be pure as He is pure, as you are pure, as the Spirit that comes from Him and descends upon us is pure.  O let us truly be pure!  Let us truly be your children.

O LORD, Jesus has come to take away all sin from us.  This is the mission, the work He has from you.  It is for John to declare the coming of the Lamb of God, and it is for this Lamb to die for our sins.  Let all be accomplished in your will.  As John has made the Christ known and He has been crucified for our sakes, so let us find the purification from sin you desire for us that we might be united to you.

All the earth has seen your saving power, O LORD.  Let all souls recognize that power in our midst and remain in Him who brings it.

Direct download: January_3.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O bishops and doctors,

O brothers so united in Christ,

united in your desire

to find His wisdom

and live His virtue,

for you what mattered

but to be like Christ?

All you would have given up

to find His way;

nothing of this world

did you wish

but to leave it behind.

One in heart and mind,

one in word and work

and in the food of which you partook…

how blessed it is

when men live as brothers,

when nothing they desire

but the other’s good –

teach us this way of union

in the love of God.

 

Direct download: Jan._2_Basil_the_Great__Gregory_Nazianzan.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(1Jn.2:22-28;   Ps.98:1-4;   Jn.1:19-28)

“Remain in the Son and in the Father.”

In our gospel John the Baptist tells the priests and Levites sent by the Pharisees, “There is… one who is to come after me – the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten.”  This Messiah has come, “The Lord has made His salvation known: in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice,” David proclaims in our psalm, and continues to invite us to sing praise of Him.  It is the anointing that comes from Jesus that John, in our first reading, encourages us to hold on to, for it is true and leads invariably to the Father of all.

We must come to the Father; we must find ourselves in the presence of all truth, in the hands of our Creator, who loves us beyond all telling.  And the way to the presence of the Father, in whom we find our true home, is Jesus the Christ.  He is the Son and the only one who can lead us to the Father, for He and the Father are inextricably one.  We cannot deny the Sonship of Jesus, His oneness with the Father – that He is the Christ, upon whom all true anointing rests – and come to know God.  Jesus is the means the Father provides to come to Him; it is through Him alone we find the promise of eternal life.  We must “remain in Him,” that we may “not retreat in shame at His coming.”

Those who do not believe in Jesus, who do not recognize Him as the only Son and so only way to the Father, are not to be persecuted – but they are not to be believed.  Jesus is all.  Those who know Him know this; they indeed have His anointing in their hearts.  This “anointing teaches [us] about all things and is true.”  It is this knowledge of His salvation, of His glory, which John instructs us to remember: His Word grows in our hearts.  But again, this Word is not a weapon for the persecution and destruction of others – it is the means for the manifestation of light.

Remain in Jesus, brothers and sisters, and eternal life with the Father will be assured you.

*******

O LORD, help us always

to proclaim Jesus as the Christ. 

YHWH, we must indeed acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, as your only Son, as God Himself, and rejoice that your saving power has come to us through Him.  And His anointing will rest upon us, the Holy Spirit will be with us to guide us in all things – we will be one with you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

John has prepared His way and in the sight of the nations His glory has been revealed.  None can deny His divinity, except he be a liar.  And to these we must not listen, LORD, but only to the teaching of your Church.  For upon your apostles rests the anointing that is from above, and if we are to find our way to eternal life, no other voice should we heed.

John has indeed cried out the way we all must follow if we are to meet your Son and so you, Father.  O LORD, let us listen to the Spirit that is upon him.

Direct download: _January_2.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O Blessed Virgin

in whose womb was conceived

the only Son of God,

who by such grace

has brought salvation

to our race…

What faith is yours

in God the Father!

What power is upon you

by the Holy Spirit!

What unutterable wonder we find

in your Son!

How is it one of our own number

could give birth

to our Creator?

Such glorious union

with the Godhead

we could never merit

nor discover

except that the Lord

has chosen you –

pray this day

He shall be born in us, too.

Direct download: Jan._1_Mary_Mother_of_God.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Nm.6:22-27;   Ps.67:2-3,5-6,8;   Gal.4:4-7;   Lk.2:16-21)

 

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God

for all they had heard and seen,

just as it had been told to them.”

 

The blessing of God, His holy Son, was upon the shepherds, and it is upon us all.  For “God sent His Son, born of a woman” that His “way be known upon earth,” “that we might receive adoption as sons.”  And what greater blessing could man know than to fulfill his call as son of the living God?

We are blessed, brothers and sisters, and we should proclaim it as the shepherds.  The blessing invoked upon the people by Aaron has been realized in the birth of the Son.  Through Him “the Lord let[s] His face shine upon [us]” – this is His grace come.  And how else but in haste should we travel to Him?  How quickly we should arrive at His side.  And how amazed all should be upon hearing the blessings we have known, at the hand of our God.

Mary is she who is truly blessed, and we honor especially today she “who kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”  For so obedient was she to God’s will that He was “conceived in [her] womb” and made flesh in our sight.  So, let us thank her today for the blessing she has brought into our midst.  As we are now sons of the Father with the Spirit of the Son “crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” in our hearts, so we are sons of Mary, too, for the Lord’s divinity cannot be separated from His humanity – the two meet as one in Jesus Christ.  This is our great blessing.

From “an infant lying in the manger” shall come the salvation of our race, and the Mother of this renewed race, consecrated to God in Him who is “named Jesus,” we commemorate with our hearts and our voices in praise this holy day.  May she now be the instrument by which “the Lord bless[es]” and “keep[s]” us; may she pray this day that “His face shine upon [us].”  And may all her children be one in the blessing of Christ, her Son.  Amen.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, what blessing is upon us

this Christmas day! 

YHWH, we are your sons now because Jesus has become our Brother.  Born of the Virgin, His blessing is now upon our race – He it is who shines the light of your face.  Let us glorify you for your blessing.

Now we may call you “Father!” now that the Spirit of your Son is with us.  For in Him we are adopted as your sons, LORD, and so through Him you are our Father.  Let the light of your face shine upon us all our days.

It is you who rule all nations, LORD; all the earth is in your hands.  Yet you come to us as a little child, poor and lying in a humble manger.  Let us ponder this wonder with Mary; let us keep your will and your Word ever in our hearts, that we might see unfold the revelation of your presence among us.

Too wonderful for us is the grace you bring, LORD; yet let us live as your sons, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Direct download: Mary_Mother_of_God_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O eminent Shepherd

of God’s people

who led us from the catacombs

into the light of day

by a blessed peace

with the city of man,

allowing the Lord’s Church

to grow and flourish freely

in its sacraments,

in its worship of the one true God –

pray the Body of Christ

may again prosper in truth

with its divine Head,

that the Light that has come into the world

may be proclaimed to the ends of the earth

and all souls called by the Lord

come to the font of Baptism

and find the fullness of faith

in the holy Catholic Church.

Pray there be no dissension

in the Body

but that all shall be one in Him

who is God Himself.

Direct download: Dec._31_Sylvester_I.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(1Jn.2:18-21;   Ps.96:1-2,11-13;   Jn.1:1-18)

 

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”

 

And we must dwell with Him, remaining in His light, walking in His way.  “Through Him all things came into being,” and we who have come into being by Him, “who believe in His name,” must “become children of God.”

In our first reading, John warns against the antichrists who come in this “final hour” to lead astray all those not founded in truth.  Elsewhere he warns against anyone who does not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, as the Christ come among us.  Certainly there are more than a few antichrists today, looking to distract believers from “the Holy One.”  But as John says, “All knowledge is yours”: if we believe in Jesus, we have the truth written within us.  Yet we must beware of faltering, for “no lie has anything in common with the truth.”  Remain in His Church.

Our psalm of David encourages us to “exult before the Lord,” to “sing to the Lord; bless His name.”  And well we should this holy day to know of the Christ that has come “to rule the world with justice.”  The Word has become flesh and left His flesh and His Spirit with the Church He has founded on the apostles – great is the joy of those who find their home there.

And in our gospel we hear John’s beautiful and clear explication of the divinity of Jesus, the Word ever in God’s presence from the beginning, the Word that is “God.”  There are pseudo-religious that change the evangelist’s words  to say that the Word was “a god”; such is the work of the antichrists spoken of by Paul.  For only in the clear recognition of Jesus as “God the only Son,” only in the unequivocal proclamation of His divinity – that He is God – is salvation found.   For this is Truth, Truth brings light, and the light has no discourse with the darkness of lies. 

Come to Him who has come unto you, brothers and sisters.  Seeing Him you see God and know God.  And knowing God you “know the truth” and so exult in the joy of His presence in His Word, in His Sacraments, in His Church… in His love.  Praised be the Lord and His dwelling among us.

 

*******

O LORD, you have revealed yourself to us

in the presence of your only Son –

let us live in the truth that He is God. 

YHWH, thank you for the truth you have given us, the glory you have revealed through your only Son.  Your Word has become flesh and so your very light shines now in our midst – may we embrace Him and His love.

Though surrounded by the darkness of lies, we find our way to your truth, O LORD, by your Son and the Holy Spirit with whom we are anointed through Him.  Now we know the truth and are gifted with all knowledge therefore – let us exult in the gift of life you provide.

Whoever does not acknowledge your Son does not know you, Father, and does not have the Holy Spirit.  Let us know well Him whom you have sent and bless His Name among ourselves.  Praise and glory belong to Him alone for He alone reveals your glory.  O let this light shine in the hearts of all men, of all who would rejoice in your presence.

Direct download: Seventh_Day_Oct._C.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Jn.2:12-17;   Ps.96:7-11;   Lk.2:36-40)

 

“The world with its seductions is passing away

but the man who does God’s will endures forever.”

 

Upon what is your eye fixed?  Do you seek the Lord as has Anna these many years, “constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer,” or are you seduced by “carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, the life of empty show.”  Indeed, “all these are from the world” (and what appropriate description of the extreme vanity which grasps the world in this day), and indeed are all passing away into the nothingness from which they spring.  And those whose hearts are fixed upon them shall pass away with them, while he whose heart seeks the Lord passes to the eternal life of heaven.

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name!” David exclaims in his psalm today, and, yes, much glory is due Him.  “Through His Name [our] sins have been forgiven”; through Him we “have conquered the evil one.”  Do you know “Him who is from the beginning”?  Does “the word of God [remain] in you”?  Is it His love you have, or love for the world, wherein His love finds no place to dwell?  “The Lord is King,” brothers and sisters.  He alone is worthy of our worship, worthy of our attention, worthy of our praise.  Waste not your breath on the empty illusions of this passing world.

Anna “gave thanks to God and talked about the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”  Do you look forward to such deliverance?  Do you care to hear of the glory of the Lord spoken of by this prophetess?  Or have you better things to do?  What sporting event, television program, or party takes precedence in your life?

We live in a vain world, brothers and sisters.  And that vanity permeates this modern society, presenting itself as an accepted good.  It is not easy to conquer the hold such illusions cast upon our waiting eyes – only in Jesus will you find the strength to overcome these seductions.  As “the child grew in size and strength, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God… upon Him,” so will you learn to make progress as you “tremble before Him”; so will you grow in His will to eternal life, as you turn away from the carnality of this life.  Keep your eyes upon His light, rising from the darkness.

*******

O LORD, let our hearts be set

on worship of you and your Son

and not on the things of this world.

YHWH, you are from the beginning; may your grace be upon us that we might conquer the evil one and endure with you forever.  The world is indeed passing away – let us not pass with it.

O LORD, help us to do your will each day and at every hour.  Teach us to remain in your Temple always and so be joined to you.  If we worship you constantly, you will come quickly to save us – you send your Son to deliver Jerusalem, to comfort all who look to you.

How strong are the allurements of the world the devil presents to our weak flesh!  How easily we give in to such distractions, LORD.  Let it be your courts alone our hearts are set upon – help us to turn from darkness to your marvelous light.

In you we are made firm, and in your Son.  With Him let us grow, O LORD, that we might indeed be your children and remain ever with you.  Praise to you, O living God!  Let us heed the words of your prophets and apostles.

Direct download: Sixth_Day_Oct._C.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O blessed martyr

who died in the cathedral,

murdered by the king of this world

as you defended the Chair of Peter

and the true faith of the Church –

where can we find bishops like yourself;

how shall the Church be led

without holy apostles

willing to give their lives

as Christ,

in whose place they stand?

Pray for us, devout shepherd,

that many will be inspired

by your example

to follow in the footsteps of our Lord

and defend the faith

even unto the shedding of blood,

for what is the shedding of blood in this world

compared with the light of Heaven

you now know in our Savior’s presence?

Pray for us and let us pray with you,

seeking truth and love

in our pilgrimage on this earth.

Direct download: Dec._29_Thomas_Becket.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(1Jn.2:3-11;   Ps.96:1-3,5-6,11;   Lk.2:22-35)

 

“The way we can be sure we are in union with Him

is if one who claims to abide in Him

conducts himself just as He did.”

 

“The darkness is over and the real light begins to shine,” and we must live in that light. 

“My eyes have witnessed your saving deed displayed for all peoples to see,” declares Simeon in his prophecy over the Christ child.  “In accord with the dictate in the law of the Lord,” though He Himself is God, Mary and Joseph dutifully bring Jesus to the temple to be “consecrated to the Lord” as every first-born male must.  And there the “just and pious” Simeon who so patiently “awaited the consolation of Israel,” the coming of “the Anointed of the Lord,” takes the child “in his arms” and blesses God for His gift, His mercy.

Learn from these the attitude all must have.  In their faithful observance of the commands of God and the inspiration of the Spirit, they fulfill His Word.  And so light dawns for us and we know of its presence in our midst.  Now we must continue to “announce His salvation, day after day tell His glory among the nations; among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.”  Our deeds must mirror His deeds; His light, “a revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of [His] people Israel,” we must shine.  The sign has come; the new commandment which has been of old must now be realized in each of us.  As a sword has pierced the heart of the Blessed Mother, so it shall pierce the heart of everyone who unites himself to the Blessed Child, who follows in the steps of our blessed Lord.

“The thoughts of many hearts [shall] be laid bare.”  There will be no hiding from this light that has come.  If you think you can claim to know Him “without keeping His commandments,” without conducting yourself “just as He did,” you must know that your lie will be exposed.  “The man who continues in the light is the one who loves his brother.”  Only this will save you, for only love is of light; hatred is only of darkness, and in the Lord there is no darkness.

Let us join with Simeon in proclaiming His salvation.  Let us join with David in singing of the “splendor and majesty” of the Lord.  “Praise and grandeur are in His sanctuary.”   And let us do this principally with our very lives, becoming as the temple of God who is presented to us this day.

 

*******

O LORD, let the light of your Son

be revealed to our eyes, and in our actions.

YHWH, your light be revealed in us this day as it was revealed in your Son to the eyes of Simeon.  May Jesus live in us and we shine His glory forth, that your Word may indeed be fulfilled in all our lives.

We are in darkness, LORD.  As we keep not your Word, your Law, your command to love, we stray from right paths and become blind to your presence.  If we do not live your presence, if we do not do your will, how can we claim to be of you?  How can we say we are your disciples if we do not do the things your Son has done?

Take us from the shadows, LORD, and reveal to our eyes the presence of Christ in our midst.  Dispel all the dark of hatred and doubt and error by this unending light you shine upon us.  And let us truly be transformed by the light of our Savior that we might announce His salvation every day of our lives until our last breath on this earth.  Then let us live with you forever.

Direct download: Fifth_Day_Oct._C.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O innocent martyrs of the Christ

who gave your lives

from the cradle

for Him who carries the Cross,

who suffered and died in His place

even before His crucifixion,

even as His martyrs would do

after His death on the Tree –

let our hearts cry not

for the evil that has wrought

your violent death;

pray we not fear

the dark wrath of this world’s king

but set our hearts

on the joy of our Lord’s kingdom,

where you now reign with Him

and to which we hope to come

by the laying down of our own lives

in His Name.

And pray for the least among us

who suffer the most this day,

that they who are murdered in the womb

will know the light of Christ’s holy face.

Direct download: Dec._28_Holy_Innocents.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 2:00 PM

 

O three holy persons

united as one

in the humble home at Nazareth,

Mary and Joseph

with God’s only Son…

who became your Son,

who became our Son,

who became our Brother

in all things human

and shared with you

the food of your table

and the dust beneath your feet –

you are our model upon this earth;

you we should follow

to find new birth in the Spirit,

to find ourselves sons of the Father,

to be as brother to Christ.

O Holy Family,

what a blessed trinity you form

in the love of God and neighbor;

pray we not fall short of your grace.

Direct download: Dec._30_Holy_Family.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 AM

(Gn.15:1-6,21:1-3;   Ps.105:1-9;   Heb.11:8,11-12,17-19;   Lk.2:22-40)

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom,

and the favor of God was upon Him.” 

What child is this of whom Simeon the prophet, filled with the Holy Spirit, declares to the Lord, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all peoples,” even as he holds Jesus in his arms?  This indeed is He who is the “light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for [His] people Israel”; this indeed is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, foreshadowed in the birth of Isaac, by whom Abraham’s descendants would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.”  “Binding for a thousand generations,” forever, was the covenant the Lord “entered into with Abraham and by His oath to Isaac,” and now that covenant is brought to perfection in the sight of Simeon and Anna; now “all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” could rejoice and “give thanks to the Lord,” for to the temple had come the Christ of God: here is the Messiah.

“Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!” for in Jesus His Son you shall find Him.  Though raised in a humble family in the town of Nazareth, this is He who raises all His chosen unto heaven, who brings salvation to His people.  And so rejoice indeed “you descendants of Abraham, His servants, sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!” for even as “there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead,” innumerable descendants, even as the Lord fulfilled His promise to Abraham by the birth of Isaac, so the Lord’s promise to Simeon “that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord” is fulfilled in all our midst even this day.  Listen to the prophet’s proclamation: the light has come!  We are no longer in darkness, no longer in mournful anticipation.  And so with Anna we should come forward now and speak “about the child” to all who will listen, to all who long to hear the good news of God.

Brothers and sisters, let the Lord grow in our midst.  In this Holy Family that is His Church let Him be nurtured and known.  For God’s favor rests upon Him alone and by no other child does salvation come.  Today He is presented to all waiting hearts.

Written & chanted by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.

Music by Abouna Joseph; used by permission.

*******

O LORD, let your Word be fulfilled

in the lives of all your children –

let our eyes see your salvation.

YHWH, your Word you fulfill in our midst for you are faithful.  Your Christ you send among us to save us from our sins that we might be as your children forever.  Let us enter your generation, LORD, and be of your Holy Family.

Your Son has become our brother and so we know you as our Father, LORD.  Your promise is fulfilled and He now dwells among us – and so you, too, are with us.  From the womb of the Virgin Mary is born a Child with whom we grow into your holy image; we are made pure as she by the grace upon her Son.

In Nazareth let us make our home, O LORD, with Jesus and Mary and Joseph; then our home in Heaven will be secure and even here we will have your blessing.  Though a sword must pierce our heart as it has with Jesus and Mary and Joseph and all your saints, yet we shall rejoice in your goodness toward us, that you make us fruitful with Abraham as children of a living faith.  Let us become strong and wise in your sight.

Direct download: Holy_Family_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O beloved disciple of the Lord

who saw Him

and touched Him,

who believed in Him

with all your being,

who loved Him so

that no love but His

surpassed your own –

speak to us this day

of the Word of life

who has come among us,

died for us,

and been raised from the grave.

Continue to proclaim that love

which alone saves men from sin,

which alone banishes death from our midst;

let us share in your love for Jesus

and join you in proclaiming

Him who has come

in the joy you knew so well.

Point us to Him even this day,

that we too might see

and believe.

Direct download: Dec._27_John.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 2:00 PM

(1Jn.1:1-4;   Ps.97:1-2,5-6,11-12;   Jn.20:2-8)

 

“He saw and believed.”

 

And “the eternal life that was present to the Father and became visible to us,” which John now proclaims, is Jesus Christ the only Son of God, risen from the dead and present to us now even as He sits with the Father.

John has seen Him.  He has believed in Him.  His “hands have touched” Him and so he “proclaim[s] the word of life” made so real in his midst.  What else could he do but declare that which burns in his heart?  What else could be the Evangelist’s desire but to share the blessing he has known as “the one Jesus loved”?  For brimming with love this apostle is, and only in writing of this joy, only proclaiming it to the world and seeing others enter into such selfsame blessing will make his joy complete.  To this he has been called by the Lord.

“Light dawns for the just,” David declares, as if in his psalm to presage the coming of Christ and John’s own words on the coming of Light to this earth.  And indeed the just shall see Him, and gladness shall be “for the upright of heart.”  For all the just shall “be glad in the Lord… and give thanks to His holy name,” for their souls drink deeply of the salvation in their midst; they know Him whom their hearts love.  They see Him, and believe.

And I note the special significance “the piece of cloth which had covered the head” of Jesus – which was “not lying with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself,” as John tells us in his gospel – seems to have as a catalyst to belief.  John had seen the wrappings before entering the tomb, but not this cloth, and it is when he enters he sees and believes.  It is as if the Lord left it neatly rolled up in a place by itself to indicate to them that He had not “been taken from the tomb” by robbers, as Mary Magdalene (another beloved of Christ) seems to fear.  Why would a thief take time to do such a thing?  And so, Jesus’ touch is upon the cloth.

“All peoples see His glory” now, brothers and sisters.  By the witness of John and all the apostles, eyes are opened to His presence.  Let us see Him with John; let us touch Him… and let us know His touch upon our hearts, and so continue to proclaim His glory.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by James Kurt.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, let us rejoice in the presence of your Christ

with us this day. 

YHWH, let all men see your glory in the presence of your risen Son.  Let all men come to that glory through faith in Him.  Let us hear and believe what John tells us – that He has walked among us in the flesh, that the apostles’ hands have touched Him… that our hearts might be touched by His presence, and so your own.

With our eyes let us look upon your glory, LORD, we who are so blinded by sin and slow of heart to believe.  Let us run to the tomb with your apostles that we may see your Son has been raised from the dead, that death no longer has dominion over us but with Him we have been raised.  Let us rejoice at the light that dawns in our midst.

You are king over all the earth, LORD, and all the heavens proclaim your justice and your truth.  May we join in the choir of your angels and your holy apostles in declaring your glory to the ends of the earth, that all men might be loved by you as was John.

Direct download: St_John_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 8:00 AM

O first martyr,

model of Christ’s love

and bearer of His Holy Spirit

in wisdom and in truth,

you who spoke as the Lord Himself

and died as He died,

with the forgiveness of your persecutors

upon your lips

and utter trust of the Father

in your heart –

pray that we too

will find the grace and strength

to commend our lives

into the Father’s hands,

never holding bitterness

toward those who destroy the body,

who would chain the Word,

but ever loving every soul

even as you have done.

O let our hearts be set on Jesus!

let them bleed as His own,

that united in Heaven with Him we shall be

with you in the glory of God.

Direct download: Dec._26_Stephen.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 2:00 PM

(Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59;   Ps.31:3-4,6-8,17,21;   Mt.10:17-22)

“They proved no match for the wisdom and spirit

with which he spoke.”

The world cannot stand up to the Word of God; even death has no power over those who trust themselves to His Spirit.

A model of faith is Stephen.  A perfect trust in the Lord made this martyr shine before the persecution of men.  He made the Lord his “rock of refuge” and so the Lord did “lead and guide” him even unto heaven, hidden in “the shelter of [His] promise from the plottings of men.”

It is this trust Jesus speaks of in our gospel when He warns His apostles beforehand of the persecution which awaits them.  He tells them that when they are dragged before rulers to “give witness… on [His] account”: “Do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it… the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.”  And it is this trust, even unto death, that Stephen exemplifies so perfectly.

David echoes Jesus’ words on the cross in our psalm: “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” and Stephen lives them in our first reading.  While being stoned to death he prays, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (and proceeds to forgive those who kill him).  And so this feast of our first martyr follows our celebration of the birth of our Lord, for it is in this world we are handed over to death, and it is in this world we must suffer in love.  Entirely we must trust ourselves to the care of God to find the vision of heaven – “I see an opening in the sky, and the Son of Man standing at God’s right hand” – which becomes Stephen’s own.

The words we speak, if they are blessed by God, will bring us inevitably unto heaven.  If it is the Spirit who works in us, what need we fear?  For what is more powerful than He?  Where is greater truth to be found?  And so, to whom else should we turn?  “Whoever holds out till the end will escape death,” brothers and sisters.  Though “hated by all” for our love of Jesus, if we continue ever to love even those who hate us, His Spirit will lift us unto Him and provide all we need, in words and works, to conquer the evil of this world. 

May the sweet blood of Jesus cover all His children and bless their witness to Him.

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

*******

O LORD, by your power we escape death

and find your glory. 

YHWH, let us take refuge in you, in your Son, and in the Spirit, and we shall never die but be raised to life in glory with you forevermore.  May your Spirit speak through us and we lay down our lives with your Son.

A crown awaits those who love as you love, dear LORD, who follow in the way your Son has marked out for us.  If we speak your truth, if we trust in you and do your will, you will protect us even from death – you will save us from the plotting of men, and we will stand at your right hand even as the stones rain down upon our heads.

St. Stephen, pray for us this day that we will be led by the Spirit of God and be unafraid of speaking before the rulers and kings of this world.  May our blood be joined with your own and so we, too, be one with our Savior.

Direct download: St.Stephen_Dec._26.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 8:00 AM

(Is.52:7-10;   Ps.98:1-6;   Heb.1:1-6;   Jn.1:1-18)

 

“You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”

 

The coming of the One prophesied by Isaiah and hailed by John these many days is fulfilled in our midst at this blessed moment in time.  And so in our dark world, the light that is God now shines.

“Hark!  Your sentinels raise a cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the Lord restoring Zion.”  To “all the ends of the earth” He makes “His salvation known: in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice.”  For the Lord God walks among us now as man; He “who is the refulgence of His glory, the very imprint of His being,” is now revealed, is now made flesh; “full of grace and truth,” He appears in our midst.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  And He through whom “all things came to be,” who brought life, “the light of the human race,” now shines – and now we come to know Him; now we hear the Word spoken to our ears… now we can say, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”  The Word no longer hidden, God no longer speaks “in partial and various ways,” but now “through the Son” the fullness of truth, the blessing of peace, is upon us.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him,” for He comes “announcing peace… announcing salvation.”  No longer need we wander in darkness, wondering, Where is our God?  He is here.  He is Jesus.  He washes all darkness from our minds, He accomplishes “purification from sins,” and He sits “at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” giving power to be like Him, “to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, “who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”  Come, see and know the transcendent glory standing in our midst.

And so, what have we to do but rejoice?  Though “no one has ever seen God,” though He has seemed to us beyond understanding, yet “the only Son… has revealed Him.”  So let us “sing joyfully before the King, the Lord” “with the harp and melodious song.”  Let us “break into song” and “sing praise.”  For He whom “all the angels of God worship” has come for our salvation, and our Christmas should only be merry. 

God be with you, brothers and sisters.  Jesus love you.

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

 

Music: "Baby Being Born" from The Innocent Heart, first album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

 

*******

O LORD, your glory is revealed to us this day,

and so let us offer you due praise.

YHWH, your Son is born in our midst and so reveals your glory to us.  His light now shines in this dark world, and so men are saved from their sins.  O let us worship Him who is the very imprint of your Being! who is one with you.  You are with us this day in your Son, and what should we do but rejoice.

Glory to you, LORD and GOD, for now the feet of Jesus walk among us and peace is proclaimed to the ends of the earth; salvation is ours by the grace and truth He brings to this land.  Let all eyes behold the salvation He has wrought in our midst.  Let all souls break out in song in praise of His glory.

It is our joy to worship you, O LORD, and the only Son whom you have sent.  For you are our life; in you we are born – by you all Creation comes to be.  And now you are with us in the flesh of your Son; now your dwelling is among us.  To us this day please bring your peace.

Direct download: Christmas_Day_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

(Is.9:1-6;   Ps.96:1-3,11-13;   Ti.2:11-14;   Lk.2:1-14)

 

“Today in the city of David 

a savior has been born for you

who is Christ and Lord.”

 

Here is the “infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger”; here is He who saves all from sin, born into our humble humanity.

Yes, “a child is born to us, a son is given us,” and “upon His shoulder dominion rests.”  This little one wrapped in our own flesh is indeed named “Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.  His dominion is vast and forever peaceful,” for He rules all the earth with His loving justice.  And so what should we do but “announce His salvation, day after day”?  What can we who are overwhelmed with the joy of His presence in our midst do but “tell His glory among the nations; among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.”  For He has come for all nations and all people, to live in their hearts this day.

“Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice”; and let all mankind join the angels in their song of praise: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”  The Lord has come “to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people as His own,” to bring His surpassing peace to all souls set on His goodness and His glory.  So, let us be “eager to do what is good,” that we might be as He is, that we might share in His eternal peace.

To Bethlehem the Virgin came at the time of the census.  There “the time came for her to have her child,” He who is our Bread of Life.  For He is enrolled among our number now; God has been made man – and nothing could give life to waiting souls like this miracle of new birth in our midst.  And so, let us know the humble shepherd’s awe; let us hear the word the angel brings, for he “proclaim[s] to [us] good news of great joy that will be for all people.”  Jesus our Savior is with us today.

 

Written & chanted by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, your glory is revealed to us this day,

and so let us offer you due praise. 

YHWH, your Son is born in our midst and so reveals your glory to us.  His light now shines in this dark world, and so men are saved from their sins.  O let us worship Him who is the very imprint of your Being! who is one with you.  You are with us this day in your Son, and what should we do but rejoice.

Glory to you, LORD and GOD, for now the feet of Jesus walk among us and peace is proclaimed to the ends of the earth; salvation is ours by the grace and truth He brings to this land.  Let all eyes behold the salvation He has wrought in our midst.  Let all souls break out in song in praise of His glory.

It is our joy to worship you, O LORD, and the only Son whom you have sent.  For you are our life; in you we are born – by you all Creation comes to be.  And now you are with us in the flesh of your Son; now your dwelling is among us.  To us this day please bring your peace.

Direct download: Midnight_Mass_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 2:00 AM

(2Sm.7:1-5,8-12,14,16;   Ps.89:2-5,27,29;   Lk.1:67-79)

 

“Your house and your kingdom will endure forever.”

 

The Lord builds a house for us; He is that House.

“Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations,” the Lord promises David, and accomplishes His word by Himself entering the line of the king.  Thus “He has visited and ransomed His people.  He has raised a horn of saving strength for us in the house of David His servant” in the Person of Jesus the Christ.  And so we shall find “freedom from [our] sins” and “the kindness of our God” shall remain upon us.

“To guide our feet into the way of peace,” Jesus has come.  To bring “salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes,” He stands among us.  Zechariah’s joy at the birth of John, his son, is really the joy in the coming one, for whom John but “prepare[s] straight paths.”  The Spirit inspires this old priest to sing primarily of the fulfillment of the promise long held by his people, the promise of Abraham, the promise of David – the promise of finding fulfillment as God’s chosen ones, held in His hand, in His temple, in His house, and protected from all harm while worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.  This Jesus accomplishes.

And so, “we should serve Him devoutly, and through all our days, be holy in His sight,” for no greater gift have we than this opportunity for holiness in the one true Son of God and in the House He establishes.  Should not the Church be our home?  Has not the Lord provided for the building of its walls?  Has He not provided His own flesh and blood to be spread upon its altar?  Has He not “fix[ed] a place for [His] people Israel… that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance”?  Has He not said, “My kindness is established forever,” and “in heaven… confirmed [His] faithfulness”?  And should we not enter His house, enter His heaven, and praise His holy Name?

Here we stand, with His Word, with His Body and Blood.  Here we have His teaching and His food.  What more need we?  And this day the Child who is the House of God approaches.  Are we ready now for His coming?

*******

O LORD, guide our feet in the way of peace;

fulfill your promise and make us your sons.

YHWH, we sit in darkness waiting for the coming of your Son; open our eyes to see His light and our mouths to sing of His glory.  Let us enter into His way of peace.  Deliver us from the enemy, O LORD, from the sin upon our souls.

How shall we be made free of our sins, LORD, except that you come to us and fulfill your Covenant with us, that you shall be our Father and we your children?  And how shall you accomplish this except by the birth of your Son in our midst?  We would have remained ever blind and dumb had Jesus not come to open our eyes and loose our tongues, had you not had such mercy on our souls.

A House you established for David, a place we all may dwell.  And the birth of this House is upon us now.  May we enter in and serve Him, LORD, that with Him we might stand firm forever.  

Direct download: Adv._II_Dec._24.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O holy teacher of the faith

and pastor of Christ’s flock

who instructed with wisdom

and led by kindness and humility

those in your care

and all those around you –

teach us today

not only to know our faith

but to practice it by holiness of life

as you have done,

so simply,

so thoroughly as a child of the Lord.

Pray for us

and pray for our priests,

for whom you are a model of perfection.

All yourself you have given

in imitation of Jesus;

may the Lord God

be in our hearts and on our lips

just so truly

as He has been

with you,

good teacher.

Direct download: Dec._23_John_of_Kanty.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Mal.3:1-4,23-24;   Ps.25:4-5,8-10,14,Lk.21:28;   Lk.1:57-66)

 

“His name is John.”

 

Yes, “the hand of the Lord [was] upon him,” whose name signifies the grace of God, who comes at the end of the age to turn men’s hearts back to God, who prepares the way we must walk to find the instruction and purgation of the Lord.

We must be purified by “the refiner’s fire.”  We must be purged of all dross “like gold or like silver that [we] may offer due sacrifice to the Lord,” that we might be called children of the One God.  The Day is coming; the Lord is returning to the temple, and we must be prepared to welcome Him – and so John is born, sent in the spirit of Elijah the prophet to cry out the way in the wilderness of this world.  By the Spirit of the Lord, he “shows sinners the way; he guides the humble to justice,” leading them to the Son who stands ready in Truth to teach and to save.  Well do the people do to wonder at the birth of this holy child, for well will they do to follow his exhortation, and come to praise of the living God.

This John leads us to something new, as even the originality of his name among his relatives signifies; he assists us in making the turn, the conversion to the New Covenant in the blood of Christ.  From the Old and as a prophet of old, he leads us to the dawn of new light in this world.  Jesus he comes to proclaim.  Without this grace of God to be washed in the river of our sins, how could we stand on “the great and terrible day” of the Lord’s coming?  How could we bear His light, His fire?

“All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy toward those who keep His covenant and His decrees.”  Praise God we have the instruction of the Lord with us now to guide us to life everlasting; and thank God we have been made ready by “the messenger of the covenant” to stand in the light of that wisdom.  The Lord teaches us now, brothers and sisters; the Lord is with us to instruct us in His way and, “like the fuller’s lye,” to make us white.  Let us not make the grace of forgiveness John has wrought by the hand of God among us come to naught – let us listen closely now to the Word of God to which his voice has led us.

 

P.S.  Re the Bible, the Word of God – a quote by St. Hippolytus from today’s Office: “Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way He intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.”

 

*******

 O LORD, you brought John to birth

to prepare the way of your only Son –

let us walk that path to you. 

YHWH, your hand was upon John for our good, to prepare the way for your Son, that we might be prepared to receive the glory of His presence among us.  This day may our hearts be ready for His coming.

Sinners you show the way, O LORD; you mark out the path we all should tread if we wish to be cleansed of all evil and turn our hearts to you.  You are our Father, and all we should desire is to love you – O LORD, lead us in the way to you.

Your Son is the way, dear LORD.  It is by Him on His terrible Day that we are purged of all dross in the fire of the Holy Spirit and so made pure to stand before you.  O holy God, let us be refined like silver or gold that we might shine so brightly in your presence.  By your grace only is this accomplished; let all be made new by your hands.

Direct download: Adv._II_Dec._23.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(1Sm.1:24-28;   1Sm.2:1,4-8;   Lk.1:46-56)

 

“His mercy is from age to age

on those who fear Him.”

 

The Magnificat of Mary mirrors but, if I may say, far surpasses the Canticle of Hannah in beauty, in wonder, in grace… even as the perfection of the Son she bears far exceeds the blessing of the prophet Samuel.  As Jesus brings to fulfillment the greatness of all who came before Him, so Mary’s song expresses that perfection in the light of the same divine mercy.

Mercy indeed is infused in each line she utters under the power of the Spirit.  Mercy and truth, a love completely open to the blessings of God is hers and is revealed in the words which fall like cleansing rain from her immaculate lips.  She is blessed, she knows, and she shall be called blessed; for the truth, the Word of God, cannot be hidden, must be raised to meet the eyes and ears of all who seek His grace.  For “the hungry He [gives] every good thing,” and the lowly He raises “to high places.”  She is “His servant in her lowliness” and the joy of such blessing she cannot help but proclaim with all her being.

Hannah brings the child she has conceived in answer to her prayer, through the intercession of Eli – by the grace of God – and dedicates him to the Lord, leaving him at the temple.  She, too, “exults in the Lord” for the fact that, in the Lord’s will, “the barren wife bears seven sons”; for she who was thought sterile has borne the great man of God, Samuel.  Mary, in her grateful appreciation for the blessing upon her, will not need to leave her child at the temple, for He has been conceived entirely of the Holy Spirit and is Himself the Temple of the Lord, wholly dedicated to the will of the Father from before the inception of time.

As the ancient Israelites found the direction and guidance of God through the ministry of Samuel, as by him they were led to serve the Lord their God, so now in this the end of the age we have Jesus, the perfect light of guidance through the grace and mercy of God, to lead us to the total service of the Lord that Mary embodies so well.  God is “mighty,” brothers and sisters; “holy is His name.”  Let us rejoice in Him who “has upheld Israel His servant, ever mindful of His mercy,” and let us make that same blessed mercy the leaven that lifts us unto heaven.  To Him let us sing our song of praise.

 

*******

O LORD, Mary you have blessed

with your very presence,

and so she has become the Temple in which you dwell –

may we all become as your Temple.

YHWH, to the humble you show your mercy; you raise them up to dwell with you.  Our Mother Mary is the humblest of our race, and so she is at your side forever in Heaven.  O may we be blessed as she!

Hannah, too, you blessed, O LORD, she who had borne no children.  Samuel, the man of God, you gave to her, for she had promised to give him to you.  But the Son of Mary who could give to you, for He is with you always?  Let us be with Him this very day, that we might remain in your Temple.

O LORD, the proud and the mighty you tear down that they might know they are of the earth.  But the meek and humble you raise to high places, even to your presence.  Let us leave behind all the riches of this world; help us to escape the trap they are to us, the death they spell to our souls, that with the lowly we might dwell, in your eternal kingdom.  O let your servants live! 

Direct download: Adv._II_Dec._22.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O great defender of the faith,

of the clear waters,

the wellspring of salvation

that flows from the Sacred Heart

of our Savior

into His holy Church,

thus to nourish the world

and fill it with truth

and wisdom

and love…

you whom the Lord inspired

with apostolic zeal

to teach and lead souls

along His holy way –

teach us today

by your gracious intercession

to be faithful,

to be obedient to the voice of Jesus

and the Spirit speaking in the Mother

the Lord God provides His pilgrim people.

Let us not be separated from His Word

and His precious Body and Blood,

but come together as one in His presence.

Direct download: Dec._21_Peter_Canisius.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(2Sm.7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16;   Ps.89:2-5,27,29;   Rom.16:25-27;   Lk.1:26-28) 

“The Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father.” 

“I have made a covenant with David my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.”  Here is the promise made to King David.  Upon his seeking to build a house for the Lord, “the Lord… reveals to [David] that He will establish a house for [him].”  Through the prophet Nathan, the Lord declares to His humble servant: “When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.”  This would seem like all the world to refer to the great King Solomon, but it does not.  For, like the earth itself, Solomon and all his gold – and even “the rest from all [his] enemies,” the peace the Lord establishes under his reign – will pass away; they cannot “endure forever” and neither can such a kingdom.  The prophet speaks of a kingdom established in heaven (where all by nature endures forever), not one of the earth.

And so it is not Solomon of whom the prophet and the psalmist speak, but Jesus, He whose coming is hailed today by the angel’s words to the Blessed Virgin: “He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  For Abraham has died and Jacob has died and David has died and Solomon has died… and their graves are with us to this day.  But Jesus, Jesus lives; Jesus lives forever at the right hand of His Father.

It is indeed Jesus who most truly says to the Lord God, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock.”  It is He who is His only Son: it is He who is God Himself, one in being with the Father.  This is “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings”; this is “the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith”: Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the only Son – and we must worship Him.

Come now, brothers and sisters, to this Child Mary bears by the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Him your peace shall be established in the Father’s kingdom.  Come to His holy throne, enter into His eternal reign… and with His humble king, and with His humble Mother, you shall be blessed forever.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Removing the Log from my Eye" (first part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let the Mother of our Lord come to us, too,

that new life may stir in us as well.

YHWH, blessed is the womb of Bethlehem, of Israel, of Mary the Mother of your Son.  For in her you have prepared a body, the body of Jesus, the Word made flesh, that shall be as offering for our sins.  In Him we are saved, for in Him your majesty reigns, and so your glory is now in our midst.

O let us leap like John the Baptist at the approach of your Son and His Mother!  Bring to life what has remained dormant for such a long time.  Arouse within us the joy of new life that we might be stirred to proclaim your glory.  He has come who shall shepherd us, LORD; let us be filled with the Holy Spirit.