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.

(1Kgs.2:1-4,10-12;   1Chr.29:10-12;   Mk.6:7-13) 

“Yours, O Lord, is the sovereignty;

you are exalted as head over all.”

Solomon begins his reign, and the apostles begin their mission.  But how different is their manner of rule.  Solomon sits in sovereignty upon a throne, while the apostles are sent in poverty to all towns.  Solomon’s reign is of the physical universe, with the riches of the world at his disposal; whereas the twelve apostles rule in the kingdom of heaven, shown by the Lord’s “giving them authority over unclean spirits.”  They go forth with “no food, no traveling bag, not a coin in the purses in their belts,” “preaching the need of repentance,” the dust upon their feet.  Solomon remains within the walls of his palace, well-guarded and with all “riches and honor,” seemingly of “grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.”

Now let us not think that the riches themselves are evil, for these are a gift from God (rewarding Solomon for his initial desire for wisdom above all else); but it must never be forgotten that, as David declares to God at the time of his son’s anointing: “Riches and honor are from you.”  His always are the majesty and the glory.  If Solomon would remember this, if he would heed the Lord’s words to David’s sons to “remain faithful to [Him] with their whole heart and with their whole soul,” observing always His commands – his kingship would be blessed.  But Solomon, too, shall sin, and worse than his father: he shall turn to worship of other gods.  And the sons that follow shall only continue the decline, necessitating the reign of Christ to enter in.

So, humbly do the disciples of the Lord go forth, though with the greatest of power.  They call for the repentance of all proud souls, possessed of the throne of this unholy world.  The Twelve “expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures,” thus bringing the kingdom of God to this world; and we are called to follow them, in the same poverty.  None of this can we do if our hearts are set upon the riches of this world.  Empty must we be of the desire for the food of earthly security – into the Lord’s hands we must utterly place our lives.  Only then will we be rich in Him “from eternity to eternity.” 

Splendor awaits us all, brothers and sisters, in the cross we carry upon this dusty earth.

*******

O LORD, if we follow in the way of your Son,

we shall share in His power.

YHWH, yours are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.  You are exalted over all and have dominion over all.  Yet your sons go out with nothing, nothing but the Cross.  In this alone do they find your authority and power; in Christ alone are all men saved.

It is not upon the throne of this world your Son sits, with gold rings and a royal crown.  No, His crown is of thorns and He is stripped of even His clothes.  And just so naked must His disciples be, bereft of all attachments to this place, trusting entirely in your grace.  O LORD, let us go forth strengthened by faith!

How shall we find our blessing, dear God, the blessing of your presence in our hearts and in our souls?  How shall we become your very temples in this world?  Write your NAME upon our souls, that no evil spirit will have power over us, that we might do your will in all things and so find your eternal blessing.

Direct download: BC-020212-Th_4_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O teacher and father

of the children in your care,

in whose hands

they were not abandoned

but held in patience

by Christ’s love –

teach us, too,

to have that same patience,

to have that same love

for those the Lord places

in our care,

that anger shall be banished

from our hearts and our minds,

that the wisdom of Christ’s sacrifice

you taught and lived

we too might embody,

and so serve

in raising the kingdom of Heaven

among the children of this earth.

And pray that we, too,

may know the Lord’s gentle word and touch

upon our own souls

 and so grow into His likeness.

Direct download: Jan._31_John_Bosco.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(2Sm.24:2,9-17;   Ps.32:1-2,5-7,   Mk.6:1-6)

“I acknowledged my sin to you;

my guilt I covered not.”

The Lord can heal only those who believe in Him, who turn to Him in their guilt to be saved.

David has sinned against the Lord once again.  His kingdom had been blessed by the Lord and was flourishing in His sight.  Rather than accept the blessings the Lord poured upon him and so find their increase, the king sought control over that which should have been left in the hands of God by numbering the people who had been the Lord’s gift to him.  And so now their number shall be decreased in his sight.

But David regrets his sin, acknowledging it before the Lord and begging His pardon: “I have sinned grievously in what I have done.  But now, Lord, forgive the guilt of your servant, for I have been very foolish,” and he throws himself on the mercy of God.  The Lord does destroy some seventy thousand in the kingdom, but relents at David’s intercession for the sheep under his rule who have done no wrong – the king entreats, “Punish me and my kindred,” and then offers an appeasing sacrifice to God.

David’s sin is severe and has serious consequences, but the Lord is faithful in forgiving him when he calls out to Him.  However, when “Jesus went to His own part of the country,” as shown in our gospel, their hearts were closed against Him and He could share no grace.  Were they any less sinners than David?  Had they any less need of His forgiveness, of His healing?  Their hardness of heart itself proves otherwise, but, sadly, “they found Him too much for them”; and “their lack of faith,” which distressed the Lord, prevented them from knowing the mercy found by their ancestor David.  Ironically, it is their own closeness to Him and His human family that keeps them from recognizing the greatness of the grace which works through Him.  Would they disown David, him whose sons they claim to be, if he had come to them in such a way?  And yet Jesus they reject. 

Brothers and sisters, our sights must be set on heaven and the mercy that falls from there through the Lord.  We have all sinned as David in our foolishness.  We must acknowledge it as he has, with faith that the Lord can heal us, that He walks amongst us as a brother to cure all our ills and teach us the way to love.  If we listen without acceptance of Him in faith, “no miracle” will be worked in our lives – and it is a miracle we most need, for we simple servants must lay down our lives.

*******

O LORD, let us not question the wonders

you work in our midst;

let us rejoice at the presence of your saving Son.

YHWH, forgive the guilt of our sin, that we have turned our backs on you and not believed in your providence, and not accepted your Son.  How could we be so blind to your hand at work among us, and why should you be so kind as to stay the angel of death?  We deserve to die for our sins against you, yet to our poor souls you offer forgiveness.

The teaching of Jesus is clear, His wisdom is of your perfect light, yet we question His miraculous presence in our midst.  Holding to the earth we can see, we fail to recognize the glory we cannot see, the joy you bring us in being in the number of your holy ones.  Staring too closely at what is at our hands, your transcendent Hand we miss, O LORD, even when He stands before us.

The burden of our guilt take from us, LORD, that we might be free of the punishment we deserve, that by your angels we might be blessed.

Direct download: BC-020112-W_4_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(2Sm.18:9-10,14,24-25,30-19:3;   Ps.86:1-6;   Mk.5:21-43)

“Hearken, O Lord, to my prayer,

and attend to the sound of my pleading.”

Today in our readings we hear of desperate pleas made to the Lord.  In our gospel there are at least two “earnest appeal[s]”: Jairus “fell at [the] feet” of Jesus and begged Him to heal his dying daughter; and without words the woman “who had been afflicted with a hemorrhage for a dozen years” makes her appeal by working her way through the crowd simply to “touch His clothing” and be well.  The woman is healed “immediately” and hears from the Lord, “It is your faith that has cured you.”  Her He sends in peace, but peace and the same faith He does not find as He approaches Jairus’ house after having been told his daughter is dead.  There is “the noise of people wailing and crying loudly on all sides.”  Theirs seems to be a kind of pleading, but the Lord’s answer to such prayer they reject and mock, and so must be put out of the house – only those of faith can know of healing.

And so Jesus takes only Peter, James, John, and the girl’s parents into the room where the child lies, for they are able to heed His teaching: “Fear is useless.  What is needed is trust.”  And so when He reaches out His hand to the little girl and speaks to her, “Talitha koum,” she indeed rises and walks about.  The prayer of a true heart is always answered in the power of God.

What can we say of David’s “weeping and mourning for Absalom” in our first reading?  Again a father cries out for his child.  But here it is not an innocent “child of twelve” for whom the prayer rises up, but for a son who has rebelled against his father “with evil intent,” seeking indeed to overthrow David’s kingdom and put him to death.  David’s cry, “My son, my son Absalom!  If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!” stands in opposition to what is expected of him as he is informed of the “good news” that his enemies have been defeated and their leader killed.  But here again the king knows it has been his own sin which has led to such disruption in his house.  And so it is as much for himself he cries as for the child of his loins.  And though Absalom shall not be raised from the dead, perhaps the Lord hears the sorrow of David’s heart and will later comfort him. 

“To you I call all the day,” O Lord.  “I am afflicted and poor,” but “you, O Lord, are good and forgiving.”  Heal me as I cry out to you.  Look upon my weeping and mourning with your kindness; raise me from the dead by your word and feed me with your Body and Blood.

*******

O LORD, why do we wail at the prospect of death –

why do we not trust in you?

YHWH, you hear our cry, you answer our pleading and send your Son to die in our place.  We have rebelled against you, we have deserved death, but Jesus dies in our stead that we might be saved from the grave.  And so our amazement is complete at the love you bear for us.

Have pity on us, LORD, we are afflicted; we have been tormented many years.  Give us the faith to come to Jesus on our knees to find His salvation, to be healed of all our ills.  He cannot but hear us as we call to Him – His heart cannot but turn to us in our need.  For He carries your compassion and cannot but witness to your undying love for your poor creatures.

Speak to us, dear LORD.  Whisper in our ears with your sweet voice, inviting us to rise and walk with you.  Let us answer to your call that we might come from death to life in you.  Let us weep no more.

Direct download: BC-013112-Tu_4_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(2Sm.15:13-14,30,16:5-13;   Ps.3:2-7;   Mk.5:1-20) 

“Many are saying of me,

‘There is no salvation for him in God.’”

Today David’s sins rise to his neck, and he is persecuted for them.  But in accepting the persecution as chastisement from the hand of God, David regains his kingly stature, becoming once again humble and obedient to the Lord.

David’s son Absalom has successfully led a rebellion against him among the Israelite nation under David’s command.  The king is forced to flee, and as he leaves, his son will lie with the wives and concubines he has left behind upon the same roof where David first spied the bathing Bathsheba.  How his sins come to visit him!

But it is in mourning David flees Jerusalem and climbs the Mount of Olives – the hill upon which Christ’s own passion shall begin in the garden where He is taken by the sword.  David “wept without ceasing.  His head was covered and he was walking barefoot.”  Repentant is the king in remembrance of his sins and the punishment now come upon him.  And his sincerity he exhibits profoundly again, for as Shimei curses and stones him, though he is surrounded by soldiers he does not exact retribution or seek to stop him.  Despite the fact this kin of Saul has no right to act toward the king in this way, yet David is struck to the heart by the truth of his words: “Now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer,” and leaves all in the hands of God, responding to his soldier, “Suppose the Lord has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?’”  Open is David about the fact that even his own son is seeking his life, and so what standing can he expect to have with his enemies.  As he endures his trial, he hopes only it shall be purgatorial: “Perhaps the Lord will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day.”  And so he does not “fear the myriads of people arrayed against him on every side,” for he rediscovers his faith in God.

And as the Lord casts out the legion of demons from the possessed man of Gerasene, so He shall purge David of his sin.  To whatever extreme our afflictions have grown, the Lord is present to save.  For if this man who could not be secured with chains, who “uninterruptedly night and day amid the tombs… screamed and gashed himself with stones,” could be found by a word from the Lord “sitting fully clothed and perfectly sane,” what have we to fear of all the devils who accuse us of our sins?  Jesus is mightier than them and there is no telling “how much the Lord in His mercy” can do when we fall on our faces before Him in homage.  True repentance brings salvation to all sinful souls.

*******

O LORD, let us come from dwelling among the tombs

to sit at your feet in peace.

YHWH, though our adversaries be arrayed against us on every side, you are there to rescue our souls.  Though the devils press upon us and accuse us of our sins, you grant forgiveness… and bring us to our right minds.  O let us proclaim what you have done for us!  Though we have merited death, new life is ours in you.

How great is the attack of our foes in this dark world, dearest LORD.  Do not sin and death rule in this forsaken place?  Does Satan not have great power to harm your servants?  Yet so much greater is your power, for you look with pity upon our afflictions and cross the sea to come to save us.  It is our sins that cause us to weep and mourn – but our sins you take from us and so free us from the chains of the evil one.

The stones that shower down on our heads we accept as chastisement from your hand, knowing they shall bring cleansing of our guilt and that of others.  O LORD, we beg you to stay with us.

Direct download: BC-013012-M_4_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O wise doctor of the Church

who ate the bread of angels

in your long hours

of prayer and study and writing

and shared with us

the knowledge you gained

of the sublime truth of God,

shedding the light of reason

upon the faith we hold so dear –

teach us this day

to know God

that we might better love and serve Him,

that we might not be blind

to His presence in our midst,

to the holiness to which He calls us.

Pray we shall enter into

His Cross, His love, His obedience;

pray we, too, might have knowledge,

true knowledge of His grace

and the everlasting life

which is ours in Him…

and pray the Lord send us holy teachers

to fill your shoes.

Direct download: Jan._28_Thomas_Aquinas.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Dt.18:15-20;   Ps.95:1-2,6-9;   1Cor.7:32-35;   Mk.1:21-28) 

“A prophet like me will the Lord, your God,

raise up for you from among your own kin.”

Thus does Moses speak to the people as he prepares to leave them, and they prepare to enter the Promised Land.  He prophesies most immediately the anointing of Joshua, who will take his place as leader of the Israelite nation and guide them into the holy land, as well as all the prophets who shall follow… but most especially, of course, he hereby prophesies the coming of the only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will be raised up from among us, a man as we are, to be God in our midst.  No greater fulfillment of this promise could there be: no more real could God make His presence known to us.  Here on this earth He stands, and speaks.

Our reading from Deuteronomy makes clear the nature and role of the prophet; in this passage we see the inception of this gift, of this power God gives to man.  When the people begged Moses, “Let us not again hear the voice of the Lord, our God, nor see this great fire anymore,” for fear of death after having witnessed the Lord’s most powerful theophany at Mount Horeb, the Most High answered them and promised instead, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him.”  Here is the very definition of a prophet: one who speaks for God.  Out of a prophet’s mouth come the words of the Lord, not his own.

And what a Prophet is Jesus!  And, of course, so much more than a prophet – the only Son.  “For He taught them as one having authority”; His words of rebuke: “Quiet!  Come out of him!” cast out all unclean spirits…  His power is immeasurable as God’s power is immeasurable – all is in His hands and at the command of His voice.  For His words are not His own (though intimately His own); they are His Father’s.  He does only the Father’s will and so is the Father’s Son.  In them together the Spirit moves!  Upon all regions of the earth His Word goes forth.

“Oh, that today you would hear His voice,” brothers and sisters, and “bow down in worship before Him,” knowing who is here before you now and consecrating yourself entirely to Him.  Then you would but “sing joyfully” and be filled with “thanksgiving” as, free from sin, from all darkness – from all that is unclean – you come to full union with the promised One of all the ages and make your home in His heart, obedient to His blessed, protective commands, and so find yourself “free of anxieties” as you think only of “how [you] may please the Lord.”  Alleluia!  He has come.

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

Music: "Speaking for God" from The Whole Whale, eighth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let us listen to your Son, Jesus,

who speaks with your authority.

YHWH, let us listen to your voice, O God, and the voice of your only Son, for with authority He speaks in your Name, greater than all the prophets.  He Himself is God, one with you before time, and so should we not bow down and worship Him; should we not heed His Word?  If we desire salvation, we cannot but listen to Him.

Why should we doubt Him who commands even the unclean spirits, whose word is as your own, LORD, able to bring the world into existence, or bring it to an end.  If we but trust in Him and listen to His teaching, this same authority we will share; nothing will be able to distract us from serving you and becoming as your Son.

Cast out all the demons from us, LORD, that we might be free to hear your voice clearly and worship you with a pure heart.  As we kneel before you and praise you for your Son, may we indeed become the flock He guides and so enter into your presence.

Direct download: BC-012912-Su_4_OT_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O holy virgin

and spiritual mother

to the poorest of girls,

whom you protected and guided

in wisdom and love,

keeping them from the snares

of the world

and raising them in Christ;

you who fulfilled so well

the twofold call

to love God and save souls –

pray for those

who so easily go astray

this day

in a world of great corruption,

where souls are in danger

of being captured

by the wiles of Satan and sin;

and pray, too,

that there shall be many

who desire as you have,

with the living love of God,

to bring them into His fold.

Direct download: Jan._27_Angela_Merici.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(2Sm.12:1-7,10-17;   Ps.51:12-17;   Mk.4:35-41)

“I have sinned against the Lord.”

David is the man who “took the poor man’s ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor.”  To feed his lust he has feasted on another man’s wife.  And he sees the injustice of this; he recognizes his guilt when his sin is exposed.  But why has he done it?  “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this merits death!”  And so David, too, has need of the true King and His cross to redeem him.

What does the Lord say to David as he “lie[s] on the ground clothed in sackcloth,” praying for the dying child he has conceived by his sin?  We know what he says to God, for we have Psalm 51 to eternally express the misery of this sinner, and all sinners.  We know he cries out: “Free me from my blood guilt, O God, my saving God.”  But how does God respond?  Is He with him?  We know the Lord forgives David – Nathan tells him so – but yet “the sword shall never depart from [his] house,” and he shall have his sin later exposed in broad daylight by his own son, Absalom, who lies with David’s wives in the public eye.  Much woe remains with David long after his fall, and really throughout the history of Judah and Israel.  He is assured: “You shall not die,” but though his house remain and is fulfilled in the coming of Christ, what pain must be with the king in this time.

If he had called upon the Lord, as He rebukes the wind and the sea in our gospel: “Quiet!  Be still!” so would God have calmed his lust upon a word from his mouth.  But he “utterly spurned the Lord.”  How is it such a humble and obedient king could do such a thing?  How is it the disciples are so “lacking in faith” at the specter of the violence of the sea?  Why do they become so “terrified”?

Would not we all, brothers and sisters?  Have we not all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?  Do we not all become awed by Him whom “the wind and the sea obey”?  Yet we must come to Him.  Yet we must beg His pardon.  Yet we must seek the strength of His Spirit, of His Word within us.  Yet we must fall to our knees before our priest and cry out to our God – “A clean heart create for me, O Lord, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.”  Thus we all have need of cleansing this side of heaven; we have all brought forth children unto death.

*******

O LORD, let us be obedient

as the wind and the sea to your command,

or we shall be overwhelmed by the waves of this world.

YHWH, why should we be so terrified at the wind and the waves?  Why should we fear the prospect of death?  Do you not hold both the sea and death in your hands, and are you not faithful in saving us when we call to you?  Why are we then so lacking in faith?

O LORD, we are not as you.  We are weak and sinful men.  How can we be strong when we look out and see the depth of our sin?  How can it not overwhelm us?  You are all good and we have sinned against you.  You are only of love, and we are but selfish.  How can we stand before you in our misery?

Help us to remember how gracious you are, dear God.  Help us to maintain your Spirit within us.  You desire our salvation, you desire our good; help us to desire it ourselves, and to act upon that desire.

O LORD, let us not go astray.  Cleanse our hearts and our hands from all our guilt and let us stand strong with you.  Forgive us our sin and all the effects of our sin.

Direct download: BC-012812-Sa_3_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(2Sm.11:1-10,13-17;   Ps.51:3-7,10-11;   Mk.4:26-34)

“The seed sprouts and grows without his knowing how it happens.”

Jesus in our gospel tells us of the kingdom of God and of its gradual growth without our knowing.  Seed is scattered, the Word is sown in our souls, and as we “[go] to bed and [get] up day after day,” remaining in the presence of the Lord, good fruits little by little reveal themselves in our lives – till finally at the time of judgment we are gathered into the heavenly reign.  Though small and humble seed, once we are sown in the Lord’s grace, we “become the largest of shrubs, with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade.”  And so this man made of dust may find life eternal in Jesus.

In our first reading there is another kind of gradual growth evident: the sin of David.  It is the time of year “when kings go out on campaign” with their armies, but David remains at home – and so in this sin of sloth is sown that which will grow into adultery and murder.  For one evening as the king “[rises] from his siesta and stroll[s] about on the roof of the palace,” he sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing, and lets his look linger upon her.  Lust having taken hold of him, he takes her to his bed and has relations with her, despite her being another man’s wife.  In a vain attempt to cover his sin, he recalls the husband from battle that he might go in to his wife and believe the child David has conceived is his own.  But the man is more faithful to the troops in battle than David is to his position as king, and remains apart from his home.  Finally, David resorts to arranging for Uriah’s death in battle.

O how sin has grown in the great king!  From a small seed tremendous guilt is born.  And now, what can the prince of the people do but seek the mercy of the Lord.  In his famous psalm of repentance David begs God, “Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt.”  He calls out, “Thoroughly wash me from my guilt, and of my sin cleanse me.”  Recognizing his plight as a member of the fallen human race: “In guilt I was born, and in sin my mother conceived me,” the king shows genuine humility, and so finds the forgiveness of God – but now the sword shall be upon his house.  Though there shall be peace in the time of the son he will later conceive with the wife of Uriah, it shall not remain.  Only in Christ will God’s blessing truly return again.

Brothers and sisters, from small seeds indeed great trees come.  We must be ever diligent about the seed we sow, remaining always in the light of the Lord and nourished by the Spirit.  When “the time is ripe for harvest,” all we have done shall be exposed; until then, let us trust in His presence alone.

*******

O LORD, let us grow into your kingdom,

not into sin.

YHWH, let your kingdom grow among us and within us.  Let not our sin grow in its place, that we shall not come unto death but new life in you.

We are sinful men, O LORD.  All of us fall short of your glory; all of us have done evil in your sight.  But you are good and forgiving and there is no sin from which you cannot cleanse us.  David your servant has been guilty of adultery and murder.  He has acted out of sloth and lust and selfish pride, yet when he calls out to you, you look upon him with pity.  When he acknowledges his sin before you, you forgive.  What good is beyond your power to do?

And in the place of our sin you plant the seed of your kingdom, LORD.  Where once was but parched and fallow land, you bring fruitful growth.  Though this seem impossible in our sight, you accomplish it in your will.  Though we cannot see, though we do not know how, you work to raise us to your glory.  Turn your face from our sins and let us dwell with you.

Direct download: BC-012712-F_3_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 9:00am EST

(Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22;   Ps.117:1-2,Mk.16:15;   Mk.16:15-18)

 

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.”

 

One would not have expected these words to be spoken so profoundly to the heart of St. Paul.  For he, then known as Saul, had spent such time and with such vigor had persecuted the followers of Christ.  Why does the Lord shine His light all about him?  Why does He speak to him and reveal Himself to him?  Why is it this man who is picked to bring the Name of Jesus to all the nations?  Perhaps it was his very vigor in persecuting His followers Jesus admired.  Perhaps his sincerity and commitment to this cause in the name of God He knew He could use for the cause of justice and right.  Perhaps he is a sign to us all that none is beyond the redemption the Lord offers.  We know only that he who was persecuting the Church now works to build it up.  We know only the story of this great Apostle to the world.

“Recover your sight,” Ananias says to this Saul, and so Paul, once blinded by the light of the Lord, now has his eyes open to see.  So he who once went about with scales on his eyes, he whose vision was once so prevented from realizing the truth of the Jesus in his midst… he who was once so like his brother Pharisees, now sees.  And what he sees is not simply Ananias standing before him.  What he sees standing before him in this faithful disciple of Jesus, is Christ Himself.  And he realizes whom he has been persecuting, and repents.  And so he is baptized.  And so his mission, one wrought in the suffering of Christ, begins.

“Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify Him, all you peoples!” are the words of our psalmist, but they could as easily be the exhortation of the Apostle Paul.  Having himself believed in the Good News proclaimed to all creation and accepted Baptism into its way, he himself now brings so many others to walk along the same path.  Great signs accompany him, and his words to our ears are as those of Jesus to him, for now he is such a strong part of the Body of Christ, persecuted by this world and calling it to salvation.  On this day all our hearts should turn to the Lord, that we might join Paul and profess our faith in His Name.

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

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

*******

O LORD, help us to believe

and so turn to your Son to be saved.

YHWH, let all men turn to you as has your great Apostle.  Reveal yourself to the eyes and ears of all souls who seek God, all who are zealous for the truth.  Why should we continue so blind?  Let all be baptized into the way of your Son and so be blessed with His power and His love.

Let us not be afraid to lay down our lives for you, O LORD. Let us not turn away from what we must suffer for your Name and that of your Son.  In this we should find our joy; proclaiming the Gospel to all Creation should be the food that sustains us.  Let us be the sign of your presence in this world.

Lay your hands upon us, LORD, that we might be healed.  Send your disciples to us to teach us of your way and your truth.  Let us enter into that way with them and declare to all that Jesus is the Messiah and in Him all souls are saved and brought to light.

Direct download: Conversion_of_Paul_2011.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(2Sm.7:4-17;   Ps.89:4-5,27-30;   Mk.4:1-20)

“Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;

your throne shall stand firm forever.”

David seems intent on establishing the Lord’s presence forever by building a permanent house in which He might dwell, but how well our God answers the great king’s thoughts with the promise of making “his posterity endure forever.”  It is the Lord who establishes all, and so He states, “I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance,” to show that He thinks of us and loves us first.  Though He approves and blesses our desires to care for Him and make Him known, as He shows by revealing to David that his son “shall build a house to [His] name,” He cannot be outdone in His love for us.

Solomon will build the temple of the Lord, yes, and it will be a great house in which all shall worship God and through which all shall find blessing from God.  But the true Son of David upon whom the Lord’s favor rests eternally is Jesus Himself.  It is His kingdom which truly “stands firm” forever.  It is through Him the Lord will “destroy all [our] enemies” and grant us peace round about.  He is the seed of David come to full growth, the promise of the king come to fulfillment.  This is He whom the Israelites truly sought when first they asked for a king – this is God’s blessed answer to their request for one of their own to rule them.

It is clear that David is as the seed “sown on good soil” which “yield[s] thirty- and sixty- and a hundredfold.”  Satan shall not come to carry off what is sown through him, nor shall he “wither for lack of roots” or be choked off by the cares of this world.  For as the Lord says of him, “I have been with you wherever you went”; and so His nourishment, the Spirit of the Lord which rushed upon David from his first anointing, remains, too, upon this chosen king.  And though he shall sin, and though his sons shall turn away from worship of the true God, yet the Lord’s blessing remains.  And in the enduring of the Lord’s correction “with the rod of men and human chastisements,” Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of God, by His crucifixion and death opens the way for all children of David, all children blessed by God, to return to the Lord of all and remain with Him forever.  The kingdom of Jesus is now established; let us come to this Temple and be saved.

*******

O LORD, let us take to heart your Word

and align ourselves with your will

that we might reign forever with your Son. 

YHWH, a House you make for us in the Person of your Son.  His throne endures forever, and we with Him.

O LORD, make us fruitful in your NAME, in the flesh and blood of Jesus.  We are worth nothing without your grace, without your blessing upon our race – without your help all our words and deeds would fall to dust.  Maintain your kindness toward us, keep the teaching of your Son in our hearts, or we shall be cast from your presence.

How shall we hear the Word you wish to impart to poor souls?  How shall we learn the lesson of obedience and realize it is you who establish us, who give us a House in which to dwell?  You are our Father, our God, our Rock and Savior.  In your Son we are made your children and so endure forever in the light of your face.  Be with us now and remain with your faithful.  Let us be good soil and produce fruit for you.

Direct download: BC-012512-W_3_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(2Sm.6:12-15,17-19;   Ps.24:7-10;   Mk.3:31-35)

“Lift up, O gates, your lintels;

reach up, you ancient portals,

that the King of glory may come in!”

In our first reading David leads all the Israelites in, “bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.”  “Dancing before the Lord with abandon,” he brings the ark into Jerusalem and sets it within its tent or tabernacle.  All celebrate this day as they surround the ark on its journey and as David “offers holocausts and peace offerings before the Lord,” the ark having come to its place in the city of David.  The Lord is in their midst, and so all the people rejoice.

In our gospel the ever present crowd of people is assembled, seated “in a circle” around Jesus.  They surround the Lord as once the Israelites surrounded the ark – and how their hearts must celebrate at His presence in their midst.  And how indeed their hearts must leap up to hear what is said of them: “These are my mother and my brothers.”  For thus the Lord gathers them into His arms; thus He feeds them better than with the meat of any holocaust – thus they are protected forever by His holy presence.

“Who is this King of glory?  The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.”  He blesses and protects all His children; He makes all who worship Him His own.  And what need we do but celebrate; what need we do but shout for joy?  For He is present before us.  For He enters into us, into the New Jerusalem in which we dwell.  Here in His Church we have His Blessed Sacrament to feed us on our way to Him.  In this He is already with us, as He is in His teaching and in His priests and in all His brothers and sisters and mothers – “whoever does the will of God” becomes one with Him.

We love you, Lord our God, for your presence among us!  We praise you, dearest Jesus, for your presence within us!  O brothers and sisters, make room for His entry into your hearts and minds, bodies and souls, that you might enter in with Him to His heavenly kingdom.  He stands and knocks at the door even now.  Will you open and welcome Him into your home?

*******

O LORD, let us rejoice before the ark of the Covenant

come into our midst in Jesus our King and Brother.

YHWH, come into our homes, into our hearts, that we might be your House, one with your Son.  He is truly your Temple; let us open wide our gates that He might enter in and make His home with us.

Mother and brother and sister of Jesus let us be, O LORD, surrounding Him as His holy family.  Let us rejoice at His Word and so follow your will in all things.  May He look upon us with mercy and give us of Himself to eat.

What should we do but dance and sing and praise your holy NAME for your presence in our midst, for your entering our poor souls and remaining ever with us?  O let us offer ourselves to you in sacrifice! that indeed your will might be done in our lives.  Come and make your home in us, dearest LORD and God.

We feed upon your Word, O LORD, and on His body and blood.  May He serve as King over us that we might enter your reign.

Direct download: BC-012412-Tu_3_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(2Sm.5:1-7,10;   Ps.89:20-22,25-26;   Mk.3:22-30) 

“Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.”

How different are the scribes who come to Jesus from the Israelites who come to David to crown him king.  “The tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: ‘Here we are, your bone and your flesh.’”  So united would they be to him whom the Lord had said would “shepherd [His] people Israel,” so well do they remember his leadership in war, that they wholeheartedly invite him to rule over them.  They believe what God has said of His chosen king: “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him,” and they confirm his anointing among them.

But the scribes would drive Jesus from their midst.  And as the Jebusites vainly threatened David before he took the stronghold of Zion and began his reign in Jerusalem, so these blind leaders of the people vainly attack Jesus before His entering and taking hold of the New Jerusalem.  If David was anointed by God, how much more is the Father’s anointing upon His only Son?  If David’s deeds in war deserved respect and praise, how much more Him who came to teach and heal the nation?  And if these scribes should not only reject Jesus but designate the holy deeds He has worked among them as coming from the prince of demons, what hope have they but to join the prince of demons in eternal damnation?  For if they call the good evil, how shall they come to accept the goodness of God and enter His reign?  Shall they not rather fling themselves toward the fires of hell, as even they do here, taking the evil for good, led astray as they are by their pride and jealousy?

The Lord’s hand is always with His Chosen One, “that [His] arm might make Him strong.”  It is in that strength we take refuge; it is in the blessing upon Him we find life.  We must invite Him who is good to rule over us – His works must be our own.  If we do not recognize the truth of His words and the grace in His deeds, what hope will we have of finding the fountain that washes us clean of our sins and prepares us for the holiness of paradise?  What can these scribes do but “carr[y] the guilt of [their] sin without end,” for they utterly reject Him.

Brothers and sisters, we choose life or we choose death.  We choose to side with the good or turn to become one with the evil.  Wickedness has no place with the grace of God and His goodness allows no evil to enter in.  Jesus destroys evil: speak only the truth of this Word.  The Spirit knows nothing of lies.

*******

O LORD, may your Son rule over us all

and make us strong.

YHWH, Jesus shall shepherd your people Israel; the blind leaders cannot prevent Him from taking hold of the holy City.  For your anointing is upon Him, and it is your arm that makes Him strong.  O let us enter Jerusalem with Him, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh!

May the house of Satan be plundered by Him who is stronger than he; let his property be despoiled, all the accusations with which he would attack your holy ones.  O let the Holy Spirit be upon us! the truth that cannot be denied.  Your goodness be upon our souls, O LORD, to lead us to all light.

David was your servant, LORD, the figure of Christ, your Son.  From his youth you blessed him with your grace and power, with the anointing of your Spirit.  Now that Jesus has come to fulfill this blessing among us, let us welcome Him into our homes, that we might be welcomed into your House, your forgiveness in our hearts.  Let none turn away from your truth.

Direct download: BC-012312-M_3_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00am EST

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: 3:05pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.24:3-21;   Ps.57:2-4,6,11;   Mk.3:13-19)

“Sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession.”

Today we see David at perhaps his most humble and obedient in the sight of God – we see why he is the great king of Israel.

David is being hunted down by Saul once again in his jealousy.  His psalm, our psalm today, is his cry for protection from the Lord in whom he trusts: “I call to God Most High, to God, my benefactor.  May He send from heaven and save me.”  To the cave in which he hides, God sends his pursuer, vulnerable and at arm’s length.  But this man who will be king of the Israelites by God’s ordination refrains from taking the sword into his hand to kill the man who would kill him.  Why?  Because Saul is yet the king, “the Lord’s anointed,” whom David even calls “a father to me” despite the threat he is to his life.  Such an act of respect, such an understanding of the obedience due God and His will is unparalleled in Scripture.  This is David.  This is the king.

And how tragic a figure is Saul.  Upon having his eyes turned inward to his very soul and the injustice he wreaks upon David, he weeps aloud in recognition of his sin: “You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm.”  It is he who speaks the words of our quote today, he who recognizes the truly kingly nature of David…  Yet for all his penance and insight it shall not be long before his jealousy leads him to pursue David unrighteously once again.  He cannot escape his envy for David’s blessing.

And in our gospel we read of the blessed apostles of Christ, those “men He Himself had decided on,” whom He summoned and “who came and joined Him.”  These “He would send to preach the Good News”; these would “have authority to expel demons.”  They are named by name for us today: here is the foundation of the Church in which God dwells.  Here are His blessed kings of the New Jerusalem.  Let us not be jealous of them.  Let no man attempt to breach the authority given them; for pursue them as one would, none shall take their blessing away – it is they who are ordained by God for His service.  Humbly let us join them in their sovereignty over Israel.  Obediently let us come into the Lord’s kingdom.

*******

O LORD, though your justice is beyond our reach,

in your mercy make us your disciples. 

YHWH, those whom you appoint must be respected.  It is you who anoint the king and ordain apostles.  Jesus is your only Son and He has chosen the Twelve to follow Him.  Who are we to go against His will and pursue them and those who continue in their stead? 

O LORD, you have made Peter the rock of your Church and given all your apostles power to preach the Gospel and expel all demons.  At their hands your presence becomes real, of your Son’s flesh and blood we partake, and we are forgiven our sins.  If David your chosen could not kill an unjust king because of your blessing upon him, how much less can we usurp the power of the bishops and priests who stand this day in the very place of Jesus?  O let us learn the respect and obedience to your will that King David has clearly shown! 

You protect your righteous ones, dearest LORD and God.  And so we need have no fear as long as we take refuge in your justice. 

Direct download: BC-012012-F_2_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.18:6-9,19:1-7;   Ps.56:2-3,5,9-14;   Mk.3:7-12)

“Saul has slain his thousands,

and David his ten thousands.”

And Jesus His millions.  He slays an untold number of “unclean spirits [who] would catch sight of Him, fling themselves down at His feet, and shout, ‘You are the Son of God.’”  “A great crowd followed Him from Galilee, and an equally great multitude” from all the surrounding regions.  So great were their numbers He needed a boat to escape the press upon Him.  For He “cured many,” and many more desired to be touched by Him.

The women sing of David’s greatness upon his return from slaying the Philistine.  Their rightful attribution of praise for David, through whom “the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel” and so for its king (who had himself sought someone to stand against the giant Goliath), does nothing but provoke resentment and jealousy from King Saul.  His anger even leads to his plotting to kill the man who has saved his kingdom; and though he sets aside his plan “of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause” for the moment, the plot never leaves his heart and shall repeatedly surface with greater intensity.  Thus Saul proves his inability to serve as king of the Lord’s people.  Thus his pride shall be his demise.

And rightfully does Saul claim of David that “all that remains for him is the kingship,” for in fact he has already been anointed king in place of Saul by Samuel the prophet.  And though as with the kingship of Jesus, who silences the demons from revealing “who He was,” David’s crown shall remain hidden for a time, inevitably –  again, as with the Lord’s reign – those who “press their attack against” the Lord’s anointed shall be turned back and the true king shall “walk before God in the light of the living.”  It is inevitable for it is God’s will, and neither the jealousy of Saul nor the plotting of the Pharisees – the jealous kings who would be overthrown by Jesus – can turn aside what God has ordained.

The Lord is with David.  Though his “adversaries trample upon [him] all the day,” he sings in praise of God in his psalm: “You have rescued me from death.”  And so we see how our psalms sing of Jesus Himself and why He is called Son of David.  For the greatest victory the Lord God shall achieve will be the resurrection of His Son from the dead, and the redemption of the many souls who shall follow Him.

*******

O LORD, we press upon you with our afflictions, 

and by your Son’s intercession we are saved. 

YHWH, how many evil spirits have you slain?  How many enemies have you turned back for those who trust in your NAME?  Though many fight against us, we are saved when we call out to you – forever we shall be safe from the malice of the wicked. 

Your Son has come to our shores and cured us of our afflictions.  By His grace He has freed us from all sin and evil.  His power is greater than that of the devil though the devil sit on the throne of a king.  For the spirit is greater than the flesh, and trusting in your Spirit, O LORD, we are released from the weakness of the flesh upon which the devil preys and made victorious in your NAME. 

Thousands may we too slay if we keep our vows to you and in you find our strength.  Then on the Day of your Son’s return, the angels shall sing of the glory which is ours in you and in Him, O LORD, as we enter your reign. 

Direct download: BC-011912-Th_2_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(1Sm.17:32-33,37,40-51;   Ps.144:1-2,9-10;   Mk.3:1-6)

“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,

but I come against you in the name of the Lord.”

“The battle is the Lord’s” is the simple truth David proclaims to all those who stand in arms.  To “all this multitude,” he declares “that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves.”  Thus with David’s defeat of the Philistine giant is emphasized what has already been revealed in the anointing of this ruddy youth as king and the loss of that kingship by the tall-in-stature Saul: the exalted are humbled and the humbled exalted.  For God blesses those who make Him their “rock,” trusting not in their own wealth or strength.  “My refuge and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, in whom I trust, who subdues peoples under me,” David chants in praise of the Lord in his holy psalm.  And so should we all take refuge in the Lord, and find strength in praising His Name.

And in “hoping to be able to bring an accusation against Him,” do not the Pharisees come, too, with sword and spear against God’s holy one today in our gospel?  And do they not make this violence clear in their turning “to plot with the Herodians on how they might destroy Him”?  They are defeated in battle by the Word of truth which issues forth and indeed is embodied by the Christ of God, Jesus, Son of David, Son of God.  They cannot contradict the authority of His teaching or the blessing of the healing He brings from the Father on high, but yet they harden their hearts and close “their minds against Him,” seeking to confirm their trust in the warring hand of this world in the capture and crucifixion of their Savior.  But the battle is the Lord’s, and their attempts to destroy Him shall prove the fruitlessness of such trust in violence – indeed, their killing Him with sword and spear shall be the instrument which leads to His resurrection, bringing the dawn of new life in whose light death itself, and the pride of man, shall be destroyed forever.

Let all know it is the Lord who fights for those whom He loves, those who trust in Him and His ways, who seek to do good and not evil, to “preserve life” and not “destroy it.”  The question Jesus poses to the Pharisees He presents to us: do we cherish the saving power of the Lord of life and take refuge and joy in Him, or do we reach for the weapons at our side to destroy Him?  The posturing of this world is vain, for it is God who holds life and death in His Hand.

*******

O LORD, you save us from the clutches of evil men. 

YHWH, the battle is yours.  You strengthen our hands against the enemy and give victory to your chosen ones.  Despite the plots of those who surround us with evil intent, despite the might of the armies arrayed against us, you give confidence to those who trust in you, for with you the faithful soul triumphs over the powers of this world.

You deliver us in the day of battle, dear God; you are our refuge, our stronghold, and by your hand we destroy those who come at us with closed minds and hardened hearts, railing against your holy One.  They cannot stand before your awesome power – their swords and spears are broken by the Word that issues from your mouth. 

The head of the snake shall be cut off, crushed by the feet of your lowly ones, and we shall sing your praise, O LORD.  Forever we shall be preserved from the violence of the enemy. 

Direct download: BC-011812-W_2_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.16:1-13;   Ps.89:20-22,27-28;   Mk.2:23-28) 

“Man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”

Indeed, how different the vision of God from the vision of man, and how well the Lord illustrates this in His rejection of Saul and His choosing of David.  When Samuel sees Eliab, whose appearance and “lofty stature” are reminiscent of Saul, even this great seer is blinded by his eyes and must be directed by God to look beyond what is apparent to his sight.  All seven sons brought to the feast are rejected by the Lord, and the youngest, “who is tending the sheep,” must be sent for.  Jesse, his father, did not think David worthy of coming to the sacrificial banquet, but it is he who is the centerpiece of the celebration.  This ruddy youth is the one chosen by the eyes of God.

And lest we think that there is some kind of diametrical opposition between physical beauty and interior loveliness, we must note that David is not ugly to behold and the Lord does not choose him for a poor appearance.  He too was “handsome… and making a splendid appearance.”  But the beauty of David finds its source not in the skin but in a heart set on God, and it is this faithfulness and dedication to Him upon which the Lord gazes and, so, chooses, and not upon the curls falling around his face.  David’s appearance is beautiful because his soul is beautiful, and his soul is beautiful because it finds its life in God.  And so, from the day of his anointing by Samuel, God’s prophet, “the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David” and there remained, for it had found its proper home.

In our gospel we have a quote like unto the one separated out for this day, and expressive of a similar lesson: “The Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath,” Jesus tells the Pharisees critical of His disciples picking, peeling, and eating heads of grain on the Lord’s Day.  For what do the Pharisees do but judge the law by its appearance alone, and fail to look into its heart.  The law is indeed beautiful to behold and was made for man for his benefit, to draw him close to God; but how far from its purpose these leaders of the people have come, and so, how distant from the Lord they stand – unable to recognize Him as He stands before them.  The sabbath itself was made for man’s rest and refreshment from labor, and yet when the disciples of Christ pick and eat to allay their hunger, to find refreshment for their failing bodies, these Pharisees deem it evil.  Again one wonders how they can be so blind.  Again it is apparent that they are unable to see beyond the surface.  Empty indeed are their hearts.

As He has done for David, the Lord makes us strong, makes us fruitful and beautiful.  He blesses our works as the works of this “highest of the kings of the earth,” if those works are founded in Christ.  If we truly say with David, “You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior,” the Lord will hear us, and finding His presence in our hearts, He will bless us, even as His only Son.

*******

O LORD, your Spirit be with us as with David, 

as with Jesus. 

YHWH, give us eyes to see what you see, hearts to understand your will.  Your Spirit dwell within us that we might be as your Chosen One. 

O LORD, as we are presented before you, may we be acceptable in your sight.  Let our hearts not be hardened to your Word but anointed by your Son’s blood.  O that we might call you our Father and know Jesus as our Savior!  Give us your Wisdom that we might radiate your beauty to all who look upon us this day. 

David you blessed, dear God, as king of kings, as the child upon whom your favor rested.  Is He not the figure of your only Son?  In Him do we not see presaged the Christ who would be Lord even of the Sabbath?  

And are we not called to be joined to Him, to have His anointing upon us this day, His Spirit to guide us in all things?  Let us be fed by your Anointed, O LORD, that His crown might be upon our heads, that our eyes might be open to His glory. 

Direct download: BC-011712-Tu_2_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.15:16-23;   Ps.50:8-9,16-17,21,23;   Mk.2:18-22)

“Does the Lord so delight in holocausts and sacrifices

as in obedience to the command of the Lord?

The answer to the question Samuel puts to Saul is, in a word, “No.”  “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams.”  Nothing does the Lord deem greater than our hearing and heeding His Word, than our obedience to His will.  And nothing will save us, nothing will preserve our place in His kingdom like our doing what He asks of us.

Saul loses his kingship for his disobedience to the command of the Lord.  The Lord has told him to destroy the enemy he invades and all that belongs to them.  Saul retains some of the animals to bring back for sacrifice to God.  Why waste them?  Why not honor God with them?  Reasonable thoughts to the human mind, but not the will of God.  And in heeding these thoughts is revealed the seed of Saul’s rebellion against God, which will lead to his attempts to destroy the king (David) the Lord has chosen to replace him, and end in his own suicide.

How prone the human mind is to favor its own counsels against those of God.  How foolish seem submission and obedience, especially when they go against our own logic.  But David will show the humility God desires in those He would bless.  “To him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God,” He promises us.  David will be one who does not hate the discipline of the Lord or cast His words behind his back.  When all justification is present for his killing Saul, who hunts down God’s chosen like an animal, he forgoes every opportunity, respecting his pursuer as God’s anointed.  How different his attitude from Saul’s, he who “rejected the command of the Lord” by taking matters in his own soiled hands.

The blessing obedience is, the transcendent joy of joining oneself to the will of the Lord, is evident in our gospel as well, in Jesus’ teaching that “new wine is poured into new skins” and not old.  Fasting is a blessed sacrifice provided by the law and by God.  But as wholesome as this practice, or any other religious observance, can be, it does not supersede being present to the Lord.  If we are not present to Him, all our works become empty.  The disciples are so close to Jesus, so happy to be in His company, it is as if they have stepped into heaven – and so how can the law’s prescription for fasting touch them in a place where fasting is no longer necessary?  Indeed, they shall fast upon His death, and we know our great saints have performed great fasts and sacrifices in the Name of the Lord and for His glory… but first the grace of God must be with us all, or all becomes empty show.

It is the new wine of which we drink now, brothers and sisters; it is the Word become whole which is ours.  Let us now be obedient to the Lord’s command, and all we do will be joy for us and for our God.

******* 

O LORD, make of us new wineskins 

that we might bear your Word within ourselves.

YHWH, let us not question your Word or your will but walk in your way, for only by such obedience will we find salvation.  Let us not pull away from you or presume our thoughts above your own.  For in such foolishness we shall surely die – how can we remain if rejected by you? 

And surely shall our rejection come if we fail to listen to your command and do your bidding.  For your command is life to us, O LORD, and following in your way our means to glory; thus we will be without hope if we turn from your discipline.

Let us listen to Jesus, Him whom you have sent as Bridegroom among us.  In His presence our hearts rejoice, and apart from Him we can only fast.  But in feasting and in sacrifice He is our treasure; Him do we love.  And so, let us be obedient to His teaching, LORD, that your blessing we might ever find. 

Direct download: BC-011612-M_2_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00am EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(1Sm.9:1-4,17-19,10:1;   Ps.21:2-7;   Mk.2:13-17) 

“You are to govern the Lord’s people Israel,

and to save them from the grasp of their enemies round about.”

Tall and handsome, Saul gives every appearance of a king.  And so God gives the people what they want in this “handsome young man” who “stood head and shoulders above the people.”  But with Saul the Lord shall indeed prove that it is not upon appearances He gazes.  In the failure of Saul’s reign will be revealed the emptiness of such outward attraction and our proclivity to desire what is appealing to the eye.  For Saul shall not prove to be God’s anointed; His Christ shall be quite another.

It is not of Saul our psalm of David sings when it speaks of the blessings of the king.  The “majesty and splendor [the Lord] conferred upon him” is as passing as his beauty.  The “crown of pure gold” is to be placed upon the head of Jesus Christ alone; it is He the Father has made “a blessing forever.”  His glory will be reflected in David, the ruddy shepherd youth whose son he is called, but will be fulfilled only in the Person of Jesus.  It is He in whom all kings rejoice, in whom all find “the joy of [God’s] presence,” in whom all discover victory.

In our gospel, Jesus, the true king, comes, not with stately train, but “walking along the lakeshore.”  And crowds of people follow Him, people not of power and riches or reputation; rather, “many tax collectors and those known as sinners joined Him.”  This greatly disturbed the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees – it was not according to their vision of who He should be and what He should do.  “Why does He eat with such as these?” they complain to His disciples.  But He has a ready answer, one which cuts to the heart of us all and reveals the nature and purpose of this true king: “People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do.”  And so the Savior comes into our midst, neither tall nor handsome nor desiring praise, to save us from our sin.

We are all sick, brothers and sisters!  Make no doubt; have no question about it.  We need Him!  It is this king and the “goodly blessings” that flow from Him that must be our heart’s desire, for He alone will bring us into the joy of the kingdom; He alone will save us from the sin into which we have all fallen.  Let us follow Him as Levi, leaving behind our sinful station in life, and He will govern us well.

*******

O LORD, Jesus you have made King over us 

that we might be saved from sin

and rejoice in your presence forever.

YHWH, your Son, our King, has come to call us from our sin, to save men in need of healing.  And who among us is not in need of Him?  Pity the poor soul who thinks himself so. 

What are we in your sight, O LORD?  However tall we might be, we are no more than ants.  To you all men are sick and in need of a physician; you see how quickly our beauty fades. 

Oh if we could only see as you see!  If we could only recognize your greatness among us in the humble stature of Jesus, the holy One.  Make us ready to follow Him as Matthew from his post.  Somehow open our eyes to see His gaze passing before us. 

Save us from the grasp of our enemies round about.  Only you could govern us; only in you could we rejoice in victory.  O LORD, let us join your Son in majesty and splendor – for us He is a blessing forever.  In Him we find all we need.  In Him we are all anointed kings. 

Direct download: BC-011412-Sa_1_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.8:4-7,10-22;   Ps.89:2,16-19;   Mk.2:1-12) 

“We have never seen anything like this!”

What the Lord can do, no one else is able to do – no king, no prophet, no priest.  Though all may do in His name, nothing is done except through Him.  He alone forgives sins; He alone heals.  He alone fights our battles, for He alone rules over us.

In asking Samuel to appoint a king over them, the Israelites reject the rule of God in their lives.  If they but believed, the Lord would take care of all their concerns and they would keep all His blessings – their children, their animals, their land… as their own.  But they do not trust in Him; rather, they fear the world, the surrounding nations, and seek to be like them, to fight as they do – to have one of their own to rule them.  And thus they will lose what they have, for when we give all to God, He returns all we give with manifold blessing; but when we trust in man, giving ourselves to him, he swallows up our offerings.

Our psalm expresses well the attitude we should have toward God.  It should be “in the light of [His] countenance” we walk.  It should be “at [His] name [we] rejoice all the day.”  We should say with our psalmist: “To the Lord belongs our shield, and to the Holy One of Israel, our king.”  And so it is Jesus who must be our King; He alone must rule our lives, for He alone truly belongs to God; He alone is the Son of God.

The scribes were right to ask, “Who can forgive sins except God alone?” for God alone stood before them, forgiving the sins of His children.  And it is now by His power, His presence, that our priests forgive men’s sins in His name.  “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” and He does not take that power from the face of the earth upon His return to the Father’s side in heaven: He multiplies that power – as well as the power to teach, to, in this sense, rule our lives – in His holy Church and its appointed leaders.  What He granted to the Israelites because of their stubbornness of heart, He now brings full circle by blessing us with the presence of Christ: our king, our prophet, and our priest.  No longer is it blasphemy for one to stand in God’s stead, for the Lord has visited His people.

And should we not praise Him, therefore, for the wonders He accomplishes in our midst?  Should we not shout for joy for His blessings?  For now we have a king to rule us, a king greater than any other; now we need not fear the attacks of any nation.  For even Satan He holds in His hands and casts him out at will; and so we are able to return to our land, to stand up and “go home.”  May “all give praise to God” for His goodness to us, turning our foolishness and sin to His grace and blessing before our very eyes.

*******

O LORD, let us walk in the light of your countenance; 

you alone are our strength. 

YHWH, forgive us our sins, forgive our rejecting your rule over us.  Forgive our seeking to be like other nations with one like ourselves as our king – O why do we not cherish your presence in our midst?  But thank you for sending your Son to be our King, to be Lord over us, for by this grace you take our foolish desire and make it holy.  By Him we are redeemed from our sin…  By Him we are forgiven.

Only you, O God, can forgive our sins, and this you do through your Son.  For He shares your authority – He Himself is God.  And this power to forgive sins you extend to men who stand this day in Jesus’ stead.  Though we be weak and sinful, in His Name all is accomplished according to your will.

And in your Church men now also teach in the Name of Jesus, and so in your NAME as well.  O LORD, let us hear your Word, let us know your healing, that all the day we might give praise to you.

Direct download: BC-011312-F_1_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.4:1-11;   Ps.44:10-11,14-15,24-25,27;   Mk.1:40-45) 

“Our souls are bowed down to the dust;

our bodies are pressed to the earth.”

The Israelites suffer “a disastrous defeat” at the hands of their worst enemy.  Not only do they lose thirty thousand men, but the ark of God – “who is enthroned upon the cherubim” which protect it – the tabernacle which holds the manna and the tablets of the Ten Commandments.  This most holy ark is taken into the camp of the Philistines.  How can this be?  The Israelites trusted in God’s presence to save them, and they are beaten down.  Our psalm addresses their plight directly: “You have cast us off and put us in disgrace, and you go not forth with our armies… those who hated us plundered us at will.”  And so the psalmist cries out with the defeated Israelites, “Why do you hide your face, forgetting our woe and our oppression?”

The Israelites – like the thieves on the cross either side of Christ, like us all – deserved their crushing defeat.  They, again, as us all, turned their faces from the Lord of hosts to worship false and empty gods.  There should be no question as to why the chastising hand of God is upon any of us.  But our psalm is about more than this defeat of Israel or even our own punishment for sin.  Written as the voice of Jesus Himself, it reveals the suffering of the innocent Lamb of God in our stead: “You made us the reproach of our neighbors, the mockery and the scorn of those around us.”  Jesus endures the scourging and the crown of thorns and the crucifixion for no other reason than to save our souls from similar fate, and worse, from condemnation.  The sinless dove dies for the sinful flesh, which keeps us all in prison and pushes our faces to the dust.  Though the sons of the high priest die in battle and are no more, Jesus lives, and through His death in battle for our souls, all now live.

In our gospel “a leper approach[es] Jesus with a request, kneeling down as he address[es] Him.”  Here we all are as sinners, symbolized by this outcast, coming earnestly to Jesus and humbling ourselves to the ground which, without God, is our place, is the dust from which we come and to which we return.  Jesus is “moved with pity.”  Jesus “stretch[es] out His hand.”  Jesus “touch[es] him,” and says: “Be cured.”  And the man is made whole. 

Yes, this leper must be each of us, brothers and sisters.  Humbly, our faces to the ground, knowing our sin and being repentant of it, we must come to Him.  And He will raise our souls from the dust and our bodies from the earth into which they have fallen.  This is why He has come; let us come to Him.

*******

O LORD, we come to you to beg your grace:

make us no longer the laughingstock of the nations.

YHWH, our bodies are pressed to the earth; we are bowed down to the dust.  As the leper we come before you begging your healing touch.  May your Son reach out to us that we might be saved from all evil. 

Disastrous defeat we suffer at the hands of the devil for we have sinned against you, O LORD our God.  Our enemies overcome us for you do not fight with us, and so we are without a savior.  Our courage fails for we are alone and have no help from you.

What can we do on our own, dear God?  Of what worth are our souls left to their own device?  Where shall we find the strength to withstand the attack against us?  Our oppressors bring us to woe, we are put to disgrace, for you have cast us off and we cannot enter battle alone. 

O LORD, if you will to do so, you can cure us!  Turn with pity to your wayward sons.  Hide not your face from us, but let us know the merciful gaze of Jesus.

Direct download: BC-011212-Th_1_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.3:1-10,19-20;   Ps.40:2-5,7-10;   Mk.1:29-39) 

“To do your will, O Lord, is my delight.” 

O how Samuel shows the “ears open to obedience” we all must have.  For when called, even from sleep, he immediately and repeatedly rises and presents himself for service to the Lord.  Even from his youth he is with the Lord and in His will.  Such readiness to serve is also revealed in Peter’s mother-in-law, who, when touched by Jesus, “immediately began to wait on them.”  She, too, rises quickly from bed (and sickness) to do the work of the Lord.

And certainly Jesus Himself is our greatest example of readiness to do God’s will, for He and the Father are indeed one and all He does is according to the Father’s word.  After healing the “whole town” of their afflictions, working to exhaustion to arouse those imprisoned by the darkness of demons and bringing them into the light of God for service of the good, He rises “early the next morning” and goes “off to a lonely place in the desert,” where “He was absorbed in prayer.”  When the disciples find Him, He is prepared to move on to the next town and the same exhausting work in service of the will of God, saying of the need to “proclaim the good news”: “That is what I have come to do.”

It is said of Samuel: he “grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.”  And so, well does this great prophet presage the coming of Christ – He who fulfills the will of the Father – and the faith of all those who follow Him.  For all those who wait for the Lord, He stoops toward.  To all those who say, “Behold, I come,” He Himself comes, He Himself strengthens… His greatness He makes known through His children.  So it is written in the scroll and upon our hearts: so is the will of God accomplished in our lives.

Only Him do we serve, brothers and sisters.  His voice alone we must hear and heed.  “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,” must ever be our attitude toward the Creator of heaven and earth and the Savior of our souls.  The Spirit’s lead we must follow readily.  And He will be with us to bless and give us the strength we need to work in Him beyond exhaustion, beyond sickness… beyond death.   Life will be ours.

*******

O LORD, let your Good News be proclaimed

that all might hear and be healed

and ready to answer your call.

YHWH, to do your will is our delight, is our holy call in this world.  Let us be so blessed to hear your voice and accomplish the work you set before us.  Let nothing we say be without effect; let us never act apart from you.  Somehow let us find you so present to us as you were to Samuel – somehow let us follow in the footsteps of your Son.

In the temple let us dwell, in your holy resting place.  Before the ark of the Covenant let us keep watch – never let your light be extinguished from our hearts and minds.  Ready let us be to answer your call and show ourselves your servants.  O LORD, let us do your will. 

Why should we be afflicted when your Son is near to cast all demons from our souls, to heal us of every illness.  To His door let us come, O LORD, and He will reach out His hand to save us.  Give light to these eyes blinded by age and the falsehood of this evil world.  In obedience let us stand before you. 

Direct download: BC-011112-W_1_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Sm.1:9-20;   1Sm.2:1,4-8;   Mk.1:21-28) 

“May the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.”

For He holds all authority.  “He gives orders to unclean spirits and they obey.”  “The Lord puts to death and gives life; He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.”  All He wills, He does – nothing is beyond His reach and power.  And His desire is to answer your prayer.  If you are faithful as is Hannah, if you come before Him in such sincerity and truth, then what you ask shall be yours; for He Himself is sincerity and truth and goodness, and when you join yourself to Him, you join yourself to His authority… and find the answer to your prayer by His presence in your heart.

And so your heart shall exult with Hannah’s.  And so you shall see how “He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap He lifts up the poor.”  Indeed the prayer of the poor touches His heart and He “seat[s] them with nobles and make[s] a glorious throne their heritage.”  To heaven do they come, for heaven is their love.

How evident is the Lord’s will and favor to those lowly ones who seek Him in the birth of Samuel – whose very name means “asked of the Lord” – to the barren wife Hannah.  None could be poorer in blessing than she; ridiculed by the world is she for the Lord’s lack of favor toward her.  But as bitter as the fruit she must taste, she does not rebel against her God, but comes to Him in all humility and with a heart full of prayer and eyes filled with tears.  And He loves His child.  And one of the greatest men of the Old Testament becomes her son.  And her song in praise of the Lord foreshadows Mary’s own.

“Jesus entered the synagogue on the sabbath and began to teach.”  He comes to us now with His Word, His authority.  Where Hannah sought Him, He now comes to us, offering freely the wisdom and power and grace which are His alone.  And there is nothing which stands in the way of that Word.  There is nothing to prevent its coming to our hearts and healing our souls of all injury, if we but listen, if we but seek His presence in our lives – if we but promise to give all to Him, He will give all we ask to us.

*******

O LORD, you have granted what we have asked of you

in Jesus your Son.

YHWH, the needy you lift up from the dust; the barren wife bears seven sons and the poor man you seat with nobles.  For you hear the prayer of those who cry to you, who believe in you despite their misery and come with a sincere heart – you cannot resist our tears.  You have all authority and that authority you wield to heal those in need and teach us your way of holiness. 

And so our hearts exult in you, O LORD.  You give us victory over all our enemies.  Sin you cast far from our souls; all unclean spirits vanish at your Word.  The holy One you have sent to us, and He is our LORD and Savior. 

And so we are rich in Jesus, your Son.  And so a glorious throne you make our heritage.  Though a moment before we may have been in the throes of evil, though so long we may have dwelt in sorrow, you give us new life and raise us to your side.  In Jesus let us make our home. 

Direct download: BC-011012-Tu_1_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(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: 3:00am EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00am EST

(1Jn.5:5-13;   Ps.147:12-15,19-20;   Mk.1:7-11)

“God gave us eternal life,

and this life is in His Son.” 

How reassuring John is to us who believe – “I have written this to you to make you realize that you possess eternal life” – for how easily we can forget the grace that is ours “in the name of the Son of God.”  How sure he is.  How clear in his explanation.  How loving.  One has little reason to wonder why he was beloved of the Lord, for this love bleeds in all his words and leads us to that love of Christ that is eternal life.

The Father’s witness has been given clearly, “You are my beloved Son.  On you my favor rests.”  Mark, too, makes certain that Jesus is the Son of God.  How can we forget the words of the Father?  And how can we forget the blood He has shed on our behalf, and the water that flows like baptism from His side?  “It is the Spirit who testifies to this, and the Spirit is truth.”  If you have the Spirit dwelling in you, you know this – it sets your heart on fire, and is indeed as the breath of life.  How can we know anything but eternal life when baptized in the Holy Spirit by the Lord?

“He has granted you peace in your borders,” our psalmist proclaims; and in the Spirit we have only peace – nothing lacking rest can enter there.  And now “with the best of wheat He fills [us],” now that we receive His body in the Eucharist.  What bread indeed we eat!  Here is the bread of life.  We have His Word born in the Spirit spoken to our ears, and on His very presence we sup.  Such witnesses!  What more need we to believe?

“Jesus is the Son of God,” brothers and sisters.  This alone you need remember.  When all else fails and darkness pervades, know that Jesus is with you and bringing you to life.

*******

O LORD, let us be baptized in the Holy Spirit,

and we shall have eternal life. 

     YHWH, eternal life you have given us in your only Son. Peace reigns in Him, and in us, if we believe in Him. As the Spirit descended upon your beloved One, so it descends upon those who believe in the Name of Jesus. Him you have sent us that you might give us yourself.

     There is none greater than Jesus the Christ, nor shall there be. There is no one else for whom we need wait. He has come. He has died for us. Now He is risen and His Spirit is with us to guide us to all life. Help us, O LORD, to remember this; help us to hold on to the blessing you have provided in your only Son.

     With the best of wheat fill us, O LORD, with His Body and His Blood; His flesh let us become. Then nothing shall disturb us; then our faith will make us whole. Then we shall hear your words pronounced over us that we are your beloved children. O let the Spirit fall upon us and remain with us! Let us be cleansed of sin and believe in your Word.

Direct download: January_6.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(1Jn.3:11-21;   Ps.100:1-5;   Jn.1:43-51)

“We should love one another.” 

In our gospel, “first [Jesus] came upon Philip” – whose name means “love” – and invited him to follow Him.  Love brought with him one in whom “there is no guile,” and he (Nathanael) declared openly to the Lord: “You are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”  And so we must all be of love, and be without deceit.  We must all “know that the Lord is God; He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends.”  The Lord must find us all at peace “under the fig tree” with consciences that have “nothing to charge us with.”  And great things wrought by the hand of God we shall see before our eyes.

“The Lord is good,” and we must be like Him.  The Lord is of love, and loving as He does we pass “from death to life”: “The way we came to understand love was that He laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers.”  How well John speaks of the love all need in our first reading today.  Here is the voice of a man, an apostle in the Spirit of Christ, who loves “in deed and in truth,” and since he does “not merely talk about it,” but lives it, his words are alive with that truth.  Love.  This is “the message [we] heard from the beginning.”  This laying down our lives is our guiding light leading us to the eternal life of heaven.

And so we should “serve the Lord with gladness.”  We should “come before Him with joyful song.”  We should declare openly that He is God, as our love leads us to do.  His “kindness endures forever”; yes, His love is for eternity, and we must come to share in that great gift of love.  “The man who does not love is among the living dead,” but he who loves lives forever.  The world will hate us because it is not of love; but all the more we should be encouraged to love, to die to the hatred the world brings and find our place in peace under our fig tree with the Lord who is love itself.

Let us love and be of love, brothers and sisters, and we shall live forever with our Lord and the angels of heaven.

*******

O LORD, let us pass

from the death wrought by this world

to life with you in Heaven. 

YHWH, may our consciences be clear before you; may we be of love and so be of you who are love.  May we be without guile, seeking only you and the peace you bring to our souls.  Then we shall praise you in joy forever, for then we will be your own.

O LORD, let us be true to our call to love you and one another.  Let it not be only in words that we love but in truth, with our very lives.  If we do not act as your Son, how can we call you ‘Father’; how will we know you at all?  You dwell in ineffable light with the angels of Heaven, and only by love do we come to that light, only by laying down our lives as Jesus.

LORD, let us know your goodness in our lives that we might enter your gates with thanksgiving for all the blessings we share with your saints.  In freedom may we bless your Name, you who look upon us with kindness.  To your side let us be guided by our desire to love.

Direct download: January_5.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(1Jn.3:7-10;   Ps.98:1,3,7-9;   Jn.1:35-42)

“When Jesus turned around and noticed them following Him,

He asked them, ‘What are you looking for?’” 

Brothers and sisters, what Jesus asks the first two disciples He asks each of us who follow in their wake.  What do we seek?  Why are we following Him?  What is it we hope to find at the place where He stays?

David makes clear in our psalm that the Son of God, “His holy arm,” has been revealed in our midst – in “wondrous deeds” He “comes to rule the earth.”  “The world and those who dwell in it” should resound with joy.  Him whom John the Baptist points out in no uncertainty is with us now.  There is no other whom we should follow.  And so we do.  And so we come to Him each day, to receive our daily bread.  Seeing where He lodges, we come to stay with Him.

But what does the Lord see when He looks upon us?  Does He stay with us?  When Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, He “looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon, son of John; your name shall be Cephas (which is rendered Peter).’”  Jesus upon looking at Peter sees the Rock on which He will build His Church.  Peter’s holiness, the strength he has in God and for God, is evident to the Lord.  Jesus knows what Peter seeks, and both have found what they are looking for.  Is it upon our hearts as well to find the holiness of heaven, to become one with the Son of God?

“The man who acts in holiness is holy indeed, even as the Son is holy,” but “the man who sins belongs to the devil.”  Holiness or sin?  Jesus or the devil?  The choice is clear, and must be evident in our lives.  “No one begotten of God acts sinfully” and “no one whose actions are unholy belongs to God.”  The first letter of John, our first reading, could not more simply state our call in the Lord: to be holy, not to sin… to love our brothers and sisters well – to be as Jesus, the Son most holy.

Jesus will turn and see us; His eyes are upon us now.  What does He see as He looks upon your heart?  What is your answer to His question, “What are you looking for?”  Let His dwelling be all you seek.

*******

O LORD, let us follow your Son to where He lives,

in holiness with you. 

YHWH, let us stay with you and with your Son.  May He turn and look upon us with kindness, with pity for our frail condition.  O let this Lamb take our sins from us that we might no longer be in the grip of the devil but come to eternal life in your House!

The Messiah you have sent is in our midst this day; let us come to the altar to receive Him, to receive His holy sacrifice and become one with Him.  Only thus shall we be made holy; only with Him will we find true justice and so rejoice in your presence, O LORD.  O let us be ruled by Him!

Make us your children, dear LORD.  Make us as your only Son.  May Jesus be with us this day and we with Him that we might become holy indeed.  Never let us act sinfully but ever love as you love, as your Son loves us.  Let us seek your love alone and so be founded upon true Rock, in your House.

Direct download: January_4.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST