Advent Meditations: Monday 23 December

Dec 23, 2019 by

Dec  23
am: 61, 62
pm: 112, 115
Zeph 3:14-20 Titus 1:1-16 Luke 1:1-25

Monday of the fourth Week of Advent : Martyrs of Crete, 250 (Eastern Orthodox Calendar)                                                                                                                                        O Antiphons –O Emmanuel

Saints Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zoticus, Pompius, Agathopus, Basilides and Evaristus suffered for Christ during the third century under the emperor Decius (249-251). The prefect of Crete, also named Decius, fiercely persecuted the Church, and arrested anyone who believed in Christ. Once, ten Christians were brought before him from various cities of Crete, who at the trial steadfastly confessed their faith in Christ and refused to worship idols.

For thirty days they were subjected to cruel tortures, and with the help of God they all persevered, glorifying God. Before their death they prayed that the Lord would enlighten their torturers with the light of the true Faith. Since pain did not influence them, the saints were beheaded .

Biblical Meditation :  As we  consider the lessons  for today and the optional feast of the Martyrs of Crete, the letter from Paul to Titus  is a reminder of the existence of a church in Crete as a testimony to God’s power.  Cretans had been regarded by some as liars, evil, and lazy gluttons and things hadn’t changed when Paul wrote to Titus and commissioned  him to raise up church leaders, and who are godly men, depending on God’s grace. Verse 9 gives us the focus and strategy for dealing with the false teachers: ‘He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.’ Considering the events on Crete in 250 with the martyrs there, it appears that Titus showed right action and good judgment as there were faithful men who would stand for the faith. Reading the lessons and considering the feast day, it does make one wonder who will stand for the faith today? Is such a person in our homes? In our churches? In our world?

PRAYER: Almighty ever-living God, as we await the Nativity of your Son,we pray that to us, your unworthy servants, mercy may flow from your Word, who chose to become flesh of the Virgin Mary and establish among us his dwelling, Jesus Christ our Lord. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.



Spiritual Discipline /Activity Strengthen the Persecuted Church by supporting Underground Pastors because the  foundation of the persecuted Church is the local pastor. Support these brothers as they go into new areas and build the church. Underground pastors in persecuted countries have incredible dedication and drive. They consistently show their willingness to sacrifice all for the kingdom, even to the point of giving up their lives. Perhaps you can offer them more than prayer support and make a gift designated to support pastors in the Middle East, North Africa, Cuba, Vietnam, or China. Go to or call 1-800-422-5441 (M-F 8:30am to 5:00 pm EST)

Ancient Words/Present Grace:  “The believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into his suffering, his life is not in us.—St. Ignatius of Antioch


O Antiphons –O Emmanuel: O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver, the hope of the nations and their Savior: Come and save us, O Lord our God.

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