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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone

And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:
 For, this day, is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you.  You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.
  And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.    (Luke 2:8-20)

Well, the festive season of Christmas starts today. The quote above is taken from Luke's gospel. Half of it is part of the gospel for the Mass at Midnight and the other half is part of the gospel for the Mass at Dawn.

It's funny that only Luke's gospel mentions the shepherds. Then again, this makes sense, seeing as Luke's gospel was written for gentiles. You can imagine what the shepherds who got the message felt like, awe-struck and full of fear. Now at the time, being a shepherd was not a well-paying job. The fact that the angels came to poor people like the shepherds fits right in line with how Jesus spent a good bit of his ministry on earth with the poor, since the rich usually rejected Jesus's message. Notice that the message that the angels bring to the shepherds is for the whole world, and not just the Jewish people. A savior has been born..for all of us; the same savior that would eventually die on the Cross for the sins of everyone and redeem the whole world. After the message had been proclaimed, the shepherds left for Bethlehem in haste to see this great and awesome sight. When the shepherds told Mary and Joseph (and anyone else who might have been there), we are told that they all "wondered" at everything the shepherds said. However, Luke makes a special mention of Mary, saying that she was "pondering them in her heart". Mary might have been wondering what this message meant at the time, but it all makes more sense as Jesus does his ministry on earth. If you noticed, this is also the part of scripture where we get the first part of the Gloria that we sing at Mass from.

 I would just like to wish everyone a very Merry and Joyous Christmas this year. The Christmas season (at least, in the Roman Catholic Church, things might be different for Eastern Catholics) lasts from today all the way to the Baptism of our Lord (January 13, 2013). During this time, let's not forget that Jesus is the real reason for the season.

Any comments and well wishes are welcome and you can put them in the comment box below.

Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World (or Lack Thereof)

Well folks, today is the day that the world, according to popular myth, is supposed to end. Now, I, myself, do not believe this. However, to back up my credibility, here are a few sources that support my opinion.

First, our Lord himself did say that we don't know the time of when the world will end. Our Lord also warns us to be ready for when he comes.
But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.   (Mathew 24:36-37)

This myth, incidentally, supposedly occurs during this time of Advent, the time used to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth and (second) coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus warns us to be ready for when he does come again.

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.     (Matthew 24:38-39)
Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.   (Matthew 25:13)

If you do not believe in God and need some reason-based facts, we do not know which calendar system the 2012 year would appear on. Keep in mind that the myth predates the Gregorian calender system we use today and also the Julian calendar, the calender system in place for the western world before the Gregorian calendar, as well. There are other calendar systems in place in various parts of the world, so which one of them would be right.

Lastly, the Mayans themselves don't believe the myth about the world ending and are asking everyone to do the same. If the source itself doesn't believe it, than why should we?

From all of this, we can conclude that the whole Mayan doomsday thing is a false New Age belief. However, this is a convenient moment to remind everyone to "be ready" and as part of that, please go to confession.

So what do you think of all this? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

While you're waiting for Jesus to come back and taking in the 2012 doomsday thing as myth, why not drink some Mystic Monk Coffee. Mystic Monk Coffee (use this link or click on the picture below to access the store and purchase) is what you really need when it comes to coffee. Trust me, it's good coffee (in most instances, much better than Starbucks coffee) and you won't regret buying some (just keep it away from your computer keyboard or laptop/tablet). If you like tea more than coffee, they also offer tea. Using the link (or picture below) to buy the coffee (or tea) helps the monks out and helps me with college expenses as well. The coffee (or tea) also makes for great gifts for friends and family as well, especially since Christmas is right around the corner.

For my existing Windows Phone apps, I will have updates to all of my existing programs submitted to the Windows Phone marketplace by next week. If you want to get my apps now while waiting for the update, use the following links:

BSA Eagle Tracker download:
Mobile Media Manager (paid version) download:
Mobile Media Manager (free version) download: