January 22, 2017
January 22, 2017
January 15, 2017
They were at an all time low and Isaiah gave them the hope that God would not abandon his people; that One would come that would bring salvation for the whole world.
They were once again given hope.
Perhaps this can be also for us when we are in a down state.
God will not abandon us.
In the second reading written somewhere around 50 AD, Paul went to preach in Corinth which was a Roman colony and was morally corrupt.
Even to those pagans in Corinth, God would send a messenger to bring the news of forgiveness and salvation.
Paul was that messenger for them.
These words could also apply to us.
We are called to make the compassion and forgiveness of God present to others.
We are commissioned to carry on what Paul was sent to do.
We, of the current age, are to make God present in the world.
In the gospel, John recognized that Christ was the one sent from God.
God has kept his promise not to abandon his people.
Each of us through our baptism were called to make God's mercy and forgiveness present in the world today.
We are to make Christ present for others.
Once again today, we can renew what we were commissioned to do through our call at Baptism
our forgiveness, etc.
We can pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to do what have each of us have been called to do.
January 8, 2017
In the first reading, what good news for a people in exile. A people who had lost everything. In a sense it says "Don't be afraid.
That can be a help to each of us who at times are down, wondering where the heck God is and why am I having to go through all these situations and problems.
The same was true for the people that Isaiah was addressing. They had lost everything. There seemed to be no hope for them. Have you ever been in that situation?
In the second reading Paul addresses the Ephesians. They are Gentiles. They are consider not chosen by God. Paul tells them Christ comes for all. Sometimes we can be in a place where we look at ourselves and think that there is no hope for us. We see our spiritual selves and think that God could not possible come for me. But guess what... He does come every moment, every day.
The good news of the Gospel gives us hope when we feel down and out. The Magi were pagans. Yet somehow they are drawn to see the Messiah. The joy of this day is that the Messiah, Christ, is for all, even for us in those moments of difficulty, those moment of doubt, and even for those who do not believe.
Do we not think that the Magi had real difficulties and problems in traveling to see the Messiah???
They left home, security, comforts, etc. to travel to an unknown land and through an unknown people to find the Messiah!
Like the Magi we too have to travel through all the problems and difficulties in our lives to find the Christ Child.
Hear the good news from these readings, especially when we feel down or rejected
At the times we are feel unworthy yet...
The Messiah has come for all of us!
You may have noticed that in liturgy the event of Christmas, the birth of Christ, is so important that we celebrate each of the following eight days after Christmas as Christmas... the Octave of Christmas.
For many people, Christmas is over except for all the sales but that is not true for us.
In the Gospel that we will hear, it was the shepherds who first brought the news that the one that is born will bring to each of us the gift of eternal life. Death is overcome.
Shepherds were not the intelligent, were not the elite, were not the rich, but were the poor, uneducated, who first announced the eternal good news. All who heard this news were amazed.
You and I have been given eternal life and all because Mary said yes to God.
That in itself seems amazing. She willingly undertook the challenge to become the mother of God.
In the first reading from the Book of Numbers, we hear that God wanted to bless the Israelites even after all their doubts and all their turning from God so many times in their history. Moses was instructed by God to tell his brother Aaron, that His people were to be blessed. We hear that blessing in this reading. That blessing is also each of us.
God is always wanting to bless us, to forgive us, to give us the news of eternal life, that same news that the shepherds brought to the human race.
In the second reading, Paul writes to the people of Galatia whom he had catechized because they were beginning to have their doubts and fears.
He gives them courage to face the struggles they were having and to not believe the doubts that some were trying to plant in them. They had been chosen; they have been called by name, they were to call God
That is also true for each of us today. God continues to want a close relationship with each and every one of us.
A relationship that always brings God's love and forgiveness when we ask for it.
As we continue through life and the days ahead in this new year, I hope and pray that this great event of Mary saying, "Yes, be it done according to your will", can give us courage in those times when we doubt, when we feel attacked, when we wonder if God is really there for us.
We are Children of God!
Let us pray to be able like Mary to say yes to God... Our Father
in the struggles, the doubts, the difficulties
that will come our way too.
There are 4 different sets of readings depending on the mass you will attend.
Midnight (Mass during the night),
Mass at Dawn,
or Mass During the day
Click here to review the Christmas Mass Readings-and select the Mass listed there that you will most likely attend
Below are my very informal audio clips I made while reflecting on the Christmas readings .
Remember they are unedited.
I hope, that if you wish to listen to them, they will helpful.
Click on the one below that you wish to listen to.
We know that all of us, at times, go through difficulties.
Pray that those who are in those difficult times may hold on to the hope that the coming of Christ makes for all of us.
In spite of the times of difficulty, God will never abandon us.
The temptations of the devil are strong in trying to make us believe,"You poor thing.
How can this happen to you?"
Tell the evil one to go to Hell.
The Messiah has come today and every day.
In our baptism He has called us by name.
He gives us again the greatest Christmas gift we could ever want, the promise of Eternal Life
. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and please keep me in yours.
He Is Born
December 18, 2016
On this 4th Sunday of Advent the 4th candle on our Advent Wreath is lit.
The prophet Isaiah is asking King Ahaz not to turn to other political powers, but to trust God.
King Ahaz, of the southern kingdom of Judah, was fearful of an attack from the northern kingdom of Israel (which had separated from the southern kingdom; the northern kingdom had made friends with Syria).
Ahaz feared that there would be an attack from the Northern Kingdom supported by the powerful Syria).
In spite of Isaiah's words to trust in God, he refused and would not even to ask for a sign from God that he should trust God.
Ahaz doubted God and had put all his trust in the pagan king of Assyria to protect Judah.
What a struggle it can be to trust God in times that are difficult.
St. Paul writes to the first Christian community made up of converted Jews and Gentiles, who also faced many struggles, difficulties, sufferings, etc. He reminds them that they have been given a mission to make God present to others with the words and actions of Christ.
In the gospel, Joseph is faced with a very difficult situation. Jewish tradition says that a women who becomes pregnant before marriage is to be stoned to death. What should he do with Mary, now pregnant?
What is Joseph to do?
How can God work in this impossible situation?
Joseph trusted the word that the angel has given to him, no doubt words from God. And we know the result of Joseph's trust.
The Messiah is born for all humanity!
We, too, need to ask for the grace to have the courage to trust God, especially in those difficult times and situations, so that Christ will be born in us, so we too can make Him present to the world.
Think that is impossible?
We have seen God bringing the messiah, his Son, into the world in very difficult situations.
Nothing is impossible for God when we trust that He is working in our most trying and difficult situations; even with difficult people; even with His call to love the enemy.
Wait and watch for the Lord every moment,
even in those impossible moments.
Then you will be ready for a
December 11, 2016
The priest has the option of wearing Rose/Pink vestments
Gaudete is the word that means...Rejoice
There are times for each of us when we might think...What is there to Rejoice about???
Today's readings can really speak to us.
Remember that God had taken the Hebrews out of their slavery in Egypt in the 13th century B.C. and then again taken them out of their exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C.
God will do the same for us. He will always take us out of our slavery, our exile of our disbelief, our sins.
Remember God worked through the pagan King Cyrus who freed the Hebrews from their Babylonian exile. They would find it difficult to believe that God would work through a pagan, a non believer, but He did.
But how hard it is to wait for God.
We want instant things from our God.
St. James, in the second reading, says to this early Christian Community to be patient. God will come even for us in our difficult situations. Are we willing to wait and watch for the Lord to come every day. That is what this season of Advent it all about.
Wait & Watch
In the Gospel St. John the Baptist, while in prison, finds out that Jesus is the Messiah, the one to come.
John is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Those times of struggles and difficulties may well be the preparing us for the coming of the Lord into our lives. Perhaps our struggles will help us to see our own disbelief that God will care for us. That can be a real gift showing us our need to pray for a change of heart or for our own conversion.
Wait and Watch for the Lord
He is coming everyday for each of us.
Rejoice and always and wait for the Lord
November 27, 2016
This First Sunday of Advent begins a new Church Year for us.
We have left cycle C and now we begin cycle A.
When we think about Advent we usually think just about preparing for Christmas.
I would suggest that we also think about Advent as a time for preparing and watching for the coming of the Lord every single day and in every situation both delightful and also difficult.
The readings of each Sunday of this season of Advent can help us to become more alert to watching and waiting for the Lord every day in our lives.
In the second reading Paul wrote his letter in about 58 A.D..
He writes it to this Christian community in Rome because he has concern for them. He encourages them to wake up and to once again understand what it means that God has called them to make Him present in the world.
That probably means that during this season we are to take a good look at ourselves spiritually.
In the Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples to wake up and watch, for He will come at a time that is not expected.
Advent can become that time that we wait and watch for Christ, not just at the end of time, not just coming in our celebrations of Christmas Day, but watching for Him in every single situation and in every person we encounter daily. It may be in that moment when we are faced with our own failure, our own lack of charity, patience, or compassion. That moment when we have not done what God called us to do since His call to us at our Baptism. To see our failures can be very difficult but is a real gift from the presence of the merciful Lord.
In the first reading Isiah the prophet gives us the story of Noah, to show how most of the people in that time had no idea of what was going on because of their sinfulness. They had not recognized God in their daily lives, but had turned to other things to worship in their lives . They had turned to idols or pagan gods.
We are to wait and watch for the Lord, not only in situations that are happy and joyful, but also in those situations that are difficult and trying.
This reading took place when the northern kingdom of Israel had been overcome by the Assyrians, and now Isaiah foretells the coming doom for Judah, the southern kingdom; they would be taken into Exile in Babylon. He was not just a prophet of doom, but was to give the people hope for what was to come; that God would not desert the human race, but that God would fulfill his promise of the Messiah in the years ahead. He gave the people hope for the future.
The mercy of God can give each of us hope for the future of eternal life.
We need to continually look for His presence in the people that we enjoy being with and also in the people that give us difficulties. Advent is that time when we can really concentrate on waiting and watching for the Lord;
During this season of Advent we may discover, in ourselves, that we often miss His coming.
But even in those times, He will not abandon us.
How many times, each day, do we miss His coming?
Watch for Him
December 4, 2016
On this second Sunday of Advent we continue to wait and to watch for the Lord every single day.
In spite of what we may be going through at times, we continue to wait and watch for the Lord.
God promised the human race in the past, and us again now, his great love and mercy.
Wait and watch.
Some 700 years before Christ, Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah for all people. He preached to a people that had given up on God, and turned to political powers for their god for help.
He comes even in all the difficult times.
Wait and watch.
He will come from the stump that remained after the tree was cut down.
After our hopes seem shattered. In what seems impossible... He comes.
Are we willing to...Wait and watch.
St. Paul writes his letter to a Roman community who at times were also wavering.
He points out the importance of listening to God's Word and allowing it to be their guide. He points out that God's great love and mercy for the human race, comes generation after generation. God's answer to the human race is always compassion and mercy and the promise that the Messiah will come. Paul tells this community that they too must show that same mercy and compassion to all.
That same message is for each of us today.
In the Gospel we hear the story of John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness.
We know that John was a strange character wearing a garment of camel hair and a little leather belt around his waist and his food was locusts and wild honey.
It was in the wilderness where he preached and he was a strange character who was preaching.
How could the coming of the Messiah be preached by such a strange character and in such a uncomfortable place?
Who would listen?
The Pharisees and the Scribes had great difficulty in looking at their own sinfulness. They would not look at themselves because they truly believe that they did not sin. They would not go near dirty sinners.
Often it's the unexpected situation that is ugly and difficult, or the person that we encounter that is unexpected and seems in someway to be ugly or difficult that allows us to look deeply at ourselves so we can see our sins, our lack of patience, compassion or charity.
Could it be the presence of the Lord helping us to see ourselves?
To find the Lord, we need to see our own weaknesses and then we will discover His great love, mercy, and forgiveness.
If we can't look at our own sinfulness or believe that we really don't sin very big or very much, then we really have no need for a loving and merciful God full of compassion and forgiveness.
Wait and Watch
November 20, 2016
The last Sunday of the Church calendar
and ordinary time
As background to the first reading, remember that Saul was the first king of the Jews, but because he had not followed the laws of God, his kingship would not pass on to his ancestors. At Saul's death, David was chosen by the people to replace him, and they anointed him as king over all of Israel and that kingship would be passed on to his future generations.
It is interesting that David was a sinner and at times turned from the laws of God. Yet imperfect as he was, he was still given the kingship which would be passed on to his ancestors, and ultimately to Jesus.
The Gospel shows us Christ as universal King, but in a way that can shock us, as it did his first disciples. They were sure that the messiah would be a political king, so they could not believe that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die.
We see that Jesus is a different type of king from our usual image of what a king is. In all the folk tales we have heard since our childhood, a king is popular, rich, powerful, has beautiful robes, a golden crown, etc.
Now we are given a different picture of Jesus as king, with the sign hanging over his head, King of the Jews.
This was a king who was to be abandoned by his disciples and his closest friends. He was to be rejected. He was poor materially. He was to die among gangsters and criminals.
Could this possibly be a king?
The answer is Yes.
And He has established his Kingdom which all of us are called by our Baptism to be a part, in this life and in the eternal life to come.
We too, like Jesus our King, will face rejections, difficulties, sufferings, betrayals, etc. These are a part of our journey to the eternal kingdom.
The second reading lets us know that we too, as was the Christian community of the Colossians, were called to his kingdom. Paul writes his letter to them, to give them courage to continue in spite of all the difficulties, betrayals, sufferings, etc. they were experiencing. We too need that reminder to continue our journey in spite of all the problems that can occur. At our Baptism, we were called by God to be a part of his kingdom; we were anointed then to be prophet, priest, and KING. We are a part of the kingship of Christ.
Imagine, the way to the king and the kingdom is to share in what Jesus went through, and also it is the way we lead others to the king and his eternal Kingdom.
Jesus Christ is King
We see His great mercy as He tells the repentant criminal crucified with Him, that he will soon be in the kingdom of God.
We too are called to that kingship and kingdom.