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December 2019

Feast of the Holy Family

December 29, 2019

Review the Readings


The Celebrant has the choice of many readings. 

My reflections are on the readings I used.


Holy family2



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 God works in each of us though our families.


SirachThe author of this book in the Bible lived in the second century before Christ and was a pious Jew who was trying to show his people how they were to live.  It can and does help us to direct our lives today.

As we listen to the words proclaimed today, we need to pray for the courage to, once again, not get defensive and say these words don't apply in our world today.  But they are words that can call us to look at ourselves deeply and  call us to conversion, especially if the words are difficult for us to hear.





While Paul was in prison in Rome, he hears that the faith of the Colossians was being threatened, and he writes this letter to them,giving them some practical help when their faith was under attack.  






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Often  it is in the family where we need to pray to be able  to put Paul's words into action.  He writes about having compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiving one another; they are easy to talk about, but at times difficult to put into action in our own families. Families are not just where we grew up, but they can also be the family of our neighborhood, our family at work, our family of friends, etc.  Yet these qualities that Paul writes about are exactly the qualities God has toward us at those times when we fail, when we are not the presence of Christ that we are called to be; in other words, the times when we sin.  

Sirach, as we hear in the first reading says...

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The family is the place where we can learn of these qualities of God, these qualities that Paul speaks in his letter to the Colossians.  But as the Colossians were under attack, so are we in the modern world.  The family is no longer seen as the very necessary place to discover God and for God to work in us.  It is in the family where we can truly see ourselves.



Yet we see more and more that the world says that the family is really not necessary to teach us all those qualities that Paul in his letter wrote about.  The world seems to indicate to us that both parents need to work so there will be more money, more security, etc. for the family.   It takes real courage to put the family first and to see it as the place begins God's work begins in each of us.




We can learn that our families are important to each of us.  It is there where our faith can begin.  It is there that we can see where the qualities of Jesus begin and develop in each of us.  

Of course, the world challenges this.  


Where are we in all your different types of family?  Where are we with our parents, with our sibling, with all the different people we know or deal with?

They can show us out in ability to love when they are not as we wish.  What a blessing.

We are called to pray for our own conversion, so we can forgive and have mercy and compassion.  

Don't listen to the evil one who always says that the other person is at fault, and that that person needs to come to me first to admit fault.  What a lie. 


There can always be a need for us to pray for ourselves to have...






the ability to bear with one another,

to forgive one another;

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It all starts in the family and continues to grow in us as we encounter other people in our lives.  We are called to make God present for others.  That is the special call we received at Baptism.  And, if at times we fail; then God's mercy and compassion are there for us and we begin again.  Don't give up.  It is our way to eternal life!



Return to


Fourth Sunday of Advent Cycle A

December 22, 2019


Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings



On this 4th Sunday of Advent the 4th candle on our Advent Wreath is lit.



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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).




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Ahaz feared that there would be an attack from the Northern Kingdom supported by the powerful Syria).  



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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.


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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.


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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?


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 What is Joseph to do?

How can God work in this impossible situation? 


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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?



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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.


Joseph mary baby



Wait and watch for the Lord every moment,

even in those impossible moments.

Then you will be ready for a



 Return to


3rd Sunday of Advent Cycle A

December 15, 2019

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings


Guadete Sunday



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Three Candles for 3rd Sunday of Advent


Rose or Pink Candles

and optional  pink Mass Vestments for this Sunday



Wait Watch


If you are still waiting and watching daily to experience the Lord, well, today we are given that same promise that was made to the Hebrew people again and again.


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Remember, He has taken His Chosen People out of slavery in Egypt in the 13th century B.C., and then again taken them out of exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C.

God will never abandon them in spite of their unfaithfulness.


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God does the same for us, calling  us back to Him again and again.  So we can certainly "gaudete" (rejoice).

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But how hard it is to wait. We want instant action from our God.

The second reading tells the early Christian community, in spite of all the persecution and difficulties, to have patient endurance.

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When we get impatient and stop waiting and watching for the Lord, we can miss His coming.  For sure He will come for each of us in our situations and difficulties.  Never give up waiting and watching, for that is what Advent is about.

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MatthewWe meet John the Baptist, this strange person, preaching out in the wilderness and dressed in very strange clothing and also eating very strange things, insects!  

Today, who would listen?

Jphn baptis

Are we willing to go into the wilderness, the place or situation in our lives that is difficult and we try to avoid? Are we willing to listen to a person that seems strange and different from ourselves?  That may very well show us to the Lord.

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Perhaps the coming of the Lord will show us our blindness, our deafness, our lameness, in that wilderness were we did not want to go.


Rejoice and always wait for the Lord




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Second Sunday of Advent-Cycle A

2 candles

December 8, 2019 

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings


Click below to hear audio of the  homily I once gave

Download Advemt 2nd Sun 2010






We continue to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord especially this very day, at our death, and at the end of time.

But are you tired of waiting???


 We pray that God will help uis in a difficult situation, with a difficult or impossible person when there seems to be no answer. 

We have waited a week, even a month. 

Then we have given up.

This was just like the people of the Hebrew Scriptures that Isaiah  was addressing.     



They had  given up on God and turned to other gods. 

They had turned to the idols of foreign nations where they lived, not to God to solve their problems. 

To them and to all generations Isaiah gives hope of what is to come.

Don't we do the same? 

When things don't go our way is it not easy to turn to anger, or selfishness, or judgement to solve the problem when we will not wait for God.

Or when life gets really rough isn't it easy to turn to our idols, our foreign gods, especially if God has not taken the problem away.  Alcohol, drugs, sex, addictions to TV, smoking, etc. can be the foreign idols that seem to solve the problem that God has not solved in the time we gave Him.

Sometimes we give up.


In Paul's letter to the Romans  Paul tells those in that community to look at the history of the Chosen People. 

God always came to save them, time after time. 

He does not give up on that people or on us.  

Sometimes we have to pray for patience to trust and wait for God's action.

Matt Gospel

In the Gospel   John the Baptist says that the Lord is coming. 



He will come. 

Are we willing to wait and watch everyday for Him?





 Click Below to hear audio of the  homily I once gave

Download Advemt 2nd Sun 2010