Sunday, December 27, 2009

Feast of the Holy Family

This weekend, we continue our Christmas celebration with a contemplation of the Holy Family. The feast allows us to ponder the love and model of the Holy Family, how St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother provided a stable home for Jesus Christ.

This Feast also gives us the opportunity to thank God for our own families, in which we were raised to respond to our vocations, and to ask the Lord fro his grace in forming that safe place for those who have been placed in our care.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christ is truly born for us...

From the Christmas Proclamation:

Today, the twenty–fifth day of December,

unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth

and then formed man and woman in his own image.

Several thousand years after the flood, when God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant.

Twenty–one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah;

thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.

Eleven hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges;

one thousand years from the anointing of David as king;

in the sixty–fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel.

In the one hundred and ninety–fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty–second year from the foundation of the city of Rome.

The forty–second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus; the whole world being at peace,

Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,

desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,

being conceived by the Holy Spirit,

and nine months having passed since his conception,

was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary.

Today is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Having just conceived herself, Mary rushes to Elizabeth to be with her in her pregnancy. As these women receive each others' greetings, there is a profound moment of joy. Elizabeth recognizes that the child just conceived in Mary's womb is important - in fact - is God. She praises Mary, and in humility exclaims "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" She receives Christ with joy.

These women show us an important aspect of our vocations, and of our last days of Advent: We must strive to recognize Christ in the subtle ways He comes to us, and receive Him with joy. Like Mary, having said yes to the will of God, we need to respond to the needs of those around us.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Third Sunday of Advent

Rejoice, and be glad! Salvation is near. John preached the message of repentance, and gave a baptism for the repentance of sins, to prepare the people for the revelation of his divine kinsman, Jesus Christ. The people were filled with anticipation, asking what they had to do to prepare for the Messiah. Note that he does not give them something too grand - they are to do their jobs well, to produce the fruit of repentance in their lives. John witnesses this himself. St. Luke alone records (as we heard last week) that the "word" (in Greek "rhema") of God came to him. In Luke's gospel, that word seems to be used for any message of vocation. (The Blessed Mother herself received one - "Let it be done to me according to your word."

As we respond to our vocations, that is our task - to produce fruits all areas of our lives, to do our duties well. Let us respond to that word of God...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Second Sunday of Advent

"Prepare the way", John the Baptist proclaims. He calls the people, and us too, to repentance for the forgiveness of sins. This is how we can best prepare our hearts for the Lord's return.

We are called to look east, toward the rising sun, and to see how the Lord prepares the way for His coming. When He does, all shall see our salvation.