Feast of the Holy Family
Jesus not only came as a baby at Christmas, He also entered into a human family - with all the joys and frustrations that go with it. We are challenged in all relationships, but especially in the family, to put the wants and needs of others before our own, to stretch our hearts, to learn how to love more, to sacrifice for each other. Our readings today all challenge us to put others first, "Children, obey your parents in everything...Wives, be subordinate to your husbands...Husbands, love your wives." Jesus loved us, and so He subordinated Himself to our needs, even to the point of death. We can practice this kind of love every day, especially in the family!
What child is this, who, laid to rest, On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary.
4th Sunday in Advent
The sacrifices and offerings God asks for in the Old Testament are meant to show forth the interior reality that God's people desire to do His will before their own. Jesus came physically into the world on Christmas day so that He could live not just next to us, but, ultimately, IN us - in the Eucharist and through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amidst the busy-ness of Christmas preparation this year, take time to remember why we do all these external things: to invite and celebrate Jesus' coming into us again this Christmas!
3rd Sunday of Advent
We celebrate Gaudete Sunday - "Rejoice" Sunday - this weekend. What are we joyful about? That Jesus came and gave us something we could never get on our own, a gift of supernatural power that brings us beyond even the strongest human ability, the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is only in the Holy Spirit that we find a joy, a peace, a thankfulness that surpasses anything this world can offer. That's why we rejoice this Sunday, that we already have this gift. Have you unwrapped it yet? Come, Holy Spirit!
2nd Sunday of Advent
John the Baptist challenges us in this second week of Advent to be prepared for Christ's coming, to make straight a highway for our God. God came to this earth because He wanted our hearts, and He'll keep coming until He gets them. When Jesus comes, will He find the road to your heart smooth-sailing for His holiday travel...or is it going to be a bumpy and windy ride? What needs to be cleared away? What needs to be added? "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths" this Advent season!