Feast of the Holy Family
In today's readings we get some very practical advice about how to live as Christians: put the wants and needs of others before your own...as Christ did. Paul gives us a very concrete example of how this looks in one of the most fundamental sets of relationships we find ourselves in: the family. Before getting up-in-arms about how Paul could write, "Wives, be subordinate to your husbands," let's look at the reading in context and see how Paul is challenging everyone to stretch their hearts and love others the way Christ loved us.
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?
4th Sunday of Advent
God made a promise to King David, that He would establish a house and kingdom for him that would last forever, and that an heir of his would rule in this kingdom. 1,000 years later, that promise came true in a little baby born on Christmas - Jesus. God gave us, in Jesus, the greatest present of all: a savior to be present with us always, so that we would never be separated from God. This Christmas our Father wants a special present from us (in fact, the only thing He ever wants from us) - our presence with Him!
3rd Sunday of Advent
Christ is Coming! Amidst all the preparations for Christmas - food, shopping, cleaning, gifts, cards, travel plans - it's all because Christ is coming! The most important preparations we make, then, aren't the externals of the beautifully cleaned and decorated house or the delicious food we've prepared, but the internals of how we've cleaned and made room in our heart for Jesus, how we've prepared a meal for Him in our souls - through prayers and actions - when He comes at Christmas. All the preparations are necessary, but the most necessary ones are the preparations that no one else can see but God.