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?
3rd Sunday of Advent
This weekend we encounter a powerful New Testament figure, John the Baptist, in a difficult and dark time - literally and figuratively. John has been imprisoned, he probably knows he is not getting out anytime soon, and he (who proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God and prepared for Jesus' coming by his preaching and teaching) is now questioning whether or not Jesus is the promised one of God. We can all take two important lessons away from John's experience, lessons useful for our everyday life of prayer, but especially in our own times of darkness: 1) John is honest with his doubts 2) John lays his doubts at the feet of Jesus. When we are raw with our thoughts and emotions, when we lay them at the feet of our Lord without any filter, then we finally give God permission to enter into the most important areas of our life. Try it (I dare you) and God will bring great things out of it!
2nd Sunday of Advent
I had the privilege of spending this weekend with 50 inspiring high-school-aged young men and women from throughout our diocese! This fulfilled no Confirmation requirements for them, neither were any of them forced to come to this retreat - they generously set aside this time to step away from their busy lives and focus on growing closer to Jesus Christ through prayer, learning, sacraments, and community. They are making God a priority in their lives, and they inspire me to want to make God more of a priority in mine as well. Please continue to pray for the incredible youth of our diocese and the good work that God is doing in their lives!
1st Sunday of Advent
We invest in the things that are important to us - we invest time, energy, emotions, intellect, mental space, money, resources. The more we invest in something, the more important it is to us, and the more returns it will yield; the less we invest in something, the less important it is to us and the less returns it will yield. As we begin this Advent season, we are preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ at Christmas, and the more we invest in that preparation the more of a return this experience will yield for us. While we prepare in a general sense for Christ's coming, I'd like us to focus this Advent specifically on the Mass: how invested are we in the Mass? How much more could we bring to the table? What are the ways that others invest themselves in the experience of the Mass? What can I learn from them and how can I come back next week ready to invest a little more in the weekend Mass experience? God comes to us at every Mass, He has a word to speak to each one of us that pertains to this exact moment in our life, and the the more I'm investing, the more I'll experience God at work in my life at every weekend Mass!