The initiative is God’s, it always has been. He created us, He sustains us, He reveals himself to us and He redeems us. And in this season of Lent, as we embark on our 40 day journey, God’s words bring us back to this basic point: “Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks.”
News in Homilies
The first reading begins with a horrible quotation from the Book of Job. "My months are full of misery. I can't wait to get to bed, then I can't wait to get up. I shall not see happiness again? What a wonderful way to begin our Sunday. Then the Gospel reading relates the cure of Simon Peter's mother-in-law, who promptly gets out of bed and starts waiting on Jesus and the disciples.
People want to hear the real Word of God, and feel the presence of God in the words of the speaker. We can do this. We have the authority to do this. People can witness the Word of God present in our lives, and then choose to make the Word of God present in their own lives. We can do this. We can make Jesus' presence real for others.
We anxiously wait for the Messiah, because we are told that “justice will flower in his days and peace abounds till the moon be no more. He delivers the needy who call on him, the afficted with no one to help them. May grain abound throughout the land” (Ps 72:7.12.16). We have not yet seen these prophecies realized, so we keep waiting.
The Baptism of the Lord: A Call to Change the World. This is the last Sunday of the Christmas Season and the First Sunday of Ordinary time. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord concludes Christmas and begins the meditation on the ministry of Jesus.
Shining star - Light for all peoples. The dream of God came true when a star appears in Israel, Christ the Lord, as the Lord has promised (Nm 24:17). His light drives away the darkness created by ancestral hates and convokes all the people in one family. This is the message of hope of the Epiphany, the feast of light.
Today, the Sunday following Christmas, the Church gives importance to all families by setting the Holy family of Nazareth before us as an example. It is not a pie in the sky sort of feast - say your prayers and all will be well. Instead, Mary is told by Simeon, "you yourself shall be pierced with a sword." The arena of marriage is not an easy one.
Christmas: "It's the story of hope –- the birth of a singular child into the simplest of circumstances - a child who would grow up to live a life of humility, and kindness, and compassion; who traveled with a message of empathy and understanding; who taught us to care for the poor, and the marginalized, and those who are different from ourselves.
We have been called, chosen, to lead people out of the cave of darkness into the Light of the Lord. We have been called to be witnesses. We are the new witnesses, and in many ways, the new martyrs. We give testimony to the Truth of the Lord even if this testimony takes a personal toll on us in our homes, at our workplace or in our neighborhoods. We are the new John the Baptists, apostles and witnesses
We must build a highway for Christ into our hearts. Jesus Christ is a reality, not an ideal. He is coming into our lives, if we let Him. We have to prepare for Him. Christmas is the celebration of love. It is a celebration of the Love that God the Father has for us to send us His Son.
During Advent we can renew and deepen our friendship with Christ. Under the headings of Pray, Study, Give and Share your Faith, we are asked to choose four things to do in our preparation for the celebration of the coming of Jesus at Christmas.
Our King dresses poorly. Uses carpentry as cover. Has visionary ideas. Associates with working people, unemployed, and winos. Has variety of aliases: Prince of Peace, Son of Man, Light of the world, etc. Full beard and scars on hands and feet the results of injuries inflicted by angry mob led by respectable citizens and local authorities."
We share in His Glory only to the extent that we have allowed Him to be seen in our efforts. Nothing that we do should be about us. All our gifts should be seen as just that, gifts from God. This is a message we need to convey to our children and Teens. The Lord tells us in the parable that the Master will come for an accounting of how we used the particular talents He has given each of us.
Are you not aware that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?....The temple of God is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Cor 3:16-17) Today’s celebration is not really about a place, after all. It is about us. We are the Church.
Why do we pray for our deceased loved ones? Why do we have this celebration today, the Commemoration of All Souls? Why do we dedicate the month of November to praying for the dead? Why do we have funeral Masses? We do all these things because we believe in the power of prayer.
The Heart of the Law. In 1927 my grandfather, my father's father died. My dad was just 10 years old. his older brother was 13. His four sisters were 11, 8, 5, and 2. My grandmother was in her mid 30's. There was no welfare, no child support, no social security.
Who was more powerful? On earth, politically and militarily, that would be Caesar as represented by Pilate. In the realm that really matter, God's Kingdom, there was no comparison. Jesus was and is the King of Kings. Even Rome's earthly power could be, and would be taken away from it.
This is not a good Sunday for you if you are on a diet. The first reading talks about the banquet of the Lord, where there will be juicy, rich food. Heaven will be pastry without cholesterol. The gospel talks about the wedding banquet that a king prepares for his son, only to have the invited refuse to come and even mistreat his servants.
Today's Gospel repeats God's complaint, only the parable becomes more specific. What was it that the people had done and were still doing? They rejected God's emissaries, the prophets. Later on in the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus would weep over Jerusalem because the city kills the prophets and stones God's messengers.