There is more to life than the present difficulties. There is the spiritual “Yes” of Jesus Christ. Recently I heard a commentator mention the obvious, as they usually do. She said that the present economic condition in our country should lead people to re-consider their perception of their self-worth.
News in Homilies
This Sunday's gospel tells us of Jesus' cure of a man afflicted with leprosy. A leper comes to Jesus and begs to be cured. Moved with compassion, Jesus touches the "untouchable" and cures him. He then sends him to a priest so that he can be reinstated into the community.
In the Gospel for today he heals Simon's mother-in-law of a fever. He heals people with all sorts of illnesses including possession which refers both to diabolic possession and psychological, or psychiatric illnesses.
Parents have authority due to their position in the family. God tells children to honor their mothers and fathers. That’s the Fourth Commandment. But the authority of parents is diminished or even destroyed when the parents act in ways that are not Christian.
"Repent and believe the good news" are the first words that Jesus the Christ spoke in the Gospel of Mark. So one must conclude that this brief message must be of paramount importance to Him. They are but six words and yet they continue to turn the world upside down. And they send us into denial.
When John called Jesus the Lamb of God, he was saying a lot. Jesus is gentle and like a lamb, submissive to the will of his Father. In obedience to his Father, he would offer his life on the altar of the cross. He would make a sacrifice so complete that it would not need repitition. As the letter to the Hebrews says, it would be "once and for all."
Recent studies have shown that those east of Judea would have indeed seen a phenomenon in the sky, a star in their sense of the term, right at the time of the birth of Jesus. Were the three simply wise men? Certainly, they were wise, but wiser than most men. They were willing to leave their lands, their comforts, and journey to find the great King whose birth was announced by the star. We pray today for the wisdom to seek the Lord.
On this, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we pray for faith, real faith, not faith that demands proofs and is therefore a very weak faith, but faith that God is working His plans in and through us in mysterious ways.
Christmas comes this year as the financial conditions of the country and much of the world are leading most to recognize that their lifestyles must change, particularly the lifestyle that buys without the clear knowledge of having an ability to pay.
Each one of us has part of God's plan. We might not be the founder of the dynasty like David, nor the mother of the Savior like Mary, but we are called to lead others to Bethlehem, to lead others to our Lord. O Come O Come, Emmanuel. Come and give us the strength and the courage to radiate your presence to a waiting world.
"There was a man named John, sent by God to give testimony to the Light." Like John the Baptist we also have been called to be apostles and witnesses. We are called to make the presence of Christ a reality in our worlds by giving witness to his presence in our own lives. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” The message of this Third Sunday of Advent is simple: Our lives must lead others to rejoice in the Light.
In Mary's Immaculate Conception the Church sees projected and anticipated in her most noble member, the saving grace of Easter. In the event of the Incarnation the Church encounters Christ and Mary indissolubly united: "he who is the Church's Lord and Head and she who, uttering the first fiat of the New Covenant, prefigures the Church's condition as spouse and mother" (Redemptoris Mater, n. 1).
If We Want Change, We Need To Change. Prepare the world for Jesus Christ. What John the Baptist is telling us is to look within, change our own attitudes, and then trust God to allow this change to have a part in the transformation the world.
As we begin the season of Advent we ask for the grace to stay alert and watchful. We stand in awe of God's coming to us - and we give him thanks. It is right and just. Welcome to Advent - and welcome to the new missal! I would like to begin by practicing the introductory dialogue to the Preface. Priest: The Lord be with you. /People: And with your spirit.
The end of the Church year, the end of time, the last judgment, the solemnity of Christ the King--all these themes fit together as we are meditate on the gospel. Christ sits enthroned as King of Kings. He judges each of us. Dante would put it this way, “We are judged on our capacity for Love.”
Bottom line: Today Jesus asks you to do small things with great love. This Sunday I am going to ask you to make a conscious investment. I will be giving out a card that lists some of the opportunities in our parish, our homes, our community. Each of you has received talents of time, abilities, energy, relationships and financial resources.
Jesus warns us today, "You know not the day nor the hour." "We must do long-range planning for the coming of Jesus at the end but just as important is short-range planning for Jesus' coming in the now and here." (Joseph Donders)
Salvation we are told is free but not cheap. So make sure that what you are living for is worth dying for. If you say, "But God seems so distant, guess who moved."
Putting on a mask and pretending is perfectly acceptable for a child, particularly on Halloween. But, putting on a mask and pretending is not acceptable for a follower of Jesus Christ. God is not satisfied with people imagining that they are great followers of Christ. We are not called to appear to be a holy people. We are called to be a holy people.
The Jewish spiritual writer, Rabbi Harold Kushner, sound very much like a devoted Christian when he states that people ask the wrong question: they often ask, “Where is God?” They should ask, “When is God?” And then he, a devoted Jew, states, “God is present when we love him and when we love our neighbor.
Give to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to him. Yes, we must obey the just laws of our nation. At the same time we must give to God what belongs to him. And what belongs to God? Our consciences - that inner core of our being. Today freedom of conscience is under attack in many areas and government regulations.