"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.
News in Homilies
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.
Jesus compares living in His company to the equivalent of a party. His Church should be a happy place. To sign on with Him should be as great an occasion as going to a banquet filled with warm laughter, prime ribs, aged wines, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and brandy from Napoleon's cellar.
The parable of the wicked tenants also appears with some variations in Mk 12: 1-12 and Lk 20: 9-18. In Matthew's gospel it is the second in a trilogy of judgment parables, preceded by the parable of the Two Sons and followed by the parable of the Marriage Feast.
It is difficult for us to explain our belief in Jesus. He is not just a theory, an intellectual doctrine. He is a living person. We have a personal relationship with Him. We go through our days speaking to Him and listening for Him to speak to us.
Today is the tenth anniversary of one of the worst days in the history of the United States. It still makes our blood boil to think of all the innocent people who will killed by the terrorists in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. Many in America, sadly, have responded to hate with hate, to anger with anger.