Is Jesus any more welcome in our world than he was the world of the first century? The answer is “probably not”. His purpose is still the same. The only thing he promises to change is you and me. There still are no magic solutions to the ills of society, no easy salvation from the sins that would ruin our lives, but to those who receive him he still gives “the power to become children of God.”
Most of us cannot spend our entire night and day gazing at the tabernacle in our parish church but we can center on the presence of God within us at every moment of our day and in this time of mindfulness it will be Jesus praying through us and helping us see his work being fulfilled in us and through us.
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph –
The gift of our families is the greatest treasure of our lives. Sadly, we often take that love for granted, misplace it in lives, discover its meaning late in life…. or truly sadly…. never to discover it at all. Christmas and this Feast of the Holy Family should remind us that life is fragile and that love and, most especially, the love of our families which is rooted in God and in faith, is the only thing that is important.
The Holy Innocents –
When the days were darkened by the evil of King Herod, Mary and Joseph plunged into the business of rearing a child. Their focus was not on the evil of King Herod but on the love of God. There are King Herods in our society today, drugs, alcohol, all kinds of addictions that are waiting to eat away at the fabric of our children. Our attention must be given to our children and we need a strong faith in God as Mary and Joseph.
St. John –
Wherever we are in our life of faith Jesus is with us. He will continue to meet us where we are fearful, he will be with us when our heart is locked to everyone else; he is with us as we attempt to walk away. He is among us and is with us in all we do. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.
St. Stephen –
A person who wants of be a disciple must first of all decide whether he or she can stand up under the crosses that will have to be carried along the way. The lives of the apostles were filled with uncertainty and persecution. The same is true for Christians in every age. Being faithful to Christ and all he stands for does not make us popular. The Eucharist is our strength.
The Nativity of the Lord –
Having room for Jesus is not an easy matter. It always requires some rearranging. We never just have the room. We have to make room. The old Innkeeper could tell us about that, the knock at the door, the inevitable choice, make room or give him whatever you have left over. What will it be? Invite him in or crowd him out? Merry Christmas.
(Mass in the morning) –
Christmas is about new life and giving birth. Why not use this Christmas season to rummage through the attic of our minds, dust off the dreams we have buried, and ask God to breathe new life into our dreams. Jesus gave himself to us totally and completely. Can we be more generous in sharing our life with others? Only then will we really understand the Incarnation.
St. John of Kanty –
Probably few babies in the entire world were ever less expected or more welcome than that little boy named John. We know him as John the Baptizer. He was the forerunner of Jesus, sent to prepare the hearts of people for his coming. His parents understood and taught him that his life was a part of the plan and purpose of God. Wouldn’t it be good if we could understand the same thing about ourselves and our children? Because it’s true, you know. Everyone’s life is a plan of God.
Fourth Sunday of Advent –
Immanuel means “God is with us.” Jesus lived out that message all through his life as he welcomed everyone including tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners. Everyone felt comfortable in his presence except those who were neither honest nor trustworthy, or those who felt quite sure of themselves like the Scribes, Pharisees and the legalistic religious leaders. Jesus never did well with narcissists.