The Lord Said to Me: You Are My Servant Reply

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“Now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb” (Image: Life in Full Bloom, By Alison Stone)

For the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Every Sunday the liturgical readings present us with a mystery, and the mystery this Sunday might be how these particular readings are connected. Let’s start by considering the First Reading taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: More…

How Important Was Jesus’ Baptism? Reply

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And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

I get goosebumps every time I attend a baptism. Whether it’s an infant or an adult being baptized, I feel like I’m transported back to my own baptism, every time.

I don’t actually remember my own baptism as a baby, of course, but celebrating the sacrament of baptism always awakens my interconnectedness with all the baptized in Christ.

Like ligaments connecting muscles to bones, baptism unites us all as one body in Christ. On account of our faith, we know that baptism really and truly unites us to Him. More…

Epiphany’s Light and the Dark Side Reply

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“Gifts of the Magi” from the Nativity Scene in St. Augustine’s Cathedral, St. Augustine, Florida (Photo by Alison Stone)

According to St. John,

The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)

The liturgy for this Sunday presents our Lord’s Epiphany, a feast of light, in the midst of dark times. The text from St. Luke’s Gospel begins and ends with Herod and deals more with this nefarious figure than with the Magi, Mary, Joseph, or our Lord. Surely, our Sunday reflection should focus on Christ, yet Scripture also sets King Herod before us to contemplate as well. What do we stand to gain by considering this dark character, on the feast of light and hope?

Was Herod even capable of having an epiphany? More…

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“Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto” at the Cathedral of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida (photo taken by Alison Stone 1/3/2020)

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:22-27)

Among the mysteries in Sacred Scripture the one that puzzles the most, perhaps, is Israel’s failure to live up to its end of the bargain. That would not be a total mystery, except for the fact that God continually upholds his part, despite their failure. More…

Holy Family Sunday: a Snapshot of Chaos and Joy! Reply

Reflection for the First Sunday of Christmas, Feast of the Holy Family, Year A

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The time for waiting is over! Now it’s time for Joy! Kid’s are here to remind us what Christmas is all about.

If we could sum up the logic of the liturgical calendar in one word, the word would be Christ. It makes sense then that Christmas is the season of Joy, because we celebrate Jesus’ new born presence in the here-and-now of our lives.

It can be a great downer when Christmas comes and we’re not finding that joy, here and now. We may just find the opposite. We might even find chaos, instead of joy. What does the liturgy for the first Sunday of Christmas offer to console us?

Chaos! More…

Living the Dream Like Joseph Reply

A reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Joseph of Nazareth

Joseph, an ordinary man, can’t be all that different from you and me, even if God made him the Dad of Jesus.

If you’re like me, or most people for that matter, you’ve got a lot to do three days before Christmas.

You want to enjoy Christmas – the way it’s meant to be enjoyed – with deep and abiding peace, love, and joy. So it makes good sense that you’d be down on yourself if some little thing caused you to FREAK OUT NOW and lose your last days of Advent cool.

That’s why we can’t but admire character of Joseph. More…

Unlikely Icons of Advent Reply

Today’s first reading presents a story from the Book of Judges that parallels St. Luke’s  narrative of the Annunciation and Incarnation of Jesus Christ — the story of Samuel.

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Israel’s Judges were “warrior-prophets” who rose up and delivered their people from their enemies, kind of like Braveheart.

The implication of pairing this passage from Judges with the Announcement of John the Baptist’s birth in today’s Gospel reading is that both of these figures point forward to the Coming of Christ. The fact that both stories bear strong similarities with the Archangel’s Annunciation to the Virgin Mary also suggest that, in some way, Samuel is what we call a type of Christ, which is problematic, given Samuel’s checkered past.

 What are we to make of this? More…

Advent Vitamins Reply

O Advent, thou season of preparation!

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Advent began this year on December 1.

Maybe you’re feeling a bit down, because you missed it.

Or maybe you’re too bogged down in worldly affairs this “Holiday Season,” and you just aren’t feeling it yet.

Maybe You even forgot to be joyful on Gaudete Sunday. Not what you hoped it would be?

Buck up! Even Scrooge caught the spirit in the eleventh hour, and so can you. Need a boost? More…

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For Gaudete Sunday and Third Week of Advent

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“Rorate caeli de super et nubes pluant iustum” The Sacred Hymn “Rorate Caeli” translates, “Let dew come down from heaven above, and the clouds rain down justice.” (Isaiah 45:8)

What comes to your mind when you think of Advent?

Hope, patience, waiting, expectation, preparation, peace and love, and of course, Christmas are the most common Advent memes. The idea is to reflect, pray, and live these virtues to prepare for our Lord’s coming, at Christmas.

Now, what about vindication? More…