“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…
“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…
Reflection for the First Sunday of Christmas, Feast of the Holy Family, Year A
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?
A reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle A
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…
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.
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.
“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.
Something in me wants to pick up writing/blogging again. Waiting for the bug to bite, maybe a little inspiration from friends. Speaking of friends, here’s a post from a friend of mine — Hi Rob! — a fellow volunteer with me at our parish RCIA for the last 5 years. He’s got quite a story…
Jesus the Bridegroom is an excellent book by Brant Pitre that does a great job of bringing to light the bigger picture of salvation history through the lens of a courtship and marriage of God to his people. Drawing from the continual references throughout the bible to marriage, Brant opens up the world of the Jewish people in a way that most Christians of today have never considered. By connecting ourselves to this world we become more enlightened and familiar with the customs and practices, and find ourselves understanding the words and actions of Jesus more clearly.
While pondering these thoughts and reflecting on my own personal experiences, I began to form a slightly different analogy that I’d like to share. As I considered the idea of courtship and marriage to God and His Church, I started to draw parallels between my Protestant days and my Catholic conversion and how…