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Showing posts from December, 2012

God's Promises to Us--The Fourth Sunday of Advent. A Time to Hope

The Gospel text for the Fourth Sunday of Advent this year gives us the story of the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. Every line of this wonderful account could be the subject of a reflection, for example the meaning of the baby (John the Baptist) leaping in Elizabeth's womb for joy.  What struck me as significant for this year when we have just experienced the horrible tragedy in Sandy Hook, CT and see violence erupting all over the world was the last line of this text from Luke 1:45 "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

   These words, spoken by Elizabeth to Mary, apply to the recent acceptance by Mary of God's invitation to her to be the mother of the Savior in spite of Mary's not understanding how this can be.  What might we, today, learn from these words? How do they apply top us?

   Remember, God has made promises to us and with all that is going on today we, like Mary, wonder how all this can be. "…

Gaudete Sunday

The Third Sunday of Advent is upon us--Gaudete or Rejoice is the theme. We are invited to have joy because Christmas is upon us soon.  Yet in light of the tragic events of the past week, and tragic doesn't even begin to describe them, what is it that we are to rejoice in.  Are we just asked to go along for the ride liturgically as we grieve, ponder and question the meaning of this horrible event where 20 innocent children and 6 adults, some of them heroes who prevented further death, were killed?

  On the surface it is not only absurd, it is an insult to the fallen and wounded people of Sandy Hook, CT to dedicate this Sunday to rejoicing just because the liturgical calendar calls for it.  But let us ask nonetheless whether there is cause for joy and what, after all is joy?

    With these questions in mind I would like to share with you my own journey of the past week.  On Saturday, December 8, I had a wonderful weekly phone chat with my brother Michael.  Both of us were upbeat,…

More Thoughts about Advent--Advent in 3D

Come Desire of Nations, Come--An Advent Reflection

Yesterday morning our community celebrated Mass for the last day of the liturgical year. The responsorial psalm was "Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus."  To use a modern word this statement makes for a nice segue into Advent.  One article that I read recently suggests that Advent is the season of desire.  I agree.  But what is desire.

   Our desires are our deepest longings, the things that we most crave for. And what is it that we most desire. St. Augustine answers that question magnificently when he writes at the beginning of his Confessions, "We were made for You alone, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."  It is God, then that we most desire. This is why Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI in his book, The Holy Longing, says "Spirituality concerns what we do with our desire."  At this point we get into some challenging issues.  Desire can become the desire for wealth and power, or lustful desire.  Over the years this has lead to a distortion…