Listen. See. Share. Today’s readings provide a framework for Christian discipleship. Samuel hears the voice of God but does not know it is God. But once he does, wow. He becomes a great prophet. Saint John the Baptist points out the Lamb of God. And some of his disciples follow. Andrew is convinced Jesus is the Messiah and he shares this belief with his brother Simon. Listen. See. Share.
Disturb me, O Lord. Make me uncomfortable. The trend today seems to be to avoid discomfort, sometimes at all costs. In many ways, the current state of affairs in our country is the inability to allow ourselves to be uncomfortable. Whenever it happens, we are tempted to avoid it. And yet, we need to remember the source of our discomfort may be God himself.
Does your baptism make a difference in your life? Do you live differently and make different choices than you would if you were not baptized? Our baptism connects us to Jesus and to the Church. As such, these relationships should transform every aspect of our lives. Our thoughts, words and actions should be those who have committed their lives to following Jesus wherever that may lead.
The events of this week at the US Capitol have left me, like many, shaken. The takeover of the capitol was something I only believed happened in “banana republics”, not in a country claiming to be built on the foundation of reason and persuasion as the method to settle disputes. I have attempted to write my reaction to these events many times, only to find it difficult to do so.
While the readings for daily Mass are almost always decided ahead of time, there are days like today when the readings appear to be especially chosen by God for us. After the horrific events at the capitol yesterday, Saint John reminds us of the importance of love. And Jesus reads the passage from Isaiah that teaches us what it means to love.
I would like to suggest listening to a podcast. Father Mike Schmitz, of Ascension Press, has the MOST popular podcast on iTunes. It is: The Bible in a Year. It is a wonderful way to not only have the bible read, but also to understand elements of the story that might not first be apparent.
Merry Christmas! If you have been counting, you know that today is the 12th Day of Christmas. The Incarnation is so important, so miraculous, that we celebrate it not just with a day, but for a season. Eight Days of an Octave, and Christmas days right up until the Baptism of the Lord. And the message of the Incarnation is simple, for Jesus tells us again and again: God loves us. Jesus loves us. And the truth is we need to hear it over and over again. And when love is involved, it demands sharing. Know the love that God has for you, and share that love with others.
Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee; Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man. These words by Gerard Manley Hopkins from his poem Carrion Comfort are from a person firmly finished with the negativity of life that has led to the precipice of despair. In fact, this poem represents Gerard Manley Hopkin’s struggle with depression. Death and despair are for him closely related, and in this poem Hopkins rejects suicide as the answer to his despair. Having finished a year where I heard the word “unprecedented” more times than perhaps all other years of my life combined, there is no denying that for us collectively, all around the world, this was a very hard year, 2020.
See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples. This is a sentence that could have described 2020 even though it was written by the prophet Isaiah centuries ago. We had economic distress, the global pandemic, physical separation from those we love and care about. In the midst of all this, did we witness as a people of light to a world of darkness? Did we live the example of faith that became attractive to those without hope? Or did we give into the darkness?
Ever wonder what Mary’s favorite title is? While I think being identified as a disciple of her Son is at the top of the list, I suspect the other title that rises to the top is “Mom.” When I think of my own mother, and other women who are mothers, it seems that the best mothers treasure the moment. Mary reflected and treasured these things in her heart. And I suspect she treasured nothing more than those divine experiences that allowed the Holy Spirit to act always through her in her life.