Some contemplatives are really hard core. That is to say, their commitment to contemplative prayer requires their whole being. The Carthusians are one such community. In North America, there is only one Carthusian monastery, which is in Vermont. The life is a total commitment to contemplation and to prayer and study. Today’s readings provide us with snapshots of vocation stories, first of Paul, then of Martha and Mary. This reminds us that Jesus gives a plethora of vocations for the entire Church to flourish.
Genesis 3:15 is sometimes referred to as the “protogospel”. That is, the first gospel. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” In other words, this is the first promise of a redeemer. And this promise tells us the redeemer will be an offspring of the woman, of Mary, the Mother of God.
Fr. Michael Mascari, O.P. preaches on the Annunciation through the eyes of St. Thomas Aquinas; that the Birth of Jesus was planned and executed entirely because God’s love for humanity. Under God’s Providence, Mary acts according to God’s plan. Amazingly, as Mary was, we are also completely enfolded in God’s Providence; in the midst of all our anxiety, we can always turn to God and trust in His hidden work.
She said yes. How excited when this is an answer to a marriage proposal? There is such joy and happiness when this happens. That moment of certainty when all is right with the world. There is a great unity between two people.
Ever since the Temple was built, the importance was that God’s glory dwelt there. When Solomon first built the Temple, the glory of God was a dark cloud. And when Jesus is presented in the Temple, once more the glory of God fills it. But the best part — we are now temples of the Holy Spirit. The passion and suffering of Jesus means that we are Temples of the Holy Spirit. In this way, we receive the powerful light of Christ, and we use that light to invite others into a relationship with Jesus.
Ahaz is confronted with a choice: trust God, though it seems awfully risky, or trust in worldly power because military might is more dependable. In faith, he knows what he should do. But trusting in the words of God through the prophet mean taking a risk. This can be true for us too. We can…
Life is filled with brokenness. We do not need to look very far at all to see the ways in which sin and suffering are present in our world. In the midst of this, God remains present in our midst. And during the season of Advent, Jesus is very much present to us in the example given my his mother. May we pray that just as Mary knew and followed God, so too may we.
Can you imagine how overwhelmed the Blessed Mother was when the angel appeared to her? Or the amazement of Elizabeth when she became pregnant? This weekend a Christian Brother, a martyr, was beatified. Could he have ever imagined he would grow up to give his life for his faith in Jesus? What of you? God can do magnificent things with you. Let Him.
I have been dreading the upcoming election season in the United States. I worry that the horrible way we are treating each other will get worse. As I consider a world where there is too much violence, where too often we retreat into our tribes and groups, that once again we will fail to be civil. And it is not just society. There is incivility in the Church, in fact, just about everywhere. What would happen if we made a decision to listen, to dialogue, and to get to know others we do not agree with? Let’s give it a try.
Today we have two readings that are quite different, and yet are interesting in the way in which they tell similar things about God. We have probably heard both before. The prophet Jonah is told by God to go to Nineveh, which at one time was the largest city in the world. Jonah does not want to go. In fact, he heads in the opposite direction. Martha and Mary are mentioned in more than one gospel. This story is probably familiar to us as well. Martha, the good hostess, is doing many things related to hospitality. Mary spends her time listening to the words of Jesus. Both Martha and Jonah become upset because Mary and Nineveh are not doing what they want them to do. Martha wants hospitality help and Jonah wants Nineveh to be destroyed. In the end, they both learn that they must allow God to be God.