Sunday Reflection (December 29, 2019)

There was a song in the 1990s that raised a profound question:  “What If God Was One of Us?”  The one thing that differentiates Christianity from Judaism and Islam is that we believe that God, indeed, did become one of us in Jesus Christ.  The transcendent, hidden God is more fully revealed in Jesus of Nazareth who was empowered by the Holy Spirit and taught us to pray to our compassionate heavenly Father.  This laid the foundation for the development of the Christian belief called Trinity (John 1:1-14).

We know what God’s character is like through Jesus Christ, thus it is possible to see that God is not a God of violence.  The Old Testament ambivalence about a God of violence has come to an end with the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ.  We can no longer project our violent nature upon God.  God has shown us differently in Jesus Christ.  When God became one of us in Jesus Christ, God lifted up humanity to God as valued and worthy of friendship with God.

Prayer for the Week (Dec. 29-Jan. 4)

Let us pray with joy and hope as we celebrate the dawning of God’s Word in Jesus Christ:
God, you have wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it. Grant that we share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Through Christ who eternally dwells with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.

 (Sunday Missal)

Prayer for the Week (Dec. 15-Dec. 21)

Let us pray that people recognize Christ within us and among us: Lord of hope and joy, through the Holy Spirit you are near to us: May it become visible that Christ lives within us and among us when we are near to one another and bring hope and justice to the world, especially to the poor and to those who suffer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 (Claretian Communications)

Sunday Reflection (December 15, 2019)

No doubt, like John the Baptist, we may wonder when that purging judgment will come (Matthew 11:2-6). I do admit that it is easier to wish that all those other evil people be purged than we ourselves be purged. Nevertheless, rather than violence, retribution, and judgment, the inauguration of God’s kingdom is about healing and embracing the poor and defenseless. It was not the purging many expected.

Jesus came not to fulfill our desires for a messiah, but to change our notion of what a messiah is like. While waiting, plant seeds in hope of harvest, and do what Jesus did: Help one another, defend the defenseless, embrace the poor, love our enemies, and yes, forgive. In due time the harvest will come.

Sunday Reflection (December 8, 2019)

Happy Advent “you brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Soothing words from John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12). John challenges us to change our attitude and way of life. True repentance produces noticeable results in our dealings with others. I am convinced that our spiritual lives are one of continual repentance because perfection always eludes, yet we should not give up because of God’s grace.

God works with us in spite of our imperfection, and give us the joy and hope of repentance. The present and future have the possibility of being different in that repentance grants us the opportunity to reshape our present and our future. If we become spiritually haughty, we diminish the chance o reshape our present and our future. May we not be snugly comfortable with the way things are. May we continually repent and make the world a better place.

Prayer for the Week (Dec. 8-Dec. 14)

Let us pray that we anticipate the coming of Jesus our Savior: God our Father, you sent your Messiah into our world with the power of love and compassion. May all your people accept him in faith so that Christ be birthed and grow within us and among us. May your Church faithful to the Gospel of justice and peace. Amen.

 (Claretian Communications)

Sunday Reflection (December 1, 2019)

If the Lord came today, would you be diligently working (Matthew 24:36-44)? We look for the Lord’s return, but while looking may we not neglect to do as much good as we can while we are here. Paul (Romans 13:11-14) encourages us to be prepared by “putting on the Lord Jesus Christ!”

The Holy Spirit leads us to avoid the gratification of the negative fleshly desires that tear down and destroy us and others. May we put as much energy, time, and money preparing for God’s kingdom as we do for Christmas. The Lord is coming. What will he find you doing?

Prayer for the Week (Dec. 1-Dec. 7)

Let us pray that we bring Christ’s light to others: Lord God, your Son, Jesus Christ came as God with a human face. Lead us to create with you a love and justice that reflects your light in a dark world, and until that day may the Holy Spirit inspire and guide us to lead everyone to you. Amen.

 (Claretian Communications)