Today is not the feast day of John the Baptist, but it is a day when the readings at Mass celebrate the person who is often thought of as the last Old Testament prophet and the first prophet of the New Covenant. As it was said of so many of the Old Testament prophets, it was said also of John, “The word of God came to John.” (Lk 3:2) And like so many of his predecessors, John called for the people of Israel to return the their Lord. “Repent [or turn your life around],-for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Mt. 3:2) Or as Luke put it, “He went throughout [the] whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” John used the direct language of the prophets, he called the Pharisees and Saducees “You brood of vipers!” He criticized them for relying on their lineage from Abraham. He told them Continue reading
Tag Archives: Advent 2015
Prayer to San Juan Diego
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
Most humble and obedient Juan Diego held in esteem by no one,
you called yourself a nobody, a small rope, a tiny ladder
and the tail end.
Help us as we travel through our lives, mirroring your journey into the light. Be with us as we wake each morning in the chilly darkness of uncertainty. Walk with us, the aging, the forgotten, the poor in money, the poor in spirit, we who are fearful of taking the steps that take us to do the will of God.
Let your quiet acceptance lead us to do those seemingly small deeds within our reach; acts of kindness and charity that blossom into a mantle filled with roses. Remind us that together in Christ we can make burdens light. Remind us that our reward will be to find our own rest.
Show us, Juanito nuestro, that this Advent season is a journey out of darkness into the brilliant presence of a God, who loving us beyond understanding, sent his Son who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
Say yes to the difficult.
Say yes to the challenging.
Say yes to the improbable.
Say yes to the absurd.
Say yes to love.
Say yes to peace.
Say yes to hope.
Say yes to mercy.
Say yes to God.
Buck the trend, upend the world as God’s radical partner, God’s unlikely choice, God’s mysterious candidate, unknown to the world, but made for great things.
Be the gateway to promises kept. Be the portal to astonishment. Be the opening to wonderment. Be the way to passage to love. Be the door through which mercy flows.
On this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, look from one side to the other, by saying yes to sin and death, by saying yes to a clean heart and eternal life.
On this opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, say yes, even if it means an almost imperceptible shift of your inner being, barely a crack where light can pass through. Say yes to it all, however timidly and however small.
Say yes today.
Advent Reflection – Joyful Journeys
Meditation on the readings for December 7, 2015
Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalms 85: 9-14; Luke 5: 17-26
The passage from Isaiah is the perfect passage for Advent. If we fill in the other side of Isaiah’s metaphors with personal struggles in our lives that have been resolved through God’s mercy and love, then we can claim the joy of the season for our own. What lands of ours that were once parched have come into to full bloom? Have our hands and knees that were once feeble been made strong? Were our hearts frightened (and whose aren’t today) before we heard the words “Fear not”?
Perhaps our struggle is ongoing. Then, like the paralyzed man in the Gospel’s, we need friends that will carry us the the feet of Jesus where we can ask to be healed. And don’t be surprised if he says to us, “Your sins our forgiven.” If we reflect on this, we may realize that our paralysis is due to some unforgiven sin. Unforgiven because we have not asked to be forgiven or we have been in denial of its existence. Once we come to know that our God is a forgiving God, the healing can begin. Not only will we recover our ability to walk, we will be able to “leap like a stag” singing and praising God all the way home.
The message of Christmas should give us such joy and hope. When Simeon held the Christ child in the temple, the Holy Spirit revealed to him that through this baby salvation had come into the world so that the people of all nations could be healed. The psalmist declares that God has proclaimed peace to those who put their trust in Him. Isn’t that what the angels proclaimed to the shepherds?
We have a journey to make and we will pass through desserts, times of sickness, and times of fear along that journey. Perhaps we have come a long way along that journey or perhaps we have just found someone to show us the way to go.The scriptures assure us that God will accompany us on that journey with His mercy love and peace. The message of Christmas is that we do not have to make that journey alone, that all we have to is to walk in His footsteps.
Today, a short post. This music was in my head, so I am sharing it here as we all come together to pray and wait in Advent. Wait for the Lord by Taize. If this is a busy day for you, may this be 5 minutes (almost 5 minutes!) of peace for you. Advent waiting sometimes means carving out little moments where we can, as we wait for the Lord.
Please join us at St Edward the Confessor in Clifton Park, NY tonight, December 4, 2015, for Lessons and Carols. This promises to be a prayerful and joyful evening – all are welcome!
Tonight begins our tradition of Sung Evening Prayer. Please join us – one need not be a parishioner, or to be Catholic. We want to offer a prayerful space where we can join for a short time each week to find peace. We are at 569 Clifton Park Center Road, in Clifton Park. Our service begins at 7PM, and is offered each Tuesday during this season. If you have never been to St. Edward’s, go all the way around the back to find the front door. We look forward to seeing you! Here is some Advent music added to the invitation.
If you heard Fr. Pat’s homily at 4pm on Saturday, and presumably on Sunday as well, he mentioned a man named Antoine Leiris whose wife Hélène Muyal was massacred at the Bataclan theatre in Paris during the recent terrorist attack. Fr. Pat spoke of this man’s letter to the terrorists, how would not into hate. What a powerful way to enter into the hope and anticipation of Advent.