Archive for December, 2015


The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

December 27, 2015


12 years old. Our Gospel describes Jesus when he was 12 years old. And this is important because it reminds us that he did not necessary go off into the temple simply because he had extraordinary knowledge or some level of profound holiness, but because he is an adolescent! Of course he is going to run off on his own away from his parents!

Too often, I think we idealize Joseph and Mary as the ideal parents and Jesus as the ideal child – even if we know in our mind, they were not. We literally, put them on pedestals, which is good – but we need to understand why.

Today we celebrate the feast of the HOLY family, which is not the same as the ideal or good family.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Feast of the Holy Family (1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28; 1 John 3:1-2; 21-24; Luke 2:41-52)


Christmas 2015

December 25, 2015


As many of you know, Pope Francis has declared this year an extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This past week he said that Christmas is truly the feast of God’s infinite mercy, qouting Saint Augustine of Hippo who tells us: “Could there have been any greater mercy shown to us than that which led the Creator of the heavens to come down among us, and the Creator of the earth to take on our mortal body?

That same mercy led the Lord to assume the nature of a servant, so that, being himself bread, he would suffer hunger; being himself power, he would know weakness; being himself salvation, he would experience our woundedness, and being himself life, he would die.  All this he did to ease our hunger, alleviate our longing, strengthen our weaknesses, wipe out our sins and enkindle our charity”.

For the full text of the Pope’s Homily, click here

CLICK HERE for the readings for Christmas (Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 96; Timothy 2:11-14; Luke 2_1-14)


Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 20, 2015


The fourth candle has now been lit – we are almost there.

Almost to that night when Micah’s praises once again ring true – the promise and praise of Bethlehem we hear in our first reading – a city once known as the city of David shall not give rise to one king – but now two.

We are almost that moment when God’s promise would be fulfilled: David’s lineage would last forever – a king who united Israel and established peace for Israel will soon give rise to a king who would unite and establish peace throughout all space and time.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Micah 5:1-4; Psalm 80; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45)


Third Sunday of Advent

December 12, 2015


In our first reading, we are told to shout for joy! To sing joyfully. To be glad and exult for the Lord has removed the judgment against you.

One of the many blessings of this season is the opportunity, and perhaps even the demand, to refocus our understandings and actions concerning the divine life. To renew our relationship with God. To step back and look across the horizon of faith so that we may not loose sight of the big picture.

Though many associate religion with judgment – that is not what it is about. Jesus tells us that “I have come so that you may have life to the full – that your joy may be complete.” Now in order to know joy, some judgment is necessary, but such judgment is internal, not external. Nor should we confuse the goal – the goal of all of this is not so that we may pass judgment. The goal is to have life to the full – to live in complete joy.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Third Sunday of Advent (Zephaniah 3:14-18; Isaiah 12:2; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18)


Second Sunday of Advent

December 6, 2015


Before we hear our readings, it is helpful to have a bit of background. Baruch was a sort of secretary to Jeremiah, both of whom living during the most disastrous period of Israel’s history – the Babylonian Captivity.

Our Gospel echoes Baruch. Luke is going to give us a list of names that represent the whole of the hierarchy of political and social governance in the day. These names represent terrible oppression.

And in both cases, Baruch and Luke tell the people to prepare their hearts and minds, for the Lord is going to act. As we hear these readings, we must ask ourselves, what needs preparing in your life in order for God to act? If you recall, these are the questions we asked last week: What does it mean for your redemption to draw near? How will you escape the feeling of always being on, always connected? What do you need to let go of?

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Second Sunday of Advent (Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6)