Archive for December, 2016


Christmas 2016

December 25, 2016


In his encyclical, Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis wrote, “Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence.”

Today we hear news of great joy.  But what is joy?  Does that mean happiness?  Does that mean no suffering or sadness?

Desmond Tutu said that joy is a way of approaching the world.  I think it is a deep-seated sense that there is meaning in everything.  That we are not victims of fate, but that we are being lead – if we can only surrender our ego long enough to listen to the voice of God in our own hearts.

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


4th Sunday of Advent

December 18, 2016


Over the past four weeks we have focused on our story as part of a much larger narrative.  We have recognized that our story is a generational one – a story that began long ago with people like Jacob who, for a time, fought with God, but then trusted himself to be lead into a new land and new relationship.

The stories of our ancestors is one of persistence – the kind that makes space for grace to complete the incomplete and real the unrealizable.

They are stories of impossibilities becoming possible because of the trust that they had in God and in each other.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Fourth Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 7:10-14, 10; Psalm 24; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24)


3rd Sunday of Advent

December 11, 2016


Over the past few weeks (months really), we have been encouraging you to better understand and articulate why you come to your pew.  For years, whenever I ask – especially lifelong Catholics – why they come to Mass, they give me an answer concerning obligation or nostalgia.  But it has to be more than that, and so I repeat Jesus’ question to you:  what did you come here to see?

What are we doing now to ensure that our friends and children will have an opportunity to know what we have known?

Do we make the sacrifices necessary so that what we have inherited due to the sacrifices of others may be known to the next generation?  Do we know enough about our faith to articulate it to others?   Do we know enough to shout it to those who journey in the wilderness of the city with us?  Do we know enough to prepare a path for those who don’t feel they can come here:  the ones who feel the church has abandoned them?

Can we give sight to those blinded by the poor behavior of those who claim to represent God?

To those who have been made lame by their own hurt?

To those made deaf to the voice of God because of the noise of their own busyness?

To those who have felt like lepers outcast from belonging?

To those who have died in meaningless suffering, whose misery is too often spiritualized rather than contemplated?

How do we prepare a path for them?  Because in doing so we prepare a path for ourselves.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Third Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 35:1-6, 10; Psalm 146; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11)


2nd Sunday of Advent

December 4, 2016


St. Paul tells the Romans:  Whatever is written in the scriptures was written for our instruction.  That they may teach us endurance, and give us encouragement so that we may have hope.

But that hope is also given a particular directive:  it is the hope that we may learn to live in harmony with one another – even if we believe to be different.

It is as we spoke about last week:  God loves diversity, and should we have the ability to see the Creator beyond attributes that make us different, we will see an even more beautiful unity in the diversity.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Second Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12)