Saturday, December 17, 2016

Experience Emmanuel this Christmas.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1: 23 NABRE)

But Jesus is also God in us and for us.  How do you experience Emmanuel?  Joseph had a sudden inspiration in a dream and realized the presence of God.  Jacob wrestled with God in a dream and woke up to realize that God was with him in that place.  (Genesis 32: 22 -  32)

At a moment of great crisis, I was inspired to read Exodus 14: 13-14.  I did and realized that God was with me.  God is the Unseen Actor.  He wanted me to be a spectator.

We can experience God when we read devout books.  When you pray, you speak to God.  When you read, God speaks to you.  (St Vincent de Paul)
You can experience Emmanuel when you receive the Eucharist and when you sit quietly before the Blessed Sacrament.

Come O Emmanuel, God with us.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew 1: 1 NABRE)

In the final week of Advent, the Church throughout the world listens to the Genealogy of Jesus Christ according to Matthew.   (Matthew 1: 1 - 17)  What lessons does this contain?

#1.  The men and women that made up the ancestry of Jesus were not perfect.  There were murderers, adulterers, liars, etc.
#2.  God was faithful to His plan to form a family in spite of human weaknesses.
#3.  Jesus Christ is faithful to the New Family of God, the Church in spite of the foibles of the men and women that made up the Church.
#4. Jesus protected the integrity of the Church by an Oath:  THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST THE CHURCH.  (Matthew 16: 18)
#5. The Holy Spirit will lead and guide the Church always, Jesus Christ promises.
#6.  The Church therefore cannot fail.  If the Church fails, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have failed.
#7.  Is there any good reason for the existence of over 60,000 churches?
See the Prayer of Jesus for Unity of His Family.  (John 17)

Come O Head of the Church.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Sunday Rest is a Rehearsal for Eternal Rest.

"Blessed are all those who are careful to do this.
Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest and keep themselves from doing wrong."  (Isaiah 56: 2 NLT)

What is your attitude to the third Commandment?  "Thou shall keep holy the Sabbath day."
Why is this Commandment loaded with so many blessings in Sacred Scripture?  The Sabbath day comes once a week and reminds us of creation and the Resurrection of Jesus in a weekly rhythm that forces us to pause our hectic addiction to activity.  The Sabbath Rest is a rehearsal for Eternal Rest.

He who keeps holy the Lord's Day is blessed in accordance with the promises.  He who fails to observe it has nobody to blame but himself.

Come O Lord of the Sabbath.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I promise to be your strength in proportion to the trust you place on me.

"Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you."  (Isaiah 54: 9 NIV)

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Lord God of Hosts.  You blow our mind with this tremendous promise.  We respond by saying:
"Sing praise to the Lord, you His faithful ones, and give thanks to His holy Name.  For His anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime His good will."

Come O Most Merciful Savior.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Come O Son of the Eternal Father.

"I am the Lord, there is no other.
I form the light, and create the darkness, I make well being  and create woe; I, the Lord, do all these things."  (Isaiah 45:  6 -  8 NABRE)

The Bible is the Text Book of God who teaches us what is good for us.  (Isaiah 48: 17)

Many places in the Bible, Abba Father reveals Himself as in Isaiah 45: 8 above.    In Exodus 34: 6, He describes Himself thus: The Lord, the Lord, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding  in love and fidelity."  And in Psalm 145: 8,  "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy."  In Psalm 103: 8, "Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger, abounding in mercy."

The self-revelation of Abba Father goes on and on throughout Scripture.  Why?  He wants His children to know Him well and stop fearing Him.  God created us to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him so that we can live with Him forever.

Come O Little One of Bethlehem.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Come and set us free O Face of the Mercy of God.

"She hears no voice,
accepts no correction;
In the Lord she has not trusted,
to her God she has not drawn near."  (Zephaniah 3: 1-2 RM)

The Prophet Zephaniah castigates the rebellious and polluted city with woes.  The "city" is you and I.  Then the prophet painted her ugly character.  She is deaf to admonition and rejects every correction.  She trusts in princes and flatterers rather than the Lord.  As the Lord calls her, she runs further and further from Him.

Do you know anybody like this?   This is Advent.  A time of repentance and grace.  The Lord is waiting today in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.   O that today you will hear His voice, harden not your heart.  (Psalm 95:  8)

Come O Face of Divine Mercy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Let it be done to me according to Your promise.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1: 38 NIV)

What will you do if God gives you a very big job or mission, so big that you consider yourself totally unqualified for it.  You would consider it reasonable to decline.  But God is not put off by your self deprecation.  He pursues you.  He piles up the arguments:  The Holy Spirit will help you.  (Luke 1: 35)  Nothing is impossible for God.  (Luke 1: 37)  The battle is not yours but the Lord's.  (2 Chronicles 20: 15)  At last you succumbed to the charm offensive of God.  And bowing your head you murmured "You have spoken Lord, now let it be done.  (Cf Luke 1: 38)

God spoke.  Mary believed.  Filled with the Holy Spirit, she predicted "All generations shall call me blessed."  True or false?

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Happy Feast Day, O Patroness of the Americas.

Come O rising Sun.