Posts tagged: Birth of Jesus

What A Gift – What a Goal

By , February 15, 2014 5:02 am

February 16th, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

My readers may be getting tired of my many references to the fact that the Sunday readings are a catechetical process. Think of it. All the Catholics of the world who are attending Mass on Sunday are sitting in the same Scripture class and the teacher is no one other than the Holy Spirit.

Each Sunday, the three readings or excerpts from the sacred texts form a collage with a special message. Sometimes the message is very clear. Sometimes you really have to reach for it. Today, the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, is very clear but I must admit that you do have to reach for it.

The class carries us back to Sirach, two centuries before the birth of Jesus, and Sirach tells us that we need to live our lives according to God’s wisdom. In other words, we must make judgments that will keep us on life’s right path and protect ourselves from disaster.

St. Paul picks up the same theme while writing to the Church in Corinth and he talks in a very interesting way that God’s wisdom is “mysterious, a hidden wisdom.” However, if we live by God’s wisdom, we will have a marvelous reward because Paul reminds us that “eye has not seen nor ear heard….what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Sit and think that over quietly. Wow! How wonderful!

Matthew’s Gospel ties in as usual with the first reading and is all about good judgment – how we ought to live with each other fairly, generously and in keeping with the Commandments.

The message of today’s liturgy all ties together that we must use the two great gifts that God has given us – our intellect giving us the power to use our will, our decision making capability. All sin is is the deliberate misuse of those two awesome gifts. We must direct our mind towards God and with our will choose those things which draw us to God.

Onward towards the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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It’s Over!

By , December 31, 2013 9:14 am

The celebration of Christmas is wonderful. We gather, we thank God for his gifts, we exchange gifts ourselves, we see friends and family for the first time in many months, there is an exuberance in the atmosphere that fills our lives with enthusiasm and joy and then finally…IT IS OVER! While we thank God for Christmas and all that it involves, there is always a sense of relief when we get back to our normal routine. But we must be careful.

When considering all the above-mentioned events and factors, we must not forget that there is something behind them that caused them! The Christ child. The Christ child is now behind us but the real power of Christmas must be factored into our lives. Jesus Christ is with us, not as a child but as the awesome God-man and this must not be taken for granted. The babe of Bethlehem has been given birth, nursed, coaxed and lovingly cajoled into effectiveness but we must clearly remember that the baby Jesus did not save the world. The adult Christ did and does! Our task is to turn the baby Jesus into the adult Christ in our lives. We need to do that by our faithfulness and how we live.

Christmas is behind us. The New Year begins. We walk into it with calm confidence and optimism but those two qualities are valid only if our relationship with our Savior is mature, intelligent and driven by our faith in his revelation.

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They Fuse Together Nicely

By , December 4, 2012 5:13 am

In modern American secular culture, the celebration of Thanksgiving at the end of November and the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus fuse together under one heading “the holidays.” For most people, it is a very active period and involves a lot of work, a lot of celebration, usually too much expense, but overall a thoroughly enjoyable time.
It is an accident that these two celebrations are close to each other. Thanksgiving only goes back a couple of centuries and it is a North American celebration, whereas the birth of Jesus has been celebrated for a large portion of the last 2,000 years. Is there a connection? Yes, indeed!
Thanksgiving motivates us to be appreciative of the many blessings that we have received and the people with whom we are sharing life to whom we owe gratitude and appreciation. When we are thankful, we should show and manifest that appreciation. We do it by giving gifts but, more importantly, by giving of ourselves.
The Feast of Christmas is the celebration of the greatest gift in human history – God’s gift of his Divine Son to the human family. Jesus would be one with us, share our human nature, give us the example of how life is to be lived, how we are to relate to each other and when we are joined to him through faith and baptism, we become his brothers and sisters and thereby children of the Father. It is awesome, simply awesome, but real.
Advent is upon us and a time of giving and receiving is here. Some of the greatest gifts that come with the presence of Jesus among us are the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will think about these special gifts tomorrow.

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