Monthly Archives: December 2014

One Holy Family

Rembrandt (1606-1669) Simeon in the Temple oil on panel, 1627-1628 Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
Simeon in the Temple
oil on panel, 1627-1628
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38

God’s Holy Family encompasses every human person—from infants to the elderly. We are all equally important in the eyes and heart of God. We all have something to offer to others. No matter what our age, we are all called to open our minds, eyes, and hearts to encounter the Lord every day.

 

God’s messengers

he Annunciation Henry Ossawa Tanner, American (active France), 1859 - 1937 The Annunciation, 1898 oil on canvas Philadelphia Museum of Art

Henry Ossawa Tanner, American (active France), 1859 – 1937
The Annunciation, 1898
oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27

God sends specific messengers to specific locations to specific people every day.

I met several of God’s messengers at the Salvation Army Friday. Some were tiny children crying for their mothers. Some were cranky or bossy or argumentative adults. I did my best to keep saying “yes” to bearing God’s Love into the swirl of human emotions. It took all my energy.

Some messengers were kind and efficient, unfailingly gracious and cheerful. They are a living example of saying “yes” to being Love Bearers in our world where all of us just want to love and be loved.

Respond to the voices

A voice cries out in the wilderness

“A voice cries out in the wilderness”
Israeli wall around the West Bank

[John] said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,'” as Isaiah the prophet said.” John 1:23

Jesus does not exist apart from human struggles, human injustice, human atrocities. The voices I hear calling from war-torn countries show me where to find Jesus: right in the middle of it all.

How will I respond to the voices calling to me today? How will I make straight the way of the Lord in the midst of human suffering?

 

 

Wake up call

2_candlesJohn the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4

The gospel is our every day wake up call: a call to love, to help the poor, to show compassion to all people.

It’s a call to spend time in quiet prayer and meditation, to read holy scripture, to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

The gospel wakes us up to the reality of God’s presence in our world, in our lives, in our being.

Today I will trust the wake up call of the gospel and ask the Lord to bless me with knowledge of his will for me and the power to carry it out.