Visit of the Magi

Next Sunday is the The Epiphany of the Lord in Year A. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: Continue reading

A work in progress

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. We’re not celebrating “perfect family Sunday.” Offered as a point of humor, let us remember Jesus was without sin and Mary, by God’s grace was kept free from sin – not such claim was made for Joseph. He wasn’t perfect, but he was holy. And so celebrate and consider holiness this Sunday as we are all called to remember that it was into a family that God sent his Son. A family that has its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, agreements and disputes, and all the things that are tossed into the cauldron called family life. A family like yours in many ways. A family that was holy, not perfect. My point being, that holiness lives and grows apart from perfection and perhaps even thrives best among the flawed and messy. And in family life, that means something far different than a Norman Rockwell painting. Continue reading

Resolutions and habits

Unless you happen to be like my muse, Calvin, in the comic strip, I suspect you are about to make some New Year’s resolutions. How did you do on last year’s resolutions? About the same as the rest of us? One ad hominem wisdom saying defines “insanity” this way: to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. Perhaps 2020 is a time to consider changing the way resolutions are considered, made, and hopefully, kept. Continue reading

Family Life

Next Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus in Year A. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here. (By the way, if you would like to read a commentary on some of the Christmas readings you can find them here: Vigil or Midnight)

The Flight into Egypt 13 When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” 14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Continue reading

Complicated and Messy

When I was younger, I liked complicated and messy – especially things that were puzzles to explore, solve, unravel, and provided creative moments in which new, imaginative solutions might emerge. But alas, I am no longer as young as I once was. I feel a part within me that longs for quiet, uncomplicated, resolved, still interesting, but not so messy and complicated as before. Continue reading

Hark the Herald…

Stores, offices, and all kinds of places are filled with the sound of familiar and heartening Christmas carols. Some local radio stations are all Christmas music all the time with classic and modern renditions of the secular and religious carols and songs – sometimes recorded by singing chipmunks. It becomes part of the ambiance of our Advent season; part of what readies us for the celebration of Christmas. Continue reading

Ruth the Moabite

In today’s gospel, we hear the opening lines of Matthew’s Gospel, the genealogy of Jesus, forty-two generations that stretch from Abraham to Christ.  Among the generations we read: “…Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king…” Ruth has “her own book” in Sacred Scripture. The Book of Ruth is named for the Moabite woman who commits herself to the Israelite people by an oath to her mother-in-law Naomi: “Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16).  Ruth becomes the great-grandmother of King David by marriage to Boaz of Bethlehem. Continue reading

The depths of dreams

Next Sunday is the 4th Sunday in Advent in Year A. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

18 Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,  yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 21 She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,  because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. 25 He had no relations with her until she bore a son,  and he named him Jesus.  (Matthew 1:18-24)

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