Fr. Vincent Hawkswell
As Christmas approaches, meditate on the words “God became man.” Pray to God, “who is able to strengthen you according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,” as St. Paul said. Pray for an increase of faith in, and understanding of, “the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed.” (2020)
Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr
As we approach Christmas the gospel gives us the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. There’s no need loosing ourselves in details; we are not dealing with journalistic report. Here we have the witness of faith regarding the interaction of God with his people. Besides, we are not doing history, in the sense of simple discourse about past event; rather, we open ourselves to respond in faith to God who’s still acting in the world and in our lives today. We can emulate what others did to open themselves to God’s grace –Mary is the example of the day! (2017)
Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino
DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG
The word Behold means Witness the power, and wonder at the glory of God. Behold. Now Mary uses that word. “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word.” Mary’s Behold follows the meaning of the angel’s Behold. She says, “Behold the power, the wonder and the Glory of God will take place within me.” (2020)
In the first reading and the Gospel, we hear of two people who became important pillars of salvation history. Both David and Mary are biblical examples of divine selection, and they can help us to reflect on our own calling from God. David and Mary are polar opposites. David’s rise to power was paved with many questionable and corrupt actions, such as war, murder, politically motivated marriages and adultery. Mary, full of grace and selected to be the mother of God, is held in later tradition to be without sin. Both of them receive favor from God. (2020)
Fr. George Smiga
BUILDING ON THE WORD
“Let it be done to me according to your Word.” The history of the world turned on that line. All that God planned to do to save us, the gift that divine love wanted to give us hung on Mary’s response, on her willingness to cooperate. Her choice was a free choice, for Mary could have said “no”. It would have been easy to find many reasons to say “no.” She could have responded to Gabriel by saying, “Wow! This is unexpected. Sort of out of the blue. How long before you need my answer? I’d really like to think about this. I know that God has a plan, but I’m rather upset about being brought into it at the very last minute. (2002)
Fr. Austin Fleming
A CONCORD PASTOR COMMENTS
If you will, God is always texting me: sending me a word to me, giving me some warning or inviting me, challenging me, to something new. These messages come to me in many ways. Just about never through an “angel in the doorway,” but in reflective moments of prayer, in listening carefully to what others say, in paying attention to my conscience, in hearing the scriptures at Mass, occasionally in a dream, much more often in the shower, or when I’m just taking time to slow down and be at peace, when, like Mary, I truly inhabit the space, the moment I’m in. I don’t believe there’s a moment in any day or night, whether I’m awake or asleep, that God isn’t messaging me, speaking to me, offering me wise counsel and inviting me to a deeper relationship with him. And I believe the same is true for every one of us! (2014)
Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ
SUNDAY WEB SITE
Where is the proper place for God to abide? Where can we find the Most High? Perhaps these were the questions that David asked of himself and his adviser Nathan, because the king was disturbed to be living in a cedar palace while God’s ark was confined in a tent. Although Nathan assured David that God was with him no matter where he might go, it was only Nathan’s night-time revelation from God that could make the case: “Why should you build a house for me? I have been with you no matter where you have been. And I will build an even greater house for you.” (1997)🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨 FR RENE BUTLER 🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨
Fr. René J. Butler, M.S.
BIG C CATHOLICS
St. Paul writes about the “obedience of faith.” We find it in David. We find it in Mary. This isn’t merely doing what one is told. It is founded on the acceptance of God’s word and the deep desire to live by it. We might call Advent an “attractive” season, with all its prophecies of hope and promises of salvation. If we can take full advantage of the few days remaining, we will be able to rejoice, joining our “Yes!” to that of all creation as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Let every Christmas carol, every Christmas gift, every Christmas greeting be a “Yes!” to his coming and to the meaning that his coming brings into our lives, not only at this time of year, but at all times and in all places.
A CATHOLIC MOMENT
The overriding theme of the first reading for Mass today, is King David’s love for God, and God’s love for King David. David won God’s heart. A simple shepherd boy somehow touched the very heart of God. His love for God was imperfect. King David committed two very serious sins of murder and adultery in his life and yet, God not only forgave David – He brought forth His very own son from his lineage. God’s son was born from the descendents of a man who had committed two mortal sins. (2014)
Life Issue Posts
Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.
What has been our response to God’s choice of us? Is it like Mary’s – unhesitating and full? Then, like in Mary, God’s Son will be born in us. Then, like Mary, we, can change the course of history — of our lives as well as of those we touch – our families, friends, neighbors, etc., – and in the process, the whole of society itself.
Sometimes our road to redemption seems to be a rocky one. We imagine ourselves as playing a minor role in salvation history. We buy into the idea of a distant God who set the world into motion and then walked off and forgot about it—and us! An all-powerful God calling out to us to say “I need you” is beyond our imagination. Yet that is what God is saying to each and every one of us. In Mary we find the perfect example of the ideal disciple who hears the word, says “yes” in total openness, and acts upon it.
A mother and daughter were having some kind of argument and the mother said, “Listen to me.” The daughter answered, “I am listening , mom.” The mother told her daughter, “No, you’re not. Turn around and look at me.” And the daughter said, “I listen with my ears, mom.”
This greeting affirms the mystery of the Incarnation that we celebrate every Chirstmas. The greeting expresses our belief that Jesus’ birth made a difference. God at one time physically joined the human condition and showed us what it meant to be truly human. Following the way of Jesus in His humanity also reveals to us the way to divinity.
Direct encounters with the Divine are not that uncommon in our day; however, given the fact that we have been heavily influenced by science and its reliance upon empirical evidence, we often do not recognize such encounters.
Today, December 21st, the Winter solstice, is the darkest day of the year. We are enshrouded in nearly sixteen hours of darkness three days before the birth of Christ who becomes the light of the world.