Be vigilant, be hopeful, be prepared!

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1st Sunday of Advent, Year C: Nov. 29, 2015
Jer 33:14-16; Ps 25; 1 Thess 3:12–4:2; Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Today we begin the new Church Year. And we know that the two greatest feast days of the year—the two poles on which the whole year hangs—are Christmas and Easter. Christmas, which celebrates the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus—that God the Son took on human nature, and became man—and was born for us, a baby in Bethlehem; and Easter, which celebrates his passion, death, and resurrection:  all of this to save us! And we celebrate these two feasts not only as single days but as the beginnings of the Christmas season and Easter season; and in both cases we prepare for them with special seasons of preparation. (more…)

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Witnesses to joy

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 18, 2012
Dan 12:1-3; Ps 16; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32

For the Secular Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) at their semiannual Profession Mass.

As we approach the end of this liturgical year, our Gospel reading today comes from the 13th chapter of the Gospel according to Mark—a chapter sometimes known as the “Little Apocalypse,” for in it our Lord Jesus prepares his disciples for what would be coming. Some of it would be coming just 40 years later, when Jerusalem would be conquered and the Temple destroyed by the Roman Empire, while some of the generation of his time were still living. Some would come beyond that, in the future; indeed, even now it has yet to come. (more…)

Rejoice! Jesus is coming soon!

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 18, 2012
Dan 12:1-3; Ps 16; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32

At this time of year, the days are getting darker, the weather is getting colder; and our liturgical year is coming to its end. Today is the second-last Sunday of the liturgical year, and the last one in which we will hear from the Gospel according to Mark in this Year B of the lectionary cycle. And today we hear a portion of Chapter 13 of that Gospel, in which Jesus is telling his disciples what to expect in the future—so that this chapter is sometimes known as the “Little Apocalypse.”

And we notice that he cautions them: “Of that day or hour, no one knows.” (more…)

God does not ask us to be successful, but to be faithful

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Nov. 14, 2010
Mal 3:19-20; Ps 98:5-9; 2 Thess 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19

Looking at the Temple, Jesus said, “The days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone.” The Temple building and complex where he was standing were magnificent. King Herod the Great had started a great reconstruction and expansion of the Temple and indeed the Temple Mount itself some 46 years earlier [John 2:20], and at the time Jesus was standing there it wasn’t even complete yet. And so we hear that people around him were admiring the costly stones that they saw. How could it ever fall, in that kind of destruction? And yet Jesus was right. Just about 40 years after he said these words, the Roman forces were responding to the Jewish rebellion in the Holy Land, and they captured Jerusalem, and burned the Temple, and leveled the walls of the Temple and of the city, all the way down to the ground. (more…)