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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Immaculate Conception: All beautiful!

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Dec. 8, 2012
Gen 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38

“Where are you?” we hear the Lord God call to Adam in the first reading. “Where are you?” For we read in the previous verse that the Lord is walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and Eve have hidden themselves. On previous days, surely, they had run out to meet their beloved Creator with joy as soon as they perceived his presence near them. But now they have sinned for the first time. They have allowed fear and greed and lies to drive a wedge between them and God, and to reshape them in that twisted image; to place that stain upon their hearts, and upon human nature itself which they would pass on to their descendents forever after. Suspecting, accusing, hiding, lying, taking, killing: all of this and more in the stain of original sin. (more…)

Mercy pours forth, in compassion and help

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Our Lady of Mercy: Sept. 24, 2011
Isa 61: 1-3, 10-11; Luke 1:46-55; Eph 2:4-10, 13; John 19:25-30, 32-34

For the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., on their feast day.

“And then there were two,” St. Augustine wrote. He was commenting upon the passage in the Gospel of John, chapter 8, when the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery to Jesus and made her stand in the middle. And they asked him whether she should be stoned, in accordance with the Law of Moses. And then, after he responded, they went away one by one, until he was left alone with the woman before him. “And so there were two left— relicti sunt duo, misera et misericordia—the miserable and the merciful.” (more…)