Shame, two sons, and the sacrament of joy

Audio only: Listen to mp3 file (Length: 13:16)
4th Sunday of Lent, Year C: March 6, 2016
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Joy in the Lord, even in hard times

Audio only: Listen to mp3 file (Length: 11:58)
3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 13, 2015
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Joy in his timing, his priorities

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A: Dec. 15, 2013
Isa 35:1-6, 10; Ps 146; James 5:7-10; Matt 11:2-11

We have reached the Third Sunday of Advent, and our excitement is building for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus! Or at least it is if we are letting the Scripture readings each week sink into our hearts.

  • For back on the First Sunday, we heard our Lord Jesus promise that he would come again, and warn us that when he would come would be unexpected. And so he urged us: Stay awake! Be prepared!
  • And then, last week, we were reminded by the prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist about why we should look forward to this Second Coming with anticipation. (more…)

In darkness, choosing the path to joy

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 16, 2012
Zeph 3:14-18; Isa 12; Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

We hear St. Paul say in our second reading, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” Rejoice: Gaudete! It is from this verse that this Gaudete Sunday takes its name. But how should we take these words of his? Is this just superficial, like glitter or tinsel or wearing rose-colored vestments? Is St. Paul just an overly cheerful person, a Pollyanna?

No, St. Paul is writing this letter from prison! He is probably imprisoned in Rome and is awaiting trial; he doesn’t know whether he might be executed. (more…)

Gaudete Sunday: Find your joy in the Lord

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B: Dec. 11, 2011
Isa 61:1-2, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thess 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

John the Baptist is one of the great figures of the Advent season. For during this season we look toward Christ’s Second Coming; and who better to help us prepare for that than John the Baptist, who helped the people of the first century prepare for Christ’s first coming. And how did he do that? He preached repentance—change; a turning away from sinful thoughts and attitudes and actions inside and sinful actions outside—to prepare the way of the Lord.

But it wasn’t just in his words and his action of baptizing that John prepared for the Lord. He also did so by who he was. (more…)