Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Year B) Dec. 31 (Genesis 15:1-6; 17:3b-5, 15-16; 21:1-7; Psalm 105; Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2:22-40)

Abraham and Sarah had staked their entire lives on God’s promise. They left their native land for a destination unknown. God promised Abraham that in return for his trust and obedience, God would make him the father of a great nation. Having offspring was extremely important in ancient Israel. To die childless was to be snuffed out forever, for one’s name lived on only through descendants.

God's Word on Sunday: In God’s house, loyalty is unwavering

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Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 24 (2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-2, 14a, 16; Psalm 69; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38)

Does God need a house? Apparently not, for David’s plan to build one for God was emphatically rejected by God. It was something God neither expected nor requested. Instead, God called to mind the many blessings that had already been given to David — security, defeat of enemies, the throne of Israel, as well as peace and prosperity. God then turned the tables on David, vowing to make him a house in a much broader and deeper sense — an enduring relationship with all of David’s descendants.

God's Word on Sunday: The good news is meant for all on Earth

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Third Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 17 (Isaiah 61:1-3a, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28)

What does a message from God sound like? Isaiah sets the tone for the divine revelation and visitation that is repeated by Jesus in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. A message from God is good news and the source of joy. Good news for whom? For those most in need of it — the poor, the broken-hearted, the downtrodden and for those who are oppressed or lacking freedom. Missing from the list are the high and mighty, the arrogant, the violent and those who perpetrate the injustice and oppression present in our world.

Christmas light shines amidst the suffering

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Every year, the Church’s celebration of the last Sunday of the liturgical year (the Solemnity of Christ the King) points to the coming of a new liturgical year and a new beginning — the season of Advent.

God's Word on Sunday: On our tough road, God is with us

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Second Sunday of Advent  (Year B) Dec. 10 (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8 )

What would “comfort” and “good tidings” sound like in 2023? To whom would they be directed? To be at all meaningful, the message cannot be only for believers and churchgoers. Although originally given to the people of Israel in Babylonian exile, our own times call for a more universal application.

God's Word on Sunday: The divine will show when we’re ready

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1st Sunday of Advent  (Year B) Dec. 3 (Isaiah 63:16b-17; 6:4-1, 3-8; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37 

Many people have shared the feelings of frustration, helplessness and deep longing that Isaiah expressed with such poignancy. He lived in a very precarious and insecure world, one that was wracked with violence and rife with corruption. The glory of his nation was a distant memory that was rapidly fading. The people of Israel had just returned from 50 years of exile in Babylon to a devastated Judea and Jerusalem. The temple was in ruins, and the feeble attempts to rebuild it had fallen flat. It was a shadow of its former self. Many of the people lacked the enthusiasm and commitment necessary to restore the nation.

At Christmas, we prepare for something good

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A young woman, Suzette, became used to inventing explanations for being late for school. She was ashamed to tell the real reason: frequently, she had to take a detour, because she thought she’d glimpsed a certain type of vehicle and was afraid to see or be seen by the occupant. Just the idea of seeing a certain person who had harmed her, and who drove such a vehicle, made her so anxious she had to change her daily course. 

God's Word on Sunday: We will be judged by what we have not done

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Christ the King  (Year A) Nov. 26 (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46) 

As the old saying goes, “If you want the job to be done properly, do it yourself!” In the reading from Ezekiel, God seems to have reached that conclusion.

Embracing the silence in hospital ministry

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When visitors think of hospitals, they think of all the noise, the machines and movement: patients going for tests and those coming back from tests. The visitors also think of the conversations in the hallways and in the patients’ rooms. In fact, I usually provide spiritual care to the sick and their family members through my conversation with them to explore how to serve them. Yet, in the midst of these activities, there are also moments of silence.

God's Word on Sunday: Our time on Earth builds toward eternity

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Nov.19 (Proverbs 31:10-13, 16-18, 29, 26. 28-31; Psalm 128; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30) 

The selection from Proverbs concerning the qualities of a perfect wife sounds more like a job description than a love letter. The qualities outlined became the benchmark against which wives were measured. She is a hyper-competent and multi-tasking manager of the household and seems to bear the entire burden without the slightest complaint. One wonders what a hypothetical description of the perfect husband would have contained.

God's Word on Sunday: Fear not, the Lord leaves no one behind

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Nov. 12 (Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13)

Wisdom and knowledge are not identical. A person can have a tremendous amount of knowledge and yet be evil or amoral in their use of it. We see examples of this all around us as scientific knowledge is used to kill and destroy. Humanity is awash in information and facts but they are of little help in facing the challenges of life and the needs of the world.