So many people today are looking for the light and warmth of hope and love that can only come from Jesus. On this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the example of Mary “carrying a light” — the Christ Child — is an invitation for each of us to carry into a darkened world the light of faith burning in our hearts and minds.
There is a darkening of intellect and will in today’s world in an effort to twist the truth of freedom and to be self-serving. How are we to respond to the enveloping darkness around us? We need to follow the light of Christ. Our primary identity must lie in belonging to him, and everything else must become secondary.
Every major revival of the 20th century involved God attempting to restore His control over the Church in an experiential way, not just in a theological or doctrinal understanding. If the Church is to be the leaven for all people and if we are to see the kingdom of God ever expanding, we can’t trust in ourselves but in the fire and might of the Holy Spirit.
Though sinless, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism of John the Baptist so that we could be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Through our baptismal vows, we commit to share Jesus’ concern for the lost and broken. If Jesus was willing to live a life of service for the poor, we must do the same or we can’t call ourselves his followers.
The magi followed a star so they could worship someone they knew nothing about. In their rejoicing, the wise men gave earthly treasures, but their greatest gift was offering Jesus their time. Do you follow the promptings of your heart to seek Christ, giving him honor and respect? He humbly waits for us to come and adore him.
We are called to care for all the human souls God created. Because in protecting, nurturing, and tending to our earthly families, we shape the family of God. All we have to do is be willing to be led and learn to listen. God always needs to be the one to give us direction, and this feast of the Holy Family reminds us of this once again.
St. Joseph is more than just and righteous. This Sunday’s Gospel presents a different facet of his character: obedience. As we enter into this final week of Advent, ask St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin to help you cultivate a spirit of humble obedience so that you are able to discern what it is God is asking of you in these holy days.
Like the priests, prophets, and kings of the Old Testament, we have received an anointing. It is now time for us to put that power of God to work. Only by seeing our lives transformed by the peace which only God can give will the world come to know that Jesus alone provides the answers that the people of today are seeking.
We like answers logically explained, predictable returns on investment, and healthy organizational culture. While all of those are good from a human perspective, the view from heaven seems to operate differently … and this drive us mad. But it all comes from the hand of a loving divine Father who knows what He is about.
On the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we speak about how Jesus is King of Kings, Lord of Lords. All have been saved by the death and resurrection of the Anointed One, but now he is calling us and counting on us to honor our anointing through our discipleship and stewardship in this world.
We are experiencing a time of upheaval in our secular and Church worlds, and people are feeling the grief that comes with loss and change. But can this also be a time of hope and the birth of something new? We easily forget that God is in charge and that the essence of His presence and the mission of the Gospel always remain.
Eternal life isn’t a mystery to be figured out or something that can be captured in books or films. It is a promise and gift based on our hope and confidence that God is at work in us even now. It goes beyond the limits of human existence. In the resurrection, each person lives as God’s child, free from the fear of death.