Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gaudate Dominum

Gaudate Sunday

Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to all faint hearts, ‘Courage! Do not be afraid. ‘Look, your God is coming...

Isaiah's great proclamation and prophesy of joy heralding the return of the Messiah reaches a crescendo. We, the Church of the 21st century, join in with our Alleluia, alleluia!  

Gaudate Sunday, Rejoicing Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent is upon us. It's as though the Church recognises the need to release our pent up joy lest we explode. Jesus is coming! Then "the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy" Is.35:5,6.

Today is the day for joy to reign. May I be a harbinger of joy to all I meet this glorious day.

Maranatha!, Come Lord Jesus come!
Saint Francis, pray for me.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trust and Obey

‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary is visited by the Angel Gabriel and her role in God's plan to save all of creation is revealed to her. She is afraid and mystified yet in the end she trusts and says yes.

This feast day has a special meaning for me, primarily because it reminds me of my wedding day. We were married in the Church of the the Immaculate Conception. As a then non-Catholic, the church's puzzelling name represented the whole strangeness of the Catholic Church, boardering on weird.

Mary's immaculate conception spent a number of years on my "Catholic Shelf" as something strange but something that must be fundamentally true. It's now an article of faith I happily accept. It makes sense of Mary's fiat, her yes.

Which gets back to me, here, today. The expression "trust and obey" must have its source here. The carnal desire in me to know everything before I commit held me back nine years before I entered the Church. It wasn't until I understood that my puny brain can never know the full mystery of God that I stepped into that mystery and fell in love with it. The peace found in the mystery of God is maybe what Mary found after her yes.

This peace is available for me today.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Happy are all who long for the coming of the Lord.
(Psalm response, Saturday of the 1st week of Advent)

This season of Advent brings with it its own joy. Like the building joy of a pregnant mother waiting for her baby to be born. Mary, pregnant, riding on a donkey, continues to be my Advent focus.  My spiritual metronome is the clip-clop of a plodding donkey, slow and steady. It counters beautifully the frenetic building pressure of a world screeching, "only three weeks 'till Xmas!".

The longing of Advent is for something much bigger. It's a longing for the return of Jesus. As Saint  Paul writes, "creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed... We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Rms. 8:19,22.

So today I join with all creation in my longing which, in turn, brings with it great joy.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus come.
Saint Joseph, pray for me.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Listen and Do

‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.'

Jesus is closing his great sermon on the mount. He underscores that what he has just taught is not just for hearing and being entertained. It's for doing.

When rain comes down, floods rise and gales blow they affect all people, good and bad alike. The difference is in the foundation. Is it rock or sand? The foolish who built on sand are swept away, the wise who built on rock are left standing.

So how do I ensure I have built on rock? According to Jesus, listening to his words, the Word of God, and then acting on them. Listening happens at Mass and in my daily prayer time. Acting happens the moment I walk out from Mass or stand up from my prayer.

This morning I have listened. Now comes the time to act...

Lord Jesus, listening to you is easy. It's the acting that I find difficult. Lord, help me a doer of your word today.
Saint Joseph, please pray for me.