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December 17, 2018 - Christ Truly Present to Us

Monday of the Third Week in Advent

Scripture Readings

One of the best things about the holidays is remembering what Christmas was like at home as a child. We were a large family and there was always great fun, big messes of paper and presents, going to Mass and visiting grandparents and a lot of good meals. Most of my memories are good ones but I also remember some very painful holidays. There was a close relative that always seemed to be in a crisis of his own making and his behavior inevitably impacted everyone. Year after year I watched my parents feeling afraid, sad and frustrated over the behavior of this beloved relative. As a child, I did not understand these things and I remember wishing he would be gone and not come back and hurt my parents and grandparents anymore. Now I realize how much they loved him. Now I can see that, despite the pain they endured, they never stopped trying and hoping and helping because that is what families do when they love someone.

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December 16, 2018 - Yes, Joy! But Let's Set Things Straight First!

Third Sunday of Advent

Scripture Readings

This week, I spent quite a few hours in the confessional. I celebrated he Sacrament of Reconciliation for the students of St. Helen School on Tuesday. On Thursday, I was at the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the students at Immaculate Conception School. On the same evening, we also the Tri-Parish reconciliation service. In numerous instances, the sense of comfort and relief in the faces of the penitents is something that only I get to see. One penitent put it this way: “I just want to be this (makes a gesture connecting her heart and God above), to be OK.” Tears rolling down her cheeks, she longed to have God back in her life again. She left the confessional in total relief and peace. It’s also called joy!  

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December 15, 2018 - Why Can't It Always be Like This?

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Scripture Readings

Have you ever had a wonderful evening with your spouse, children, or dear friends?  Maybe it was more than an evening.  It could have been a nearly perfect vacation or getaway.  Or if you are like me, maybe you’ve had the perfectly made coffee, dinner, or glass of chocolate milk.  In the midst of that experience a thought always zips through my mind, “Why can’t it always be like this?”  That question exists in our spiritual life as well.

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December 14, 2018 - Making Our Lives Part of Jesus' Peace

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Scripture Readings

The second candle in the Advent wreath stands for peace. Peace, in the ways we tend to use the word in our culture, refers to the fact that we agree with each other, or at least, we "agree to disagree" (aka "Let's just never ever bring up this subject again..."). We use it to refer to having harmonious relationships with family members, friends, and politically, with other nations or between political parties.

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December 13, 2018 - A Hand to Hold

Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

Scripture Readings

In holding someone’s hand, we know we are not alone.  I’ve been the one in need of a hand to hold and I’ve been the one able to offer a comforting hand.  Whether in sickness, fear, the labor pains of childbirth, accompanying someone dying, the grief that accompanies loss, the need to steady a young child, elderly or injured person,  praying with others, exchanging marriage vows, or simply sharing closeness on a walk, holding a hand connects us to another, comforts us and reminds us that we are not alone. 

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