We are easily misled. Media stories often leave us wondering what really happened. Faked photos of astounding things go ‘viral’ and many believe they are real. The internet can be a confusing and often misleading place to find what is true. Is what we are seeing or hearing the truth or simply some illusion created by an imaginative or devious mind? We tend to follow the masses and are easily convinced of something’s authenticity when it is seemingly verified by a majority of folks. This is the case for fashion trends, the latest figures of speech, philosophies or social styles. We need a yardstick to measure whether what we are buying into is authentic, trustworthy, and real or just something trendy and illusory. Perhaps we do not need to be too careful about the trustworthiness of matters like fashion and style, but we certainly ought to be when it comes to understanding ourselves as human beings. The World Wide Web may affirm what we want to hear, but it cannot tell us who we really are.READ MORE
"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." —Matthew 1:20-23
If we have really been following the readings and other texts of the liturgy during the first weeks of Advent, we see that the Church has been inviting us to focus our attention on that day when, in the fullness of time, Christ will return in glory. In the final days of Advent, however, the focus shifts and we recall those prophecies, people, and events that preceded the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem more than two millennia ago. In the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear God making a promise to King Ahaz — through the words of the prophet Isaiah — that virgin shall bear a child and how that promise was fulfilled in Mary, the betrothed of Joseph of Nazareth.READ MORE
What Messiah are we making a way for this Advent Season? Is it one who only fits our limited expectations or the Savior of the World who fulfills the hopes of all peoples?
The question that John’s disciples pose to Jesus in today’s gospel is curious. How can he be unsure whether Jesus is the “One Who is to Come”? Didn’t he see the heavens parted and the Spirit of God come down upon Jesus at his baptism? Didn’t he point out Jesus as the “Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world”? What has changed that he now seems to doubt who Jesus is?READ MORE
“I had gone a-begging from door to door in a village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream, and I wondered who was this King of all Kings! My hopes rose high and me-thought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust. The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last! Then, of a sudden, thou didst hold out thy right hand and say, “What hast thou to give to me?” Ah, what a kingly jest it was to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused, and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave to thee. But how great my surprise when at the day’s end, I emptied my bag on the floor to find the least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had the heart to give thee my all.”
— Rabindranath Tagore