FR. TOM'S HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH, December 26, 2021:
If you’re a fan of the comic strip, Family Circus, you may remember a Christmas comic they did a number of years ago. In the scene, young Dolly was sharing with her two young brothers the story of Christmas. Here is how she recounted it, “Mary and Joseph were camping out under a star in the East…It was a Silent Night in Bethlehem until the angels began to sing…then Santa brought Baby Jesus in his sleight and laid Him in a manger… Chestnuts were roasting by an open fire and not a creature was stirring…so the Grinch stole some swaddling clothes from the Scrooge – who was one of the three wise men riding on eight tiny reindeer.” And then Dolly says to her brother, “Pay attention, Jeffy, or you’ll never learn the real story of Christmas!”
We hear a phrase regularly this time of year – Jesus is the reason for the season. It’s a phrase that invites us to remember that Christmas is not just about presents and parties and food, and time with family and friends – but that there is a faith dimension to all of this. Jesus is the reason for the season. But, today’s feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – right on the heels of Christmas – asks us to take that a step further. If Jesus is the reason for the season, what is the reason for Jesus? And, that is a really interesting question.
We sing the carols, we marvel at the sights of the lights and the trees and the decorations – especially the Christmas mangers – but how often do we go deeper and ask what are those leading us to, what are they drawing us to? Lights aren’t meant to be mere colorful decoration, for example, they are meant to remind us of the symbolism that Jesus is THE LIGHT that has conquered the darkness of our world, the darkness of sin and death. Similarly with the Christmas tree, the EVER-greens that we bring into our houses in the midst of winter are symbols of life.
And, how about our Christmas mangers. They are so beautiful and probably the most treasured of decorations in many households. In fact, in many families, Christmas mangers are even handed down from generation to generation. My most treasured one is the one that my parents had when we were young. It is a simple plywood box and plastic figures, still with the same hay used year after year, but it speaks of family and tradition and memory.
If you know the history of the Christmas manger, you know that it was St. Francis of Assisi, who originated this custom back in 1223. St. Francis did this because he wanted to truly understand the impact of the reason that Jesus, God Himself, became one of us. He wanted to imagine what that moment was like and so on Christmas Eve of 1223 he assembled a live nativity as the Gospel of Jesus birth was proclaimed.
This feast of the Holy Family in particular reminds us that when God decided to enter into our human reality; to come to earth and take on our human flesh, that we need only to look at the manger to see how He chose to do it. God chose to enter humanity not in a grandiose way, not in flurry and splendor, not with trumpet blast and glory, but in the simple way that you and I entered humanity - within a family. And, not only that, He chose to enter humanity as someone who was homeless – they could not find a place to lay their head. He chose to enter humanity as a migrant as they were on their way to another land for the census. And, He chose to enter our world as a little baby, as someone who was helpless and had to rely upon the assistance of others if He were to survive to an age where He could complete His mission among us of spreading the good news and bringing His promised salvation.
God chose to enter our world precisely in the places and in the people and in the ways that we, today, so often struggle or even fail to see God. When we look at the immigrant, the refugee, the homeless, the helpless, what do we see? Do we realize that they are icons of the very image of God as He was on that first Christmas morning? Our Christmas mangers are an image of a homeless, migrant family who had no place to lay their heads that night. And all around us in our world we can find a homeless woman or man huddled under a blanket or a cardboard box. As we pass them by, do we recognize that their image and the image of the Holy Family are the same? Do we see God present there when we see them? This is where He is present today.
In a few days or weeks, our Christmas mangers will be carefully packed and put away for another year, but these urban mangers that surround us on our streets will remain in the men and women who live there. I think this is exactly why Jesus came to us, God Himself came to us, in a family, and one that was homeless and migrant and in need of the help of others. Because He wanted us then and now, to look at our own family, to look at the homeless and helpless around us, and to see that God is present there; they are not the “other”; they are our brother, our sister, our family; and to reach out to them in need.
My friends, Jesus is the reason for the season; and this is the reason for Jesus. He came among us so that we might see God’s presence in our midst; that we might see God’s presence in one another; that we might see God’s presence in our families; that we might see God’s presence in the most unlikely of places. If we want to become a Holy Family, this is how we do it. We say yes to that presence, that invitation before our eyes, just as Joseph and Mary did so long ago. And it will make all the difference in our lives, in our world and in our families. May we become one, united and holy family under our loving and compassionate God this Christmas and always.
Merry Christmas and may the Lord give you peace.
FR. TOM'S HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF JESUS, December 25, 2021:
Christmas is such a nostalgic time of year. Especially in the midst of pandemic, when we’re not able to do all of the normal things that we do for Christmas, if you’re like me, your mind keeps lingering on those cherished memories of the past. Just this week, with our school children at Mass, I shared the story of my favorite Christmas ever. I was around six or seven years old, and this particular year, I only wanted one gift. It was the shortest Christmas letter that I ever wrote to Santa as a child. I only wanted one thing and I wanted it more than anything else in the world. My letter said simply, “Dear Santa, I have been a very good boy this year. Please bring me a grand piano. Love, Tommy.” What could possibly go wrong? I was good for a whole year (or so I thought), I wrote a very polite letter. I didn’t confuse it with asking for too many things.
That Christmas Eve, I could barely sleep. In the morning, as soon as Mom and Dad said I could leave my room, I excitedly ran to the living room to see my brand new shiny grand piano. “I bet it takes up the whole living room,” I thought. But, when I got to the living room, the new piano wasn’t there. But, instead, my eyes were drawn to the center of the Christmas Tree. Pinned to the tree was something that I would soon realize was even better than a new piano. On the tree was a handwritten letter from Santa – written on North Pole stationary! A letter from Santa, just to me! Santa knew my name! He explained that the piano just wouldn’t fit on his sleigh along with the presents for all of the other boys and girls in the world. And, Santa was sure I would understand (I did.). But, he also promised to bring me a keyboard which would fit on the sleigh next year. I can’t tell you how quickly I forgot about that piano because Santa himself had written a letter to me! That letter, to this day, remains my favorite Christmas present ever.
When my mind is drawn to these nostalgic memories of Christmas, it always goes back to that year and that letter. And on some level, I think Santa Claus reminds us all of that childhood awe and wonder at Christmas that we constantly long for.
Christmas is – for most people – the happiest time of year. The Christmas song reminds us, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” But, I think especially during these last two years, Christmas also keeps reminding us that things aren’t the way they used to be. This year – again – won’t be like other years. Masks, and vaccines, and rapid tests have replaced the arms full of presents entering a relative’s house, and being smothered in hugs and kisses by our loved ones. Things are again different this year.
But, just maybe, we can turn this difference into an opportunity this year. If you think about it, the way we celebrate Christmas in our culture is all about the past. All about trying to relive a past from a long time ago. Think about our traditions. In so many families, Christmas involves certain foods, certain rituals, at certain people’s homes. Traditions intended to give us comfort in a world that keeps changing. Or think about the music. How many new Christmas songs make it into the rotation on the radio? Not many. We’re singing along with Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Mel Torme, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra – and so many other artists who have long left this world. Our treasured Christmas songs are from fifty years ago or more. Our “newest” song is probably Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas – and that came out in 1994! Or think about Santa Claus. Everyone shares a loving nostalgic memory of Santa Claus.
But, here is the blessing that we can discover this year, even in the midst of pandemic. You see, the true meaning of Christmas is not in the past. The true meaning of Christmas is in the present. It’s right now here in this Church tonight/today. The true meaning of Christmas is the promise that God made to us, a promise God is fulfilling right here, right now. It is the promise of Emmanuel – God is with us! The promise to always be with us. The promise that the people who lived in darkness would see light. God never gave us a promise that things would be the way they used to be. He gave us a promise that there would be new hope and new joy; that there would be new life with Him.
You see Christmas is not really some historic re-enactment of the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago. It’s not about that limited moment in history that happened so long ago. Our celebration is not mere theater. Christmas is about God coming to us today. Christmas is about God coming into our lives, here and now, coming into our hearts tonight/today in this church. Dwelling with us and within us in the midst of our sadness and sorrow; in the midst of our joy and celebration. Always, God is with us.
The real meaning of Christmas is that Christ is born in us and among us today. Gently healing us. Gathering us in His arm and showering His love upon us. Removing our burden. Giving us life. Forgiving us whatever separates us from Him. Gently enabling us to forgive ourselves, to let go of our anger, our pain, our sadness, our worry, our anxiety. Christ is born in us and Christ is born among us today.
There is a wonderful quote from Dorothy Day that says, “I'm so glad that Jesus was born in a stable. Because my soul is so much like a stable. It is poor and in unsatisfactory condition because of guilt, falsehoods, inadequacies and sin. Yet I believe that if Jesus can be born in a stable, maybe He can also be born in me.”
So this year, once again, will be different, but let that make all the difference. Let us not worry about Christmas past, but in Christmas present – Christmas right here and now – let us allow Jesus to be born within us again. Allow Jesus to work a miracle in you today – the miracle that opens your heart to hope, to light, to life, to the joy that only Jesus can give us. Christ is being born in you today. He is with you, and He will gently shower you with hope, and light, and life.
“The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”
Merry Christmas and may the Lord give you peace.
FR. TOM'S HOMILY FOR THE 4th SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 19, 2021:
In his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, psychologist William James tells the story of a man who stood alone on a deserted hilltop one night. It was one of those beautiful nights when the stars fill the sky, love fills the heart, and peace fills the soul. As the man stood there, waves of joy began to sweep over him. He felt like someone appreciating a magnificent symphony for the first time. All the notes were harmonizing in a way that made his heart burst with emotion.
Suddenly, the man began to feel another overwhelming Presence with him on that hilltop; a Presence that he would later understand to be God. That Presence remarkably grew so intense that it overwhelmed him. Later he said, “My faith in God was born that night on that hilltop.”
Experiences like this one are what we often refer to as “peak moments.” These are moments when, for a brief instant, we get a glimpse of something greater than us; moments that add up to something greater than what our senses alone can detect. We connect with a spiritual realm that is infinitely bigger, more profoundly beautiful, and more intensely meaningful than the realm we live in the ordinary day-to-day.
When we look at what is happening in our Gospel today, I think we can name this as a peak moment for Elizabeth and her unborn baby John. Elizabeth is naming this peak moment when she says to Mary, “The moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” It is, of course, not unusual for a baby to stir in a mother’s womb. We know that babies “kick” while they are in the womb. But, something more than that is intended here. Luke, in his telling of this encounter, wants us to understand that the movement of John in Elizabeth’s womb is caused by something other than the normal responses of pregnancy. Luke wants us to understand that this movement is in response to the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary, His mother. Elizabeth’s baby, even in its unborn state, senses the presence of Jesus and leaps for joy.
The leaping of John in the womb previews something that will happen over and over again in Jesus lifetime. People will be moved in profound ways by just His presence; by the various encounters they have with the Word Made Flesh in their midst. Let me give you a few examples. I have been sharing the TV show, The Chosen, with our middle schoolers at St. Stan’s this semester. The Chosen, for those who don’t know, is a TV series that chronicles the life of Jesus in the Gospels. What the writers of this show do so well though, is connect us on an emotional level to the events of our salvation. Every few weeks, I’ve been watching an episode with the middle schoolers and then talk about it. This week saw the calling of Simon and Andrew. Up to this point, Simon Peter has been struggling in his life. He is lacking direction and focus and struggling to support his family through his fishing. Andrew has told him about Jesus, but so far, he has not experienced a peak moment with Jesus.
Then, after a very unsuccessful night of fishing, as they return to the shore, Jesus stepped into their boat and told them to lower their nets one more time. Simon has virtually no confidence in this effort, but does it just the same. “Master,” he says dejected, “We have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.” They lower their nets again and the catch is so great that it nearly capsizes the boat. Coming to the shore, Simon in both exhaustion and surrender, drops to his knees before Jesus. “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” In that moment, Peter experienced the holiness of Jesus in a way that he had never experienced before. That peak moment would change the course of his life.
The good news for us today is that these peak moments of experiencing the Lord are not only in the past; they are not merely historical remembrances. We can still experience today what John experienced in Elizabeth’s womb, what Simon experienced on the seashore, and what the disciples experienced on that mountaintop. Now, we cannot force or create these experiences, they are a gift from God. But, we can open ourselves to them. We can ready our hearts to experience God in these ways. That is what our Advent has been all about. This is a time to prepare the way, opening our hearts for the coming of Jesus into our lives once again.
In my own life, that peak moment came when I first began feeling called into a life of faith. It started by being drawn more and more into the celebration of the Mass. My faith had been weak up until this point in my life, but it was the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that overwhelmed me. In my early 20s, I struggled with belief in the Eucharist, but in that moment – like that man on the hilltop – I felt the true presence of God there; a presence that only grew and grew and altered the course of my life.
My friends, maybe you have had that peak moment already, maybe not, but God is waiting for you. He is waiting for you here tonight in this Church, in this Eucharist. God wants to reveal Himself to you in a powerful way. God is waiting to be present to you in a way that will make your heart leap for joy. All you have to do is open yourself to welcome your Lord once again. Open our eyes Lord that we may see you. Open our hearts Lord that we may love like you love. Open our lives Lord that You may be born again in us.
“Blessed are you who believed what was spoken to you by the Lord.”
May the Lord give you peace.
FR. TOM'S HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 12, 2021:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” These words from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians are what give our celebration today its theme and focus. We call this Third Sunday of Advent Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for rejoice and it takes its name from that first word of the antiphon, “Rejoice.”
Sometimes I think we minimize the power of celebration when we only think about rejoicing in a superficial way. For example, every year at this time, I like to go to the Holiday Pops at Symphony Hall in Boston. I really enjoy that. I also really enjoy the nice dinner we usually go out for after the concert. This is the time of year that we rejoice in and enjoy Christmas parties, and holiday sweets, and Christmas music, and so many of the other traditions that are popular and typical at this time of year. We enjoy many things at this level – we enjoy music, art, entertainment, food, casual friends and acquaintances. This list could go on and on because the things that we enjoy and rejoice in on this level are many and great.
But, somehow, I don’t think this is the point of our “rejoicing” today. Somehow, I think Jesus is calling forth something greater from us then these things which are, in the end, really trivial. “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
I was thinking of an example of what we’re really meant to get at. A few years ago, I celebrated a funeral for a parishioner of one of our parishes. This parishioner was 92 years old and a woman of deep joy and deep faith. She had a hard life. Born during the Great Depression, she lived through the Second World War. She got married and started a family with five children, then more than 40 years ago, her husband died suddenly of a heart attack at just 50 years old.
But, just before the funeral began, I learned an important detail about this woman and her family. When her husband died so suddenly all those years ago, one of her sons attended the funeral dressed in a bright white suit. He dressed that way because he knew in his bones that even though it was a tragically sad moment to lose your Dad so young, that the resurrection is real; that Jesus is real; that all that we are promised in and through our faith is real. His Dad’s passing would be a sadness of separation for him and his family – but it was also a moment of profound rejoicing for his father, who now enjoyed the very presence of God – the best thing we can ever experience. He was rejoicing in the Lord.
Jump ahead from Dad’s funeral to Mom’s and the rejoicing in the Lord that this family lived so well, was still very active. At Mom’s funeral Mass, the church was full of pink flowers and just about everyone on attendance was dressed with some pink – a pink scarf here, a pink flower on a lapel there. Shirts, jackets, and more. The church was filled with the color pink.
When I approached the ambo for the homily, I had a whole text prepared to deliver, but instead I felt like God was asking me to say something else. I said, “I don’t think I am going out on a limb today if I would suggest that pink was Mom’s favorite color?” I know the family did not intend all of that pink to be a reflection of Gaudete Sunday, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to make that connection for them. What I realized in that moment is that our celebration of Gaudete, rejoicing, is not merely a reminder that Christmas is right around the corner and we might get nice things.
Our pink flowers and pink vestments and the pink candle of our wreath are not meant to give us the message that there are only 10 or so shopping days left! No, these things are all meant to speak especially into those profound moments in our lives; the moments that define our lives, define who we are; the moments that form us and shape us – like the one that family faced as they lost loved ones. “Rejoice in the Lord always” because your salvation is at hand!
This time of year we like to be reminded that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” And a true sentiment that is. But, what is the reason for Jesus? The reason for Jesus isn’t a pile of material gifts and extra portions of food. The reason for Jesus is the forgiveness of our sins. The reason for Jesus is to open the gates of paradise. The reason for Jesus is to show us how to live in harmony with one another and with our God. The reason for Jesus to let us know profoundly in our hearts that our God is with us – right near us, by our sides, in our hearts, comforting and making sense of our tragedies, multiplying and magnifying our loves and our joys.
We rejoice and are excited today because something is so very close to us – the salvation that the little Babe of Bethlehem came to bring. This is Advent. This is Emmanuel – my friends, God IS with us! And He wants to speak to us not only in the joy and enthusiasm of the season – He also wants to speak to us in the sadness and loneliness and challenging moments of our lives. Especially when our hearts are heavy with grief or closed in anger or wounded by the words and actions of others – Jesus wants us to know how close He is to us in all of those moments. It is there and then that He wraps us lovingly in His strong and comforting arms.
So my friends, today above all days, we rejoice in the Lord because our salvation is at hand. We rejoice in the Lord because our God is ever near. We rejoice in the Lord because He is with us in our sadness and grief; He is with us in our sorrows and pains; He is with us in our joy and triumphs. He is always with us.
My friends, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.”
May the Lord give you peace.
FR. TOM'S HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, December 8, 2021:
A woman was having a very busy day at home caring for her five children. On this particular day, however, she was having trouble doing even routine chores - all because of three-year-old Kenny. He was on his mother’s heels no matter where she went. Whenever she stopped to do something and turn around, she would nearly trip over him. After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, the young mother began to lose her patience. When she asked Kenny why he was acting this way, he looked up at her and said, “Well, in school my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see Him, so I’m walking in yours.”
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our commemoration of the reality that Mary was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother Saint Anne. This is a belief that dates back to the earliest days of the Church, and is not a feast about an abstract theological concept, but rather it is a concrete sign to us of God’s care for us, and of God’s triumph over the darkness of the world.
And I think that our world needs to hear this message more today than any time in my memory. We live in a world of chaos. We live in a world of violence and division. We live in a world of suspicion and fear. And to that confusion and fear we hear the words spoken by the angel to Mary in our Gospel: “Do not be afraid.”
Pope Francis, echoing perfectly the message of today’s feast, said, “Around us there is the presence of evil. The devil is at work. But in a loud voice I say: God is stronger.” My friends, let that message settle deeply into your hearts today – God is stronger. Today’s feast reminds us that God was stronger than the stain of original sin in the life of Mary. God was stronger than the darkness that enveloped the world at the time of Christ’s birth. God was stronger even than death itself in the resurrection of Jesus. God is stronger than the evil that fills our world today. He is stronger than anything that might seem insurmountable in our lives today.
There are no shortage of voices in our world today that are proclaiming the opposite message, that says, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” It is a message that says we should look at one another with suspicion and fear; with doubt and anger – that we should treat our brothers and sisters as something less than human, something less than women and men who have been created in God’s image. But to that message of fear, we are reminded today that God is stronger, “do not be afraid.”
Pope Francis said, “Two things are necessary to fully celebrate the day's feast. First, to fully welcome God and His merciful grace into our life; second, to become in our own times 'workers of mercy' through an evangelical journey...In imitation of Mary we are called to be 'bearers of Christ' and witnesses of His love, especially towards those who are most in need."
The Holy Father reminded us that fear takes root when we fail to welcome God’s mercy into our lives. We are reminded that our call is not to be messengers of fear, but workers of mercy, imitators of Mary, bearers of Christ, witnesses of love. Do not be afraid. God is stronger than evil. God is stronger than any darkness in our world; any darkness in our lives.
My friends, Mary reminds us today that we are called to be holy people; to draw near to God and be united with Him. Belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary is belief in a provident God; a generous God - a God who provides for the future, who prepares us for life even before we are born, a God who foresees and equips us with all the natural and supernatural qualities we need to play our role in the drama of human salvation, a God who is stronger than the darkness of our world.
Let us today be inspired by our caring God and by the example of Mary; let us follow Jesus in her footsteps. Let us strive to conquer the fear of our world; the fear in our hearts; and to be the workers of mercy who bring God’s gentle, kind, loving and compassionate presence to our world so desperately in need.
And, let us ask our Blessed Mother’s intercession for all these things as we pray together, Hail Mary…
May the Lord give you peace!
FR. TOM'S HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 5, 2021:
A number of years ago, I watched a documentary called Untattoo You. It told the remarkable story of a program on the West Coast that offered to remove unwanted tattoos from the bodies of young people – their focus was helping young people escape from gang life and remove the tattoos that were associated with that way of life; tattoos that had physically marked them as part of these destructive groups. The film is told from the perspective of these young people; about how their lives got into these difficult places and about how difficult it had been leave gang life, not to mention the challenge of removing the actual tattoos.
Although dramatic, the story behind this film gets at an important point in all of our lives – the reality that all of us have probably done something in our lives that we regret and would like to erase. Usually these things aren’t as visible as a tattoo or as dramatic as joining a gang, but we all make mistakes or poor decisions; we all say things we wish we could take back or have broken friendships or relationships that we wish we could repair. It is part of being human and sometimes we just wish we could make these mistakes disappear; that they could be erased. We’re looking for the way to undo the things that we wish we could change.
If we take a moment to slow down this Advent Season, to listen to the words of Scripture and the songs being sung, to take a few moments out of the hustle and bustle of the season, we might discover that this is in fact also the message of Advent. That it is the message of Jesus. It is what is offered to us every time we enter the Confessional; every time we gather around the altar for the Eucharist. Jesus is reminding us to welcome Him again. He is saying, “I am always right here to change your darkness into light; to change your sin into holiness; to change your sadness into joy; to transform your grief into glory. I’m here to make all things new for you.”
We hear the dramatic description of John the Baptist today: a voice crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Those words are being spoken to us, telling us to prepare once again; to ready our hearts once again that Jesus might find a home there; to clear the pathways so that He can enter in.
Pope Francis echoes a similar message to the church and the world crying out inviting us to prepare. He reminds us of powerful realities like the fact that “God never tires of forgiving us.” So, we should never tire of seeking out that forgiveness. And in The Joy of the Gospel he said, “Now is the time to say to Jesus: ‘Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace’.”
So, as we hear the words today, “Prepare the way of the Lord”, what are we to do? Well, these words are not merely historic, they are present and alive today, meant for each one of us just as much as they were meant for the men and women who first heard them more than 2,000 years ago. These words, here today, are an invitation to you and me to become new again in Jesus. To leave behind whatever marks, there are on our souls that we regret – let God have them, let God heal them, let God change and transform them. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Hold back nothing of yourself for yourself, so that He who has given Himself completely to you, might receive you completely.” So, don’t let this Mass be like every other Mass, any other Mass. Today, look into your heart and leave it all here. Today, let God have all those things you want to change. Let Him have the words you wish you never said, the things you wish you never did. Lay your burdens down on this altar, so that you may be lifted up in newness. Today, prepare the way, make some room, let Jesus in the Eucharist fill you completely.
Pope Francis said, “I have this certainty: God is in every person's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else - God is in this person's life. You can - you must - try to seek God in every human life.” My friends, God is in our lives and He wants to be in them more and more. That is the message of Advent. To prepare ourselves because God is coming. Prepare ourselves because God wants to make His home with us, in us.
So, as we enter into this Eucharist today, let us open ourselves completely to Him. Hold back nothing of yourselves. Put all that you are – even and especially the parts that feel too heavy to carry or the parts you want to change – place it all on the altar along with the bread and wine and just as Jesus changes them into something miraculous, something new, let Him change you too into something miraculous – let Him make you everything He knows you can be; the very person He created you to be. Prepare the way today, once more.
May the Lord give you peace.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.