On this sixth Sunday of Easter, we are coming to the end of the book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible. We are approaching, in a word, the climax of the Biblical revelation, the point toward which the entire story had been tending. And we hear of the…. May 19, The second reading for this Sunday, taken from the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation, completes the Biblical story.
The Bible tells us that the world will be transformed into a new heaven and a new earth through the One who "makes all things new. May 12, Though it looks like worldly power holds sway, real power belongs to the army of those who have chosen to follow the…. View All Select a season. Boasting in the Cross by Bishop Robert Barron. Corpus Christi by Bishop Robert Barron. We celebrate the stupendous fact of the incarnation, God entering our world so thoroughly that nothing has been the same since.
And God continues to take flesh in our midst, in the men and women and children who form his body today. In moments of discouragement, defeat or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things, usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind — in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved. The Whisper of Christmas Joe E. Pennel, Jr. His nativity began to be celebrated on Dec.
At the very moment when the days are the shortest and darkness seems to have conquered light, the sun passes its nadir. Days grow longer, and although the cold will only increase for quite a long time, the ultimate conquest of winter is sure. This astronomical process is a parable of the career of the Incarnate One. At the moment when history is blackest, and in the least expected and obvious place, the Son of God is born…". The glory of Christmas is that a gracious God became one of us to tell us that He loves us. And, in his or her Christmas giving, the genuine believer symbolizes his or her inner desire to spread this Good News.
Today we celebrate Incarnation! Today we rejoice! The eternal God comes into the flesh and blood of humanity. Christmas cards portray the little Babe, the Manger, the Magi, the shepherds. But these pieces of the story only touch the edge of the mysterious event which brings us together. The Good News is that the God of Mercy has come into the history of humanity to bring us perfect peace. For the peace of mind and heart and soul that the world cannot give, follow Jesus. And when you follow Jesus, do not be surprised to see others following you.
After all, the spirit of Christmas is contagious. The Word assumed our humanity and, in exchange, human nature was raised to divine dignity. The second act of the exchange consists in our real and intimate involvement in the divine nature of the Word. And that one time changed the world. The infant born that first Christmas grew in wisdom and age and strength; he suffered and died and rose again; and he saved his people from their sins. Heart of Christmas Dr.
Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls. Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily, responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes. Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again. Bells on Christmas Day Pulpit Helps, , p. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in The Civil War broke out the same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment.
Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to learn that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac. Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing. It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:. I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men! Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good will to men!
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And in despair I bowed my head; "There is no peace on earth," I said; "For hate is strong And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep. The wrong shall fail, The right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men! Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness. Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace. Christmas Prayer Soundings , Vol. May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts. May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others. May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved. May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme. I believe in God, but do I believe in God-in-me? I believe in God in heaven, but do I believe in God-on-earth?
I believe in God out there, but do I believe in God-with-us? Come alive in me this Christmas! And the more you spend in blessing The poor and lonely and sad, The more of your heart's possessing Returns to you glad.
World scarred by war, greed must welcome prince of peace, pope says
Christmas William Cullen Bryant. Christmas Thoughts Anonymous. Thomas, B. Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town, St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down; Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild, While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;. And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay, Our Savior was born on that first Christmas Day!
The Father was watching in heaven above, He sent for His angels, His couriers of love;. Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live, Announce the glad tiding My Son comes to give; The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night, And saw in the heavens and unearthly light;. They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door, Till Mary invited them in to adore;. He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet, Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!
He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew, He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;. Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay, And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day; Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill, Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!
The Gospel Tree Anonymous. There once was a shining Christmas tree Standing out where all could see. Its brilliance captured every eye And seemed to cheer each passer by. The tree stood proud ablaze with light For every light was burning bright. I think of all the lights upon the tree This one looks the best to me. I thought perhaps no one would care If I failed to shine my share. Our Gospel, like this Christmas tree, With little lights which are you and me, We each have a space that we must fill With love, and lessons and good will. For our Gospel is a living tree That lights the way to eternity.
The Best Gift Betty Werth. Tell it to me. Stays so full, never empties, as you make your way From rooftop to rooftop, to homes large and small, From nation to nation, reaching them all? He told that small boy with the light in his eyes, "My secret will make you sadder and wise. Some homes are hungry, some homes are sad, Some homes are desperate, some homes are bad. Some homes are broken, and the children there grieve. Those homes I visit, but what should I leave?
The rest, my dear youth, Is that my sack is magic. And that is the truth. Not just toys.
At Easter the stones of sin, despair, are rolled away, pope says at vigil
The more that I give, the fuller it seems, Because giving is my way of fulfilling dreams. Open that sack called your heart, and share Your joy, your friendship, your wealth, your care. Will you share? Will you help? Will you use what you know? And just for a moment the small boy stood still, Touched his heart with his small hand and whispered, "I will. He is less a selfish creature than at any other time; When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be. Some Special Gifts Source Unknown. Christmas is… Source Unknown. C hristmas is the shining star of hope in the sky of all mankind.
Christmas William Arthur Ward. Act Christmas Anonymous. A Christmas List Anonymous. Never regret the past, but learn by it. Never lose sight of your dreams; a person who can dream will always have hope. Believe in yourself; if you do, everyone else will. If you can go through life loving others, you will have achieved the greatest success of all. Where to Search for the Lord James F. II, p. We tend to look for Him in the nice, the clean, the warm. I am not made of plaster, nor of stone, nor of bronze.
I am living flesh throbbing, suffering. I am among men [and women] and they have not recognized Me. I am poorly paid, I am unemployed, I live in a slum. He emptied himself for love, and because of this God exalted him and made him go up. Only if we succeed in understanding this complete descent can we understand the salvation which this mystery of love offers us. This is perhaps what Nicodemus, without realizing it, was seeking. It is one of the temptations. Who bewitched you with this image? Paul is angry. Jesus Christ is presented but not as crucified.
The other temptation is a cross without Christ, that is, the anguish of remaining down, depressed by the weight of sin and without hope. This is a type of spiritual masochism: only the cross, without hope and without Christ. Today we should take a minute to ask ourselves these questions. Is Christ crucified a mystery of love?
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Do I follow Jesus without a cross: a spiritual teacher who fills me with consolation and good counsel? Do I follow a cross without Jesus, without complaining, with this masochism of the spirit? Do I let myself be carried by this mystery of lowering, that is, of total emptying and lifting up of the Lord? After being rescued on Tuesday, the year old missionary was flown to the Omani capital, Muscat, and then to Rome, where he is recuperating in a Salesian community. He will return to India after a short stay in Rome. The Pope lifted Father Tom to his feet and kissed his hands. Tom's captivity.
The year old priest had been working for more than four years as a chaplain at the care home. He particularly recalled the four Missionaries of Charity sisters of Mother Teresa and twelve people killed during the attack last year. Uzhunnallil was particularly grateful to the government of Oman for obtaining his release.
The Holy See, in a communique, has already expressed its gratitude to all those in obtaining his release, especially the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos, and competent authorities of the sultanate. Uzhunnalil was born and brought up in a devout Catholic family. His uncle Matthew, who died in , was also a Salesian priest, and founded the mission in Yemen, where he served.
Its motto — Let us Take the First Step — was also an appeal to the nation to discover in its deep Christian roots the spiritual resources needed to advance the work of healing and rebuilding. The Beatification of two martyrs and the reconciliation service celebrated in Villavicencio were particularly moving. Vatican Radio Pope Francis has returned to the Vatican at the end of his five day apostolic visit to Colombia. Inside the ancient basilica, he spent a few moment in prayer in front of the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani.
World scarred by war, greed must welcome prince of peace, pope says
Vatican Radio The Council of Cardinal Advisors — the so-called C-9 — is holding its 29th Reunion this week, with meetings set to take place in the Vatican from September. The Council, established by Pope Francis on 28 September , was created to assist the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Church, and to study the project of revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus , which regulates the Roman Curia. The group consists of nine Cardinals from the Vatican and around the world, as well as a Secretary, Bishop Marcello Semeraro. The Council, he said, listens to the contributions of the Church; reflects on those contributions, and looks into the details of them, considering the best way of going forward.
It then makes proposals to the Pope; as Bishop Semeraro explained, the Council has a consultative, rather than a deliberative role. The Council, he said, is a synodal structure, and in this sense the Cardinals are able to serve both the Pope and the local Churches. That is, he said, it is almost to the point where the Cardinals are able to present their proposals to the Holy Father.
He thanked the many people who had prepared his visit for their hard work and sacrifice, especially offering his gratitude to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and civil authorities. We cannot just stand still. Go out to meet them. Bring them the embrace of peace, free of all violence. I also greet President Juan Manuel Santos, the civil authorities, and all those who have taken part in this Eucharistic celebration, whether here or through the communications media.
I am deeply grateful for the hard work and sacrifice that have made this visit possible. Many people helped, giving freely and readily of their time and energy. These have been intense and beautiful days; I have been able to meet many people and to experience many things that have touched me deeply. You have done me much good. Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to leave you with one last word.
Instead, let us continue our journey anew each day, going forth to encounter others and to encourage concord and fraternity. In this very place, on 8 September , Saint Peter Claver died, after forty years of voluntary slavery, of tireless work on behalf of the poor.
He did not stand still: his first step was followed by many others. His example draws us out of ourselves to encounter our neighbours. Colombia, your brothers and sisters need you. And it was overwhelming to witness the real joy of the people who welcomed Pope Francis as a friend and a brother, with open arms. It was only when I started speaking to the people — people from all walks of life - did I realise that their joy for his presence sprung from a deep spiritual vitality and that the overwhelmingly Catholic Colombians received his presence as a blessing, a gift, a moment of grace, happiness and hope.
No easy feats for sure. Then a humble woman had the courage and the faith to put the blurred and torn fabric upon which her figure is embroidered in a special place and restore its lost dignity. Vatican Radio Pope Francis has concluded his intense 5-day apostolic journey to Colombia with yet another call to uphold human dignity and to work for a just society in which inequality and oppression give way to hope and fraternity. His often poetic homily during which he called on Colombians to continue to dream and to work for a project that includes everyone echoed many of the themes touched upon in the past days such as the need to forgive those who have harmed us — a fundamental concept in a process for healing and reconciliation.
Yet again he reminded the leaders of the nation who are drawing up a peace plan after having signed a deal with rebels, that real peace is only possible if the causes of social injustice, inequality and oppression are tackled. Notwithstanding their suffering and the wounds of conflict and of centuries of exploitation, the people of Cartagena, which is built on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, brought joy, colour and beauty to the ceremony with their rich tradition of music and dance.
The Holy Father reflected on the peace that Jesus brings through the community and how necessary it is for Colombian society. For the past thirty-two years Cartagena de Indias is also the headquarters in Colombia for Human Rights. Here, in the Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver, where the progress and application of human rights in Colombia continue to be studied and monitored in a systematic way, the Word of God speaks to us of forgiveness, correction, community and prayer. The preceding text is that of the good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to go after the one that is lost.
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