Saturday, December 25, 2010

Homily of His Holiness Benedict VXI (Midnight Mass: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord)

At Saint Peter's Basilica
Friday, Dec. 24, 2010


Dear Brothers and Sisters!

“You are my son, this day I have begotten you” — with this passage from Psalm 2 the Church begins the liturgy of this holy night. She knows that this passage originally formed part of the coronation rite of the kings of Israel. The king, who in himself is a man like others, becomes the “Son of God” through being called and installed in his office. It is a kind of adoption by God, a decisive act by which he grants a new existence to this man, drawing him into his own being. The reading from the prophet Isaiah that we have just heard presents the same process even more clearly in a situation of hardship and danger for Israel: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given. The government will be upon his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). Installation in the office of king is like a second birth. As one newly born through God’s personal choice, as a child born of God, the king embodies hope. On his shoulders the future rests. He is the bearer of the promise of peace. On that night in Bethlehem this prophetic saying came true in a way that would still have been unimaginable at the time of Isaiah. Yes indeed, now it really is a child on whose shoulders government is laid. In him the new kingship appears that God establishes in the world. This child is truly born of God. It is God’s eternal Word that unites humanity with divinity. To this child belong those titles of honour which Isaiah’s coronation song attributes to him: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Yes, this king does not need counsellors drawn from the wise of this world. He bears in himself God’s wisdom and God’s counsel. In the weakness of infancy, he is the mighty God and he shows us God’s own might in contrast to the self-asserting powers of this world.

Truly, the words of Israel’s coronation rite were only ever rites of hope which looked ahead to a distant future that God would bestow. None of the kings who were greeted in this way lived up to the sublime content of these words. In all of them, those words about divine sonship, about installation into the heritage of the peoples, about making the ends of the earth their possession (Psalm 2:8) were only pointers towards what was to come – as it were signposts of hope indicating a future that at that moment was still beyond comprehension. Thus the fulfillment of the prophecy, which began that night in Bethlehem, is both infinitely greater and in worldly terms smaller than the prophecy itself might lead one to imagine. It is greater in the sense that this child is truly the Son of God, truly “God from God, light from light, begotten not made, of one being with the Father”. The infinite distance between God and man is overcome. God has not only bent down, as we read in the Psalms; he has truly “come down”, he has come into the world, he has become one of us, in order to draw all of us to himself. This child is truly Emmanuel — God-with-us. His kingdom truly stretches to the ends of the earth. He has truly built islands of peace in the world-encompassing breadth of the holy Eucharist. Wherever it is celebrated, an island of peace arises, of God’s own peace. This child has ignited the light of goodness in men and has given them strength to overcome the tyranny of might. This child builds his kingdom in every generation from within, from the heart. But at the same time it is true that the “rod of his oppressor” is not yet broken, the boots of warriors continue to tramp and the “garment rolled in blood” (Is 9:4f) still remains. So part of this night is simply joy at God’s closeness. We are grateful that God gives himself into our hands as a child, begging as it were for our love, implanting his peace in our hearts. But this joy is also a prayer: Lord, make your promise come fully true. Break the rods of the oppressors. Burn the tramping boots. Let the time of the garments rolled in blood come to an end. Fulfill the prophecy that “of peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7). We thank you for your goodness, but we also ask you to show forth your power. Establish the dominion of your truth and your love in the world — the “kingdom of righteousness, love and peace”.

“Mary gave birth to her first-born son” (Luke 2:7). In this sentence Saint Luke recounts quite soberly the great event to which the prophecies from Israel’s history had pointed. Luke calls the child the “first-born”. In the language which developed within the sacred Scripture of the Old Covenant, “first-born” does not mean the first of a series of children. The word “first-born” is a title of honour, quite independently of whether other brothers and sisters follow or not. So Israel is designated by God in the Book of Exodus (4:22) as “my first-born Son”, and this expresses Israel’s election, its singular dignity, the particular love of God the Father. The early Church knew that in Jesus this saying had acquired a new depth, that the promises made to Israel were summed up in him. Thus the Letter to the Hebrews calls Jesus “the first-born”, simply in order to designate him as the Son sent into the world by God (cf. 1:5-7) after the ground had been prepared by Old Testament prophecy. The first-born belongs to God in a special way — and therefore he had to be handed over to God in a special way — as in many religions — and he had to be ransomed through a vicarious sacrifice, as Saint Luke recounts in the episode of the Presentation in the Temple. The first-born belongs to God in a special way, and is as it were destined for sacrifice. In Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross this destiny of the first-born is fulfilled in a unique way. In his person he brings humanity before God and unites man with God in such a way that God becomes all in all. Saint Paul amplified and deepened the idea of Jesus as first-born in the Letters to the Colossians and to the Ephesians: Jesus, we read in these letters, is the first-born of all creation — the true prototype of man, according to which God formed the human creature. Man can be the image of God because Jesus is both God and man, the true image of God and of man. Furthermore, as these letters tell us, he is the first-born from the dead. In the resurrection he has broken down the wall of death for all of us. He has opened up to man the dimension of eternal life in fellowship with God. Finally, it is said to us that he is the first-born of many brothers. Yes indeed, now he really is the first of a series of brothers and sisters: the first, that is, who opens up for us the possibility of communing with God. He creates true brotherhood — not the kind defiled by sin as in the case of Cain and Abel, or Romulus and Remus, but the new brotherhood in which we are God’s own family. This new family of God begins at the moment when Mary wraps her first-born in swaddling clothes and lays him in a manger. Let us pray to him: Lord Jesus, who wanted to be born as the first of many brothers and sisters, grant us the grace of true brotherhood. Help us to become like you. Help us to recognize your face in others who need our assistance, in those who are suffering or forsaken, in all people, and help us to live together with you as brothers and sisters, so as to become one family, your family.

At the end of the Christmas Gospel, we are told that a great heavenly host of angels praised God and said: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14). The Church has extended this song of praise, which the angels sang in response to the event of the holy night, into a hymn of joy at God’s glory — “we praise you for your glory”. We praise you for the beauty, for the greatness, for the goodness of God, which becomes visible to us this night. The appearing of beauty, of the beautiful, makes us happy without our having to ask what use it can serve. God’s glory, from which all beauty derives, causes us to break out in astonishment and joy. Anyone who catches a glimpse of God experiences joy, and on this night we see something of his light. But the angels’ message on that holy night also spoke of men: “Peace among men with whom he is pleased”. The Latin translation of the angels’ song that we use in the liturgy, taken from Saint Jerome, is slightly different: “peace to men of good will”. The expression “men of good will” has become an important part of the Church’s vocabulary in recent decades. But which is the correct translation? We must read both texts together; only in this way do we truly understand the angels’ song. It would be a false interpretation to see this exclusively as the action of God, as if he had not called man to a free response of love. But it would be equally mistaken to adopt a moralizing interpretation as if man were so to speak able to redeem himself by his good will. Both elements belong together: grace and freedom, God’s prior love for us, without which we could not love him, and the response that he awaits from us, the response that he asks for so palpably through the birth of his son. We cannot divide up into independent entities the interplay of grace and freedom, or the interplay of call and response. The two are inseparably woven together. So this part of the angels’ message is both promise and call at the same time. God has anticipated us with the gift of his Son. God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways. He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need. He does not abandon the lost sheep in the wilderness into which it had strayed. God does not allow himself to be confounded by our sin. Again and again he begins afresh with us. But he is still waiting for us to join him in love. He loves us, so that we too may become people who love, so that there may be peace on earth.

Saint Luke does not say that the angels sang. He states quite soberly: the heavenly host praised God and said: “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:13f.). But men have always known that the speech of angels is different from human speech, and that above all on this night of joyful proclamation it was in song that they extolled God’s heavenly glory. So this angelic song has been recognized from the earliest days as music proceeding from God, indeed, as an invitation to join in the singing with hearts filled with joy at the fact that we are loved by God. Cantare amantis est, says Saint Augustine: singing belongs to one who loves. Thus, down the centuries, the angels’ song has again and again become a song of love and joy, a song of those who love. At this hour, full of thankfulness, we join in the singing of all the centuries, singing that unites heaven and earth, angels and men. Yes, indeed, we praise you for your glory. We praise you for your love. Grant that we may join with you in love more and more and thus become people of peace. Amen.

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Christmas Midnight: "Welcome, Prince of Peace!"

(Reference: Isaiah 9:1-6; Luke 2:1-14)

A child is born to us. Mary and Joseph hover over him, their faces bright as stars. Shepherds kneel in humble worship, and angels sing his glory. Brother Ox and Sister Lamb amble up to the manger. Christ our Light has come into the world. Our Advent journey ends in adoration.

As you gather with family and friends, how will you represent your loved ones, especially those who are absent, around the creche? With photos or figurines? In some other way? How will you prove the poet’s wisdom: “The joy that you give to others / Is the joy that comes back to you”? (John Greenleaf Whittier).

As one universal family, we welcome you, Son of God and Prince of Peace. Alleluia!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Christmas Eve: "A mighty savior"

(Reference: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Luke 1:67-79)

Like the proud Jewish papa that he was, Zechariah greeted John’s birth with an animated song of thanksgiving for the mighty Savior his son would serve. On this eve of Christmas, we join in giving thanks for “the tender mercy of our God” who comes to guide us in his ways of peace.

How will you, like the repentant Scrooge, “honor Christmas in [your] heart, and try to keep it all the year”?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Thursday: "Celebrate the little ones"

(Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24; Luke 1:57-66)

What a party they must have had at the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah when their only child was born. The relatives were floored when Elizabeth gave him a name that was new to the family tree. But Zechariah agreed. The child would be called John and he would be great in holiness.

How will you celebrate your own favored children and grandchildren this season?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Simbang Gabi

Guests reach for the goodies attached to a pabitin at a Simbang Gabi reception at St. Bernard's on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010.
The Fil-Am Association presented the annual celebration of Simbang Gabi with a Mass and a reception afterward in the parish hall on Wednesday.

The event featured refreshments, Filipino food and the Filipino game of pabitin.

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Wednesday: "Sing out!"

(Reference: 1 Samuel 1:24-28; Luke1:46-56)

Mary is so moved by Elizabeth’s tribute to her and to her Son that she has to sing out her joy. Her Magnificat brims over with praise for the Lord, confidence in the holiness God graced her with and prophetic protest against powerful oppressors. Mary’s song suggests that our prayers are sometimes too domesticated. Late Advent is a season for singing out because “Love, the Guest, is on the way” (“People, Look East,” Eleanor Farjeon).

Shopping mall safety tips

It’s easy for kids to get sidetracked with all the sights, sounds, and smells surrounding us at holiday time. It is especially important to monitor your children when taking them through the mall during the Christmas season.

If children become separated from you, teach them to look for a “safe stranger” who can help them. For example, a mom with kids or the cash register person can help a child who is lost. Avoid telling children to go to the “manager.” Any adult in a suit, who looks important, can look like the manager to a child.

Children must be told never to leave the mall or store to go looking for you in the parking lot. Let them know that you would never go outside or leave until you are reunited — no matter what anyone else tells them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Tuesday: "Honor the mothers"

(Reference: Song 2:8-14; Luke 1:39-45)

How easy it is to miss the reality that Elizabeth, the aged mother-to-be of John the Baptist, is the first person in the Gospels to be described as “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Overcome with joy at her young relative’s pregnancy, Elizabeth shouts her praise of holy Mary and the blessed boy in her womb.

How might you, in memory of Mary and Elizabeth, honor a pregnant woman or an overworked mother?

Monday, December 20, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Monday: "The Favored One"

(Reference: Isaiah 7:10-14; Luke :26-38)

Mary must have been stunned by an archangel’s greeting her as the “favored one” and by his assurance that the Lord was with her. Whatever her concerns about how God will empower her to accomplish his plan, Mary dares to go forward, knowing that she is loved and that she will suffer.

We, too, are favored ones in God’s eyes.

What does this mean to you?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Fourth Week of Advent: "God with us"

We have heard the angel’s announcement to Joseph so many times that we forget to be wowed by it. A virgin will give birth to a son. His name will be “God With Us.”

Amy Grant’s song “Emmanuel, God With Us” speaks of Jesus as “A voice of peace / To the weary ones.”

If today you are burdened with holiday cares, how will you let them go into the arms of the God who is right here, right now, right with us, always?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Posadas!

Todos están invitados a celebrar las tradicionales posadas todas las tardes a las 7 empezando este jueves 16 de Diciembre.

Rezaremos el Rosario y cantaremos villancicos sin faltar las famosas piñatas repletas de dulces y caramelos. Traigan a sus niños y a toda su familia.

***

All are welcome to attend our annual posadas every night at 7.

We will pray the rosary, sing carols and hit pinata filled with sweets. Bring your entire family.

A very blessed and peaceful Christmas

A very blessed and peaceful Christmas to all our parishioners and their families.

Christmas is a special time to celebrate family. We are a parish family and our celebration of Christmas is a grace filled time for us. We will remember you all at our Christmas Masses and pray that God may bless you abundantly. It is our joy to serve you during the year.

— Monsignor Gerald McSorley
Monsignor Patrick McNulty
Rev. Paul Henson
Rev. Tim McGowan

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Saturday: "Angelic voices"

(Reference: Jeremiah 23:5-8; Matthew 1:18-25)

The Gospels reveal precious little about the man who became Mary’s husband, and how he overcame the cultural and religious traditions that stood between them. What we do know is that Joseph had the courage to listen to an angel in a dream so vivid that it could not be ignored.

In what ways have you listened to angelic voices?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Trust in God

On this final Sunday of Advent, our scriptures focus on the historical birth of Jesus, who is son of David and Son of God, child and king, Jesus and Emmanuel.

Isaiah the prophet begs Ahaz to ask for a sign, to allow God to offer him reassurance of the survival of the Davidic dynasty. The king hypocritically refuses to “tempt the LORD” in that way (Isaiah 7:12), but the prophet foretells the birth of a son, an heir to the throne, who will prove the Lord’s enduring protection of God’s chosen lineage on the throne of David. The child will be called Emmanuel.

Matthew’s reference to this history in his description of the birth of Jesus highlights the contrast between the faithless refusal of trust shown by Ahaz, and the complete trust in God shown by Mary and Joseph in bringing about the birth of Jesus Christ.

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Friday: "Family connections"

(Reference: Genesis 49:2, 8-10; Matthew 1:1-17)

We can imagine how pleased Jesus would have been to hear a recitation of the 42 generations connecting him with Abraham and David. But he would have been saddened by how few of his great-grandmothers were mentioned by name.

Strengthen your own family bonds by putting together a family tree with your children, giving special appreciation to all the mothers and grandmothers who gave birth to the next generation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Thursday: "Embrace God’s purpose"

(Reference: Isaiah 54:1-10; Luke 7:24-30)

Both Jesus and the Baptist were rejected by the Pharisees and legal scholars who insisted on their own version of who the Messiah was and what his message should be. As the Gospel puts it, “[they] rejected God’s purpose for themselves.”

In silent prayer, consider how you are fulfilling God’s purpose. And rejoice at all the good you discover.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Wednesday: "Discern the signs"

(Reference: Isaiah 45:6c-8, 18, 21c-25; Luke 7:18b-23)

When John the Baptist needed to know if Jesus was truly “the one who is to come,” Jesus responded by listing his deeds of compassion. He spent himself in love for all those who needed him. By this sign, we will know him.

By what signs will others know us as Christ’s disciples?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Tuesday: "Be true to the Word"

(Reference: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Matthew 21:28-32)

We can hold up the parable of the two sons like a mirror that reflects how well we are doing the Father’s will.

Do we say yes to the works of mercy but neglect the poor because we “can’t find the time” to serve them? Or do we admit to our upside-down priorities and set out to do what God desires of us?

St. John of the Cross, jailed for being true to the word, advises us to pray for “a will that is wholly with God, and a mind truly set upon him.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Monday: "Water the seed"

(Reference: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a; Matthew 21:23-27)

Our Advent readings are lush with portrayals of God as a wondrous Creator of earthly abundance and a Sower of good seed. He turns barren ground to fertile purposes, giving life where there was only a wasteland. We invite our God to water the seeds of faith within us.

On St. Lucy’s Day, how will you be a light for someone who is suffering the holiday blues?
The celebration of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ renews our hope and trust in God.

Through the gift of his son, God has blessed us with love, peace and salvation. May this beautiful feast bring us closer to Jesus and to one another in the family of God.

We pray that every child may be seen as a gift from God and welcomed into a loving family home. We look forward to celebrating Christmas Mass with you. May God bles you and your family with joy and peace.

— Monsignor Gerald McSorley,
Pastor

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.

On Dec. 9, 1531, the Blessed Mother made the first of her appearances to St. Juan Diego on the hill of El Tepeyac, five miles north of Mexico City. She left behind not only her message, but also her beautiful image miraculously imprinted on the tilma (cloak) of Juan. The tilma and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is revered by millions each year in the shrine built to honor her and to be a place of prayer.

“Let nothing trouble or afflict you — am I not here who am your mother?” were the words of Mary to St. Juan Diego.

Our thanks to all the Guadalupanos for preparing this beautiful celebration to honor our Blessed Mother.

All are welcome to the celebration in her honor at our school’s volleyball courts today.

— Monsignor Gerald McSorley,
Pastor

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Third Week of Advent: "Be patient"

Like children pining for Christmas morning, we know what it means to wait for what we desire. Whether it is the safe arrival of loved ones from afar or a recovery from cancer, we wait in prayer and patience, hope and trust. Angelus Sibelius advises, “If in your heart you make / A manger for his birth, / Then God will once again / Become a Child on earth.”

How might you do this on Gaudete (Rejoice!) Sunday?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

American Red Cross at St. Bernard's Dec. 13

The American Red Cross will be at St. Bernard’s from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Please sign up to donate blood. Your one-pint donation may save up to three lives. You must be at least 17 years old, 110 pounds and in general good health to be able to donate.

For more information on donating blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

Retirement Fund for Religious

Retirement Fund helps senior religious.

“As expenses continue to increase and economic difficulties tighten our income, we appreciate more and more the help of the Retirement Fund,” notes a woman religious.

Your tax-deductible donation to the Retirement Fund for Religious supports the day-to-day care of thousands of elder sisters, brothers, and religious order priests.

Please share in the care and give generously to this week’s second collection. Special envelopes are in the pews.

For more information or to securely donate online from home, visit www.retiredreligious.org.

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Saturday: "Living simply"

(Reference: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11; Matthew17:9a, 10-13)

During the countdown to Christmas, we are bombarded by glittering commercials urging us to spend freely. But now is the time to remember John the Baptist, dressed in camel skin and dining on insects. He receives high praise from Jesus for calling the people to repentance and paving the Savior’s way.

How will you be moved by the Baptist’s simple, God-centered lifestyle as a “commercial” for the true spirit of Christmas?

Friday, December 10, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Friday: "Don’t pan the prophets"

(Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19)

God sends us in every age teachers and prophets. But when they do not fit our image (the wrong color, gender, ethnic group) we criticize and belittle them, refusing to accept their message. Neither Jesus nor John the Baptist could satisfy everyone’s expectations. But, “Wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
 
Name a contemporary prophet whose deeds inspire you to greater goodness.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Thursday: "Praise God’s creation"


(Reference: Isaiah 41:13-20; Matthew 11:11-15)

The bad news of oil spills, climate change and endangered species calls us to practice good stewardship of God’s glorious creation. God delights in making springs gush forth in the wilderness as much as he must have in bringing forth roses in December for St. Juan Diego.

How will you put your praise of creation into environmental action?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Wednesday: "Immaculate Conception: Say yes"

(Reference: Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Luke 1:26-38)

When Mary received a shocking invitation to mother the Messiah, she wisely inquired how a virgin could bear a child. In faith, she accepted the assurance that nothing is impossible with God. Conceived without sin, Mary, like the son of God himself, always said yes to God.
 
If you have been saying “Maybe later” to any of the Holy Spirit’s promptings, how will you pray your way to “Be it done to me according to your word”?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Tuesday: "Seek the lost"


(Isaiah 40:1-11; Matthew18:12-14)

If Jesus had a favorite self-image, it was most likely the Good Shepherd. Even if 99 of his 100 sheep were fine, he would still head out to track down the wanderer. Like his father, he does not want to lose a single “little one.”
 
If you have friends or family members who have left the church or lost their faith, how will you invite them home during Advent?

Monday, December 6, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Monday: "Be forgiving and giving"

(Reference: Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 5:17-26)

God’s endless generosity to Israel and to us is depicted as the riotous blossoming of the desert, the strengthening of the weak and the end of sorrow.
 
Jesus shows this same generosity to the paralytic, forgiving his sins and gifting him good health.
 
In honor of St. Nicholas today, secretly leave a gift in a child’s shoe or otherwise enjoy being generous.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Second Week of Advent: "Live in harmony"

We long for the peaceable kingdom in which predator and prey live side by side, never threatening or harming one another. John the Baptist boldly warns us to repent of our sinfulness and prepare to welcome the Savior in whom the Kingdom comes.

On this eighth day of our Advent journey, rejoice. “Your world is journeying to the birth / Of God made man for us on earth” (John Betjeman, “Advent 1955”).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Saturday: "Walk this way"

(Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Matthew 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8)

Isaiah shares his vision of God as our Teacher who does not leave us to find our way alone. God is there, just over our shoulder, whispering in our ear, “This is the way; walk in it.”

It is that same voice that instructs us today to be Christ’s ears for the elderly neighbor we listen to, Christ’s arms for the pregnant woman we comfort, Christ’s voice for the child we guide in living by faith.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Friday: "Be healed"

(Reference Isaiah 29:17-24; Matthew 9:27-31)

The two blind men need to express their faith in Jesus and he needs to be affirmed as the healer before their sight can be restored. We sometimes doubt our ability to make a crucial difference in the lives of those who are sick, addicted, misguided.

Spend time with Jesus in prayer, asking him about a specific compassionate deed: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” What will his answer surely be?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Thursday: "Build on the rock"

(Reference: Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 7:21, 24-27)

Advent is a good time to do a house inspection. Is the house of your life resting on a rock foundation of hearing and doing the word of God? Or might it be slipping onto the sand of good intentions that get washed away with the tide of events?

It isn’t saying “Lord, Lord,” but doing what the Lord says that prepares our hearts to be his dwelling place.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A joyful journey: Advent day by day

Wednesday: "Feeding the hungry"

(Reference: Isaiah 25:6-10a; Matthew 15:29-37)

Isaiah paints God as a magnanimous host, providing rich food and the finest wines for his guests. God not only welcomes and feeds but comforts and forgives. The son of God shows us this maternal face of God when he has compassion on the hungry crowd. He is the one for whom we have waited, the one we embody when we serve at the soup kitchen, invite the lonely to our family feasts and fuss over the meal as though it were Christmas dinner.