Welcome to the growing season of the Church's liturgical year. Other seasons have their beauty, but Lent challenges us to take more seriously our life with Christ and open our hearts to His transforming power. This means allowing Christ to challenge us in the depths of our being. There are places deep within us that need His special attention. This Lent, He will challenge the areas that are crying out to God for freedom and deliverance -- a challenge to wake to the transforming power of His word.
The readings for the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time show God calling us in the depths of our being, as in the first reading. By calling Jeremiah, God also calls us. Before we were born, God knew us and in the depths of our mother's womb He formed us and dedicated us for Himself.
The readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time reflect the power of God's word to reveal mankind's hunger for God. A place in man's heart crying out for meaning and understanding: the first reading from Nehemiah shows this.
Nehemiah describes a gathering of Israelites who have returned from exile in Babylon. Remember that God allowed them to be carried into exile because of their disobedience to God's covenant.
The readings for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord suggest that the Good News of salvation is about to break forth on the face of the earth.
In the first reading, one of the Servant Songs, the Lord points to His chosen servant "upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street."
We are all magi seeking a distant light, searching for that which we don't have but we truly desire.
The magi had wealth and power, and yet were seeking more. They were seeking the meaning of all human journeying. At the heart of this search was a hunger that could only come from beyond this world. They had everything that this world could offer, except an exit into a better world. God was calling them to more than human kingship.
The readings for Holy Family Sunday reflect the richness of family life flowing from the dynamics that shape family living. Societies are born out of family values; personality and character formation begin with birth, and form society into a living body; and values taught to children are the values that are lived by the adults in society.