The readings for the Feast of the Holy Family make clear that the values that nurture and foster warm family relationships come from God through prayer.
The Fatherhood of God firmly is established in the opening reading: "God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority He confirms over her sons." God Himself models the parental authority He has established in family living.
The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent invite us to look forward to the birth of Christ through God's love of us through Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel's greeting reveals to Mary how much God delights in her. She is the masterpiece of His creation chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
We too delight in His coming, because through Mary, we are given Jesus. With Mary, we look forward to celebrating His birth in a stable in Bethlehem.
The readings for the third Sunday of Advent are so rich in meaning that multiple themes could be developed from them. The words on which I'll focus are from John the Baptist to the priests and Levites who asked him: "Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?" John the Baptist responded, "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord."
The readings today are about diligent watchfulness. In the Gospel, Jesus relates the story of a man traveling abroad and leaving his servants in charge of his property. The Roman military divided the night into four watches: 6 to 9 p.m.; 9 p.m. until midnight; midnight until 3 a.m.; and 3 to 6 a.m. or daylight. A fresh set of soldiers was appointed to each watch.
Jesus uses this model to remind us that because we don't know the time of His return, we should be watchful at all times. "May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'"
Sunday, Nov. 23Ezekiel 34: 11-12, 15-171 Corinthians 15: 20-26, 28Matthew 35:31-46We begin the final week of the liturgical year with the celebration of the Feast of Christ the King. This feast day should bring us joy rather than fear. We rejoice that Christ died on the cross, ransomed us from darkness, defeated Satan, and together with the Father, gave us the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts.