I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | God give us His spirit to bring Godly power to others

The readings for the Third Sunday of Advent celebrate what the Lord has already done, as an indication of the even greater things He will do in the future.

In the first reading, Isaiah writes: "As the earth brings forth its plants and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all nations."

This allusion to the lushness of the earth's vegetation is a metaphor for the fresh spiritual energy God will pour out upon His people. Both the freshness of the vegetation and the freshness of spiritual rebirth come from the Holy Spirit.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | God is all-powerful and simultaneously all-merciful

The readings for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time are as amazing as they are incomprehensible. God is as infinite in power as He is in mercy and love.

The Book of Wisdom states: "Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth." On my family's farm, we had a balance scale to weigh items to be sold, and I can assure you that if a grain of wheat fell from the scale, we would never have noticed.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Use wealth, power for common good, not to exploit others

VATICAN CITY — Wealth and power are meant to serve the poor and the well-being of everyone, not to selfishly exploit others, Pope Francis said.

When power loses that sense of service, it "turns into arrogance and becomes control and subjugation," he said at his weekly general audience Feb. 24 in St. Peter's Square.

But God is greater than people's wickedness and "sleazy games," urging them to recognize their sins and repent, he said.

"How wonderful it would be if the powerful exploiters today did the same" and changed their ways, the pope said to applause.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Pray the Church stays faithful to God, not money, power

Pope Francis greeted a baby at a Nov. 21 audience for participants in a world congress sponsored by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis condemned a Church that worships power, money and "St. Payola," a fictional patron of lucrative kickbacks.

The temptation is always there to yearn for worldly security and forget that only God can bring peace, true happiness and redemption, he said in his morning homily Nov. 20.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | The exercise of power for good

The readings for the 2nd Sunday of Advent make it clear: A great power on high makes all things perfect, and this power is exercised only for our good.

Isaiah sets the tone for the readings when he says, "Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated."

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