Sunday, December 30, 2012

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

What does it mean to be family? I say that blood and law are meaningless, as are money and social custom. Simply put, family are those we choose to love unconditionally. It can be as few as one, or as many as the entire universe. But the reason Hannah, Elkanah, Mary, and Joseph are so special is that they chose to include God in their family. Will you?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

The readings speak of a mighty and powerful God, and yet that is not the image of the divine that we celebrate today. No, today we remember that God chose to be one of us exactly as we are: fragile, vulnerable, and thoroughly dependent. Does that say more about God's beauty or our own?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent

"Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." There is a certain measure of irony in reading these words just two days after the great non-event that was December 21, 2012. How many of our brothers and sisters truly believed that divine prophecy would be fulfilled last Friday? Which among them are more disappointed: the ones who waited for the final disaster, or the ones still waiting for the awakening of the cosmic consciousness? More importantly, who are we to believe that we, not them, are the ones to whom God has spoken? If Mary had entered your house, would you have blessed her or laughed at her? Blessed is she who was foolish enough to have faith in God's word alone. May we all be such fools.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday of Advent

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! And then along comes John the Buzzkill. But maybe that's what we need. It's certainly what we got this weekend. As much as we want mass slaughter to be senseless, it is not. The Baptist told us what we must do, but we didn't like his advice, so we ignored him. And look at where that path led, to a world drowning in violence and suffering. Is it really a shock when some of that bile gets vomited back upon us? We need a good slap from the Baptist to help us wake up, for how can we welcome the Incarnation while feigning incomprehension about what we have done to their creation? Yes, we should rejoice today, but not because Santa Jesus is coming to make all the bad things go away. No, we should rejoice because our Brother is coming to give us Good News: We are family! Perhaps it is time we started living that way.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday of Advent

"Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." The Incarnation approaches, but can he find her way into your heart? Advent is not about gazing dreamily at the creche, waiting for Jesus to fall down the chimney and stuff our stockings with grace. No, there are obstacles in God's way. Whether we put them there, or just acquiesced while society did it for us, we need to remove them if we want our lover to find their way to our door. Love never just happens; it is always a choice.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I really don't like the dogma we celebrate today. It flows from a place within our hearts that cannot conceive of God dwelling within something as sinful as us. God is pure; we are dirty. Therefore, Mary must have been made pure before she could conceive God in her womb. But this goes against all that I see revealed in the Incarnation. Jesus did not pre-sanitize the people with whom he came into contact; just the opposite. He delights in touching precisely those we throw away because they are too dirty for us. Does that sound like a god who would care about the cleanliness of his mother? God became human so that we might open our eyes and see that we are far more beautiful than we allow ourselves to believe. We may do dirty things, but we are never dirty.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent

"People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world." Why? It's Advent! Jesus is coming! Why should anyone fear Christmas's arrival? Because God is not Santa, and grace is not a shiny new toy. Sometimes the gift we need most is one that will turn our lives upside down. Just ask the Israelites if the fulfillment and justice they got is the same as what they expected. But I say this is reason to rejoice. I don't want to drown in "the anxieties of daily life" and all the Black Friday's that they spawn. Do you? If that's the best we have to offer, then I'd say we're past due for a little flip. So let our Advent mantra be this: "To you, O Lord, I lift my soul ... and for you I wait all the day."