When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?’
“It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”
R/ (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. The promises of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. R/ For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.” R/ For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’ Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm.” R/ For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters: To him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen.
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Long skirts. Morning prayer with the community. Some rendering of Jesus—whether in painting or statue form—staring down every corner. And crucifixes… crucifixes everywhere. It’s not a convent, but it’s the next best thing. That’s right: Catholic school. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. Jesus was everywhere. We talked about Him in class, we […]
Knowing that God loves you just as you are allows you to be yourself on a date. Since you are loved by Him, there’s no need to question whether or not you are lovable. Knowing that you were uniquely created, with your own beauty and mystery, will help you “guard your heart” and not feel like you have to share every detail of your life early in the dating process. Knowing that God wants us to love others will guide you to be respectful and thoughtful on a date.
This Advent we are given an opportunity to refocus our lives and redirect our hearts back to Jesus. Don’t miss out on this season of grace. Take time to honestly evaluate where you stand with the Lord. No matter where you are, no matter how close or far you feel, Jesus is inviting you to draw closer to Him.
As we learned from the first Christmas, Jesus is willing to enter into whatever space we’ve got for Him. Are we willing to open our lives to Him, to let Him dwell in even those areas where we’d least expect Him to make His home?
Because I’ve tried everything else and I’m still empty handed, empty hearted.
I’ve worshipped at the throne of a hundred false gods, each promising to fill a bigger and deeper need inside of me. Each promise falling through, letting me down, leaving me searching for more, more, more.
What I found up in that attic shocked me. There were empty boxes from our Christmas presents. This may not seem all that weird – except these were boxes from the Christmas presents we received from Santa Claus… and Santa didn’t bring them in boxes.
A horrific reality sunk in: My parents’ had kidnapped Santa Claus.
I hope audiences will sit back and consider their own wrestling with God, their own prayer life, their own dilemmas and choices alongside those of Moses. Enter into the story with their own story. I received tremendous insight through this film. Many years ago, I was once told by a Jesuit spiritual director that I could “negotiate” with God. “What?!” said I. “What do you think Abraham and Moses did?” he asked me. This conversation changed my life and my relationship with God forever. Of course, the Jews totally understand this as they have continuously and intimately wrangled with God and kept their conversation with Him going for millennia: collectively and individually.
…and watching Christie, Claire, Eseni, Francesca and Stacey work, pray, and talk to the professed sisters in these two communities has given viewers an uplifting and honest look at religious life. To add to the fun, the cast has been live-tweeting the episodes. After following cast member Stacey Jackson (@StackeyJaxx), I messaged her and asked if she’d be willing to chat. She agreed, and I was so inspired to learn even more about her discernment.
Last Monday I watched protestors fill the streets of Ferguson, most peacefully protesting, some looting and burning businesses. I watched people from all over the world come together in protest. I saw the video of the death of Eric Garner.
That day, I fell apart.
I stopped what I was doing, grabbed my Bible and a journal, found an open door to my parish church and sat in the quiet darkness of the church.
That day I felt the need for Jesus to come like I had never felt before.
I don’t really know how to say this… but when you called me a few weeks ago and asked me if I was okay, I lied…[pause]… The truth is that I’ve been making myself throw up after I eat, and it’s like I can’t stop… I think I need your help…”
He was here, as a man, to walk with us and speak to us and live and die for us. We discovered that our God had some skin in the game. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
And during this Advent season, as we remember the anticipation of His birth in Bethlehem as a reminder that we still anticipate His coming again, we have the chance, every day, to draw nearer. And He is doing the same. He’s coming closer still.
It’s almost as if those of us who are Christian all year round begin to fade into the background and blend in with the crowd at Christmas time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I believe Christmas is a time when faithful followers of Jesus should stand out.
The fact that you are reading this proves that God has planted a desire in your heart to serve Him in a radical way. Praise God. Not gonna lie, I love camp… it’s where I first encountered the love of Christ many years ago in high school. I loved that it was more than mud […]
When I was 6 years old, there was a book was on display in the family room. It had a picture of Pope John Paul II on the cover and about 1,000 pages of text about his life inside. And around 11:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 1998 I decided that my resolution for the […]
In college, I learned I had been stealing. Not shoplifting. Not downloading music illegally (that wasn’t even really possible with our dial-up internet.) Not even neglecting to claim my tips as a waitress (the computer made us to it.) My senior year of college, I realized I was stealing from the poor.
We all know the tradition. Go around the table and say what you are thankful for. It may seem tedious, it may seem uncomfortable but we really have so much to be thankful for! Big or small, here are a 20 reasons to give thanks this Thanksgiving.
Once upon a time I almost ate an entire pumpkin pie. I don’t regret it. Okay, slightly. But thats not what Thanksgiving is about. This Thanksgiving I challenge you to do something crazy creative. We are gonna give thanks, but we are thinking way outside the stuffing box. Thanksgiving is certainly about being thankful for […]
There are definite “Joan of Arc” overtones at certain points. Katniss’ Mockingjay outfit is almost like armor, and her banner with fire behind it feels like a scene right out of “Joan of Arc” starring Ingrid Bergman. (Joan prided herself on never having actually killed anyone herself–similar to Katniss.) I do think Katniss could be a role model for young women to be strong as young women. Sometimes to have a bit of needed nonviolent “fight back” in their spirits.