Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: “The LORD our justice.”
Therefore, the days will come, says the LORD, when they shall no longer say, “As the LORD lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt”; but rather, "As the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north”– and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own land.
R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; He shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. And blessed forever be his glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power! R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
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.
I am one of the freshmen fortunate enough to have landed a job my first semester of college. I started working at the bakery two weeks before school started, and I love the job! One day, as I was sweeping the flour-and-crumb-covered floor, my joy poured out of me in a silent prayer of thanksgiving.
Five minutes later, as if God was saying, “let’s see how sincere you really are.” I was sent to the most dreaded place in the bakery – the dish room.