The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!”
R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, “Behold I come.” R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly. R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Brothers and sisters: It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight. Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll, behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”
First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in.” These are offered according to the law. Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. By this “will,” we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.
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.
There is nothing quite like the love that a mother has for her child. She pours herself out for her child day in and day out, from infancy, to childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood. Our mother’s love for us, Mary’s love for us, began at the Annunciation – it began at her faithful willingness […]
There are five specific dangerous diseases that have taken hold of our generation’s structure of the common dating relationship, abusively remodeling it’s makeup, just as I violently shake and squeeze the Hershey’s bottle when it’s down to the last drops because someone abused the basic human right of chocolate syrup. I have experienced each of […]
I work with hundreds of teens every year and when it comes to confirmation, theres a handful of teens that dive in with their whole heart. They’ve had powerful experiences of God working in their life–so much so that going to confession, mass, and Eucharistic Adoration are at the top of their to do list. […]
Whether we want to be a scientist or a lawyer or a football player, we want to be great. That’s a good thing because we are called to greatness by God. However, every great doctor or athlete or plumber or teacher had someone coach them. If we’re going to be able to face the challenges and do what seems impossible in manhood today, we need a coach.
I’ve got to hand it to you guys: you are so, so creative. I have a lot of friends who are teens, since I work with teens full-time and volunteer at my parish’s youth ministry. And I love watching my newsfeeds blow up with these crazy, over-the-top “promposals.” You know, where you cover a person’s […]
Story time! Grab your blanket or favorite comfort item (iPhones are not an option). Ready? Once there was a teenager. He was happy and young and free and didn’t worry about things like “religion” or “God” or “right and wrong.” His parents were Christian, but they didn’t teach him much about it. And then, one […]
Here we are again. Lent — a season for Christians that often brings thoughts of despair, loneliness, and (sometimes unwilling) sacrifice. We focus on what we are going to give up — maybe it’s ice cream, maybe it’s Netflix, maybe it’s picking your nose in public — whatever “it” is, and I often go through […]
When I was a teenager, sleepovers almost always included the following things: M&M’s and pretzels, movies, styling each other’s hair and animated discussions about school, boys and church. I lived in South Carolina — a state whose population was only 3% Catholic — so while almost everyone went to church, I was often the only […]
Q: If I am called to marriage, how do I know that, if I wait with trust and patience for a true gentleman to pursue me the way I deserve, God will send me someone? What if the person God has intended for me to marry is actually a less mature “diamond in the rough”? […]
I can remember being a freshman in high school, hearing the word “abortion,” and having no idea what it was. I was walking through the streets of Washington DC with hundreds of thousands of other people. They were chanting and waving signs and praying fervently. My toes were freezing and I would’ve sworn two of […]
“Ready or not, here I come!” That was the anthem of my childhood. Growing up, Hide-and-Seek was the one game that my five siblings and I would always agree on. Despite how much I hated to be “it”, I remember feeling so much power as I finished shrieking numbers and could finally open my eyes. […]
I don’t believe in soulmates. I’m serious. And no, these aren’t just the bitter words of an unmarried woman. Trust me, I can’t wait to get married, but I’m not waiting around for “my soulmate.” But Michelle, what about all those movies where the girl and they guy find “the one?” The Lie Honestly, I […]
Lent is a time to remember Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the desert, to place ourselves in His shoes, and to realize that each temptation we face over these next 40 days is a dying to oneself. Each temptation is a mini crucifixion that, although painful, leads us one step closer to the glory of Resurrection.
Two weeks ago, I woke up to no less than nine sticky notes posted in the bathroom. Each of them, brightly colored, framed the mirror above my sink. It took me a moment to realize they were even there (I am not a morning person) and another couple of minutes to take in the messages […]
Lent is here! This past Ash Wednesday marked my one year anniversary with attending daily mass! For Lent last year I decided to stray away from my traditional “giving up” of a loved worldly item, like eating out or going on Facebook. (One year I gave up all junk food, sweets, and soda. My diet […]
The other day I was getting ready to go on a date with my boyfriend and as I was thinking about what I was going to wear and how I was going to do my hair, I realized Lent is less than 10 days away. I felt a little bad that in my last 10 […]
The following list is for you to use as a starting point in your journey to decide whom your “Confirmation saint-buddy” will be. Pick a saint who speaks to you somehow. Know their story. But, mostly know the power of their prayer. Ask for their intercession like you would ask for the prayers of your friends. Saying “yes” to a Confirmation saint is like saying “yes, you may always pray for my poor and weary soul.”
I was given an assignment for my theology class to create a mosaic. We had to recreate the icon of our choice. I instantly knew that I wanted to do Saint André. He is my patron saint and affects my daily life. As I was doing this project, which took all day to complete, I […]
The most poignant message is about empathy. There is real compassion for each character and their respective situations that undergirds the drama. Nobody feels like a cheap tool to advance the plot or proselytize a viewpoint. By providing an avenue for real success, Coach White offers his athletes a way out of the poverty cycle. But it is his athletes who inspire him with their incredible work ethic and family-first mentality.
It’s with this in mind that Ash Wednesday might seem paradoxical and contradictory, too. For right after we hear a Gospel telling us not to do anything outward for others to see… we have ashes smeared all over our foreheads.