December 31, 2012

John 1: 1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

A New Self

In the Gospel for today, we hear the great prologue of St. John’s Gospel, full of so much richness. One sentence reads: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”

There is a way in which, as Christians, we are born again. The phrase tends to have a very non-Catholic ring to it, but of course the image is Christ’s very own. This image of a new birth corresponds to a new life, a new beginning with a new self. The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote that Jesus:

“who, born so, comes to be
new self and nobler me
in each one and each one
more makes, when all is done,
both God’s and Mary’s Son.”

The Christian is a new self, a new creature, now a son of God, with Mary as his mother. Perhaps if you have experienced a more vigorous or forceful conversion this truth is more obvious to you, yet it is also true for all who have been baptized and live in God’s grace. And perhaps it helps to think of this image more literally. It is not just a metaphor, but a literal truth that the Christian has been so totally transformed as to merit being called “born not by natural generation . . . but of God.” Thus the Christian life in grace lacks the dullness and aimlessness of a life of sin—to be born of God is to have that perennial freshness that we all desire. It is within our grasp, thanks to the grace of God available to us in the sacraments, especially reconciliation and Holy Communion. We often think of resolutions for the new year, so let one of them be to frequent these sacraments more often and let God make us into His children once again. Happy New Year!

—Timothy Kieras, S.J.

Prayer

Lord, we choose that the goal of our life is to live with you forever. You, who love us, gave us life.  Our own response of love allows your life to flow into us
without limit. All the things in this world are gifts of you, presented to us so that we can know you more easily and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts from you insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace you and so hinder our growth toward our goal. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in you. Our only desire and
our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of your life in me.

—Based on the words St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J. 
from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, we choose that the goal of our life is to live with you forever. You, who love us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows your life to flow into us without limit. All the things in this world are gifts of you, presented to us so that we can know you more easily and make a return of love more readily. As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts from you insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace you and so hinder our growth toward our goal. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in you. Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of your life in me.

—Based on the words St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J. from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

A New Self

In the Gospel for today, we hear the great prologue of St. John’s Gospel, full of so much richness. One sentence reads: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”

There is a way in which, as Christians, we are born again. The phrase tends to have a very non-Catholic ring to it, but of course the image is Christ’s very own. This image of a new birth corresponds to a new life, a new beginning with a new self. The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote that Jesus:

“who, born so, comes to be
new self and nobler me
in each one and each one
more makes, when all is done,
both God’s and Mary’s Son.”

The Christian is a new self, a new creature, now a son of God, with Mary as his mother. Perhaps if you have experienced a more vigorous or forceful conversion this truth is more obvious to you, yet it is also true for all who have been baptized and live in God’s grace. And perhaps it helps to think of this image more literally. It is not just a metaphor, but a literal truth that the Christian has been so totally transformed as to merit being called “born not by natural generation . . . but of God.” Thus the Christian life in grace lacks the dullness and aimlessness of a life of sin—to be born of God is to have that perennial freshness that we all desire. It is within our grasp, thanks to the grace of God available to us in the sacraments, especially reconciliation and Holy Communion. We often think of resolutions for the new year, so let one of them be to frequent these sacraments more often and let God make us into His children once again. Happy New Year!

—Timothy Kieras, S.J.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

John 1: 1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

December 30, 2012

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

Luke 2: 41-52

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey.

Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

Threshold of the New Year

Luke’s gospel this feast of the Holy Family depicts a rather frightening situation. Any parent panics in the experience of a lost or missing child. This gospel incident, of course, points ahead to Jesus’ public ministry, as the first step on the road which will eventually lead to the cross and beyond. “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus says. The question must have hurt Mary and Joseph, even as it underlines the profound implications of his birth which we celebrate this holy season.

Concern, forgiveness, acceptance, compromise: these very human qualities exemplified by this family we call holy can also shape our attitudes towards one another, especially in those moments of misunderstanding which inevitably mark our own human relationships. Whether we are parents or children, strangers or good friends, we need to hold one another with open hands, allowing space for awkward questions and differing viewpoints, openings for healing and growth.

As we celebrate God’s new life this feast of the Holy Family we might ask just how it is that the Lord will support and strengthen us as we stand on the threshold of the new year. How is it that this God whose Advent continues to overwhelm and strengthen us through the coming of Jesus our Savior—just how is it that you and I will respond?  In today’s second reading we hear the words: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children, the family of God?” May our loving God strengthen all those relationships which hold us together in faith. And may the peace of Christ we share this holy weekend come alive in all our relationships throughout the New Year!

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

Lord, we can see in you the same tension that we sometimes feel — to follow your call as well as to please the important people in our lives. We also identify with the anxiety of Mary and Joseph, seeking their lost boy and both relieved and angry when you are found in the Temple.

Discovering our purpose and parenting children have similarities. We need to lean on your grace to guide our efforts; we can’t do this alone. We will expect disappointments along the way. It is inevitable. But out of the uncertainties and the consistency of the search, we will be transformed and arrive at a life-giving acceptance and triumph as we place our lives before you.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, we can see in you the same tension that we sometimes feel — to follow your call as well as to please the important people in our lives. We also identify with the anxiety of Mary and Joseph, seeking their lost boy and both relieved and angry when you are found in the Temple.

Discovering our purpose and parenting children have similarities. We need to lean on your grace to guide our efforts; we can’t do this alone. We will expect disappointments along the way. It is inevitable. But out of the uncertainties and the consistency of the search, we will be transformed and arrive at a life-giving acceptance and triumph as we place our lives before you.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Threshold of the New Year

Luke’s gospel this feast of the Holy Family depicts a rather frightening situation. Any parent panics in the experience of a lost or missing child. This gospel incident, of course, points ahead to Jesus’ public ministry, as the first step on the road which will eventually lead to the cross and beyond. “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus says. The question must have hurt Mary and Joseph, even as it underlines the profound implications of his birth which we celebrate this holy season.

Concern, forgiveness, acceptance, compromise: these very human qualities exemplified by this family we call holy can also shape our attitudes towards one another, especially in those moments of misunderstanding which inevitably mark our own human relationships. Whether we are parents or children, strangers or good friends, we need to hold one another with open hands, allowing space for awkward questions and differing viewpoints, openings for healing and growth.

As we celebrate God’s new life this feast of the Holy Family we might ask just how it is that the Lord will support and strengthen us as we stand on the threshold of the new year. How is it that this God whose Advent continues to overwhelm and strengthen us through the coming of Jesus our Savior—just how is it that you and I will respond?  In today’s second reading we hear the words: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children, the family of God?” May our loving God strengthen all those relationships which hold us together in faith. And may the peace of Christ we share this holy weekend come alive in all our relationships throughout the New Year!

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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

Luke 2: 41-52

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey.

Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

December 29, 2012

1 Jn 2: 3-11

Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

To Know Jesus

Today the Church offers for us the words of St. John: “The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments.” These words are for us an ever-important lesson, always worthy of a new encounter. To know Jesus, we must imitate Him.

The secular world wants to know Jesus mostly to find out what all the fuss is about. Perhaps also to discourage and wound His followers today, who can be difficult or troublesome with their plans and desires. But the secular world uses secular means to find out who this Jesus is, or was, or wasn’t after all. Think about what a modern news reporter might say about the events at Bethlehem, Nazareth, or Golgotha? If we had a digital camera trained on Christ for some sort of “reality” show about the Messiah, what sort of footage would we watch?

Interesting questions, and not without some value for you and me. Unless we learn to live like Christ, we shall never know him, really. This knowledge that develops in a Christ-like soul is not necessarily book-learning –facts and figures, definitions or diagrams. It is, rather, a living truth that pierces the veil of the Godhead. It transfigures us and leads us to a joy that cannot be described or predicted.

Now there may be a tendency for us to think that we’ve “been there, done that”—that we know Jesus already—what’s next? But if we think this way, we’ve forgotten St. John’s rule: “The way we may be sure we know Jesus is to keep his commandments.” If we so examine ourselves, we’ll find that we have many flaws. It is, of course, the task of a lifetime—so let us, every day, make a little progress toward keeping the commandments of Christ more faithfully, so that we may be sure of our truthful knowledge of Jesus.

—Timothy Kieras, S.J.

Prayer

Lord, it is fairly easy to be encouraging and celebratory of our family and friends who are not doing as well as us. But can we rejoice with others when their lives appear more abundant than ours? Maybe their jobs are more fulfilling than ours; maybe their children are more successful or more popular than our children. Maybe life just seems so easy for them but quite a bit challenging for us. Let us have the generosity of spirit to be happy for family and friends and to encourage them onward.  And, Lord, protect us from comparing ourselves to others. For such practices will cause us to become vain or bitter.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, it is fairly easy to be encouraging and celebratory of our family and friends who are not doing as well as us. But can we rejoice with others when their lives appear more abundant than ours? Maybe their jobs are more fulfilling than ours; maybe their children are more successful or more popular than our children. Maybe life just seems so easy for them but quite a bit challenging for us. Let us have the generosity of spirit to be happy for family and friends and to encourage them onward.  And, Lord, protect us from comparing ourselves to others. For such practices will cause us to become vain or bitter.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Welcome to FaithCP

Creighton Prep and the Midwest Jesuits have partnered to create FaithCP, a daily resource for prayer. FaithCP provides daily scripture, reflections, and prayers grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.


Get our FREE App

Submit a Prayer Request

Archives

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
28293031   
       
   1234
262728    
       
       
       
    123
45678910
       
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
       
      1
       
     12
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
       

December 31, 2012

John 1: 1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

A New Self

In the Gospel for today, we hear the great prologue of St. John’s Gospel, full of so much richness. One sentence reads: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”

There is a way in which, as Christians, we are born again. The phrase tends to have a very non-Catholic ring to it, but of course the image is Christ’s very own. This image of a new birth corresponds to a new life, a new beginning with a new self. The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote that Jesus:

“who, born so, comes to be
new self and nobler me
in each one and each one
more makes, when all is done,
both God’s and Mary’s Son.”

The Christian is a new self, a new creature, now a son of God, with Mary as his mother. Perhaps if you have experienced a more vigorous or forceful conversion this truth is more obvious to you, yet it is also true for all who have been baptized and live in God’s grace. And perhaps it helps to think of this image more literally. It is not just a metaphor, but a literal truth that the Christian has been so totally transformed as to merit being called “born not by natural generation . . . but of God.” Thus the Christian life in grace lacks the dullness and aimlessness of a life of sin—to be born of God is to have that perennial freshness that we all desire. It is within our grasp, thanks to the grace of God available to us in the sacraments, especially reconciliation and Holy Communion. We often think of resolutions for the new year, so let one of them be to frequent these sacraments more often and let God make us into His children once again. Happy New Year!

—Timothy Kieras, S.J.

Prayer

Lord, we choose that the goal of our life is to live with you forever. You, who love us, gave us life.  Our own response of love allows your life to flow into us
without limit. All the things in this world are gifts of you, presented to us so that we can know you more easily and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts from you insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace you and so hinder our growth toward our goal. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in you. Our only desire and
our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of your life in me.

—Based on the words St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J. 
from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, we choose that the goal of our life is to live with you forever. You, who love us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows your life to flow into us without limit. All the things in this world are gifts of you, presented to us so that we can know you more easily and make a return of love more readily. As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts from you insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace you and so hinder our growth toward our goal. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in you. Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of your life in me.

—Based on the words St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J. from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

A New Self

In the Gospel for today, we hear the great prologue of St. John’s Gospel, full of so much richness. One sentence reads: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”

There is a way in which, as Christians, we are born again. The phrase tends to have a very non-Catholic ring to it, but of course the image is Christ’s very own. This image of a new birth corresponds to a new life, a new beginning with a new self. The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote that Jesus:

“who, born so, comes to be
new self and nobler me
in each one and each one
more makes, when all is done,
both God’s and Mary’s Son.”

The Christian is a new self, a new creature, now a son of God, with Mary as his mother. Perhaps if you have experienced a more vigorous or forceful conversion this truth is more obvious to you, yet it is also true for all who have been baptized and live in God’s grace. And perhaps it helps to think of this image more literally. It is not just a metaphor, but a literal truth that the Christian has been so totally transformed as to merit being called “born not by natural generation . . . but of God.” Thus the Christian life in grace lacks the dullness and aimlessness of a life of sin—to be born of God is to have that perennial freshness that we all desire. It is within our grasp, thanks to the grace of God available to us in the sacraments, especially reconciliation and Holy Communion. We often think of resolutions for the new year, so let one of them be to frequent these sacraments more often and let God make us into His children once again. Happy New Year!

—Timothy Kieras, S.J.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

John 1: 1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

December 30, 2012

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

Luke 2: 41-52

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey.

Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

Threshold of the New Year

Luke’s gospel this feast of the Holy Family depicts a rather frightening situation. Any parent panics in the experience of a lost or missing child. This gospel incident, of course, points ahead to Jesus’ public ministry, as the first step on the road which will eventually lead to the cross and beyond. “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus says. The question must have hurt Mary and Joseph, even as it underlines the profound implications of his birth which we celebrate this holy season.

Concern, forgiveness, acceptance, compromise: these very human qualities exemplified by this family we call holy can also shape our attitudes towards one another, especially in those moments of misunderstanding which inevitably mark our own human relationships. Whether we are parents or children, strangers or good friends, we need to hold one another with open hands, allowing space for awkward questions and differing viewpoints, openings for healing and growth.

As we celebrate God’s new life this feast of the Holy Family we might ask just how it is that the Lord will support and strengthen us as we stand on the threshold of the new year. How is it that this God whose Advent continues to overwhelm and strengthen us through the coming of Jesus our Savior—just how is it that you and I will respond?  In today’s second reading we hear the words: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children, the family of God?” May our loving God strengthen all those relationships which hold us together in faith. And may the peace of Christ we share this holy weekend come alive in all our relationships throughout the New Year!

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

Lord, we can see in you the same tension that we sometimes feel — to follow your call as well as to please the important people in our lives. We also identify with the anxiety of Mary and Joseph, seeking their lost boy and both relieved and angry when you are found in the Temple.

Discovering our purpose and parenting children have similarities. We need to lean on your grace to guide our efforts; we can’t do this alone. We will expect disappointments along the way. It is inevitable. But out of the uncertainties and the consistency of the search, we will be transformed and arrive at a life-giving acceptance and triumph as we place our lives before you.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, we can see in you the same tension that we sometimes feel — to follow your call as well as to please the important people in our lives. We also identify with the anxiety of Mary and Joseph, seeking their lost boy and both relieved and angry when you are found in the Temple.

Discovering our purpose and parenting children have similarities. We need to lean on your grace to guide our efforts; we can’t do this alone. We will expect disappointments along the way. It is inevitable. But out of the uncertainties and the consistency of the search, we will be transformed and arrive at a life-giving acceptance and triumph as we place our lives before you.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Threshold of the New Year

Luke’s gospel this feast of the Holy Family depicts a rather frightening situation. Any parent panics in the experience of a lost or missing child. This gospel incident, of course, points ahead to Jesus’ public ministry, as the first step on the road which will eventually lead to the cross and beyond. “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus says. The question must have hurt Mary and Joseph, even as it underlines the profound implications of his birth which we celebrate this holy season.

Concern, forgiveness, acceptance, compromise: these very human qualities exemplified by this family we call holy can also shape our attitudes towards one another, especially in those moments of misunderstanding which inevitably mark our own human relationships. Whether we are parents or children, strangers or good friends, we need to hold one another with open hands, allowing space for awkward questions and differing viewpoints, openings for healing and growth.

As we celebrate God’s new life this feast of the Holy Family we might ask just how it is that the Lord will support and strengthen us as we stand on the threshold of the new year. How is it that this God whose Advent continues to overwhelm and strengthen us through the coming of Jesus our Savior—just how is it that you and I will respond?  In today’s second reading we hear the words: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children, the family of God?” May our loving God strengthen all those relationships which hold us together in faith. And may the peace of Christ we share this holy weekend come alive in all our relationships throughout the New Year!

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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

Luke 2: 41-52

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey.

Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

December 29, 2012

1 Jn 2: 3-11

Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

To Know Jesus

Today the Church offers for us the words of St. John: “The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments.” These words are for us an ever-important lesson, always worthy of a new encounter. To know Jesus, we must imitate Him.

The secular world wants to know Jesus mostly to find out what all the fuss is about. Perhaps also to discourage and wound His followers today, who can be difficult or troublesome with their plans and desires. But the secular world uses secular means to find out who this Jesus is, or was, or wasn’t after all. Think about what a modern news reporter might say about the events at Bethlehem, Nazareth, or Golgotha? If we had a digital camera trained on Christ for some sort of “reality” show about the Messiah, what sort of footage would we watch?

Interesting questions, and not without some value for you and me. Unless we learn to live like Christ, we shall never know him, really. This knowledge that develops in a Christ-like soul is not necessarily book-learning –facts and figures, definitions or diagrams. It is, rather, a living truth that pierces the veil of the Godhead. It transfigures us and leads us to a joy that cannot be described or predicted.

Now there may be a tendency for us to think that we’ve “been there, done that”—that we know Jesus already—what’s next? But if we think this way, we’ve forgotten St. John’s rule: “The way we may be sure we know Jesus is to keep his commandments.” If we so examine ourselves, we’ll find that we have many flaws. It is, of course, the task of a lifetime—so let us, every day, make a little progress toward keeping the commandments of Christ more faithfully, so that we may be sure of our truthful knowledge of Jesus.

—Timothy Kieras, S.J.

Prayer

Lord, it is fairly easy to be encouraging and celebratory of our family and friends who are not doing as well as us. But can we rejoice with others when their lives appear more abundant than ours? Maybe their jobs are more fulfilling than ours; maybe their children are more successful or more popular than our children. Maybe life just seems so easy for them but quite a bit challenging for us. Let us have the generosity of spirit to be happy for family and friends and to encourage them onward.  And, Lord, protect us from comparing ourselves to others. For such practices will cause us to become vain or bitter.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, it is fairly easy to be encouraging and celebratory of our family and friends who are not doing as well as us. But can we rejoice with others when their lives appear more abundant than ours? Maybe their jobs are more fulfilling than ours; maybe their children are more successful or more popular than our children. Maybe life just seems so easy for them but quite a bit challenging for us. Let us have the generosity of spirit to be happy for family and friends and to encourage them onward.  And, Lord, protect us from comparing ourselves to others. For such practices will cause us to become vain or bitter.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!