Monday, December 5, 2022
A paralyzed man wanted to get to Jesus. However, he was completely dependent on others if he was to get close to Jesus. On this occasion, his community went to great lengths to get him as close to Jesus as possible. Jesus recognized the faith not just of the paralyzed man but of those who carried him, ‘seeing their faith’. We are part of the community of faith and we are called to carry each other. There are times in our lives when, like the paralyzed man, we need to be carried by others, and there are other times when, like the man’s helpers, we have the strength and the faith to do the carrying.  The Lord will be there in all his healing and life-giving presence.
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
The shepherd in the parable was an image of God, and indeed of Jesus himself. God in Jesus is concerned about the one that went astray. The readings today comfort us because our God is One who seeks us out when we are lost and cares for us tenderly, gathering us in his arms and leading us to him with care. At Christmas we celebrate the coming of the Good Shepherd in search of the lost sheep.
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
In today’s gospel Jesus sends out a loving invitation to all to “come to me”. He understands the weariness of our labor; the weight of our burdens; the weakness of our body and spirit. Today’s readings remind us that the Lord also calls on us to come to him, so as to draw strength from his strength and life from his life. What are some of the burdens I carry in my life? How often do I go into the presence of the Lord to find my rest in Him?
Thursday, December 8, 2022
The feast of the immaculate conception of Mary, the Catholic Church teaches us that, from the very moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from all stain of original sin. Pope Pius IX in 1858, declared the Immaculate Conception to be a dogma of Faith. Mary’s final words to the angel are a model for each of us, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” And because Mary surrendered to God, Jesus came. Surrendering to God, making that act of trust into the hands of God, is not easy. It means letting go, and like Mary, facing into the unknown and the unknown worries us.
Friday, December 9, 2022
Jesus hits out at the nonsensical behavior of the Scribes and the Pharisees. They are so obstinately preoccupied with frivolous activities, petty disputes and public show of their piety. In their piety preoccupations, they look upon John as possessed and Jesus as a glutton and drunkard and thus they miss the sign of the time.   Do I waste my time and opportunity by finding fault with everything?
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Both John and Jesus proclaimed the values of God’s kingdom and both of them suffered greatly for doing so. Even as we draw nearer to celebrating the birth of Jesus we are being reminded of the cross that awaited this child. Today’s gospel reminds us that God’s giving was a giving-unto-death, a giving that cost not less than everything. At this time of the year, we pray for this generosity, so that we can give to others what God has given to us.