Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Posted on November 30, 2016 by - Advent Reflections

Readings

ROM 10:9-18, Psalm 19, MT 4:18-22

Daily Advent Challenge 11.30On this feast of Saint Andrew, the Gospel recounts Jesus’ call of Andrew to “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Can you imagine being Andrew? You woke up that morning to go fishing as you always did and suddenly Jesus comes along and asks you to leave your profession, your security, and all you know behind. Luckily, Andrew was not alone, for his brother Peter was called, as were James and John. I bet it was easier to say yes to Jesus’ call when others could share in Andrew’s experience.

The stewardship way of life is easier when lived in a community of good stewards. We have each other to lean on, to serve as role models, and to call us to accountability when we falter. God never calls us in isolation. It is the community that helps us to discern God’s call in our life. Imagine what it would have been like for Andrew if Peter, James, and John all responded, “No thanks.” We need each other. We need the Body of Christ.

Daily Advent Challenge

You could be a daily Mass attendee, but if not, try to attend a daily Mass today. If it is too late today, try to attend a daily Mass this week. While there, reflect on what it means to you to be a part of a church community.

First Tuesday of Advent

Posted on November 29, 2016 by - Advent Reflections

Readings

IS 11:1-10, Psalm 72, Luke 10:21-24

Daily Advent Challenge: 11-29In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about how the wise and learned have missed the point of His ministry and His identity. He says that it is the childlike that see the Truth. In fact, they have grasped this reality even before prophets and kings.

Study is an important part of any disciple’s faith journey. Through study we learn not only more about Jesus, but also about the relationship humans are called to with Our Lord. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in the study of doctrine and theology, we forget the main thing: Jesus.

I think back to my years in college and divinity school and some of the professors and students I met for whom Jesus had become more of a subject than a person. However, I do remember one great professor that told me that theological debate should never be an activity for it’s own sake. All theological discussion needs to have as its end goal a deeper relationship with Jesus.

During Advent, choose some good resources for study and spend time with your Bible. But remember, at the end of the day, Jesus is real and He desires a relationship with you. He is not just a topic of history.

Daily Advent Challenge

Spend at least 15 minutes today in silence today and invite God to speak to you. You should say nothing. Just listen.

First Monday of Advent

Posted on November 28, 2016 by - Advent Reflections

Readings

IS 4:2-6, Psalm 122, MT 8:5-11

Daily Advent Challenge: 11-28In today’s Gospel reading, a centurion approaches Jesus about his servant lying paralyzed at home. The centurion hoped Jesus would be able to heal his servant. However, he felt unworthy of having Jesus enter into his home.

He spoke the words that we now echo at each Mass before receiving Holy Communion, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Jesus was so impressed with the centurion’s faith, Jesus healed the servant just as he had asked.

Too often, we find ourselves paralyzed in our stewardship. Fear, apathy, and procrastination are all obstacles to our living a stewardship way of life. We just cannot seem to move. But through study, prayer, and deepening our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, we can overcome that paralysis.

This season of Advent is about doing just that. Our goal is to not only overcome spiritual paralysis; it is to be ready so that when Jesus calls, “Do this,” we respond with a firm, “Yes!”

Daily Advent Challenge

Identify one small thing obstacle that keeps you from fully living the stewardship way of life. Name it, reflect on why it is an obstacle, and work on a plan to eliminate or lessen its power in your life.

First Sunday of Advent

Posted on November 23, 2016 by - Advent Reflections

Readings

IS 2:1-15, ROM 13:11-14, MT 24:37-44

Advent Challenge 11-27“So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Today we hear that ominous Gospel passage where Jesus tells us about people being taken from where they are and what they are doing when they least expect it, while others remain. This has been distorted by some for support into a spectacular idea of a rapture, leading to many books and movies. A profitable genre has been created that sometimes preys on people’s fears.

But in following Jesus Christ, there is no fear. What we are called to do is live each day as it were our last. Be mindful of all the opportunities around you to share love and the gifts God has given you. We will all be held accountable in the end, but it is not what we have done that will save us. Our salvation lies in intentionally following Jesus, which leads to us giving over ourselves totally to Him.

Daily Advent Challenge

Spend time reflecting on what would you change in your life if you knew your time was close to an end. Resolve to make even a small change or two today!