Second Monday of Advent

Posted on December 11, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

second monday of advent

Readings
Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 5:17-26

Living a stewardship way of life requires us to think more of others than ourselves. What we give to God never increases what God has or benefits him at all because God is perfect and without needs. However, when we give of ourselves to others in the name of Jesus, they certainly benefit and God is glorified.

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Second Sunday of Advent

Posted on December 10, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

second sunday of advent

Readings
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Sometimes you have something to share with people that causes you to well up inside with excitement to the point of going crazy. A pregnancy test, a pay raise, a college acceptance, and a wedding engagement are all examples of moments in life when we might be bursting at the seams to tell somebody the good news. When we finally get the chance to tell somebody, joy just seems to flow through us with ease. We literally want the entire world to share in our jubilation.

When was the last time you shared with a friend or loved one how much your faith in Jesus means to you? Don’t you feel the same motivation to share? Are you not overwhelmed with a desire to spread the Good News?

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First Saturday of Advent

Posted on December 9, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first saturday of advent

Readings
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

In the average Catholic parish, 7% of the parishioners are doing just about everything. Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” Apparently, the data wasn’t much different 2000 years ago!

Some parish communities are more engaged and vibrant than others, but all of them are constantly looking for ways to get more people involved. During the month of December, more people will be worshipping in churches than just about any other time of the year. Christmas and the planned events surrounding that date just seem to be more appropriate opportunities to get involved. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

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Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Posted on December 8, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

advent challengeReadings
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

My wife and I have three children. Each time we realized we would be having a child, thoughts ran through our minds about what would this child be like. Who would they become when they grew older? What would they like and dislike in this world? Would they grow in faith or struggle with truth?

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First Thursday of Advent

Posted on December 7, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first thursday of advent

Readings
Isaiah 26:1-6
Matther 7:21, 24-27

I bet we all remember the story of The Three Little Pigs and the lessons learned for future homeownership. If you had thought about growing up and building your house with sticks or hay, you dodged a bullet there. Of course, what your house is built on may be just as important as what you use to build the walls. Build a house on a soft foundation and watch how long it takes show signs of settling. If and when something adverse happens to our houses hopefully we have insurance to help us start again. We might not make the best decisions in building or buying that first house, but oftentimes we get a second chance to move into that house that will really be the one for the rest of our lives.

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Preparing for an Arrival

Posted on December 6, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: Preparing for an ArrivalFor Sunday, December 10, 2017
Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Before I entered the monastery, I enjoyed hosting dinner parties at my house. I enjoyed planning the entire evening – from choosing the dinner and dessert menu, to selecting a good bottle of wine, to shopping, cooking and cleaning, and setting the table. I would prepare topics for conversation and even readied a board game if the mood felt right! By late afternoon, I had freshened up and the last minute food prep underway. As the appointed time drew nearer, I put the flowers in the vase, lit the pine-scented candles, and vacuumed the rug one last time! I would feel a nervous excitement. Then “ding dong” went the doorbell and the party was on!

The Advent season takes on this same anticipatory sense. (more…)

First Wednesday of Advent

Posted on December 6, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

Readings
Isaiah 25:6-10afirst wednesday of advent
Matthew 15:29-37

This Advent, we should be considering giving gifts to more than just our family and friends. I think we should give gifts to every single person we encounter for the next several weeks! There is no need to do the math, because if you were thinking in terms of gifts you buy, that would be a fortune. The gifts I am talking about do not have a monetary value. These gifts are inside of us. They come from our time, our mindfulness, our emotion, and our love. These gifts will cost us something even if they do not require cash. In some ways, these gifts will be even more difficult to give than ones that originate in a store.

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5 Ways to an Intentional Advent

Posted on December 5, 2017 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

intentional advent

A friend of mine who happens to be a Director of Religious Education at a parish in Northern Wisconsin held an Advent family night this past week. It was the first ever at the parish and was a big hit. I got to see what was happening all night long because of a fantastic teen reporter who covered the event. The video was wobbly, spontaneous, and fun, but it cut off most of the adults from the neck up, so I suspect the reporter was not very tall, but very articulate. His commentary was delightful. He talked about each activity and how it related to Advent and would ad-lib with his own comments about how great things looked or how busy the hallways were or how much fun people were having.

This parish is in one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin. (more…)

First Tuesday of Advent

Posted on December 5, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first tuesday of advent

Readings
Isaiah 11:1-10
Luke 10:21-24

Today’s reading from Isaiah 11 is so beautiful with its imagery of how from the lineage of Jesse one will come who will reshape our world and create peace in the face of chaos. The wolf will be guest of the lamb, the cow and the bear will be friends, and babies will lie without harm in the cobra’s den. These beautiful images have been used in poetry, song, and paintings for multiple generations. However, will you let your baby keep playing the next time you see a cobra near him or her? The images speak to the fact of our world being changed by the coming of Jesus Christ, but they are not literal.

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First Monday of Advent

Posted on December 4, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

Readings 
first monday of advent

Isaiah 2:1-5
Matthew 8:5-11

Faith often requires us to acknowledge the true power of God and admit that we are not the center of the universe. When we are not mindful of these realities, we easily succumb to the temptation to focus on our will and not the will of God. Many wonderful things can come to pass in our lives if only we can allow God in to heal, love, and lead us. Truly, none of us are worthy of the many gifts offered to us by God, especially the gift of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ. However, if we allow God to be God and let go of our pride and selfishness, we can find ourselves transformed.

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