St. Joseph is more than just and righteous. This Sunday’s Gospel presents a different facet of his character: obedience. As we enter into this final week of Advent, ask St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin to help you cultivate a spirit of humble obedience so that you are able to discern what it is God is asking of you in these holy days.
Like the priests, prophets, and kings of the Old Testament, we have received an anointing. It is now time for us to put that power of God to work. Only by seeing our lives transformed by the peace which only God can give will the world come to know that Jesus alone provides the answers that the people of today are seeking.
We like answers logically explained, predictable returns on investment, and healthy organizational culture. While all of those are good from a human perspective, the view from heaven seems to operate differently … and this drive us mad. But it all comes from the hand of a loving divine Father who knows what He is about.
On the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we speak about how Jesus is King of Kings, Lord of Lords. All have been saved by the death and resurrection of the Anointed One, but now he is calling us and counting on us to honor our anointing through our discipleship and stewardship in this world.
We are experiencing a time of upheaval in our secular and Church worlds, and people are feeling the grief that comes with loss and change. But can this also be a time of hope and the birth of something new? We easily forget that God is in charge and that the essence of His presence and the mission of the Gospel always remain.
Eternal life isn’t a mystery to be figured out or something that can be captured in books or films. It is a promise and gift based on our hope and confidence that God is at work in us even now. It goes beyond the limits of human existence. In the resurrection, each person lives as God’s child, free from the fear of death.
Few things hold us back more than our excuses for not praying, not attending Mass, and not following Christ’s teachings. All the while, we miss out on what God has to offer us. The story of Zacchaeus has much to teach us about all the blessings that can come our way once we put our excuses aside and take a risk for Jesus.
As Jesus teaches in Sunday’s Gospel, humility, or radical self-honesty, is a necessary component of our faith. Admitting our faults is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength given to us by God. It is precisely this depth of self-knowledge that can begin to open us up to a deeper knowledge of Him.
Many scholars have commented that evil is simply the absence of good. In this sense, even the worst evil that manifests our world has no claim on us if our hearts are set on God, who is all goodness. The only thing required of us is faith and persistence in prayer, relying solely on the power of God.
By belonging to Jesus, we are no longer in the shackles of sin but are free to love in an authentic way. But because of our pride and selfishness, this isn’t always easy. That’s why we have the Body of Christ. By belonging to one another, we become instruments of grace for each other and share testimony to the value of a relationship with Jesus.
There is so much unsettling emotions, unhappiness, disagreement, and anger in our world, nation, and even our Church. Humanity has caused its own mess, and we often pound on the doors of heaven expecting God to fix it all. But if we take up the task of discipleship, our faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.
Memorials and commemorations of saints remind us that holiness isn’t limited to one way of life, gender, or time period. The call to live out a vocation of service to God isn’t only for those who have been canonized or beatified. The Communion of Saints includes each of us, and we all have a part to play in the mission of the Church.