Advent - Friday, December 25
Posted on December 25, 2015

And his mother treasured all these things in her heart. - Luke 2:51

We began Advent with God’s word in the act of creating. We reach our goal with that Word among us in dual fashion: in the arms of the young woman who has just given birth and in a Baby asleep on a bed of straw. May we draw near and speak our word to God’s Word made flesh.

Advent - Thursday, December 24
Posted on December 24, 2015

Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us. - Luke 2:15

May we join them. This journey through Advent is close to its fulfillment, but we must displace ourselves in order to find the Child. There has to be some spiritual energy to look beyond the exterior and to see what could remain hidden.

Let us pray that we can find our God in the frailty of a newborn infant.

Advent - Wednesday, December 23
Posted on December 23, 2015

And the angel said, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” - Luke 2:9

We are readying our hearts for this good news indeed. May we take the time to hear what that angelic message meant. This Child about to be born, this Word uttered into our world, has come to bring us joy, a joy that is meant to be universal. Is there anyone we might be excluding?

Let us pray for open and welcoming hearts as we near Christmas.

Advent - Tuesday, December 22
Posted on December 22, 2015

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord.” - John 1:23

So many voices fill this holiday season that it is often difficult to hear the ones that speak its true message. Doesn’t almost every carol invite us to come to the stable to find the Child and to speak to Him there?

In prayer let us ask for the grace not to lose the Lord’s way in the bustle that surrounds us.

Advent - Monday, December 21
Posted on December 21, 2015

The people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah. - Luke 3:15

John’s mission was to speak a powerful message, but he was not the One they had been awaiting. He was asked to play a role of preparation and the people have to be directed to the One who will come after him. John’s humility is his gift and it is a lovely virtue we do not think about often in this world where, if we are not number one, we have failed. God doesn’t think that way.

May our Advent practice this day be to think of others first.

Advent - Sunday, December 20
Posted on December 20, 2015

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. - I Samuel 3:10

As we come ever closer to the birth of the Word of God in our world are we ready to say these words that come to us from the child Samuel? He had no idea what God might want of him, but he was willing. It is the perfect prayer of those who want to be disciples of the Word Incarnate.

Let us savor these words and ask for the grace to make them our own.

Advent - Saturday, December 19
Posted on December 19, 2015

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. - Luke 1:41

The unborn John the Baptist acknowledges the unborn Jesus. Elizabeth trembles as this life within her reminds her that she too has been gifted by God. Nothing is impossible with God. How hard it is for us to realize that God’s timeline and ours are frequently different.

Let us pray for the gift of patience in waiting.

Advent - Friday, December 18
Posted on December 18, 2015

Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. - Luke 1:45

These are the words of Elizabeth as she greets her cousin Mary come on this long journey to share her joy in the mystery of God at work. Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, had had his doubts about God’s plan, and he stands mutely in the doorway. What a contrast in faith here: the priest of the Temple who thought God’s plan too impossible to believe; a very young woman who put her faith in God despite the difficult proposal.

Where might we have stood in similar circumstances? Let us reflect.

Advent - Thursday, December 17
Posted on December 17, 2015

“Let it be with me according to your word.” - Luke 1:38

The ever-creating word of God is being invited into Mary’s life by her acceptance of God’s invitation. She could have said, “No.” She did not. She was ready if God had need of her to become part of what had never before happened. What a breathless moment in salvation history.

Can we make Mary’s word ours in our very different circumstances? Can we pray for that courage?

Advent - Wednesday, December 16
Posted on December 16, 2015

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.” - Luke 1:38

God needed human help for this incredible project and He looked into Galilee to find it. Mary had never dreamed of anything beyond her daily routine which is interrupted this day by an angel visitor. She calmly dialogs with Gabriel. She must have been stunned by his proposal but she is also ready to do what God wants. Are we?

We pray today for the courage to make Mary’s words ours.

Advent - Tuesday, December 15
Posted on December 15, 2015

…and the Word was God. - John 1:1

This one verse contains all the theology of the Incarnation and it stuns us. How could God have devised this plan to step from heaven’s glory into our busy world, to become a child and to grow among us so that we would know Him and He us in a way unheard of before in history? Let us think on that.

Our prayer subject is in that sentence. Let us taste it in silent reflection.

Advent - Monday, December 14
Posted on December 14, 2015

…and the Word was with God… - John 1:1

Our human minds struggle to understand the Triune God. We will never reach it in this life, but we can rejoice in the richness of a deity who is not dependent upon our grasping the nature of God. God is beyond our mind’s imagining and that is as it should be! A God we could fully understand would be less than we are.

In prayer, let us simply be grateful for the richness of the being of God, a God who had a dream of one day walking among us.

Advent - Sunday, December 13
Posted on December 13, 2015

In the beginning was the Word… - John 1:1

John’s gospel does not take us to the familiar road to Bethlehem. Instead he links the birth of Jesus to the creating God. So, he goes to the beginning, where we started two weeks ago. Creation could only happen when God spoke. This new creation of Jesus into our world is another step in God’s activity for us.

Let us rejoice this day at what God is planning to do.

Advent - Saturday, December 12
Posted on December 12, 2015

Let your word be “yes, yes” or “no, no”; anything more than this comes from the evil one. - Matthew 5:37

It is easy to read, isn’t it, but so hard to make a life plan in a world that twists words to mean almost anything. The Alice in Wonderland world where a word could mean whatever the speaker wanted it to mean often seems to be with us. Jesus so clearly says something quite different.

May our Advent practice this day be to speak clearly to others.

Advent - Friday, December 11
Posted on December 11, 2015

But the word of our God will stand forever. - Isaiah 40:8

In our rapidly changing world when objects are outdated before we unwrap them, it is so strengthening to find the durable. And we need not stretch far to find it since it is ever at hand. God’s promises are true; God’s love is wide-reaching; God’s strength is ours for the asking.

Our prayers this day are to make that word of God ever more firm in our lives.

Advent - Thursday, December 10
Posted on December 10, 2015

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. - Proverbs 25:11

Can you see it? The author of this proverb must have been a jeweler, but he is also someone who values the spoken word. There are times when material things fail to touch a wounded or lonely heart. No object can be as meaningful as the apt word that bridges a gap. It is so much more than the most beautiful creation of a goldsmith.

Let us try this day to be conscious of the power of words.

Advent - Wednesday, December 9
Posted on December 9, 2015

And a word in season, how good it is! - Proverbs 15:23

We have the power to share this God-gift with each person we meet. We can encourage, praise, console, advise – all our words can be gifts that we offer to those who share the road with us. Are we ready to look beyond our own wants in some way today?

In prayer, we will ask to be conscious of how our words touch others today.

Advent - Tuesday, December 8
Posted on December 8, 2015

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty. - Isaiah 55:11

God spoke and a world was created. God spoke and the people of Israel said, “We will.” God spoke and Jesus came to walk our earth. God’s word is all-powerful and yet so inviting. God wants us to hear it and to live it.

What word does God want me to live this day?

Advent - Monday, December 7
Posted on December 7, 2015

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. - Psalm 119: 105

On that dark road which is our way through this world, how encouraging it is to know that we have light for the journey. That light is not something far from us or hard to attain. It is God’s word. Our task is to claim it as we move ever closer to Bethlehem and the arrival of God’s Word in human form.

May we pray in gratitude that we do not travel in darkness.

Advent - Sunday, December 6
Posted on December 6, 2015

I have hoped in your word. - Psalm 119: 74

Upon what else could we base our trust in God? Ancient Israel took pride in the fact that their God spoke, unlike Dagon or Marduk. The God of Israel made promises and kept them. That same God invites us to hear His word and live it.

May we renew our hope in God’s word which lies at the heart of this Advent season.