Saint Luke’s Presentation narrative effectively puts the lie to the recently popular “Late Epiphany Theory”

Presentation-in-temple

Today we hear the Gospel of Luke proclaimed, where we are treated to pertinent details of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, under the Mosaic Law, 40 days after Christmas:

And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons: And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. (Luke 2:22-39)

epiphany

As of late, nearly every Christmas, we’re told by highly educated “experts” and “specialists” that the Magi/Wise Men didn’t make it to Bethlehem for a year or two after the birth of Christ, and that the Holy Family was likely living in a rented/borrowed house there when the Magi finally arrived.

Yet here we have Saint Luke, who had earlier testified, in writing, that everything he wrote was true, eye-witness testimony, told in the correct order:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.  (Luke 1:1-4)

saintlukegospel

The Gospel of Saint Luke clearly states that Jesus was duly presented at the Temple 40 days after birth, according to the Law, and the Holy Family returned to Nazareth immediately afterward.

Catholic Tradition holds that the Magi arrived very shortly after the birth of Jesus – probably a couple of weeks (or less) after the blessed event. Not months or years later!

So, who are we to believe? Late-day progressive Bible critics who generally scoff at the concept of divine inspiration and supernatural inerrancy – or contemporary eye-witnesses to the actual events and circumstances in the life of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and others?

What do you think? 

A great alternative to federal background checks

marylamb

Submitted by Joan V.

Imitating Christ: How to Make Your Family Holy.

holyfam

The Holy Family of Jesus is the greatest example and model for all human families. The Holy Family, like our own, knew and experienced hardships and tensions.

We hear of one such episode in the Gospel which is the basis for both the third of the Seven Sorrows of Mary and the fifth of the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary; the loss and finding of the child Jesus at the Temple.

As we meditate on this passage of Sacred Scripture (cf. Luke 2:41ff), we can relate to the emotions that Mary and Joseph experienced, the anxiety and joy, in realizing that they did not know where their child was and then finding him safe and well at the Temple.

Going deeper, we can each, perhaps, see in our own life the times when we have left Jesus behind… the anxiety when apart and the joy and peace that comes when we have again found Jesus in the center of our family.

Read more

Jesus and Mary

Name another woman who could tell the creator of the universe what to do for the first 30 years of His earthly life as she did?

AND HE OBEYED HER!!!

Since GOD so honored her, and even obeyed her, why is it that non-Catholics refuse to do likewise and honor her as well?

Read more

The Mother’s Day cover pic Time Magazine should have run…

Pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus


Jesus publicly received his Holy Name
when he was presented at the Temple
and circumcised, under the Law

Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy, Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us (etc.)

Jesus, Splendor of the Father,

Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light,

Jesus, King of Glory,

Jesus, Sun of Justice,

Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary,

Jesus, most amiable,

Jesus, most admirable,

Jesus, the mighty God,

Jesus, Father of the world to come,

Jesus, angel of great counsel,

Jesus, most powerful,

Jesus, most patient,

Jesus, most obedient,

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,

Jesus, Lover of Chastity,

Jesus, our Lover,

Jesus, God of Peace,

Jesus, Author of Life,

Jesus, Model of Virtues,

Jesus, zealous for souls,

Jesus, our God,

Jesus, our Refuge,

Jesus, Father of the Poor,

Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful,

Jesus, good Shepherd,

Jesus, true Light,

Jesus, eternal Wisdom,

Jesus, infinite Goodness,

Jesus, our Way and our Life,

Jesus, joy of the Angels,

Jesus, King of the Patriarchs,

Jesus, Master of the Apostles,

Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists,

Jesus, Strength of Martyrs,

Jesus, Light of Confessors,

Jesus, Purity of Virgins,

Jesus, Crown of all Saints,

Be merciful unto us, spare us, O Jesus!

Be merciful unto us, graciously hear us, O Jesus!

From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus!

From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus!

From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus! (etc.)

From the snares of the devil,

From the spirit of fornication,

From everlasting death,

From the neglect of Thine inspirations,

Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,

Through Thy Nativity,

Through Thine Infancy,

Through Thy most divine Life,

Through Thy Labors,

Through Thy Agony and Passion,

Through Thy Cross and Dereliction,

Through Thy Sufferings,

Through Thy Death and Burial,

Through Thy Resurrection,

Through Thine Ascension,

Through Thine Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist,

Through Thy Joys,

Through Thy Glory,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus!

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!

Jesus, hear us, Jesus, graciously hear us

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, Who has said: Ask and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: grant, we beseech Thee, to us who ask the grace of Thy most divine love, that we may love Thee with all our hearts, words and works, and never cease to praise Thee. Make us, O Lord, to have a continual fear and love of Thy holy Name; for Thou never ceasest to rule and govern those whom Thou doest solidly establish in Thy love. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. (Amen.)

Link

Advent poem – from the inside out


ADVENT

I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.

And on one night when a great star swings free

from its high mooring and walks down the sky

to be the dot above the Christus i,

I shall be born of her by blessed grace.

I wait in Mary-darkness, faith’s walled place,

with hope’s expectance of nativity.

I knew for long she carried me and fed me,

guarded and loved me, though I could not see.

But only now, with inward jubilee,

I come upon earth’s most amazing knowledge:

someone is hidden in this dark with me.

Submitted by Joan V.

Loreto: The Holy House miraculously transported by angels to the place prepared for it by God.


Falling between the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the feast of The Holy House of Loreto. Here, then, is Caravaggio’s Madonna of Loreto, an extraordinarily moving painting. Caravaggio painted it in 1604, when he was thirty-three years old.

Read more

He is not here. For he is risen, as he said… (Matthew 28:6)

Matthew 28:1-7  And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.

And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and coming rolled back the stone and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror and became as dead men.

And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he is risen, as he said.

Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen. And behold he will go before you into Galilee. There you shall see him.

Lo, I have foretold it to you.

More…

What happened to Lazarus after Jesus raised him up from the dead? Did Lazarus die again?


by Doug Lawrence

In today’s gospel we proclaim the Lord’s raising of his friend Lazarus, from the dead.

While little more is known about Lazarus, there are a few things we can infer, as students of human nature, and from the totality of the scriptures.

First, it appears that there was more than a simple “friendly” relationship between Jesus, Lazarus, Martha and Mary. They interacted much more as cousins would … or at least, some type of closely related “kin”.

Next, it is clear that Jesus knew full well that Lazarus was ill, that Lazarus would die, and that his sisters (and neighbors) would be wracked with grief, yet Jesus deliberately delayed his journey to Bethany, so that Lazarus would not only certainly be dead, but already in a state of decomposition.

Jesus knowingly permitted all these people to suffer, for the greater glory of God.

John 11:14  Then Jesus therefore said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Martha was so upset that she actually scolded Jesus. Mary was so upset, she wouldn’t come out to greet Jesus. She didn’t even leave the house. (Another reason to think they might have been in some way, related.)

John 11:21  Martha therefore said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died.

The others were so upset that they could hardly speak. They were too broken up even to explain where Jesus could find the tomb.

John 11:33-34  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord, come and see.

Jesus was not unaffected by this.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

Of course, Jesus called Lazarus out from the tomb, and Lazarus came forth alive (from all accounts, looking like a “mummy”.)

Yet, many still did not believe in Jesus. The Pharisees continued to plot against him, and the high priest prophesied (correctly) that Jesus would die for the people.

The gospel accounts pretty much explain all that happened next, except for one thing:

What eventually became of Lazarus?

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us: The Saturday before Palm Sunday, Lazarus took part in the banquet which Simon the Leper gave to Jesus in Bethania (Matthew 26:6-16; Mark 14:3-11; John 12:1-11). Many of the Jews believed in Jesus because of Lazarus, whom the chief priests now sought to put to death. The Gospels tell us no more of Lazarus (see ST. LAZARUS OF BETHANY). But some unverified legends did spring up.

How many times is a man obliged to die?

Hebrews 9:27  And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment…

So, did Lazarus taste death again … or not?

What do you think?

On the Solemnity of St. Joseph: Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on devotions to the saint.

QUAMQUAM PLURIES
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON DEVOTION TO ST. JOSEPH

…The special motives for which St. Joseph has been proclaimed Patron of the Church, and from which the Church looks for singular benefit from his patronage and protection, are that Joseph was the spouse of Mary and that he was reputed the Father of Jesus Christ.

From these sources have sprung his dignity, his holiness, his glory. In truth, the dignity of the Mother of God is so lofty that naught created can rank above it. But as Joseph has been united to the Blessed Virgin by the ties of marriage, it may not be doubted that he approached nearer than any to the eminent dignity by which the Mother of God surpasses so nobly all created natures. For marriage is the most intimate of all unions which from its essence imparts a community of gifts between those that by it are joined together. Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life’s companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honour, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity.

And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. He set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant; regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing; he guarded from death the Child threatened by a monarch’s jealousy, and found for Him a refuge; in the miseries of the journey and in the bitternesses of exile he was ever the companion, the assistance, and the upholder of the Virgin and of Jesus.

Now the divine house which Joseph ruled with the authority of a father, contained within its limits the scarce-born Church. From the same fact that the most holy Virgin is the mother of Jesus Christ is she the mother of all Christians whom she bore on Mount Calvary amid the supreme throes of the Redemption; Jesus Christ is, in a manner, the first-born of Christians, who by the adoption and Redemption are his brothers.

And for such reasons the Blessed Patriarch looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the Church as confided specially to his trust – this limitless family spread over the earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the Father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority. It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.

Read more

Since Bethlehem was St. Joseph’s Home Town, Why Couldn’t the Holy Family Have Stayed With Relatives?


Luke 2:1-7  And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.  This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.  And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.  To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.

Q: Since Bethlehem was St. Joseph’s Home Town, Why Couldn’t the Holy Family Have Stayed With Relatives?

A: The short, simple answer is: They did stay with relatives.

Joseph and Mary were of the House of David. King David’s father Jesse, along with his whole family, were shepherds, who (about 800 years earlier) lived in and around Bethlehem. Their descendants still kept sheep on the rolling plains there, (as many still do.)

Who received the very first angelic notice of the birth of the Messiah? The shepherds … in fields … as they lay … keeping their sheep!

Who were the first to visit the Christ child? The shepherds! And compared to laying out in the exposed fields, the stable (carved out of the side of a nearby, rocky hill) was much warmer and more practical … even if it lacked certain amenities.

God is all about love and family, and it’s just like God to graciously remember these types of things, and to grant certain, special privileges to those he loves, according to his grace … and also in recognition of the merit of those who have gone before, who made a conscious, free will choice to cooperate with God’s grace, and do his will.

What greater privilege and blessing could there be for King David’s people?

Wikipedia has a good explanation of the genealogies of Mary and Joseph, as well as how and why the Blessed Virgin Mary would have married St. Joseph, even though both knew they would never consummate their marriage, in a carnal way. I generally don’t use Wiki as a source, but this explanation appears to be spot-on :

Now compare the 2 genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38, and you’ll discover that Mary and Joseph were both of the tribe of Judah and descendants of David. Joseph descended through Solomon, the royal but cursed line, while Mary’s line was through Solomon’s brother Nathan.

Here’s the tricky part. Mary had no brothers, and so was entitled to inherit her family’s land as long as she married someone also descended from David. Joseph fit the bill and being in the royal line had a claim to the throne, but carried the blood curse. No biological son of his could ever legally qualify as Israel’s king, but Joseph could secure Mary’s right of inheritance.

When Mary accepted Joseph’s offer of marriage she preserved her family’s land and also made good her son’s claim to the throne of Israel. Jesus was in the royal succession through Joseph but escaped the curse since he wasn’t Joseph’s biological son. But He was a biological descendant of David’s through his mother and therefore of the “house and lineage of David.”

This whole issue revolves around the facts that a) God has bound Himself to His own laws and b) He keeps His word; facts that should give you great comfort. God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind (Num. 23:19). Legally, a virgin birth was required to produce a sinless man who would be qualified and able to serve as our Kinsman Redeemer, and God longed to redeem us. A virgin birth was also required to sidestep the blood curse on the royal line, fulfilling God’s promise to David that a biological descendant of his would sit on the throne of Israel forever.

As for explaining the “big picture” … nobody did it quite as succinctly as St. Paul … in Acts of the Apostles 13:16-39:

Then Paul rising up and with his hand bespeaking silence, said: Ye men of Israel and you that fear God, give ear.  The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people when they were sojourners in the land of Egypt: And with an high arm brought them out from thence:  And for the space of forty years endured their manners in the desert: And, destroying seven nations in the land of Chaanan, divided their land among them by lot.

As it were, after four hundred and fifty years. And after these things, he gave unto them judges, until Samuel the prophet.  And after that they desired a king: and God gave them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, forty years.  And when he had removed him, he raised them up David to be king: to whom giving testimony, he said: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills.

Of this man’s seed, God, according to his promise, hath raised up to Israel a Saviour Jesus:  John first preaching, before his coming, the baptism of penance to all the people of Israel.  And when John was fulfilling his course, he said: I am not he whom you think me to be. But behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God: to you the word of this salvation is sent.  For they that inhabited Jerusalem and the rulers thereof, not knowing him, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath, judging him, have fulfilled them.  And finding no cause of death in him, they desired of Pilate that they might kill him.

And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, taking him down from the tree, they laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him up from the dead the third day.  Who was seen for many days by them who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who to this present are his witnesses to the people.

And we declare unto you that the promise which was made to our fathers, This same God hath fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus, as in the second psalm also is written: Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.  And to shew that he raised him up from the dead, not to return now any more to corruption, he said thus: I will give you the holy things of David, faithful.

And therefore, in another place also, he saith: Thou shalt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption. For David, when he had served in his generation, according to the will of God, slept: and was laid unto his fathers and saw corruption. But he whom God hath raised from the dead saw no corruption.

Be it known therefore to you, men, brethren, that through him forgiveness of sins is preached to you: and from all the things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. In him every one that believeth is justified.

If the first Christmas happened today …

Click here to watch the video

The Shrine of Christ’s Passion – St. John, Indiana – An Easy Drive from Chicago


My good friends Jola and Carol recently made the short pilgrimage to the shrine, and they were impressed and very inspired by what they found there.

From the official website:

The Shrine of Christ’s Passion is an interactive half-mile winding pathway that begins with the Last Supper and Garden of Gethsemane. You then journey through the Passion of Christ as depicted in the Stations of the Cross.
  • The Journey consists of 40 life size bronze statues
  • Each setting has a listening station featuring the voice of veteran broadcaster Bill Kurtis. Push the button to hear a description of the scene along with a corresponding prayer
  • Background music plays throughout your journey on 180 speakers
  • The pathway is illuminated for early evening use
  • The pathway will be open year round- weather permitting
  • Over 1000 trees and bushes were planted on the site
  • More than 3000 yards of stamped concrete were poured
  • 80 semis of boulders were trucked in from central Wisconsin
  • Parking for 75 cars and 8 tour buses
  • Over 50 volunteers on staff for tour assistance
  • Site construction began in 2001

Visit the website to learn more

Little blind girl’s audience with Pope John Paul II, mystical encounters with Jesus, Mary, Guardian Angels

At a time when so many are down on the Church, it’s interesting to see through the eyes of a young girl — a blind girl who had mystical vision.

Let’s back up and say this comes from a book by a medical doctor named Dr. John Lerma, who specializes at the Houston Medical Center Hospice in tending to patients as they near death.

Dr. Lerma has had tremendous experiences with these patients — documenting the many who see angels or deceased loved ones and have glimpses of the eternal as they approach the threshold.

But what we’d like to focus on today is a different kind of supernatural experience that occurred when a ten-year-old girl named Sarah who had been blind since birth as a result of atrophic optic nerves was taken to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This was an Easter Sunday nearly two decades ago.

“I marveled at the multitude of loving sounds that Bernini’s dramatic design was exuding,” recalled Sarah nineteen years later as she lay dying of cancer. “As I walked through the towering, ornate door of St. Peter’s Basilica, I was drawn by an alluring vibration toward the chapel to my right.

“What I was allowed to hear was beyond awe.”

“The vibrations and frequencies, now a part of my entire being, were the remnant echoing sounds of sadness replaced by utter joy and exuberant love from the statue where Jesus was heard to be lying on His mother’s lap after being crucified. I knew I was now standing in front of Michelangelo’s most honored statue, the ‘Pieta.’ Feeling some unfamiliar loving force take hold of my hand, I took hold of my mother’s and followed with total faith. I told my mom not to worry and to trust me, as there was an angel leading us to our next spiritual experience.”

The angel lead them to the front of the basilica, where a “gentle voice” told Sarah that “this is where God would like you to sit.”

Sarah’s mother thought it was all very cute — but also impossible; and she readied to leave. It was reserved seating. It was a front pew! But Sarah persisted, and when a priest in charge of seating approached, he told them it was not only okay to remain where they were but that after Mass he would take them to meet John Paul II!

Read more

Submitted by Doria2

The Blessed Virgin Mary: Ark of the New Covenant

Click Graphic To Enlarge

Pelosi mistakenly invokes St. Joseph on pro-abortion Health Bill

Pelosi said that Friday March 19th is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. It’s not. That day is May 1st. Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph.

Pelosi also claimed that if St. Joseph was alive, he would support her Health Care legislation. (Not a chance!) Then she went on to brag of  the unqualified support of Catholic women’s religious orders … which is not only untrue but also irrelevant.

I’ve always believed that St. Joseph is one of the greatest and most unappreciated of the saints. After this last Pelosi stunt, we can only hope that the most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus will powerfully intercede for us on the side of truth and life.

I’m predicting that the deciding “NO” vote on the Health Care Bill, or it’s ultimate demise in the courts, will now (somehow) be inevitably linked with the name of “Joseph”!

Watch the disgusting video

More …

The Solemnity of St. Joseph

Today, March 19, 2010, is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is also a Friday during the season of Lent.

According to Canon Law 1251, the obligation to abstain from meat is lifted, therefore it is permissible to eat meat today or voluntarily observe Lenten abstinence on Fridays.

Have a blessed Feast of Saint Joseph!

Thanks to American Catholic for this post

What the Mass is … and is not


“Mass is not a lesson or a class, or a primary form for the exchange of information.

“The primary point (of Mass) is not to understand it for the information conveyed. The primary point is to be present with your heart and soul as our lady St. Mary and St. John were present at the foot of the cross.”

Visit Fr. Z’s blog

More about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Are you a Mary, a Joseph, a Wise Man, or a Shepherd?

Let’s try to recapture the riches of this lost worldview by applying the spiritual sense of the Christmas story to our lives. For that story happens not only once, in history, but also many times in each individual’s soul. Christ comes to the world — but He also comes to each of us. Advent happens over and over again.

There are two ways to connecting the historical and the spiritual senses. The Jesuit method, from St. Ignatius’ “Spiritual Exercises,” tells us to imaginatively place ourselves into the Gospel stories. The older Augustinian method tells us to look for elements of the story in our lives. We shall be using this latter method as we survey the scene in Bethlehem for the next four weeks.

Look at your Nativity set. Around the Christ Child you see four people or groups: Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds. We are all around the Christ Child, defined by our relationship to Him; we are all Marys, Josephs, wise men or shepherds.

Read more of the article by Peter Kreeft