The beatitudes of Jesus are a kind of self-portrait. But it is a strange picture. At first, the blessings of being poor, mourning, and hungering and thirsting for righteousness may seem bizarre or, worse, a religious delusion. Who wants to look like that? But if we look again, we begin to see the characteristics of Jesus’ form.
In today’s Gospel story, Jesus honors John the Baptist by taking up his baton of preaching repentance immediately after John’s arrest. John’s disciples, reeling from his incarceration, find their way to Jesus.
Today, we humbly ask that the Holy Spirit descend upon St. Ann parish. Just as the Holy Spirit gave Jesus the direction and strength to endure the trials of the desert, so too do we ask the Holy Spirit to direct and strengthen our efforts.
The Blessed Mother knew more about God before opening a book than most of us could discover after a lifetime of study and prayer. There is no one whose knowledge of Christ was so intimate, so deep, so simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary, as the human woman who bore him, birthed him, nursed him, raised him and eventually gave him up.
Putting our complete trust in the Lord without expecting anything in return. Striving to put God first in all things and follow Him wherever He may lead us. Joseph was a model of these pillars of our faith.
From the loneliness of his prison cell John the Baptist asks of Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” The weeks before Christmas offer much to be joyous about, celebrating with family and friends, the glitter of seasonal decorations, the excitement of gift giving and receiving. But in our midst there are the lonely and neglected, the poor, the hospitalized, the wayward, the shut-ins.
God has a clear vision for the future, both for us individually and for our world. It is a vision of harmony and gentleness where all will live as one and the “wolf shall be a guest of the lamb.” God is not indifferent. He is the God of “endurance and encouragement.” In God, we see what we may be, what may come and who we can become.
For the Christian, Advent is the time to pause, reflect, and savor. It is a time to see life as a sacrament of the moment and not just an investment in secular interests, pleasures, and personal obligations.
God’s lesson is found in Jesus’ vulnerability. It is only when we are vulnerable that we learn how to love. When Jesus breathed his last, God’s unconditional and tender love was realized. Jesus always had a soft spot for the weak, lost, vulnerable, and broken. God wants us to come to Him freely, not because we have witnessed some fantastic display of prowess.
Starting this month, a staff member of our St. Ann community will share a podcast, book, devotional, song, etc. something that helps them grow in their own personal catholic faith life. These "picks" will be shared with the St. Ann community in this Sunday morning message.
I’m proud to be part of the St. Ann Catholic Church community. I ask that you prayerfully consider how you and your family can help St. Ann Catholic Church by financially supporting our ministries, furthering our mission, and reinforcing our future.
We are never a bother and requests for God’s love are never denied. This is the prayer of the heart. Desiring God alone and not only what we want God to do for us places this love relationship foremost in our minds, hearts, and souls. God is never bothered by this prayer.