January 22nd: Readings and Reflection Questions

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First Reading:  Isaiah 8: 23 – 9:3

First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali;
but in the end he has glorified the seaward road,
the land west of the Jordan,
the District of the Gentiles.

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness:
for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. Continue reading “January 22nd: Readings and Reflection Questions”

January 15th: Readings and Reflection Questions

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First Reading:  Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6

The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. Continue reading “January 15th: Readings and Reflection Questions”

A Slave to Love

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There are many ways that we, as Roman Catholics, stand alone in the Christian community. Our beliefs, our traditions, and our behaviors hold us out as unique amongst the daily evolving landscape of what we could call the American Protestant community. It is, of course, more important that we Christian believers focus more on our commonalities in our commitment to being followers of Jesus Christ as this is far more important than any differences we may have. Having said that however, it is as – if not more, important that we understand why we follow Jesus Christ and therefore why we define our relationship with him the way we do. Simply, as particular in our practice as we are – we should understand our faith. Furthermore, we Catholics also seem to have a monopoly on absolutes, and for all these  reasons we might therefore take the time to understand what makes us unique amongst other Christians. Continue reading “A Slave to Love”

January 8th: Readings and Reflection Questions

 

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First Reading:  Isaiah 60: 1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Continue reading “January 8th: Readings and Reflection Questions”

The Gift of Friendship

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Every family has traditions, especially around the holidays. One of our annual family traditions at Christmas time is to head down to the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and see their annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. My wife and I are season ticket holders and this year marked my rotation off of serving on the Rep’s Board of Directors.

My wife and I have always loved the theater. For me it’s the storytelling and the artful expression of the written word. For my wife it is much more special. She was, for many years when I met her, an amateur stage actress herself, and staying connected to that experience is central to her person. Continue reading “The Gift of Friendship”

January 1st: Readings and Reflection Questions

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The Octave Day of Christmas; Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

First Reading:  Numbers 6: 22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.” Continue reading “January 1st: Readings and Reflection Questions”