The infant of Bethlehem appears weak Jesus came on the first Christmas “to strengthen the hands that are feeble and to make firm the knees that are weak.” He will “say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!” (Is 35). It is the human condition to “get in beyond our depth.” Many…

A promise of deliverance Jesus gave hearing to the deaf, sight to the blind and a promise of deliverance to the poor and lowly. This had been foretold of him: “On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see….

In God, justice and mercy are united Isaiah wrote: “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord…he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted”…

“Make ready the way of the Lord” “In Isaiah the prophet it is written: ‘I send my messenger before you to prepare your way, a herald’s voice in the desert, crying, “Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path.’” (Mk 1). John the Baptist came to call us to prepare for…

He takes us as we are When Jesus is near his presence is the outreach of his love for us. At such moments it is enough to receive his gift with gratitude. He comes to those who love him, who look for his coming. He comes in peace, making restless hearts peaceful. Human nature may…

Then I shall have nothing to fear When we have a sense that Jesus has drawn near to us in our prayer it is natural to believe that he is approving us. If indeed he has drawn near, we can be sure only of his concern for us. Approval or disapproval have nothing to do…

The temple of the Lord is a heart that is pure One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple” (Ps 27). The temple of the…

Jesus promised the restoration of the world The judgment of the world begins as a self judgment. When we listen to, read or watch the news, we are treated to an endless litany of catastrophes. If we believe that the litany represents what is really happening in the world we might think that God is…

Winter for a believer is the poet’s promise of spring The coming of winter is in one sense an ending. It is a time to reflect on one’s own advancing age and the age of the world. Both are moving inexorably toward a conclusion. The image of winter can merely be one of death. For…

Our gratitude opens our hearts to his greater gifts Of the ten lepers Jesus healed on the border of Samaria only one, a Samaritan stranger, returned to thank him. Perhaps the other lepers thought that they deserved to be healed. Only a stranger could see his healing as a free gift of Jesus’ love. The…

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