Category: Bible Reading & Meditation

COMING UP ROSES

“They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.” —Isaiah 35:10 In the Catholic community, we call today “Gaudete Sunday,” meaning “Rejoice Sunday.” We rejoice because the Lord’s Christmas coming is near. Our priests wear rose vestments today to express our exuberant joy. We are flushed with joy because the world’s dire circumstances are overshadowed by God’s presence. In the shadow of His wings, we shout for joy (Ps 63:8). We rejoice not in the circumstances but in the Lord of the circumstances (Phil 4:4). We rejoice because God is with us (Is 7:14; Mt 1:23). “Jesus...

PREPARING TO PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS

“Elijah has already come, but they did not recognize him.” —Matthew 17:12 The prophetic ministry of Elijah prepared the way for the prophetic ministry of St. John the Baptizer. John prophesied “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk 1:17). Jesus even stated that John “is Elijah” (Mt 11:14). Elijah prepared the way for John, who came to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Mt 3:3). God prepared the way for His Son’s coming for centuries. He sent prophet after prophet. He gave visions, warnings, and encouragements. In fact, the entire Old Testament points to the coming of Jesus, the...

ERASED

“Their name never cut off or blotted out from My presence…” —Isaiah 48:19 When we decide to commit our lives to Jesus and express our faith through Baptism, our names are inscribed in the book of the living. This decision to accept Christ is more important than anything else in life. Jesus said: “Do not rejoice so much in the fact that the devils are subject to you as that your names are inscribed in heaven” (Lk 10:20). On Judgment Day, anyone whose name is “not found inscribed in the book of the living” will be hurled into the pool...

SHE REVERSES THE CURSES

“Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God.” —Judith 13:19 When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, the result was three curses. The devil was cursed, and the Lord put enmity between us and him (Gn 3:15). Women were also cursed through the pains of childbearing (Gn 3:16). Men were cursed through manual labor (Gn 3:17). These three curses have been turned into blessings by Jesus. In Jesus, Mary reverses the curses. At Jesus’ Incarnation, the archangel Gabriel announced that Mary was blessed among women (Lk 1:28). Elizabeth was filled...

A CHRISTMAS TREAT

“Come to Me.” —Matthew 11:28 When Jesus came to us, we usually made His life burdensome. He carried the burden of our sins (Mt 8:17), and He carried the cross to pay for our sins (Jn 19:17; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 598). When Jesus came to us, we usually did not refresh Him. He was rejected (Jn 1:11), ridiculed (Mt 27:42), spurned (Jn 18:40), disbelieved (Mt 17:17), avoided (Is 53:3), mocked (Mk 15:19-20), and crucified (Jn 19:18). How wonderful that Jesus does not deal with us according to our sins and requite us according to our crimes! (Ps 103:10)...

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