Category: Daily Promises

FORGOTTEN PRAYER?

“Do not be frightened, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” —Luke 1:13 St. Luke’s gospel text gives us several clues to Zechariah’s background. Zechariah and Elizabeth were advancing in age. Elizabeth was past the age of bearing children (Lk 1:18, 36). Apparently, some years before, Zechariah had prayed for children; hence, the angel says: “Your prayer has been heard” (Lk 1:13). Zechariah’s startled and skeptical reaction indicates that he probably had forgotten about this prayer and perhaps hadn’t prayed for a child in quite a few years. Sometimes we Christians assume that prayer has a kind of spiritual statute of...

FOSTERING

“Joseph…did as the angel of the Lord had directed him.” —Matthew 1:24 St. Joseph was a foster-father. He was not the biological father of Jesus, but he raised Jesus from birth with all the love and faithfulness as would a biological father. It can also be said that St. Joseph was a foster-husband. Mary’s spouse was the Holy Spirit. She conceived Jesus by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:18). The Church teaches that Mary was a perpetual virgin, devoted to her Spouse, the Holy Spirit (Catechism, 723). St. Joseph thus did not have a conjugal relationship with Mary,...

A DESCENDING SPIRAL

“Then why did you not put faith in it?” —Matthew 21:25 Many of the chief priests and elders did not believe in John’s baptism. Thus, they were not prepared to accept Jesus. So they crucified Him. Many people are so ignorant of history or disobedient to God that they do not take Advent seriously. Thus, they are not prepared to meet Christ at Christmastime. So they miss out on Christmas. When Christmas is a far cry from what the Lord wants it to be, many do not realize that “the trouble is in their set,” that is, they do not...

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...

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