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These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 147)
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
 and gathers the dispersed of Israel. 
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord. The Lord heals the brokenhearted
 and binds up their wounds.
 The Lord tells the number of the stars;
 and calls each by name. R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120421.cfm
Patience is the key virtue of Advent, to wait for the Lord. The image of Mary, Great with Child, captures the imagination of the church during this Holy Season.

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Friday, 03 December 2021 00:00

Saint Francis Xavier, Presbyter, December 3

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.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone
. (Is 29:17-24)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120321.cfm
The deaf hear, the blind see, the poor have good news proclaimed to them . . . sounds like Advent! Saint Francis Xavier was one of the companions of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. He traveled all the way to Asia to bring the good news.

Thursday, 02 December 2021 00:00

Thursday, Week I, Advent

Alleluia (Is 55:6)
R. Alleluia, alleluia.Seek the LORD while he may be found; 
call him while he is near.R. Alleluia, alleluia.   https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120221.cfm

God’s nearness . . . a beautiful expression of Advent longing from the prophet Isaiah. For all seekers of God, Advent is THE time to open the ears of our hearts to listen to the prophets. Some folks use an Advent Calendar to celebrate the season . . . and yes, there's an app for that!   IOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/advent-app/id756869205   ANDROID: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jacquielawson.advent.london2021&hl=es_CO&gl=US

Wednesday, 01 December 2021 00:00

WORLD AIDS DAY, 1 Dec 2021

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples
 a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
 On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples,
 the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever.
 The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces;
 the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken. On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! (Is 25:6-10a)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120121.cfm
Mountains have always played a role in the story of salvation. The banquet of “rich food and choice wines” has always been seen by the church as a sign of the Eucharist and the promise of salvation from the God whose coming we await. In 1994, I founded Caring Hearts AIDS Ministry at Saint Joan of Arc Parish in Asheville, NC. Today we remember all those we have lost to AIDS, and we pray for all who are living with HIV. Today's picture is of the Saint Joan of Arc panel in the Names Quilt. Each panel measures 3'X6', the standard size of a grave.

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Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Saint Andrew, Apostle, November 30

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? Thus faith comes from what is heard.
(Rom 10:9-18)
http://www.liturgies.net/saints/andrew/mass.htm
Faith comes from hearing . . . how important to remember that we are all called to be missionary disciples. When Advent used to be six weeks long, the feast of Saint Martin of Tours (November 11) was always a signal that Advent was about to begin. Nowadays, it’s the feast of Saint Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, that announces that Advent has arrived.

Monday, 29 November 2021 00:00

Monday, Week I, Advent

They shall beat their swords into plowshares
 and their spears into pruning hooks;
 One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
 nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
 let us walk in the light of the LORD!
(Is 2:1-5)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112921.cfm
Advent not only asks God to come, it asks us to come as well and to train for war no more. Today’s picture is Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, a sculpture by Evgeniy Vuchetich in the United Nations Art Collection.

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Sunday, 28 November 2021 00:00

I ADVENT SUNDAY

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: “The LORD our justice.” (Jer 13:14-16)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112821.cfm
We begin the liturgical year preparing for the coming of the Lord (His Advent—his coming toward us). The longing for Emmanuel (God with us) is expressed so beautifully in the great Advent hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

 

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