49 Slices
Medium 9780819807878

December 31

Daughters of St. Paul Pauline Books and Media ePub

December 31

Lectio

John 1:1–18

Meditatio

“No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.”

Have you ever had the chance to see a famous person whom you really wanted to meet? Perhaps a sports star, an actor, a civil leader, or someone else you almost idolized? What was it like for you? How did you feel when you saw your hero in person?

I still recall vividly how thrilled I was to see the Pope in person for the first time, when John Paul II celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in 1979. After the Mass, he rode around the stadium in the Popemobile, smiling and waving, and I got to see him up close. I felt ecstatic, swept up in the moment and the cheering crowd. It buoyed my spirit for quite a while.

Such things, though, can’t even begin to compare with what it is like to see God. That’s what John is telling us in the prologue to his Gospel. God gave us the greatest gift possible when he sent his Son to earth to suffer and die for us.

Perhaps because it is so familiar to us, we can easily take for granted the incredible gift of the Incarnation. We can hardly begin to grasp the reality of this mystery. But ponder it for a moment. Even though we cannot fully understand it, we can thank God the Father for sending us his Son. He came to this earth to become one of us, to save us from our sins, and to lead us to eternal life with him.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780819807878

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Daughters of St. Paul Pauline Books and Media ePub

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Lectio

Matthew 17:9a, 10–13

Meditatio

“Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him.…”

Today’s Gospel and first reading focus on the prophet Elijah. The disciples ask Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” They are probably referring to the text from the prophet Malachi, “Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, Before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day, / To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers …” (Mal 3:23–24). In answering their question, Jesus indicates that John the Baptist is the new Elijah: “I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him.…”

When the angel Gabriel announces to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist, the angel speaks of John as a new Elijah: “He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and … to prepare a people fit for the Lord” (Lk 1:17).

See All Chapters
Medium 9780819807878

December 22

Daughters of St. Paul Pauline Books and Media ePub

December 22

Lectio

Luke 1:46–56

Meditatio

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.…”

These words from Luke resonate so well with our hopes and desires. They express the universal experience encountered by one who has met the Lord. Mary begins, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.…” And every line that follows echoes this proclamation. It is a song about the Lord, not about her, as her life is about the Lord.

We too can pray these words from the depths of our soul as Mary does. When God becomes the center of our lives, when we recognize God as the protagonist, the Giver of all we have, and Provider for our every need, we too can step aside to let him lead us. Then we spontaneously praise God for such undeserved and abundant care.

With faith to guide us, each of us could write a unique magnificat. How has the Lord blessed me? Let me proclaim the ways! I too can recognize that I am a “lowly servant,” one who doesn’t count for much in the eyes of society, but that God has looked upon me with favor and become my Savior. As I look back on my life with the eyes of faith and consider my life today, I can rejoice that whatever my need, God has been there to provide for me. God will always be there.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780819807878

Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Daughters of St. Paul Pauline Books and Media ePub

Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Lectio

Matthew 11:28–30

Meditatio

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Who cannot relate to this passage? The feeling of being tired and burdened can last all year and is simply more intense these weeks before Christmas. Yet Advent is the one time we really long to slow down and appreciate the season. We know that we celebrate at Christmas the mystery that holds for us great joy: the birth of our Savior. Children are innately happy, filled with eager anticipation—even the secular world celebrates this season of joy. We long to savor the gift, to get away from the frenetic pace so often connected with this season.

My parents, ever my spiritual models, years ago made the simple decision that they would no longer go the expensive and exasperating mall-crawling, gift-giving route. They give a donation to charity, commit to daily Mass, and spend the rest of Advent a little more calm and less burdened as they visit family and friends.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780819807878

Sunday of the First Week of Advent - B

Daughters of St. Paul Pauline Books and Media ePub

Sunday of the First Week of Advent — B

Lectio

Mark 13:33–37

Meditatio

“Watch!”

Today Advent begins with the repeated cry: “Watch!” This word appears four times in today’s Gospel. Jesus doesn’t simply say, “Wait for me to come.” Rather, he wants us to actively anticipate his return, to prepare everything to celebrate his arrival!

Perhaps we find ourselves torn between two responses to this command of the Lord. Perhaps lately we have been indifferent toward spiritual realities, worn down by the endless activities and worries that fill our hearts and haunt our thoughts. Jesus’ “Watch!” gently nudges us from our tired sleep and rekindles our enthusiasm in our walk with the Lord. On the other hand, with fewer than thirty “shopping days ’til Christmas,” we may dread the endless check-out lines, traffic snarls, unpredictable weather, and preparations for Christmas parties and gifts. Jesus’ invitation to “Watch!” reassures us: he asks only for a childlike excitement about his love for us that gives our lives meaning.

See All Chapters

See All Slices