Fourth Monday of Advent

“‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” Lk. 2:9-14 Reflection: The shepherds live on the fringe of Israelite society, but it doesn’t matter. The heavens explode with splendor as countless angels proclaim the glorious news - He is here! The time has finally

The Nativity of the Lord

"For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:5 Reflection: The veil is lifted and, like a spy swiftly entering enemy territory, Jesus Christ enters the fallen world. He comes not in the public, regal pomp so many had assumed he would, but in the lowliest of places as an utterly helpless and innocent human child. The God of the Universe is the Lord of Humility. Prayer: God our Father, You do not keep your greatest treasure for Yourself, but You give him to us forever. May we never be found anywhere but in his arms. Amen.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

"Behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.’” Matthew 2:1-2 Reflection: The Kings arrive as witnesses to the wonderful truth – the Savior comes into the world not merely for the Children of Israel, but for all men, women and children throughout the world. He is coming to restore all of humanity to God. Prayer: God our Father, the Wise Men come from the distant corners of the Persian Empire to worship the newborn king. Help us to make the effort of traveling far from our own comfort to present ourselves to the Messiah. Amen.

Third Saturday of Advent

"So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David.” Luke 2:3-4 Reflection: How fitting indeed – the Son of God, the Son of Man who will one day reveal that he is the “Bread of Life,” the true manna come down from heaven, is destined to be born in Beth-lehem, the “House of Bread.” Prayer: God our Father, the moment has nearly arrived! Fill our hearts until they overflow with joy over the coming of Your Son. Amen.

Third Friday of Advent

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” Matthew 1:22-24 Reflection: Joseph knows that the child is not his by the natural order. But when the angel tells him of God’s plan, Joseph brings Mary and the Lord into his house, which by the ancient law made them instantly members of his “house”, the line of David. Prayer: God our Father, take away every one of our fears. Give us the confidence you gave to Saint Joseph by the message of the an

Third Thursday of Advent

"Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, 'Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.'” Luke 1:41-45 Reflection: The moment Mary discovers she’s with child, she travels to Judea to be with her relative Elizabeth. The Blessed Mother is always thinking of others, filled with the love of the God who now dwells in her womb – the new Ark of the Covenant. Prayer: God our

Third Wednesday of Advent

"Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33 Reflection: Mary accepts the angel Gabriel’s annunciation with her “fiat,” her yes. She is the handmaiden of the Lord, the example of all that is good and holy. God makes His own mother, and He makes her perfect. Prayer: God our Father, we thank you for Our Blessed Mother’s “yes” to Your invitation

Third Tuesday of Advent

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathaha, least among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:1 Reflection: It is not in Jerusalem that the stage is set for the coming of the Messiah, but in the little towns of Bethlehem of Judea and Nazareth in Galilee. Joseph, a simple carpenter, and Mary, a girl of about 14 years will be the earthly parents of the promised King of Kings. Prayer: God our Father, after generations of men and women who, at best, followed you imperfectly, you bring forth Joseph and Mary – our wonderful examples of love and devotion to You. Show us how to ask for their unending inte

Third Monday of Advent

"Even if you now remain silent, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source; but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows—perhaps it was for a time like this that you became queen?" Esther 4:14 Reflection: Like Ruth centuries before, Esther the Queen of Persia cannot perceive the magnitude of her decision. Humble and deeply in love with the Lord, how could she imagine that it is indeed her, a simple Jewish girl in Susa, that God in His Providence has appointed to save her people from yet another grave threat? God works through mystery. Would that we trust Him at His Word. Prayer: God our Father, how quick we are to tell You that You must be mistaken about us.

Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)

"As the visions during the night continued, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven, One like a son of man. When he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented before him, He received dominion, splendor, and kingship; all nations, peoples and tongues will serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, his kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.” Dan. 7:13-14 Reflection: God’s people find themselves once more displaced from the Promised Land during the captivity in Babylon. But once more He sets them free. Daniel, however, sees beyond the present blessing to the glory of the coming Messiah. It will not be long now. Prayer: God our Father, we each face our ow

Second Saturday of Advent

"The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you...Your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me; your throne shall be firmly established forever.” 2 Sam. 7:11,16 Reflection: David, like so many of his ancestors, eventually falls from grace into great sin. But the ever-faithful Lord will never abandon him. David’s house is shaken and will face centuries of turmoil, but the Lord makes another oath: one day He will raise up the Messiah, the King of Kings from David’s line who will rule forever. The Savior is coming. Prayer: God our Father, David the King is the great unifier and leader of the Hebrew people, but he falls like all the others. But in Your infinite m

Second Friday of Advent

"Ruth said, ‘Do not press me to go back and abandon you! Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.’” Ruth 1:16 Reflection: Ruth is a foreigner, the daughter-in-law of Naomi. Both widows, the two women return to Israel with an uncertain future ahead of them. Little does Ruth know that her faithfulness to Naomi will result in her becoming the great-grandmother of none other than David, the king. Prayer: God our Father, you gave Ruth a faith that would help to shape the history of salvation. May we, like her, be faithful to the people You have placed in our lives. Amen.

Second Thursday of Advent

"Moses went up to the mountain of God. Then the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying: ‘...tell the Israelites: You have seen how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now, if you obey me completely and keep my covenant, you will be my treasured possession among all peoples, though all the earth is mine. You will be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.’” Ex. 19:3-6 Reflection: The Lord sends Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt after over 400 years of slavery. He gives His people the Law that will govern them for centuries to come, a law meant to protect them from the nations around them that will seek to lead them astray

Second Wednesday of Advent

“So it was not really you but God who had me come here; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt. Hurry back, then, to my father and tell him: ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me without delay.’” Gen. 45:8-9 Reflection: Abraham’s descendants now begin a new chapter, one that seems like a blessing and an answer to prayers of desperation. But within a few short generations, they will be mired in unbearable slavery. Joseph has saved them for the time being, but they will soon cry out once more for a savior. Prayer: God our Father, sometimes your blessings are disguised from our eyes. Oth

Second Tuesday of Advent

“The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven and said: 'I swear by my very self...that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your son, your only one, I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command.'” Gen. 22:15-18 Reflection: The Lord puts Abraham to the test - how much does he really trust God? God knows the answer to this already. It’s Abraham who must see for himself how deeply he believes the Lord’s oath to him. Prayer: God our F

Second Monday of Advent

"Then God said to Noah: ‘Go out of the ark, together with your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you...and let them abound on the earth, and be fertile and multiply on it.” Gen. 8:15-17 Reflection: God purges the unimaginable evil covering the world through a flood which is a preview of baptism. Noah is righteous because He chooses the Lord before everything else, and he calls upon His name. Prayer: God our Father, You sheltered Your beloved servant Noah and his family in the ark, a prefigurement of the Church. May we take refuge in the true Ark as the world churns and surges outside. Amen.

Second Sunday of Advent

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” Gen. 3:15 Reflection: The Fall comes like lightning as Adam and Eve choose the path of the Devil, exalting themselves to be equals with Him who has no equal. Pandora’s Box is opened and the disease of sin becomes destined to pass on to every human descendant. But even here does the Lord promise that salvation will come. Prayer: God our Father, take away our fear and help us to repent of our sins. May we reach out to the woman whose “Seed” is the source of our salvation and ask her to intercede for us always.

First Saturday of Advent

“On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done.” Gen. 2:2-3 Reflection: Like an artist who steps back to take in her finished product, the Lord rests and smiles like a master carpenter at the beautiful work of His hands. Prayer: God our Father, all that exists has its being in You. You hold all of creation in being at all moments. Help us to slow down and rest this season, drinking in the beauty of all You have done and still do. Amen.

First Friday of Advent

“God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them...God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.” Gen. 1:27,31 Reflection: And here is our beginning. God raises us up from the dust of creation and breathes into each of us an immortal soul. We were made to be stewards of His entire creation. This was Eden — this was His original design. Prayer: God our Father, our story begins and ends with you, for we are dust and to dust we shall return. Help us in this season of Advent to remember where we began and to thank you for Your gift of life. Amen.

First Thursday of Advent

“God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw that it was good...Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.” Gen. 1:21,23