The Living, Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, speaks to us through the written word found in the Bible. Understanding the Bible depends upon having a living relationship with the Risen Lord and, through Him, in the Spirit, a relationship with the Father. Everyone one of us can have this relationship through prayer. Our ability to pray grows the more we actually read the Word of God, the Bible. The two feed one another and fuel one another. By Deacon Keith Fournier.
It is not uncommon to perceive faith and science as at war with each other—a mistake committed by people on both sides of the issue. Those who give the nod to science as the victor, often view it as the only truly profitable source of information. On the other hand, some Christians are skeptical of science as well. This most often occurs in the areas of cosmology and various theories of evolution. But is faith and science incompatible? Nope.
When your friends have abandoned you, when some have betrayed you, when others will not accept what you have to offer, remember Jesus Christ is risen.
In today’s gospel, Christ reminds us of how disappointed he is with these kinds of attitudes, as well as the effect they have on our relationship with him. Trying to mold God into something subject to the force of our own will is spiritually damaging. On listening to the prideful, arrogant demands of the Pharisees, Christ “sighed from the depth of his spirit.” He then “left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.”
The call of Truth is unceasing and unquenchable. It cannot be permanently silenced but only suppressed briefly. Nevertheless, it is often feared. Stepping into the light of truth always requires change. We must not stubbornly attempt to remain the same person once our heart is intentionally exposed to this divine, unchanging and ancient Light, since to do so would be to reject our very purpose.
How spirituality devoid of the Christian religion is not in conformity with God’s plan; therefore, the “spiritual but not religious” approach is not the method God himself has instituted in order to guide humankind into Trinitarian communion.
We often set off on an unceasing quest to distance ourselves from every anxiety, and thus begin to live in such a way as to constantly seek change for “the better”. There is a self-inflicted stress in such a life; a nervous movement toward some savored goal which . . .
Today, Christians often take the meaning of Christmas for granted. Unfortunately, the wonder and magnificence of the Incarnation and the subsequent birth of the humble little Christ Child, including study and reflection on these singularly unique and pivotal events in human history, are often displaced by other concerns. Often unrecognized or forgotten is the struggle, the bloodshed, and the extreme labor of the Church over the centuries to guard and transmit the truth of Jesus of Nazareth in its full purity to the entire world.
The theological virtue of hope, itself a gift from God, is integral to a fruitful Advent which entails looking forward in fervent expectation of the arrival of the Christ Child, who himself is the fulfillment of every human hope.