I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good

Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)   I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good.  Imagine getting instruction from Bill Gates on computers, Serena Williams on tennis, or Gordon Ramsay on cooking.   It would be spectacular, wouldn’t it?   Well, you have something even better: almighty God, the One who is greater than all of the experts, has promised to teach you not only about your hobbies but about the best way to live.   You...

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Do not be afraid, Mary

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Feast)   Do not be afraid, Mary.   Mary was “greatly troubled,” both by the sudden and unexpected appearance of an angel and by what the angel said to her (Luke 1:29).   But the angel assured her:   “Do not be afraid” (1:30).   What a consoling message this must have been! Skip ahead to the year 1531.   Mary appears to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City.   She asks him to go to the bishop to request that he build...

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You will find rest

Saint Damasus I, Pope (Optional Memorial)   You will find rest.   Scripture tells us that rest was part of God’s plan from the beginning:   “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:3).    The day of rest, or Sabbath, was meant as a time to honor our unique relationship with God.   Of all the animals on the earth, men and women are the only ones who take this day...

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Will he not . . . go in search of the stray

2nd Week of Advent   Will he not . . . go in search of the stray?    There’s nothing like a parable to illustrate a spiritual point in a new way or to offer new insight to a familiar point.   Jesus used these short stories drawn from everyday life to surprise his hearers and help them grasp the truth about life in his kingdom.   Rather than simple tales, Jesus’ parables always had some kind of twist that was meant to surprise his hearers and...

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Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patronal Feastday of the USA (Solemnity)   Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.    If you have any experience of motherhood, you know that it takes a lot of faith.   In many ways, it’s something beyond your control.   Suddenly, you have a new life inside of you.   You do your best to nurture that life, but you don’t know how everything is going to turn out.   You do everything you can...

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A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse

Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)   A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.    Have you ever seen a Jesse Tree?   It’s an ancient Advent tradition consisting of a carving, painting, or stained-glass window—even an actual tree—that portrays the people, prophecies, and events leading up to the birth of the Messiah.   Jesus is usually at the top.   Many medieval Jesse Trees also included a depiction of Jesse himself...

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