About 15 years ago, my dad traveled to Brazil on business and, while there, he purchased a beautiful gold and aquamarine necklace for my mother. It was stunning. We all admired it when she opened the gift on Christmas morning, after which my sister and I began the usual good-natured jokes about which one of us would inherit the piece.
This weekend’s Gospel proclaims: “Love one another as I love you,” and “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.”
I’ve heard people voice some common misconceptions about small-business owners: They don’t have to work hard because they have employees to do the work for them, they can take time off whenever they want, they can work fewer hours than their hirelings, and they can command a larger salary with impunity.
This week’s Gospel is the one in which the apostle Thomas famously doubts Jesus’ resurrection even though the latter suddenly appeared before him within a locked room. Thomas can’t quite believe his eyes. He needs to touch the wounds that would identify his master.
The Roman soldiers, who among their other acts of violence against Jesus placed a crown of thorns on his head, were correct about one thing: He is a king. This painful irony is not lost on us, especially when we pray the third sorrowful mystery of the rosary.
As I came to know more about Catholicism, I discovered that the Church spoke to all aspects of humanity — holiness, personal relationships, family life, social justice, the economy and issues of war and peace, among them. The Scriptures for Feb. 1 remind me of that spiritual reawakening.
It used to be that you did not know who was calling until you answered the telephone. If it were someone you spoke with all the time, you would recognize his or her voice. The same is true with our relationship with God: The more we talk and listen to him, the more likely we are to recognize the voice when we hear it.
We are celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Today’s reading reminds us of three important aspects about understanding God’s presence through history: first, salvation occurs within history; second, the mystery has been revealed; and third, God works the impossible.
Each year we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “to rejoice.” In the second reading, we are given the simple command by Christ through his servant St. Paul, “Rejoice always.” These words are part of St. Paul’s final advice to the Thessalonian church in his first letter. He leaves them with a simple theme, which forms the context for the third Sunday of Advent.