Friar’s Corner: Rejoice, for our God is always available to us

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Isaiah 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-6; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24

This week is full of anticipation and joy because Jesus has come to save us and has remained in special ways to comfort us and bring us his joy. Alleluia! Praise God! If you have an awakening of the Holy Spirit, you see the Holy Spirit as the wind or breath of God moving over the vast waters he created on earth in Genesis 1:2. When you read all the Christmas texts and see the various people associated with the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, you see the Holy Spirit guiding each person: Joseph, Mary, her parents, the shepherds and kings. As we hover over these stories we find ourselves singing with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to people of good will.” Oh, praise God.

As we remain in the ancient churches, we are more and more amazed that Jesus is still with us. And that he promised to remain with us until he comes physically at the end of time on earth. You can ask me how is that possible because he went back to heaven at the Ascension? That is true; he did.

Each Mass is Christ-Mass, Christ with us

As I have been saying over the last months, look at daily Mass celebrated by most priests in our parish churches and chapels all over the world. There are so many dimensions to the Mass. At the beginning, we ask forgiveness for our past sins. Then we listen to three scriptural texts about how to plug into God’s power living out our daily lives. Then we bring the priest a plate of bread and a cup of wine. What does he do with that? He says over the bread and wine, in his own language, what Jesus said over them at the Last Supper: “This is my body which will be given for you.” And “This is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sin.” Do this in memory of me.

Really think about this without worldly distractions. We brought to the altar bread and wine. What happened to them? They changed. Jesus wasn’t there. Now he is here for us, the multiplication of bread every day all over the world except on Good Friday. Is this a miracle of amazement? This is Emmanuel, our Savior, always here for us, Isaiah 7:10; Matthew 1:22-23. The more we understand this, we are drawn to come to daily Mass as much as possible. We need our best meal. It is Jesus. The early Christians could not live without this daily bread when there was a priest to give them Jesus in that way. Each Mass is Christ-Mass, Christ with us. He comes with another gift for us. Is there room in our heart for him?

Stockings over the fireplace

I offer some “stockings” Jesus can fill over your fireplace:

  • Read a little story about Jesus public life in one of the four gospels as we do each day at Mass. From December 17th the church reflects {on seven Old Testament texts predicting the work of the Messiah, Jesus. Then we beg him to come quickly and fulfill those texts.
  • You could also spend a little time reading the beautiful Biblical texts about the Messiah. Read them in a Daily Missal, The Word Among Us, the Missalette or Magnificat.
  • Then I recommend you get a copy of Betty Myers Masterpiece, of the face of Jesus, He commissioned her to paint his face. Go to Bette Myers “Masterpiece.” Jesus will be looking into your eyes and placing more love in your heart. What an amazing grace.

O Come, all ye faithful

O Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to more daily Masses. Come and behold Him, born to save all mankind. O come, let us adore him, Christ our Lord.

As I pray during the preparation days to celebrate the “Birthday” of Jesus, I am asking him to place more of his love in your hearts and that of all your family members. Love, peace and joy.

See you in heaven,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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