Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 12-9-16

Girl on swing at sunset (DollarPhotoClub.com)

  • Are you ready? – Featured on NewEvangelizers.com – Something wonderful is about to happen to you. Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. Are you ready for his joyful coming?
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Are you ready?

Featured on NewEvangelizers.com

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
(Luke 12:35)

Advent reminds us to stay ready to serve our Master when he comes.  Do you feel ready for your Master to come and knock? Are you ready to immediately open your heart?  Are you excited? Anxious? Grateful?

He wants to give you something wonderful, and he’s trying to get your attention. With all the secular signs of Christmas in the streets and malls and on the Internet, it’s refreshing to walk into a church and see the purple banners and the Advent candles surrounded by a wreath of greenery.  Do you sense the coming of something wonderful? Are you excited as a child on Christmas Eve? Vigilant as the shepherd? Expectant as the kings?

Continue reading

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Daily Gospel Reflection with Catholic Mom

cmom-gospel-reflections-800x800-gold-outlineToday’s Gospel: Matthew 18, 12-14

Have you ever rebelled interiorly and became the sheep that wandered away from the Shepherd? The skeptic that sits through the homily fuming inwardly, “No one’s gonna tell me what to do!” all the while trying not to scowl?

I slid into an extended indolence. I dragged my family and myself to Mass and dutifully received the Eucharist. My stance was minimum compliance without full communion. The barriers were up! I knew what I wanted and was determined to get it. Soon every family member caught the malady of my attitude. Those were years of competition, not camaraderie. The six of us vied for the family resources of time, money and attention – acting out in six rampant ways simultaneously. Our relationships deteriorated until one day I cried out to God in frustration, repentance and surrender to his will. I was broken. Continue reading

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Friars Corner: Rejoice in the Lord always!

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Isaiah 11:1-10; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12

Our joy increases as we draw close to Jesus. We are like fish to water. Alleluia!

In these days before Christmas, we hear a lot of Christmas carols. Many of the older ones were written from a deep Catholic European faith by church musicians often funded by royal families. Do you have a favorite Christmas carol? I like “O, Holy Night” and “O, Come All Ye Faithful.”

As Catholics, we have the great joy of knowing and experiencing that once Jesus physically left earth he remains with us in many. He is in our churches and chapels, the sacraments, our tabernacles, our daily prayers, our bodies after our baptism and commitment to be followers of Jesus and where two or three are gathered in his Name. Is that awesome? Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 12-2-16

Girl on swing at sunset (DollarPhotoClub.com)

  • Classic Advent: O Radiant Dawn – Featured on CatholicMom.com – Just as a radiant dawn takes our breath away, drawing us to Christ, Lisa Hendey’s booklet can be a doorway into the profound solace of a well-kept Advent.
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Classic Advent: O Radiant Dawn!

o-radiant-dawnFeatured on CatholicMom.com

In this first week of Advent we open our hearts to the Lord by opening “O Radiant-Dawn, 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath” as we light the first candle.

Lisa Hendey’s beautiful booklet for Advent reflects her deep faith and willingness to share what’s important to her family as we all prepare for Christmas. Each of the 28 daily devotional services takes only five minutes for individuals, couples, families or other groups.

Lisa was inspired to write this for us by a glorious sunrise she almost missed from her kitchen window. “Recently, while standing at that window on a particularly crisp, clear morning,” she writes, “my heart soared at the first rays of light. In that moment, one of the ‘O Antiphons’ of Advent came to mind and sparked in my heart a sense of amazement at the splendor of God’s love for me: ‘O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice; come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.’” Continue reading

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Christmas ‘3 for 2’ Special

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Friar’s Corner: Let us rejoice! Our Lord and Messiah is always with us. Alleluia!

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Isaiah 2:1-5; Ps 122:1-9; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44

Last week we finished our Liturgical year, looking at and praying about the life, death, resurrection, etc. of Christ. We concluded the year with the celebration of Jesus Christ as savior and victorious ruler of our lives. Each year we “relive” the life of Jesus in one year as we look at the various aspects of his life for and among us.

This week we start over again with many different scripture readings and prayers. You might call this fall cleaning. It is not a penitential season as is Lent. We look at the first of the Major Prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah. He is the major witness of the hope of Israel for a savior from the mess in their lives. They called the new person the Messiah. We know him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth to saves us from our sins and bring our lives and that of his chosen people into a new direction, the new Kingdom of God.

The Sundays of our church year are mostly remembrances of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, or “little Easters.” Lent is a time of repenting for our sins, and being forgiven because of what Jesus accomplished in his passion and death. Easter is his victory over evil, sin and death. Advent, on the other hand, is a time of preparing for the first coming of the Son of God to earth. He took unto himself a fully human nature except sin and all its consequences. We look to the people and events that the Holy Spirit orchestrated to bring about the conception, birth and early life of Jesus Christ.

Advent hunger

Advent is a preparation time of desire, longing and expectancy. There was a certain hunger placed in us at conception for the completeness of our human nature in the life to God. This longing is expressed in three stages or people. First we have Isaiah the prophet, John the Baptist and finally Mary, who conceived the Son of God in her own body.

Isaiah gave us many prophecies of the person and work of this new savior of the Jewish people and all humans. This prophet gave us progressive revelations, which increase our longing for a Redeemer.

John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New Testament. He stands at the junction point of these testaments, two thousand years before him and two thousand after to our own day. John pointed out the Messiah as the true Lamb of God when Jesus went to John for baptism in the Jordan River. The first three men who would become close followers of Jesus that day were John, James and Andrew.

Mary, the greatest prophet

Since our salvation is built on a human framework, it is not surprising that God chose to work through a specially gifted woman, Mary. She was given the graces to always say, “yes,” to what God asked of her. She is the closest human to assist God in bringing about his Kingdom on earth. Mary carried and nurtured God in her womb for nine months. She also cared for him as he grew into adulthood. Even today Mary is God’s greatest example and prophet helping us follow Jesus.

What has become more and more clear to me in being a priest of Jesus Christ and celebrating Mass most of 45 years, is that Jesus is born in the hands of his priests at every Mass. Jesus comes to earth on the altar and continues of multiply bread and wine to feed us. He is our best food. And he chooses to live us our body since our baptism unless we throw him out through serious sin. Jesus comes back if we repent and receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. What a privilege and miracle. It is Christ’s mass. It is Christmas and Jesus comes to offer us more of his gifts.

Let us go more often to our parish churches rejoicing to receive our precious Lord. We offer him ourselves and not gold, frankincense or myrrh. Let us praise and thank him as his joy increases in us. Remember St Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Have a joyfully longing week,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)

 

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