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December 28, 2018

Feast of the Holy Innocents

1 Jn 1:5-2:2

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

God is light

Light is warmth… A rare sunny day during the long, grey Chicago winter.
Light is beauty… Impressionist painters who convey light on canvas through tiny splotches of color.
Light is life… The way in which green plants turn sunlight into food and growth through photosynthesis.
Light is energy… My daughter who shouts, over and over again, “Mama, more lights! More lights!” as we drive through the neighborhood at Christmastime.
Light is mystery… The fact that only a tiny fraction of light is visible to the human eye.

“God is light…”
God is warmth.
Beauty.
Life.
Energy.
Mystery.

“… walk in the light…”

In this season of Christmas, how am I experiencing God as light?  Inspired by the Incarnation, how might I walk in the light and embody warmth, beauty, energy, life, and Mystery?

—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division and serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
Your light shines within us.
Let not my doubts nor my darkness speak to me.
Lord, Jesus Christ,
Your light shines within us.
Let my heart always welcome your love.

—Lyrics of Lord Jesus Christ, Your Light Shines by Jacques Berthier © 1998 Ateliers et Prezzes de Taize


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

December 26, 2018

St. Stephen, first martyr

ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The seriousness of the Christian call

What a reminder, as we celebrate Christmas joy, of the seriousness of our call! As we clean up the last bits of wrapping paper and finish our leftover cookies, we celebrate the second day of Christmas with the feast of the first Christian martyr. St. Stephen reminds us that following Jesus isn’t all angels and nativity scenes, but sometimes involves difficulty, opposition, and risk.

So, what do we do when living our faith is a challenge? St. Stephen shows us this, too, as he keeps his eye on Jesus and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide us as we grow closer to Jesus in the Christmas season and all year long.

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations,
through Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

—Traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit

 

 

  

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 28, 2018

Feast of the Holy Innocents

1 Jn 1:5-2:2

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

God is light

Light is warmth… A rare sunny day during the long, grey Chicago winter.
Light is beauty… Impressionist painters who convey light on canvas through tiny splotches of color.
Light is life… The way in which green plants turn sunlight into food and growth through photosynthesis.
Light is energy… My daughter who shouts, over and over again, “Mama, more lights! More lights!” as we drive through the neighborhood at Christmastime.
Light is mystery… The fact that only a tiny fraction of light is visible to the human eye.

“God is light…”
God is warmth.
Beauty.
Life.
Energy.
Mystery.

“… walk in the light…”

In this season of Christmas, how am I experiencing God as light?  Inspired by the Incarnation, how might I walk in the light and embody warmth, beauty, energy, life, and Mystery?

—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division and serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
Your light shines within us.
Let not my doubts nor my darkness speak to me.
Lord, Jesus Christ,
Your light shines within us.
Let my heart always welcome your love.

—Lyrics of Lord Jesus Christ, Your Light Shines by Jacques Berthier © 1998 Ateliers et Prezzes de Taize


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

December 26, 2018

St. Stephen, first martyr

ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The seriousness of the Christian call

What a reminder, as we celebrate Christmas joy, of the seriousness of our call! As we clean up the last bits of wrapping paper and finish our leftover cookies, we celebrate the second day of Christmas with the feast of the first Christian martyr. St. Stephen reminds us that following Jesus isn’t all angels and nativity scenes, but sometimes involves difficulty, opposition, and risk.

So, what do we do when living our faith is a challenge? St. Stephen shows us this, too, as he keeps his eye on Jesus and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide us as we grow closer to Jesus in the Christmas season and all year long.

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations,
through Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

—Traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit

 

 

  

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!