Advent reflection: Because the Fourth Sunday of Advent is so close to Christmas Eve, it's hard to maintain a sense of waiting.
The late scripture scholar Sulpician Fr. Raymond Brown frequently raised eyebrows when he said, “There are no predictions of Jesus, as we know him, anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures.”
Advent reflection: There's only one Sunday left until Christmas, and this week, the liturgy takes on an eager sense of anticipation.
If you have ever watched a Hollywood awards program, you are probably familiar with the fascination many have for the fashions worn by the stars. As each takes a turn in the spotlight on the red carpet, the question inevitably arises: “Who are you wearing?”
Advent: The story of Advent is a message of God's life with us in history, future hope, and the here and now.
With the season of Advent, a new liturgical year begins, and the praying assembly is called to look back with gratitude on all that has been and forward with hope to what will be. In looking back, we are to ponder what J.B. Phillips has called “the towering miracle of God’s visit to this planet” (“The Christian Year,” Good News: Thoughts on God and Man, Macmillan, 1963).
Advent: Composer Marty Haugen reflects on the first Sunday of Advent and how music can shape this prayerful time in our lives.
Today’s feast would have created huge problems for Jesus’ earliest followers.
Scripture scholars and church historians often point out the conflicts the historical Jesus and his first disciples experienced when their Jewish reform movement came into contact with the Roman Empire.
It’s impossible to understand today’s first and third readings without an appreciation of the idea of biblical apocalyptic literature.
The Bible isn’t a book, it’s a library. Not only does it include books written by different authors at various times, but, like any library, it contains works composed in different genres. We need only walk into our local library and look at the names above the bookshelves to surface those genres: history, fiction, reference, biography, etc.
Jesus chose unlikely role models for his disciples to emulate. In a society where children were regarded as the property of their fathers, with no rights or voice of their own, Jesus set forth a child and claimed that the kingdom of God belongs to “such as these.” He also held up people who were thought to be ritually unclean or even sinful because of a physical malady or their ethnicity (the Gerasene demoniac, the woman with a hemorrhage in Mark 5; the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7; the boy with a demon in Mark 9; blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10).