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Spiritual Reflections

Their story, our story

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As we gather together today around God’s living word and the living bread of Eucharist, we will hear Isaiah share his vision of a cavalcade of nations streaming toward Jerusalem. We will take note as he describes gift-bearing riders astride camels, proclaiming God’s praises. We will listen attentively as the author of Ephesians reveals the “mystery” that gentiles and Jews -- that is, all the peoples of the Earth -- are “coheirs, members of the same body and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).

The family of God

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Devotion to the Holy Family has a reasonably long history in Catholicism. It first appeared significantly in 17th-century France and was brought to the New World by Jesuit missionaries and French settlers and governors. In those early years, one would find two typical depictions of the Holy Family: one featuring St. Anne, Mary and the child Jesus, the other picturing Joseph, Mary and Jesus. The devotion received official status in 1921 when, under Pope Benedict XV, the feast was inserted into the general calendar of the Roman rite.

Acting on the word

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Each Gospel is unique. Each evangelist not only structures his work in a special way, he also treats his main characters differently than the other three, giving them traits or personality dimensions on which his original readers were expected to reflect. Luke’s treatment of Mary of Nazareth is classic.

Comings of the Christ

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).

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In This Issue

April 10-23, 2015

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