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November 30, 2014

Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Advent…and You

You can be confident as Advent begins that God desires to meet you where you are, no matter what kind of shape (or shambles) your life is in. Begin Advent with the whole church by lighting a candle, perhaps on an Advent wreath if you have one. Imagine God sitting near you on the other side of the flame.

Then, as Isaiah does, tell God directly what you want to say. You might start off as Isaiah does by saying who God is for you. “You are our father, redeemer forever.” “You are the potter, and we are the clay, the work of your hands.” Imagine the strong, loving hands that shape your hair, your head, your muscles and limbs. Or you may have your own image for God—as friend, confidante, a whisper . . .

As you read Isaiah and speak to God, notice the intimacy in simply saying “You.” That one name—“You”—may be prayer enough.

You can also meander with Isaiah among your own complaints, questions, regrets, awe. As writer Kathleen Norris points out, the scriptures frequently change in an instant, just as our thoughts and emotions do. A lot or a little may fill your prayer.

The God you await this Advent is already waiting for you. How might you find the time, space, and watchfulness to help you meet?

—Mary Anne Reese is a lawyer, poet, and member of Bellarmine Chapel, a Jesuit parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Prayer

Creator of the stars at night,
Your people’s everlasting Light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
We pray you hear us when we call.

—Advent evening hymn from 8th Century

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Advent…and You

You can be confident as Advent begins that God desires to meet you where you are, no matter what kind of shape (or shambles) your life is in. Begin Advent with the whole church by lighting a candle, perhaps on an Advent wreath if you have one. Imagine God sitting near you on the other side of the flame.

Then, as Isaiah does, tell God directly what you want to say. You might start off as Isaiah does by saying who God is for you. “You are our father, redeemer forever.” “You are the potter, and we are the clay, the work of your hands.” Imagine the strong, loving hands that shape your hair, your head, your muscles and limbs. Or you may have your own image for God—as friend, confidante, a whisper . . .

As you read Isaiah and speak to God, notice the intimacy in simply saying “You.” That one name—“You”—may be prayer enough.

You can also meander with Isaiah among your own complaints, questions, regrets, awe. As writer Kathleen Norris points out, the scriptures frequently change in an instant, just as our thoughts and emotions do. A lot or a little may fill your prayer.

The God you await this Advent is already waiting for you. How might you find the time, space, and watchfulness to help you meet?

—Mary Anne Reese is a lawyer, poet, and member of Bellarmine Chapel, a Jesuit parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Creator of the stars at night,
Your people’s everlasting Light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
We pray you hear us when we call.

—Advent evening hymn from 8th Century

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


November 29, 2014

PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Mar ana tha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Longing seems like such a useless emotion. It doesn’t make the thing longed for come any faster. It seems to only make the one who longs unsatisfied, frustrated even. It’s not what one could call a ‘peaceful’ feeling, but one that upsets stability, seeming to condemn the present because it does not contain the future longed-for thing or person. It makes the person who feels it unsettled, aware of their incompleteness, their unhappiness, and of their inability to bring about what is desired. Who needs it!

And yet, the psalm response this last day of the Church year asks us to focus on the longing of our hearts, the cry “Mar ana tha!”  The good thing about this longing is it reminds us that, while we look to find God in all things here, the fullness of God is ahead, in the future. So perhaps we can put up with a little frustration right now.

What are the longings, the desires of your heart?

—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.

Prayer

For all that has been, thanks!
For all that is still to come, yes!
Mar ana tha!

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

For all that has been, thanks!
For all that is still to come, yes!
Mar ana tha!

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Mar ana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Longing seems like such a useless emotion. It doesn’t make the thing longed for come any faster. It seems to only make the one who longs unsatisfied, frustrated even. It’s not what one could call a ‘peaceful’ feeling, but one that upsets stability, seeming to condemn the present because it does not contain the future longed-for thing or person. It makes the person who feels it unsettled, aware of their incompleteness, their unhappiness, and of their inability to bring about what is desired. Who needs it!

And yet, the psalm response this last day of the Church year asks us to focus on the longing of our hearts, the cry “Mar ana tha!” The good thing about this longing is it reminds us that, while we look to find God in all things here, the fullness of God is ahead, in the future. So perhaps we can put up with a little frustration right now.

What are the longings, the desires of your heart?

—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


November 28, 2014

Lk 21: 29-33

Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

And The Word Was God

Jesus has been telling his disciples some pretty bad news. In the passages prior to this he has been speaking of the end of time with its disasters, earthquakes, persecutions, betrayals and death. Finally Jesus challenges his disciples and us with a new perspective, “my words will not pass away.” How can everything we’ve ever seen, known or heard of be gone while “words” live on? I think the answer lies at the introduction to John’s gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

I so often forget how painfully human I am.  I want my perspective to be reality. But Jesus reminds us again that God is the only reality.  Our self-reliance is an illusion.  Every moment, every breath is a gift from God.

—Mr. Gerald Skoch, JD, serves as Vice-President and Chief Mission Officer at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH.

Prayer

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.  Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all.  Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.  I wish no more than this, O Lord.  Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.

—Charles de Foucauld, Prayer of Abandonment.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


And The Word Was God

Jesus has been telling his disciples some pretty bad news. In the passages prior to this he has been speaking of the end of time with its disasters, earthquakes, persecutions, betrayals and death. Finally Jesus challenges his disciples and us with a new perspective, “my words will not pass away.” How can everything we’ve ever seen, known or heard of be gone while “words” live on? I think the answer lies at the introduction to John’s gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

I so often forget how painfully human I am. I want my perspective to be reality. But Jesus reminds us again that God is the only reality. Our self-reliance is an illusion. Every moment, every breath is a gift from God.

—Mr. Gerald Skoch, JD, serves as Vice-President and Chief Mission Officer at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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November 30, 2014

Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Advent…and You

You can be confident as Advent begins that God desires to meet you where you are, no matter what kind of shape (or shambles) your life is in. Begin Advent with the whole church by lighting a candle, perhaps on an Advent wreath if you have one. Imagine God sitting near you on the other side of the flame.

Then, as Isaiah does, tell God directly what you want to say. You might start off as Isaiah does by saying who God is for you. “You are our father, redeemer forever.” “You are the potter, and we are the clay, the work of your hands.” Imagine the strong, loving hands that shape your hair, your head, your muscles and limbs. Or you may have your own image for God—as friend, confidante, a whisper . . .

As you read Isaiah and speak to God, notice the intimacy in simply saying “You.” That one name—“You”—may be prayer enough.

You can also meander with Isaiah among your own complaints, questions, regrets, awe. As writer Kathleen Norris points out, the scriptures frequently change in an instant, just as our thoughts and emotions do. A lot or a little may fill your prayer.

The God you await this Advent is already waiting for you. How might you find the time, space, and watchfulness to help you meet?

—Mary Anne Reese is a lawyer, poet, and member of Bellarmine Chapel, a Jesuit parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Prayer

Creator of the stars at night,
Your people’s everlasting Light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
We pray you hear us when we call.

—Advent evening hymn from 8th Century

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Advent…and You

You can be confident as Advent begins that God desires to meet you where you are, no matter what kind of shape (or shambles) your life is in. Begin Advent with the whole church by lighting a candle, perhaps on an Advent wreath if you have one. Imagine God sitting near you on the other side of the flame.

Then, as Isaiah does, tell God directly what you want to say. You might start off as Isaiah does by saying who God is for you. “You are our father, redeemer forever.” “You are the potter, and we are the clay, the work of your hands.” Imagine the strong, loving hands that shape your hair, your head, your muscles and limbs. Or you may have your own image for God—as friend, confidante, a whisper . . .

As you read Isaiah and speak to God, notice the intimacy in simply saying “You.” That one name—“You”—may be prayer enough.

You can also meander with Isaiah among your own complaints, questions, regrets, awe. As writer Kathleen Norris points out, the scriptures frequently change in an instant, just as our thoughts and emotions do. A lot or a little may fill your prayer.

The God you await this Advent is already waiting for you. How might you find the time, space, and watchfulness to help you meet?

—Mary Anne Reese is a lawyer, poet, and member of Bellarmine Chapel, a Jesuit parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Creator of the stars at night,
Your people’s everlasting Light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
We pray you hear us when we call.

—Advent evening hymn from 8th Century

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


November 29, 2014

PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Mar ana tha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Longing seems like such a useless emotion. It doesn’t make the thing longed for come any faster. It seems to only make the one who longs unsatisfied, frustrated even. It’s not what one could call a ‘peaceful’ feeling, but one that upsets stability, seeming to condemn the present because it does not contain the future longed-for thing or person. It makes the person who feels it unsettled, aware of their incompleteness, their unhappiness, and of their inability to bring about what is desired. Who needs it!

And yet, the psalm response this last day of the Church year asks us to focus on the longing of our hearts, the cry “Mar ana tha!”  The good thing about this longing is it reminds us that, while we look to find God in all things here, the fullness of God is ahead, in the future. So perhaps we can put up with a little frustration right now.

What are the longings, the desires of your heart?

—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.

Prayer

For all that has been, thanks!
For all that is still to come, yes!
Mar ana tha!

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

For all that has been, thanks!
For all that is still to come, yes!
Mar ana tha!

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Mar ana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Longing seems like such a useless emotion. It doesn’t make the thing longed for come any faster. It seems to only make the one who longs unsatisfied, frustrated even. It’s not what one could call a ‘peaceful’ feeling, but one that upsets stability, seeming to condemn the present because it does not contain the future longed-for thing or person. It makes the person who feels it unsettled, aware of their incompleteness, their unhappiness, and of their inability to bring about what is desired. Who needs it!

And yet, the psalm response this last day of the Church year asks us to focus on the longing of our hearts, the cry “Mar ana tha!” The good thing about this longing is it reminds us that, while we look to find God in all things here, the fullness of God is ahead, in the future. So perhaps we can put up with a little frustration right now.

What are the longings, the desires of your heart?

—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


November 28, 2014

Lk 21: 29-33

Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

And The Word Was God

Jesus has been telling his disciples some pretty bad news. In the passages prior to this he has been speaking of the end of time with its disasters, earthquakes, persecutions, betrayals and death. Finally Jesus challenges his disciples and us with a new perspective, “my words will not pass away.” How can everything we’ve ever seen, known or heard of be gone while “words” live on? I think the answer lies at the introduction to John’s gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

I so often forget how painfully human I am.  I want my perspective to be reality. But Jesus reminds us again that God is the only reality.  Our self-reliance is an illusion.  Every moment, every breath is a gift from God.

—Mr. Gerald Skoch, JD, serves as Vice-President and Chief Mission Officer at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH.

Prayer

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.  Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all.  Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.  I wish no more than this, O Lord.  Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.

—Charles de Foucauld, Prayer of Abandonment.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


And The Word Was God

Jesus has been telling his disciples some pretty bad news. In the passages prior to this he has been speaking of the end of time with its disasters, earthquakes, persecutions, betrayals and death. Finally Jesus challenges his disciples and us with a new perspective, “my words will not pass away.” How can everything we’ve ever seen, known or heard of be gone while “words” live on? I think the answer lies at the introduction to John’s gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

I so often forget how painfully human I am. I want my perspective to be reality. But Jesus reminds us again that God is the only reality. Our self-reliance is an illusion. Every moment, every breath is a gift from God.

—Mr. Gerald Skoch, JD, serves as Vice-President and Chief Mission Officer at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!