Second Sunday of Advent – Not by Hearsay Shall He Decide

mandys-advent-postNot by appearance shall he judge, not by hearsay shall he decide,

But he shall judge the poor with justice and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted.  Is.11:3-4

 

I think it’s safe to say that the past month has been…well…a bit crazy. The 2016 Presidential election was one that left many of us feeling bewildered, battered and at times, breathless. I personally watched in horror as friendships ended and even witnessed a temporary marriage separation due to a clash of political beliefs.

But despite the ballot boxes being closed and the winner being announced, we are finding ourselves standing in an aftermath of total divisiveness, fear, and at times even hate. Logging onto social media serves as a constant reminder that we are broken. It’s draining and disheartening.

The beautiful thing, however, is that as God’s people, we have LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. And that light is The Coming of Jesus our Lord and King! Advent is a time for us to remember that despite what is happening in the world – the Presidential election, hunger, human trafficking, terrorism – Jesus is coming. And He is bigger than all of that, and not only is he bigger than it, but he ABOLISHES all of it.

The reading from Isaiah this week reminds us of this, emphasizing that it is not our human eyes or ears that get to make the ultimate judgement call on another human being or group of human beings. It is the Spirit of the Lord who does this, and only through accepting His wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge are we truly able to live out and work toward the righteousness He has intended for us. When we give ourselves to God and accept His will, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our life decisions, and when we walk in Jesus’ footsteps, then and only then will we be truly capable of loving one another in the way that God intended. And then and only then will the wolf live peacefully with the lamb, the leopard with the goat, etc.

I have a challenge for us this Advent season. Starting with the next several weeks, let’s forget all political affiliations when it comes to speaking to and interacting with the people around us – co-workers, family, friends, etc. When we put aside our own judgements and invite God to work through us in our relationships, we serve as living examples of living righteously and with wisdom. Then, and only then, will we “stand as a banner for the peoples.”

Prayer for an Open Heart

Holy Spirit, fill me with your wisdom and courageousness to see only the good soul of this person. Please help me to forget any and all negative thoughts or feelings that I may have created about this individual, and to see them only as they are, my brother/sister in Christ. Thank you for allowing me the chance to re-energize and renew this relationship through your guidance and power. Amen.

matt-geymanMandy Geyman 

Celebration of Mass for the Feast of St. Andrew on Wednesday, November 30 at 6:00 pm

Prayer to St. Andrew        st-andrew

Oh glorious St. Andrew you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God.
With your friend Saint John you
remained with Jesus for that first day,
for your entire life, and now throughout eternity.
As you led your brother
Saint Peter to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to Him.
Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for him and dedication in His service.
Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus.
Amen.

First Sunday of Advent – Stay Awake!

This is such a busy time of year and as I thought about the  First Sunday of Advent, I have been thinking about preparation, not just all the things that need to be done between now and Christmas but being fully awake to the Lord.

A neighbor of mine just had heart surgery and I offered to bring her communion last Sunday.  I stopped at her house on the way home from Mass and as we said the Lord’s Prayer together, she stopped praying aloud and I realized she was crying.  I went on with the prayer but with tears caught in my throat.  When we finished the prayer, she apologized for being so emotional.  I thought about that after I left her and having had a few surgeries myself, I realized that those tears were to some degree relief that the surgery over and successful but more importantly, they were a moment when you feel closer to God than you may ordinarily. Your emotions and senses are fully awake.

Later that afternoon, I went to the organ concert at St. Andrew which was amazing.   At the end of the evening, a special award was presented to the our former music director Herb Wottle  who has spent many years of his life leading people in praise of God with his music.  Dovile, our current music director was presenting the award but had to stop because she was overwhelmed with emotion at the magnitude of this man’s energy, talent and love of God.  Once again on this day tears were caught in my throat.

Maybe that emotion and tears are needed to truly appreciate what will happen in the next four weeks.  While we are preparing by decorating, cleaning, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping and entertaining we will no doubt be filled with emotion at times.  To me, these moments are a glimpse of God in my life.  He is with us always, not just at the final judgement and therefore; we should always be prepared and open to His touch.  As the Gospel on the First Sunday of Advent tells us; Stay awake, at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.  Mt. 24-44

the-manger-of-bethlehem-by-rob-gardner

 

It is not difficult then for me to place myself at the foot of the manger, gazing at the infant with tears caught in my throat.

 

 

Cathy O’Toole

 

Novena for Our Country – Day 9

Prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
Patroness of the United States
Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven,
who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters;
Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse;
God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother,
in union with Mary we adore your majesty
and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion
and authority.

Most Holy Trinity,
we put the United States of America
into the hands of Mary Immaculate
in order that she may present the country to you.
Through her we wish to thank you
for the great resources of this land
and for the freedom which has been its heritage.
Through the intercession of Mary,
have mercy on the Catholic Church in America.

Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president
and on all the officers of our government.
Grant us a fruitful economy,
born of justice and charity.
Have mercy on capital and industry and labor.
Protect the family life of the nation.
Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations.
Through the intercession of our Mother,
have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners
– on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother,
Patroness of our land, we praise you
and honor you and give ourselves to you.
Protect us from every harm. Pray for us,
that acting always according to your will
and the will of your divine Son,
we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.

Novena for Our Country – Day 8

Prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
Patroness of the United States
Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven,
who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters;
Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse;
God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother,
in union with Mary we adore your majesty
and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion
and authority.

Most Holy Trinity,
we put the United States of America
into the hands of Mary Immaculate
in order that she may present the country to you.
Through her we wish to thank you
for the great resources of this land
and for the freedom which has been its heritage.
Through the intercession of Mary,
have mercy on the Catholic Church in America.

Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president
and on all the officers of our government.
Grant us a fruitful economy,
born of justice and charity.
Have mercy on capital and industry and labor.
Protect the family life of the nation.
Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations.
Through the intercession of our Mother,
have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners
– on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother,
Patroness of our land, we praise you
and honor you and give ourselves to you.
Protect us from every harm. Pray for us,
that acting always according to your will
and the will of your divine Son,
we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.

Novena for Our Country – Day 7

Prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
Patroness of the United States
Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven,
who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters;
Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse;
God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother,
in union with Mary we adore your majesty
and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion
and authority.

Most Holy Trinity,
we put the United States of America
into the hands of Mary Immaculate
in order that she may present the country to you.
Through her we wish to thank you
for the great resources of this land
and for the freedom which has been its heritage.
Through the intercession of Mary,
have mercy on the Catholic Church in America.

Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president
and on all the officers of our government.
Grant us a fruitful economy,
born of justice and charity.
Have mercy on capital and industry and labor.
Protect the family life of the nation.
Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations.
Through the intercession of our Mother,
have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners
– on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother,
Patroness of our land, we praise you
and honor you and give ourselves to you.
Protect us from every harm. Pray for us,
that acting always according to your will
and the will of your divine Son,
we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.

Novena for Our County – Day 6

Prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
Patroness of the United States
Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven,
who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters;
Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse;
God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother,
in union with Mary we adore your majesty
and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion
and authority.

Most Holy Trinity,
we put the United States of America
into the hands of Mary Immaculate
in order that she may present the country to you.
Through her we wish to thank you
for the great resources of this land
and for the freedom which has been its heritage.
Through the intercession of Mary,
have mercy on the Catholic Church in America.

Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president
and on all the officers of our government.
Grant us a fruitful economy,
born of justice and charity.
Have mercy on capital and industry and labor.
Protect the family life of the nation.
Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations.
Through the intercession of our Mother,
have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners
– on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother,
Patroness of our land, we praise you
and honor you and give ourselves to you.
Protect us from every harm. Pray for us,
that acting always according to your will
and the will of your divine Son,
we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.

Novena for Our Country – Day 5

Prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
Patroness of the United States
Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven,
who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters;
Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse;
God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother,
in union with Mary we adore your majesty
and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion
and authority.
Most Holy Trinity,
we put the United States of America
into the hands of Mary Immaculate
in order that she may present the country to you.
Through her we wish to thank you
for the great resources of this land
and for the freedom which has been its heritage.
Through the intercession of Mary,
have mercy on the Catholic Church in America.
Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president
and on all the officers of our government.
Grant us a fruitful economy,
born of justice and charity.
Have mercy on capital and industry and labor.
Protect the family life of the nation.
Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations.
Through the intercession of our Mother,
have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners
– on all who are in need.
Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother,
Patroness of our land, we praise you
and honor you and give ourselves to you.
Protect us from every harm. Pray for us,
that acting always according to your will
and the will of your divine Son,
we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.