I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them.
The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
… the angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream.
I imagine he was angry and confused when he found out that his betrothed was pregnant with a child that was not his. His thoughts must have raced around his mind like a roller-coaster and his emotions were spinning like a top. But Joseph did not want any harm to come to his beloved, so he decided to end things quietly so that Mary would not be in danger.
Then, while he slept, Joseph had a powerful encounter with the Lord. It changed his plans and transformed his life. Joseph opened himself to a mystery beyond his understanding. He had always been a “good man,” but this was different. This was a personal encounter with the Lord’s messenger. The Scripture doesn’t give us a detailed account of what Joseph thought and felt at this point but I imagine that his heart overflowed with joy. He responds to that encounter with faith. “When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”
Every moment of our lives we are called to a personal encounter with the Lord. Like Joseph we are probably “good people,” but there is more to life than being good. Maybe our thoughts are running wild or our emotions are out of control. No matter what the state of our soul, the Lord comes to meet us and bring us the same joy he brought Joseph. How will you respond?
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood
Into the hillside country Mary went
Carrying Christ, and all along the road
The Christ she carried generously bestowed
His grace on those she met. She had not meant
To tell she carried Christ. She was content
To hide His love for her. But about her glowed
Such joy that into stony hearts love flowed,
And even to the unborn John Christ’s grace was sent.
Christ in His Sacrament of love each day
Dwells in my soul a little space and then
I walk life’s crowded highway, jostling men
Who seldom think of God. To these I pray
That I may carry Christ, for it may be
Some would not know of Him except through me.
Ruth Mary Fox
A poem shared by Bishop Morneau with the deacons this weekend.
Should we aspire to be… annoying?
What do you think?
Should be required reading for all parish leadership.
Yesterday I posted some thoughts about forming a strong Catholic subculture. In the car today I came across this program on the radio: How Culture Clashes Define Us .
In the discussion, Alana Conner, a cultural psychologist, makes the point that if you want to make a change, one of the best ways to do that is to associate with a new culture. It struck me that this is one of the strongest reasons to form a strong Catholic subculture.