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Not just a day out

Today, we celebrate the first of the three feasts following Christmas, the Holy Family. We are given an insight into the life of the Holy Family and, in particular, the growth and development of Jesus.

Joseph, Mary and Jesus travelled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, a pilgrimage which provides a link in with Jesus’ public ministry, which also lead him to Jerusalem.








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Hope we never dared hold

The entrance antiphon of the Mass for the fourth Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 45:8) is a beautiful prayer worth pondering in the light of the reading from the gospel.

“Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a saviour.”

What a beautiful image taken from nature—the clouds rain down... the earth brings forth...








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Getting our act together

Advent confuses the tenses that we use in our language; past, present and future, as we wait for what has already come and celebrate what has not yet arrived.

The trouble we have in trying to relate with God is that in the life of the divine there is no time, so there are no tenses in the eternal existence, just an eternal and a now, and God dwells in the now.








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Advent wish list

In the second reading of the liturgy today, we hear St. Paul express his ambitions for the early Christians at Thessalonica.

What he wanted for them would actually make a great wish list for each one of us as we begin this Advent season and our preparation to welcome the birth of Jesus at Christmas.








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Eye on the ball

Today’s feast was promulgated by Pope Pius XI in 1925, to remind people that there is only one king, Christ, and there is only one kingdom, heaven. It was a reminder to people to keep their eye on the ball.

At the time of its instigation, Europe was in disarray after World War I and the Church had lost much of its lofty position and influence in society.








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The lesson of silence

 

The widows who appear in our readings today, which feature both Elijah and Jesus, give all they have to the temple with great gladness and thanksgiving of heart.

They are both women who have had everything drained from them and yet still retain the necessary human dignity that enables them to teach us a lesson.








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Asking good questions

There has been any number of television quiz programmes where contestants are asked questions in various fields. Some are fairly simple and light hearted, whereas others have been quite sophisticated and academic.

Popular radio stations often use ring-in quizzes and people respond in big numbers. They are attracted partly by the prizes that are offered, but also partly by a desire to test their knowledge.








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Dreaming of a liturgy where people feel the living God in their midst

 

MIRI (SE): The Sixteenth Asia Liturgy Forum began in Miri, Sarawak, in East Malaysia, on October 16 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, as the purpose of the forum is to incorporate its spirit into the liturgies of the Asian Church.

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Master grant that I may see

Who are the characters in the New Testament stories that are blind to Jesus?

Jesus often complained that the disciples, who had been with him on the road, eaten meals with him on an almost daily basis and sat and chatted at night, as well as hearing him preach and teach, in addition to getting special and detailed instruction from him, still continually failed to understand who he was and what his message was really saying.

So how could they be so blind?








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How do we serve?

How do we look at and think about leadership, power or service? It is an important question in Hong Kong at this time, as the government of Leung Chun-ying comes under increasing pressure to answer that question.

It is necessary that those who are asking the question also propose a response and equally as important that we should all respond to the same question, as leadership is not just the prerogative of governments, but we are all called to be leaders in our own way.