"Hear the Word! by Bill Ayres: Second Sunday Ordinary Time

Posted by Bill Ayres on Jan 14, 2023 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah

(Chapter 49:3, 5-6)

“The Lord said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory.” Then later, the Lord continues, “It is too little … for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation shall reach to the ends of the earth.”

First, God is establishing Israel’s relationship to him, that of “servant,” But then God says that he will make Israel a “light to the nations.” Jesus also saw himself as a servant of his Father, eventually, a “suffering servant.” The word “servant” has a negative connotation in our society which proclaims equality for all, but what Jesus means by “servant” is quite different. It is a call to serve God and one another. It is a call to mission. It is a calling of strength and power, not weakness.

In what ways do you see yourself, in a positive light, as a servant of others? How do you feel about your service? Do you rejoice in it, feel put upon, or is it just something you take for granted? How do others serve you? Are you thankful for their service? How do you express your thanks?

 Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10)

“Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” Have you ever said anything like that to God? Do you try to determine what the will of God is for you in a difficult situation, or in a very happy time?

A reading from the Letter to the Corinthians

(Chapter 1:1-3)

Paul starts out his letter with a greeting: “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Christ Jesus, their Lord and ours.” Paul is writing to the people of one city, Corinth, but he wants the Corinthians to know that they are related spiritually to all who have been “called to be holy.” That means all the new churches throughout the part of the world that Paul and the other apostles have visited. Even then, Paul and the other apostles saw the Church as one, not as a series of individual churches but a community of churches. That is what we have today, except that our Church now is worldwide, universal.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

(Chapter 1:29-34)

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he may be made known to Israel. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

At every Mass, we have a prayer that refers to Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” Here, the author tells us of the origin of this title that connects Jesus with the lamb offered at the Passoverthe animal whose blood was sprinkled on the doorposts to let the angel of death know that the inhabitants were part of God’s chosen people and were not to be harmed. Jesus, as the Lamb, is also seen as the “Suffering Servant” who gives his life for the people.

The author of this Gospel is telling us that Jesus has always had the Spirit of God living within him. When we are baptized, we share in that Spirit. That is truly amazing, that God’s Holy Spirit lives within each one of us. I did not know that as a child, but I believe it now as an adult. I hope you also not only believe it but remember that the presence of the Spirit in you is dynamic, guiding you and being your life partner. Imagine that! God’s very Spirit lives in you. I hope you share that Good News with your children and all whom you know and that you talk to your Spirit partner often.



Photo: Image of the Holy Spirit, window in the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved.
Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: Hear the Word! by Bill Ayres, second sunday in ordinary time

Putting the Crèche Away

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 11, 2023 6:00:00 AM

With the Christmas season winding down, I decided to pack away the nativity scene with its porcelain figurines that had stood on my living room end table. Then my mind took a trip down memory lane. While I did not want to undermine in any way the wonderful significance of the crèche, I could picture the figures looking like my family members and other people from my past life.

I started my piece-by-piece packing with the manger and the Christ Child. I remembered my childhood in the 1950s. My loving parents wanted to be sure the little apple of their eye was warm enough during the winter months in our coal-furnace-heated house, so the second bedroom was closed off, and I shared the warmth of the master bedroom with them. I am sure Mary and Joseph were very mindful of their Infant Jesus’ comfort.

I could imagine a figurine of my mother as I gently wrapped Mary’s little statue in some soft tissue. My mother was a sweet, caring woman who was very protective of her only child. With her ready smile, she could come up with some extremely interesting, imaginative, and amusing stories right off the top of her beautiful head to keep me entertained. She would chuckle as she told them to me as I sat in her warm lap. I wonder if Mary told Jesus little stories. I bet she did!

Jesus had Joseph for protection, so I protected that little father statue very methodically. So many times I have wished that my Dad had not died of a heart attack when I was only 11 years old. I remember most about him his great sense of humor and his handsome smile. Often, I would follow him to the neighborhood corner store as he took a leisurely walk to get the local newspaper. A faithful husband, he was active in town government and a fraternal organization. A very responsible man, as was craftsman Joseph!

I grabbed a shepherd figurine to put into the storage box. I got thinking about the good shepherds in my life. I had some superb teachers who guided me in safe and productive ways through my school years, and even through fun extracurricular activities. I think many of us should take time to be thankful for those nurturing, generous shepherds in our lives! And I remember that the Lord is my shepherd every day!

The three wise men, before they found their nesting place in the box, reminded me of some of the wise people in my life who have gifted me with their advice, intelligence, and encouragement. Coming from many different backgrounds and locations, they inspired me to use my God-given talents. It is good to thank God for those wise people!

Last, but not least, I carefully placed the animals from the stable into the storage box. I thought about the pets whose company I had enjoyed throughout my life. Those cats and my dog, Candy, had comforted me, made me laugh, and taught me about loving. I am reminded how easy it is to take our pets for granted.

So, while the crèche has brought to mind the true joy of Christmas, it has triggered treasured memories of personal past experiences. May we never pack away our gratitude to our Loving God for all the blessings in our lives!

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Topics: crèche, gratitude, Sharon Krause

An Epiphany Conversation

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 8, 2023 6:00:00 AM

         An Epiphany Conversation


I imagine, as I clasp my hands to pray,

two bigger hands enfolding mine gently.

“I am here with you in truth and Spirit:

leading, healing, savingwhen you let me.

Together, you and I can do great things;

for, remember, I have never left you.

With your heart, and attention to my Word,

your willingness, energy and virtue,

we can teach others about my Father.

Step up, feel my closeness, be not fearful.”


In the quiet of the morning, I smile;

my joy, overwhelming, makes me tearful.

Here, in his presence, nothing else matters.

I am fully drenched in his love outpoured.

Feeling strength and Jesus’ patience with me,

I am renewed again: “Thank you, Lord!”


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Topics: epiphany, God who loves you, God's love, Sharon Krause

"Hear the Word! by Bill Ayres: The Epiphany of the Lord

Posted by Bill Ayres on Jan 7, 2023 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah

(Chapter 60:1-6)

Most Jewish and Christian scholars believe that the prophecy of Isaiah was written by three authors at three different times. Today’s reading is from the last section of the prophecy, written at the end of the Babylonian Exile more than 500 years before the birth of Jesus. It was a time of great joy as the former captives returned to their homeland. “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you…. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.”

The Church reads this passage today because, in the birth of Jesus, this promise and more has come true. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophesies and all the promises from God.

 Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 72)

“Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” The psalmist knew when he wrote this, thousands of years ago that it was not true, but he prayed that it would be some day.

A reading from the Letter to the Ephesians

(Chapter 3:2-3a, 5-6)

Paul writes, “the mystery was made known to me by revelation.” The mystery he is referring to is God’s plan for salvation through Jesus. However, salvation is not only for Jews. “The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body.”

Most of the early Christians were Jews, and many of them thought that Jesus came only for them. He certainly did come to proclaim the reign of God to Israel, but Paul makes it clear that salvation is for all people. We are all called to be a part of “the same body.” Paul dedicated his ministry to all people and traveled far and wide to reach the Gentiles. The Church of the apostles that you and I live in and believe in is inclusive and not only in terms of ethnicity or nationality. Pope Francis refers to himself as a sinner. We are all sinnersa Church of sinners forgiven and saved by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to always reach out with our arms and our hearts to those who have felt excluded or alienated from our Church.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

(Chapter 2:1-12)

There has always been speculation about who the magi were. The best answer is that we do not know, but the important clue Matthew gives is that they came from the East, meaning they were gentiles. Matthew wanted his predominately Jewish audience to know that their Messiah was recognized far beyond their community. He is a universal savior. Our Church is universal, more than a billion people scattered across the earth. Do you feel connected to any of these far-flung communities? Many of them live in poverty and are persecuted in places such as Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan. Let us pray in solidarity with them.

In the last century, we prayed for the conversion of Communist Russia and freedom for what were called the Iron Curtain countries. Let us pray now for the freedom from hunger and poverty and persecution that billions of our brothers and sisters suffer today.

May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year!



Photo by Inbal Malca on Unsplash.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved.
Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: Gentiles, Savior of the world, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

"Hear the Word! by Bill Ayres: The Nativity of Our Lord

Posted by Bill Ayres on Dec 24, 2022 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah

(Chapter 52:7-10)

Isaiah spoke about someone coming who “brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news.” The Church chooses this reading for Christmas day because we believe that the birth of Jesus fulfills this promise.

We do not live in a peaceful world, and each day brings headlines with bad news, sometimes terrifying news. There is plenty of bad news to go around, but there is also so much good news, so many people doing good for their neighbors, for their country, for their world. There are individuals and organizations working to reduce the number of poor and hungry people in the world, even though there are still far too many. There are more peaceful countries in the world in this century, even though there is still horrible violence in Ukraine and elsewhere. There is less crime, violence, poverty, unemployment, and hunger in our own country than there was 10 years ago, even though we still have a long way to go to be the just and peaceful people of our hopes and dreams.

The point is that the promise of Jesus does not work like magic. It is a gift of peace and good news offered to each of us that we can accept or reject. On the birthday of our Savior, let us accept this amazing gift on a deeper level than ever before. Let us remember that the power of his love that lives in our hearts is a more powerful force than all the negative forces that exist. We can live in his love despite all the unloving that we experience in our world, all this from a little baby whose birth we celebrate today.

 Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6}

“All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.” Many have seen, but not all have believed. Let us pray that today more hearts will be opened to the transforming power of God.

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews

(Chapter 1:1-6)

The author writes, “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son.”

Throughout history, God has spoken to his people in many ways: through nature, through various religious traditions, and especially through the Jewish people and their prophets. God continues to speak through all those means today, but the fullness of God’s message and presence is in Jesus.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

(Chapter 1:1-18)

This is the famous prologue to John’s Gospel, added on for an important reason. It starts with an amazing statement: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So, who is this “Word”? The answer is clear: “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”

The author wants to be clear that this is Jesus. Jesus is equal to God, because Jesus is God who came among us in the form of a human being. For all the centuries before, God spoke especially through the Jewish people. That communication does not and will not ever end, but now there is a direct communication to the whole world in the presence of Jesus. Even though Jesus died and ascended into Heaven two thousand years ago, he sent us the divine Presence in the form of the Holy Spirit who lives within each of us. So, this Christmas Day and all days, if we want to experience the presence of God and live with true peace and good news, we need to listen to his Spirit within us and in the community of our Church.

Peace and good news to all on this Christmas day and always!


Painting: Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst, Pomeranian State Museum. Greifswald, Germany. Public Domain.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved.
Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: Christmas, Nativity of the Lord

Love You

Posted by Sharon Krause on Dec 21, 2022 6:00:00 AM

When they were teenagers, Tim and Jill fell in love. They would phone each other often and have long conversations. At the end of any conversation, when it was time to hang up, they would each take a turn declaring, “Love you.”

Tim worked part time at a home-improvement store when he was not taking college courses. One busy day, his boss, Frank, phoned him to discuss a question about work. As the conversation was ending, distracted Tim said to his boss. “Love you,” to which his boss replied, “Don’t go there!”

It was a silly mistake, resulting from habit and fatigue; every time I remember the incident, I have to chuckle. However, I did start thinking about how habit can somewhat detract from the meaning or essence of a reality. For example, at Mass, the celebrant says several times, “The Lord be with you,” and we respond, “And with your spirit.” Do we ever think about of what that means? The priest could be reminding us of the Lord’s presence, or he could be prompting us to intentionally invite the Lord into our celebration.

“Ah..ah..ah choo!”

Someone often responds to that with, “God bless you!” Is that a real mini-prayer for blessing or is it just a habitual response to a slightly disrupting sound?

As we come to the close of the season of Advent, let’s take a few moments to think about our prayers of love to the Lord. We tell the Lord we love Him, but are we really paying attention to what that means? That word, love, is tossed around a lot: we love that food, we love to go surfing, we love that story. We read that God so loved the world.

I suggest that as Christmas draws near we pray some love prayers that are very persona:

I love you, Jesus, and thank you especially today for….

I love you, Savior, and today I will make a special effort to be tolerant and forgiving of……..

I love you, God, who came to set us free, and I will work, in your precious name, to free someone of a challenge or problem.

I love you, Lamb of God, and I will gently share your message of salvation to another person today.

I love you, babe who slept in a manger, and I will spend a few minutes in attentive silence today and allow you to speak to me.

Redeemer of mankind, Love you!


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Topics: Advent, Advent prayer, God full of love, God who loves you, God's love, You shall love the Lord your God, Sharon Krause

Human Dignity vs Dehumanization: Federal and State Approaches to the Death Penalty

Posted by Alice Hugh Brown on Dec 20, 2022 10:29:26 AM

John Fitzgerald Hanson (March 22, 1972…)

Mercifully, there was no execution this month in Oklahoma.

John Hanson was to be executed December 15 for the murder of two people in 1999. He is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Louisiana. The State of Oklahoma asked the federal government to release him, but the request was denied until Hanson has served his full sentence. This in effect means his execution warrant will expire. The state is suing for his return.

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"Hear the Word! by Bill Ayres: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Posted by Bill Ayres on Dec 17, 2022 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah

(Chapter 7:10-14)

Ahaz was the ruler of the kingdom of Judah in the eighth century before the birth of Jesus, at a time when Judah and other small nations were allied against the Assyrian Empire which was more powerful and certainly brutal. But Ahaz refused to be true to the coalition, so some of the nations that should have been his partners turned against him. While Judah was under attack from two directions, “The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the Lord your God…. But Ahaz answered “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord.” This was a phony excuse designed to mask Ahaz’s lack of faith. Isaiah told him, “Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel”—a promise that Judah, the nation of David, would endure—in spite of its enemies and in spite of Ahaz.

Isaiah never tells us who the virgin is nor who the child is, except to say that his name will be Emmanuel which means “God with us.” The prophesy was fulfilled, not in Ahaz’s time but with the birth of Jesus, the Messiah.

 Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6)

“Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.” Today, and every day, let us ask God to enter ever more deeply in our minds and hearts.

A reading from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans

(Chapter 1:1-7)

In this letter to the Christian community in Rome, Paul does two things. He lays claim to his credentials as “a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God,” and he explains more specifically that, through Jesus, he had “received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” Christians in Rome were being arrested and martyred every day. We do not risk our lives or suffer for the faith as the martyrs in Rome did, but we need to remember that our forebears in faith suffered and, in other parts of the world, many do today.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

(Chapter 1:18-24)

This gospel passage focuses on Joseph who had a critical decision to make. Mary had not yet lived with Joseph, but she was pregnant. How? By whom? What should he do?

Matthew is the only evangelist who tells this story: “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.” Then Joseph had a dream in which the angel of the Lord said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins…. “When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”

Each of us has difficult decisions to make throughout our lives, usually without the help of angels in our dreams. Praying and asking for counsel from family or friends can help, and then asking the Holy Spirit to guide us by helping us discern God’s will can lead us to the best decisions in troubling times.


Painting: St. Joseph with the Infant Jesus, oil on canvas, by Guido Reni (1575-1642). Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Public Domain.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved.
Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: St. Joseph, say yes to God's will, fourth sunday of advent

Moving Fast

Posted by Sharon Krause on Dec 13, 2022 6:15:00 AM

Here we are, moving fast and counting down the days until Christmas! It is truly a challenge not to get caught up in all the hype and lose sight of the hope of which the season of Advent is supposed to remind us. The hope is all about Jesus rescuing humanity from the throes of sinfulness, selfishness, and misplaced adoration. It is a very joyful hope.

In our haste, how easy it is to think about sales instead of souls! Black Friday sales started even before the day after Thanksgiving this year. Retailers were eager to rid themselves of inventory accumulated during COVID shutdowns. How about spiritual shutdowns? Maybe we should take stock of our immortal soul and those of our beloved family and friends. We all are not preachers and ministers, but we can certainly exemplify simple ways to point to the true spiritual joy of the Christmas preparation time. Advent calendars don’t have to involve only a piece of candy or a little toy each day of the countdown. What if even a small child were blessed with hearing a small prayer or truth about Jesus each day?

Decorations for Christmas have been out in the retail stores and in people’s yards since October! We compete to save money and show our decorating skills. More importantly, wonderful declarations about the promised Savior stand out in numerous verses in the Bible all year long, and especially in this Advent season. The entrance antiphon on the second Sunday of Advent declared:

   O people of Zion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations, and the Lord

   will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart. (Isaiah 30:19, 30)

We are exhorted to rejoice because the Lord is near (Philippians 4:4-5). The gospels of Matthew for the Sunday liturgies have John the Baptist telling people to prepare for the One to come, and later we are reminded of how Mary conceived Jesus (Matt.1:18-24). We are urged by John the Baptist to repent, not to be rushing to store for rebates or refunds.

Hurry up! Get to the Christmas party at work! Or at the sports club! Be careful about priorities though! Parties are fun breaks from work and chances to reconnect socially with friends, family and co-workers. Why not take some important spiritual breaks and attend a few extra masses or some brief prayerful visits before the Blessed Sacrament?

 We hear Santa’s laugh often during this holiday season: “Ho! Ho! Ho!” May we try to help ourselves and others to be holy, holy, holy as we await the celebration of our Savior’s coming!

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Topics: everyday prayer, Advent, Advent prayer, Sharon Krause

"Hear the Word! by Bill Ayres: Third Sunday of Advent

Posted by Bill Ayres on Dec 10, 2022 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah

(Chapter 35:1-6a, 10)

This Sunday is called Gaudete Sunday, a day of rejoicing because of the great promise that we hear from Isaiah. The prophet addressed this message to the Jewish people in the sixth century before the birth of Jesus—a time of crisis: exile from their homeland, the destruction of their homes and temple, and their enslavement by a foreign power. Yet, amid all their suffering, Isaiah has this powerful message of hope: “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God; he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you.”

We do not face the same kind of horror in our society, but what sufferings are you going through now that may seem hopeless or at least painful? Have any of your relationships caused you suffering? How can you bring healing rather than continuing the pain? Have you allowed relatively minor troubles to diminish your joy? How can you turn that around into thankfulness for all you have been given?

 Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10)

“Lord, come and save us.” Those words resonate with us thousands of years after they were written. How and when have you asked God to save you or someone you love? Do you feel you were heard?

A reading from the Letter of St. James

(Chapter 5:7-10)

James is telling his hearers to be patient for the coming of the Lord. Of course, he is talking about the Second Coming which the Christians of that time thought would occur any day. Today, we are not impatient for the Second Coming. We hardly think about it, but we should always be thinking and praying for the continuous coming of Jesus into our minds and hearts. Let us think of Christmas not as the coming again of the baby Jesus. That only happened once, 2000-plus years ago. Rather, let us rejoice in the remembrance of that event that changed the world and shaped our lives so profoundly, and then enter into an even deeper bond with Jesus whose Spirit lives in us.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

(Chapter 11:2-11)

Put yourself in John’s shoes, or rather sandals, for a minute. Here he is, a man with a mission from God to prepare the way for the long-awaited Messiah, and he is stuck in prison. He is giving it his all, but he wants to make sure Jesus is the real deal, so he sends his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come or should we look for another?” John is risking his life, and he wants to be sure. Jesus answers, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”

How many times has Jesus healed you, not necessarily from a physical ailment but emotionally or mentally? How many times has Jesus brought you or someone you love back from the death of sin or addiction or some other deep darkness? This week is a good time to remember all the times when Jesus healed you or a loved one in any way.

Maybe it is right now that you feel powerless or deeply injured. Ask Jesus to be present to you to help heal you. And this Christmas, let us thank Jesus for all the times of healing and all the gifts he has given us.


Painting: The prophet Isaiah, fresco by Michelangelo Buonarotti from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved.
Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: St John the Baptist, Second Sunday of Advent

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