In Honor of Our Lord- Christmas Season and Beyond

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In Honor of our Lord – Christmas Season and Beyond – Luke 2:4-20

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

In Jesus Name

The Least in the Kingdom is Greater Than He

Jesus

Awhile back, the angels suggested  I dedicate Sundays to the Gospels. With love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“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.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

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Jesus’ ministry up to this time, had embodied healing and mercy, which led John to ask the question: ” Are you God’s Messiah?” 

Jesus refers to the Old Testament Scriptures for his response, alluding to several passages from the prophet Isaiah that envision future salvation as a time of merciful healing, wholeness and re-creation of all things. He then adds a gentle but unmistakable admonition to John, urging him to take “no offense”  at Jesus’ activity. The Messiah’s words seem to insist that human expectations cannot and must not govern God’s saving action on behalf of sick and wounded mankind. 

Jesus then turns toward the crowds to clarify the Baptist’s important role in the unfolding of God’s plan of Salvation. [see reference]

 

 

 

Reference: Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers and Proclaimers of the Word 2017

Jesus Saves

Jesus 2

Awhile back, the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospels. With Love and Gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke 23:35-43. With a loving message behind it. 

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”

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Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe. We recognize and celebrate that Jesus is Lord over all of God’s Kingdom. Lord of Heaven, Earth and the Universe. Jesus is Lord over even the stars, all religions, belief systems, and even those who do not believe in him. This very special Sunday falls the very week before we begin the Advent season, which is the following weekend. 

The Mercy of God is great, as well as the Mercy  and Passion of the Lord. Note that Jesus has handed himself over for his bitter Passion, and is in complete agony on the cross after being scourged. When the thief to the left of him recognizes Jesus, and uses faith and humility, asking Jesus Christ to remember him when he goes in front of the Father, Jesus doesn’t say,”Well , hang on and I will think about it .” He doesn’t say, “Whew! You sure did mess up big time! Let me talk about it with God first.” No, Jesus forgives him on the spot, the moment the thief asked and announces that the thief will be in Paradise with the Lord , when he goes to the Father. Jesus knows that Mercy of God is Eternally Great, and knows He has Authority to forgive sin. The thief received eternal salvation right then and there, the second he asked. 

I offer this to you because Jesus and God are both extremely Merciful. Jesus came to save many, and announces to the thief, who has lived not the best life, that he too will be in Paradise. What a Great God we serve ! What A Merciful and Great God. Trust in Jesus and in God’s Mercy. For even when Jesus was in complete and total agony, Jesus was still able to forgive sin, and bring this son of God to Heaven with him. 

In Jesus’ Name 

Today Salvation Has Come To This House

Jesus

Awhile back, the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospel Readings. With love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke LK 19:1-10.  With an angel inspired message behind it. 

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

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One of the items in this scripture passage, that was pointed out today in church, was that Zacchaeus placed himself in a position for God’s Calling. Jesus didn’t say to Zacchaeus, ” Maybe I should stay  at your house”

Jesus said ” I must stay at your house.” – This was pre-ordained by the Heavenly Father and Christ/God Authority. Zacchaeus placed himself in a position for this calling- from tax collector to disciple.

Additionally, this Gospel reading also states that Zacchaeus received Jesus with joy. 

Placing our own selves in a position of God’s Calling or Christ’s Calling and Blessings is something we are all called to do- and to rejoice and receive God and Jesus with joy when receiving him in communion, prayer and/or when receiving Jesus and the One who sent Him in the Word of God. 

In Jesus’ Name