Tag Archives: Incarnation

Placing Ourselves in the Nativity Scene

One of the cherished Christmas gifts from my childhood is a simple, plastic nativity set. My grandparents gave it to me when I was eight or nine. It has traveled from my room when I was growing up to my college dorm and to now my office at the seminary. Each year I enjoy getting it out in Advent and arranging the figures. And each year I am confronted with two questions: Do I put the baby Jesus out before Christmas? And, do I put the three wise men out before the Epiphany? Recently, I …

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Easter Season

The Lent-Easter Cycle in our Catholic liturgical year is my favorite time of that year. The liturgies are full of meaningful celebrations that focus on the challenges that life presents us. The Paschal Mystery, which we celebrate at this time, brings forward the deeper realities of our lives as persons, as communities, and as Christians. It reminds and makes present in the Eucharistic celebrations of this time our experience of God’s Love being among us in all the struggles, difficulties, joys, and ecstasy that arise in our daily experience. One of the essentials I try …

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Emmanuel? Where are you?!

Already it seems 2013 has a lot to answer for!  Too many health problems, vehicle problems, school problems, work problems these last three weeks.  The long grey work days aren’t helping!  Emmanuel, where did you GO?! While fighting the flu last week I was also trying to prepare for the start of a regional World Religions class.  We wonderfully had LOTS of people coming …but then I learned that all the physical set up was going to fall on me – by my lonesome, flu or no flu.  Nope, I wasn’t thrilled. By chance came …

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Practicing Catholic: Principally Speaking

Being a practicing Catholic has to do with Jesus in our lives. It is the way we respond to and express two basic principles that were inherent in the life and ministry of Jesus and which continue to be operative in his church: the incarnational principle and the sacramental principle.  The Incarnational Principle The incarnational principle is that in Jesus God became a human being, a true and full human being with body and soul, with temptations and frustrations, with emotions and bodily pains. Only sin was missing in his human existence. Through the Incarnation, …

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Don’t Panic!

Are you panicking yet?!  It’s almost here – are you ready?! I will admit to a few moments of anxiety myself these last couple of weeks.   Yikes!  I thought – we’re nowhere near ready!  But any sense of panic is balanced by the realization that Advent is a journey, and Christmas really isn’t THE final destination. We want the holiday to be special, sure, but in so many ways it is just a metaphor for what is (or should be) taking place in our life overall. So, rather than on Christmas Day, perhaps this season’s …

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Advent Thoughts

This is the time of year when many in the Catholic community rant and rave about the evils of the way our society celebrates Christmas. We complain about how early it starts and how commercial it is.  We berate others and ourselves about how busy we are and how many things we set up for ourselves to do. It seems that we want to make ourselves and others feel guilty. Another criticism made is how much our economy depends on Christmas sales. We are told that we need to go out and buy or the …

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Circumventing December Madness

Probably those who know even a little something about me will NOT be surprised to find out that the blackest part of Black Friday for me is the expectation that I will go out and shop.  Nope, not going to happen, boys and girls.  I’m not in any way ready to jump into the Christmas madness yet… except that I will start wondering what on earth I did with the Advent wreath! So yes, I admit, my family opts out of most of the “usual” ways of “celebrating” the holidays.  Our Christmas tree (which we …

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A Public Faith

Recently, I came across a book entitled A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good” by Miroslav Volf of the Yale Divinity School. There was much I liked about the book, but there were two ideas I found especially attractive. The first was how important it is for Christians who speak publicly about issues relevant to our faith to speak in a Christian way. We are called as Christians to love all, even those whom we perceive to be our enemies. Thus it seems important not to attribute to them evil …

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