Family life is crazy and chaotic, sometimes blissful, sometimes frustrating, big and noisy, small and quiet, in a every shape, size and configuration imaginable. Yet it is within the specific context of our families that we grow in faith and life lessons. May we look to the Holy Family for inspiration as we seek the best in our families, dedicate earnest effort in supporting them, and pray every day for the Lord’s guidance and strength.
After the praise of Anna in the Temple, Mary and Joseph return home to Nazareth where Jesus will grow in strength and wisdom. It’s a good reminder about the power of a family to foster faith, encourage goodness and build lasting bonds of love. May we dedicate ourselves to building up our own families each and every day.
Simeon looks beyond the outward appearances of the baby of Mary and Joseph and sees the Son of God. May we pray that the Holy Spirit will give us clear sight to recognize the Lord’s presence in our daily actions, empowering us to respond with faith, hope and love.
Why do the innocent suffer? Why is there senseless violence, hate, cruelty and pain? God has granted human souls with the freedom to choose good or evil, and the consequences can be profound. Yet it was for our sins that the Christ child was born, breaking the chains of evil and offering us a chance for grace and mercy. May the death of these innocent children inspire us to hold fast to our faith as we follow the Lord.
My name is Fr. Andrew Ricci. I am a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Superior, and I have been rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King for the last nine years. Perhaps you have read one of my blog posts at www.studyprayserve.com or you’ve listened to my podcast at Catholic Inspiration. If you have found these resources at all helpful, consider one of these New Year’s faith-filled resolution.
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As an apostle, St. John was filled with the Holy Spirit and sent by Jesus; as an evangelist, his writings have inspired generations of Christians with the Good News of the Gospel. We can look to John for an example: living our faith in the world today as we testify to the light of Jesus Christ.
With the joy of Christ’s birth ringing in the air we celebrate today the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr. Why? To help us see the connection between the Christ’s birth and saving death as we offer our lives for the Lord. Thus, the Christmas spirit gives us hope to face the sacrifices of this life with the conviction that the Jesus Christ will guide and lead us to Heaven.