Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
The message of Advent is sometimes lost in sentimentality
The incarnation is about 'surrender, encounter, mutuality', and the profound mystery of God made flesh
- Fr Richard Rohr
- December 7, 2012
Some years ago I gave a conference on "Preparing for Christmas" that St. Anthony Messenger Press (now Franciscan Media) was kind enough to publish in recorded form. It has continued to sell well for many years, and so they asked me if I would work with them to publish a print version. "Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent" is the result.
In the original lectures I tried to invite people beyond a merely sentimental understanding of Christmas as "waiting for the baby Jesus" to an adult and social appreciation of the message of the Incarnation of God in Christ. We Franciscans have always believed that the Incarnation was already the Redemption, because in Jesus' birth God was already saying that it was good to be human, and God was on our side.
At the original conference, I felt that the need on this earth for adult Christianity and the actual message of Jesus was so urgent that we could not allow this great feast of Christmas, and its preparation in Advent, to be watered down in any way. Twenty years later, I feel this is even more true. Jesus identified his own message with what he called the coming of the "reign of God" or the "kingdom of God," whereas we had often settled for the sweet coming of a baby who asked little of us in terms of surrender, encounter, mutuality, or any studying of the Scriptures or the actual teaching of Jesus. Sentimentality, defined as trumped-up emotions, can be an avoiding of and substitute for an actual relationship, as we see in our human relationships, too.
We Catholics must admit that there is a constant temptation among us to avoid the lectionary and the Word of God for private and pious devotions that usually have little power to actually change us or call our ego assumptions into question. The Word of God, however, confronts, converts and consoles us -- in that order. The suffering, injustice and devastation on this planet are too great now to settle for any infantile Jesus. Actually, that has always been true.
Full story: Preparing for Christmas
Source: Huffington Post