Month: December 2016

New Year’s Greetings!

As 2016 draws to a close, I hope you are able to give thanks for the many ways God has been present and active in your life this year.  In order to plan for a new year, it is helpful to take stock of my awareness of God’s presence and action in this past year.  I’ll readily admit, I’m often so consumed with meeting the demands of the ‘present’ that I can tend to lose sight at times of what God is doing and how God has been answering all of my prayers. January 1st […]

“Rise, Take the child and his mother …”

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  Twice in today’s Gospel (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23) the angle of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him: “Rise, take the child and his mother …” and Joseph quickly and obediently carries out the instruction. I find it interesting that on this feast day, my own attention is drawn to the importance of parents being obedient to God’s instruction.  I am also captivated by the sensitivity of Joseph to the instruction of the Lord and the immediate manner in which he […]

Hope In The Lord – At All Times

On this 5th day of Christmas, our Christmas story continues with Mary and Joseph taking the infant Jesus to the temple for his dedication.  I spent some time this morning meditating upon the great hope of Simeon.  He is a hero in many ways, and a great model for us. Simeon always hoped in God’s promise that he would see the Messiah.   Surely he had days when tempted to lose this hope, tempted to fall into despair and allow his heart and mind to desire other things than this vision. But he prevailed – […]

Welcome Christ, Welcome Truth, Welcome Life

Even at his birth, the life of Christ is threatened.  The truth is not always welcome.  The Kingdom of God does threaten worldly kingdoms, but not by  force of arms, but with the power of love; not by oppression, but with freedom. Today’s Feast of the Holy Innocents illustrates the impact one person can have, for good or evil.  Herod, wrapped up in his own power and worldly interests rejected the Truth and destroyed the lives of many.  Christ, with the power of divine love, comes to change and save the lives of all who […]

St. John The Evangelist: Our Christmas Continues

Today the church celebrates the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist.  St. John was referred to in John’s Gospel as the ‘beloved disciple.’  It seems clear that John knew a great friendship with Christ, one that entailed a beautiful intimacy.  For me, this is what today’s feast calls me to – closer friendship and intimacy with Jesus. The opening of John’s Gospel gives us some great teaching for further reflection during this season of Christmas.  I wish to invite you today to spend time reading and praying with the opening fourteen verses of the […]

Christmas Masses: What A Blessing!

With another celebration of the Nativity of the Lord now in the books, the Christmas season continues.  The evening began with a 6:00 Mass at Brother Francis Homeless Shelter.  St. Patrick parish was kind enough once again this year to share some of their musicians for the Mass, and they did a lovely job.  Other than around 20 people who came specifically to celebrate their Christmas Mass in this setting, the rest of the congregation was made up of clients who would spend the night in the shelter. I had the opportunity to greet many […]

Pope Francis Calls For Peace In Urbi et Orbi Address

Recalling that Christmas is a season, not just a single day, each of us are called to live the hope and promise of peace that are born with the Savior.  With that in mind, here is the Urbi et Orbi (To the City & the World) address of Pope Francis given Christmas Day at noon from the balcony of St. Peter in Rome: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas! Today the Church once more experiences the wonder of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the shepherds of Bethlehem, as they contemplate the newborn Child […]

Nativity: Humility, Love, Self-Gift

CHRISTMAS HOMILY 2016 Merry Christmas!  Our celebration tonight once again draws the world’s attention to the humility and love of God.  In our American language, we call this celebration Christmas, (Christ Mass) while many other languages speak directly to the true focus; the birth of Jesus, such as Feliz Navidad, or Buon Natale!  The birth of Jesus … The birth of God … The birth of a Savior. This holy night, this moment in salvation history has so much to teach our world today.  Our God is not distant.  Our God is very near, and […]

In The Beginning & In The End, One Thing Is Necessary

Yesterday, I was in town taking care of an errand, and a young woman at a check out counter noticed my ring.  She said something to the effect of: “That is a nice ring.  Does it have any significance?”  I said: “Yes. It is a bishop’s ring, and I am the new Archbishop of Anchorage.”  She then responded: “Pardon my ignorance, but what is an Archbishop?”  To which I said: “I am the leader of the Catholic Church in this part of Alaska.”  Then, she said quite casually: “Well, I guess you now know, I […]

The Cry Of Advent: “Arise, My Beloved, And Come”

We are now in the final days of Advent. Is our longing for the Lord stronger? Is our cry for the Lord more intimate?  Today’s first reading from the Song of Songs is perhaps one of the most intimate expressions of longing for the Lord in all of Sacred Scripture, and instructs us to be equally intimate in our desire for and relationship with Christ. My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come! “For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The […]

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