Wednesday, December 20, 2017

December 20 in the Last Days of Advent

The gospel for December 20 is from St Luke's 1:26-38.

As I read it over this very familiar gospel, the song often sung at Christmas "Mary did you know?" came to mind. What actually did Mary know? I found a lot of answers today.

  • Mary knew from the Angel's greeting that she was "full of grace." This means that she is so full of grace that she is without sin. Mary was immaculately conceived in the womb of St. Anne. CCC 491 "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (1)
  • Mary knew the Lord was with her.
  • To Mary this greeting "full of grace" was troubling, so what did she do with what she knew? She pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
  • The Angel reassured Mary that she did not need to be afraid. This assumes she was afraid or had something to fear. Mary knew that people are not greeted by angels every day. Mary knew she had found favor with God and this could comfort any fear she felt.
  • Mary knew she would conceive. She knew the child would be a boy. She knew is name -- it would be Jesus, meaning Savior. Even the name of the child revealed the future and His destiny.
  • Mary knew not only his name, Jesus, Savior, but that one day He would be great. And He will be called 'Son of the Most High' and He will have the throne of His Father David! (What?? the line of David was cut off in 587 BC.) These three points show the child to be the long awaited Messiah for whom all Jews were waiting:
    • This child will be in the kingly line of all Jews
    • He will be God's own son
    • He will be Savior
  • Mary knew He would rule over the house of Jacob, how long? FOREVER, without end
  • Mary knew she needed to catch her breath with all that the Angel is revealing, so she asks "How?" "How can this be?" Whenever we ask "how" the answer is always The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will come upon her, the Holy Spirit overshadows, the Holy Spirit gives power, the power of God Himself. That's how, and Wow!
  • Mary knew the child to be born will be called Holy. Holy means set apart.
  • Mary knew the child to be born will be called Son of God- That's pretty specific.
At this point, a LOT has been revealed to Mary, she has been flooded with the Angel's news. But almost as if to put an exclamation point on his message, Gabriel tells her one more thing as if to say "and I can prove it will happen": He tells her something else impossible that has already happened. "Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age"  "FOR NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD."

Then the entire world and all the angels held their breath to await Mary's response to all she now knew. 

Mary knew she was only a handmaid, the lowest type of servant. Mary knew she lived in a small, unknown "backwater" town, Nazareth, Mary knew she was not married and she knew not man. But she said YES "Be it done to me according to your word."

And Luke 1:39 which is not part of the gospel tells us all the more of what Mary did with all she knew. It wasn't enough just to know. Knowledge, with Love, looks for action. So Mary "set out" to go help Elizabeth.

Announcement of the Birth of Jesus
Luke 1:26-3826In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,27to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.28And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”29But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.31Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.32He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,* and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”34But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”*35And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.36And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;37for nothing will be impossible for God.”38Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

(1) The song "Mary did you know?" while beautiful, is theologically incorrect with the line "the child which you delivered, will soon delivery you." Mary was saved at her conception, in advance  see CCC 491.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent Year B

John the Baptist

God sent a man, John
He came for testimony
to testify to the light
to give witness
or martyr
For others to believe
He was not the Christ
He was not Elijah
"He was the voice of one crying out
in the desert
Make Straight
the way of the Lord."
And John Baptized
with water

Sunday, December 3, 2017

It's Advent!

Advent is very short this year, in fact, it is the shortest Advent possible. The Fourth Sunday of Advent is December 24, Christmas Eve.

For quite some time, I've been wanting to hear Advent Songs during Advent. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer just doesn't help me prepare for Christmas.

So I spent the best $12 of the year creating my own Advent Playlist on my iPhone.
First I googled "Best Advent Songs" From these two lists I purchased the ones I like through itunes: This list by Matt Fradd pulls all the YouTube videos, so you could just enjoy the music of Advent this way.

Here's a few songs I selected:
  • O Come O Come Emmanuel
  • O Come Divine Messiah
  • Alleluia Hurry the Lord is Near
  • Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (I recommend all the music in Handel's Messiah too.)
  • Tender Mercy (Zechariah's Song)
  • Veni Per Mariam
  • Maria Walks Amid the Thorns
  • Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming
  • What Wondrous Love is This?
It's amazing how many versions of each song there are. Have fun choosing your own!

First Sunday of Advent Year B

The new church year begins today! Year B in which we focus on the gospel of St Mark.

Watch! For He is Coming

He may come in the evening
He may come at midnight
He may come at cockcrow
He may come in the morning

I must be watchful
I must be alert
I don't know the time He will come
I must be the gatekeeper

Watch & Pray!

Because I get so tired
so drowsy
so distracted
I go to Him each mornging

And He sustains me to
For He is Coming

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

You Did It To Me

Jesus will come one day
"in his glory"
with all the angels
and will sit upon a
Glorious Throne
before All the Nations

He will separate
nations as a shepherd
separates sheep and goats
The Corporal Works of
will be decisive

Those we fed
Those we sheltered
Those we visited
are really the Lord

Inherit the Kingdom!
Prepared from the foundations of the

You Did It To Me

Sunday, November 19, 2017

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A


"Our of FEAR
I went off and buried
your talent in the ground"

What will I risk
to share all the good
Jesus entrusts to me?
his mercy?
his tenderness?
his forgiveness?
How many people have
I encouraged with
Our Hope?
Shared Love with?

This is how I must
risk the talents
to double them
while here on earth.

I want to be a good and
faithful servant
and participate in the
Joy of the Lord!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

5 Wise Virgins

5 "wise virgins brought flasks of oil
with their lamps"
The oil of the 5 wise
is wisdom, the crown of the Holy Spirit
is loving, without possessing
is prudence for the glory of God alone
is entire offering of self
is preparedness because of God alone
"Stay awake
for you now neither the day nor the hour."

Sunday, November 5, 2017

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Look at ME

I'm on the chair to teach
I'll tell you what to do
It's a heavy burden
better carry it well
Here, let me put that
on your shoulder
Look at ME

Jesus says
Observe what is said
but do not follow that example
The greatest must be the servant
those who exalt themselves
will be humbled
That's the mercy of God
But humility gains exaltation
Look at JESUS

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Trap part 2

Plotting to trap
Pharisees heard Sadducees
were silenced
So they gathered together
to test Jesus
testing the Law itself- ha
"which law is the greatest?"
Forget the law, Jesus seems
to say- Go back to Basics
LOVE the Lord
with ALL your heart
with ALL your souls
with ALL your mind
Love your neighbor
as yourself
I must become re-minded
each day to be ALL IN Love
for God, Neighbor, self


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Trap, part 1

Plotting to trap
Pharisees joined with Herodians
"We know you are a truthful man"
they said to THE TRUTH
"You are not concerned with anyone's opinion"
But they are concerned with His opinion
"Tell us what is your opinion?"
"Is it lawful to pay census tax?"
Who's Law?
Jewish Law?
Roman Law?
God's Law?
Jesus asks about Image
Whose Image?
We who are in the image of God
Coin in image of Caesar
Repay or Render to Caesar the tax
But give your entire self to God.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Wedding Feast

Come to the feast
My King invited me
An invitation like this
comes once in a lifetime
I was busy and
didn't think I could
get away
so He invited everyone else
in town and surrounding cities
until the halls filled
He dressed them all
in wedding attire
our baptism into His
very family
but we must do the works of the sons
change my busy ways
attend the feast
become a son
go out as a son
to all the world.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Vineyard Tenants

A Landowner created a vineyard
and leased it to tenants
Lovingly prepared with planted vines,
hedge, wine press and tower
At vintage he looked for produce
but the tenants
assaulted and killed all he sent
even His Son.
Jesus has become the cornerstone
so that people who will
produce fruit
may produce fruit
These tenants did not give
the landowner his produce
These tenants killed those He sent
How could they have known
the blood spilt
was the very vintage
that could save them?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

2 Sons

Go out and work"
the Father called

The first son said
"I will not,
but afterwards
changed his mind and went"

The second son said
"Yes Sir, but did not go"

What is your opinion?
Who did his father's will?
The actions show
more than
verbal response
I must go out
to the vineyard
and work

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Land owner and tenants

for daily wage
for daily bread at
5 am, 9 am, noon
3 pm-MERCY
5 pm evening
God calls me throughout the day
to be faithful
He doesn't give me what is just
He gives all,
not withholding His Only Son
I grumble
He is generous
What a privilege to be
 a daughter of God
working with Him
in the Father's House
for His purposes
saving souls
Daily Laboring with Joy

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Unlimited Forgiveness

Peter (and I) think we are being
by offering to forgive 7 times
But Jesus re-does that 7 times math
to seventy seven
or seven times seven: unlimited
He's not only willing to
-let the debtor out of debtor prison
-not to make him sell all he owns
-but to forgive all
So to whom do I need to
extend THAT kind of forgiveness?
I want to jug tightly wrath and anger
but nourishing anger against another
will not bring ME healing from the Lord (Sir27:30)
Therefore, overlook faults
make excuses for others
make a decision of the will to forgive
as God wants to and will forgive me

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Jesus is with 2 or 3

Let's agree
to Pray
so our
Heavenly Father
will grant
our needs
Jesus is with us
2 or 3

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

God's ways are not our ways

Peter rebuked Jesus
"God forbid, Lord"
as Jesus showed the disciples
God's own plan
that Jesus would "be killed
and on the third day be raised"
Peter's self protection
Jesus' self donation
Peter is thinking as a man
not God
The Paradox
to save life, lose it
to lose life, for Jesus, finds life
when we take up our cross,
give of ourselves
we follow Jesus
and "He will repay all
according to his conduct."

Monday, August 28, 2017

Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A


Jesus asked his disciples
Who do people say that the Son of Many is?
They had seen miraculous
walking on water
done by a person
flesh and blood
John? Elijah? Jeremiah?
Who do YOU say that I AM?
Peter knows He is the Son
of the Father, The Christ
Peter is blessed and 
upon whom Christ builds His Church

(based on Matthew 16:13-20)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Persistence of Dogs

Jesus came for Israel
the chosen people
but he withdrew
to pagan country
Tyre and Sidon
and a gentile woman cried out
"Have pity on me, Lord"
Jesus was silent
then to awaken her faith
clarified his mission
Food for the children
Not for the dogs
"Please Lord...even dogs eat scraps from the table"
willing to receive the scraps
Jesus healed her daughter
and answered her faithfulness
in prayer

(Based on Matthew:15:21-28)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Truly, the Son of God

The host fed all
Saw them off
12 boated away
He climbed the mountain
for evening prayer alone
3 am He began walking
toward them
down the mountain, plains
and onto the water
over the tempest sea
"Take Courage, it is I
Do not be afraid"
He called to those terrified.
He called to Peter, who then
walked with Him
over waves
then sinking due to
little faith,
Peter cried out
"Lord Save Me"


(Based on Matthew 14:22-33)

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 6, The Transfiguration

The Transfiguaration by Raphael

Go Figure

They figured
they were taking a walk
up a mountain
with friends
not expecting Him
to be transfigured.
They had to
reconfigure their plans.
St Peter knew "it is good that we are are here."
Only later when He was
at the cross
and then refigured in resurection
could St. Peter say he was
"an eyewitness of His majesty. For He received honor
and glory from God the Father."(1)

Poem based on the gospel of St. Matthew 17:1-9
(1) 2 Peter 1:16-19

Monday, July 31, 2017

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A


Oh Pearl!
I have found you.
You are of great price
So I joyfully
sell all,
all I have,
to buy you.
I have been searching
searching for fine pearls.
Like the treasure,
I sell all
to buy that field.
Oh Pearl of great price!
This is the kingdom of heaven:
-All Given

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Catholic liturgy is a three year cycle. We are currently in year A which focuses on the gospel of St. Matthew. Year B focuses on St. Mark, year C focuses on St. Luke. St John's gospel is part of each year A, B and C and does not have it's own year.

Over the last several years, the kids and I have created artwork with a bible verse from each of Sunday's gospels. We rotate these weekly to try to memorize a verse, as well as to see the connection between each Sunday's gospel.

Cockle and Mustard Seed

"While everyone was asleep"
the enemy
who never sleeps
sowed weeds all through
the wheat
Let them grow together
and at harvest
collect the weeds to burn
and gather the wheat for my barn

The Smallest Seed
the mustard seed
was sown in a field
and grew to the largest
of plants
where all the birds of
the sky came
and dwelt in its branches

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Prodigal Sower

He sows on paths
and feed the birds
He sows on rocks
with little soil
He sows on thorn
who chocked it out
and he sows on good soil
producing fruit
100x 60x 30x
Sowing Everywhere
to reach all
The Prodigal Sower
offers salvation
to all
We who sow
must do the same
without anxiety
about results
God produces the fruit
we are to sow
& sow & sow

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Hidden Things

"Little Ones" see
things hidden from wise & learned
Let us become little now
Little again
The Son reveals
The Father
The Son invites us
"come to me"
especially those who labor,
are burdened
to find Rest
to Learn
humility of heart
how to rest
being yoked to Jesus
easy and light

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Finding Life

"Whoever finds his life
will lose it and
whoever loses his life
for my sake
will find it."
So first we must lose ourselves
turn over our dreams
our goals, our desires
our work, to
Our Lord
Then once they are part of His Plans
we FIND our LIFE
in HIM
Loss brings Found
a cup of cold water
gives reward