Read the daily quote from Pope Francis

 

2016 DF 18

Dear Friends,

As we near Christmas, the readings for Mass are about the great things the Lord will do.  He announces that He will come to make things right.  There are images of dry deserts that burst into bloom, mountains that are brought down, and springs that turn into deep rivers.  The images are meant to convey the power of God and His ability to change all things and for the better.

St John of the Cross who lived in sixteenth century Spain and was a co-worker with St. Teresa of Avila in reinvigorating Catholicism in that country wrote the following:

                “Therefore, anyone who wished to question God or to seek some new vision or revelation from Him would commit an offense, for instead of focusing his eyes entirely on Christ he would be desiring something other than Christ, or beyond Him. 

                God could then answer: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear Him…In my Word I have already said everything.  Fix your eyes on Him alone for in Him I have revealed all and in Him you will find more than you could ever ask for or desire.

                I, with my Holy Spirit, came down upon Him on Mount Tabor and declared: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear Him.  You do not need new teachings or ways of learning from me, for when I spoke before, it was of Christ who was to come, and when they sought anything of me they were but seeking and hoping for the Christ in whom is every good, as the whole teaching of the evangelists and apostles clearly testifies.”

                Speaking as it were with the voice of God the Father, St. John reminds us that Jesus Christ is the most excellent gift that the Father could ever give to the world.  There is nothing outside of Jesus the Lord.  In effect, God gave away the store when He revealed His Son to us!  The Catholic heart catches on fire when it looks deeply into the eyes of Jesus.  You say you are not a saint and that your sins weigh you down.  Don’t despair!  Look into the eyes of Jesus.  Pray to Him and trust Him to fight away the devils.  He has paid a heavy price for you.  He will not lose you if you call upon His name.

                This is the real reason why we are so happy at Christmas.  Jesus comes to save us.  Mary holds Him out to us.  Joseph beckons us to come closer to the Baby.  There is no condemnation only love and mercy.

Fr Al