An Adventure to Live
Band of Brothers Meeting
February 21st, 2015 at 7:00pm
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Cornwall, ON
in the McPhail Room
We all have the want and the need to talk about the things that we are excited about and things we like.
New movies or games, places to eat or visit you could say that we are constantly evangelizing to each other; we just keep talking about the easy stuff and keep the harder stuff to ourselves. This mindset gets us by but then we wander around thinking that no one really understands us or cares.
Why don’t we talk about the blessings that we have, the peace that we strive for or what we are really looking for?
John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.
Why did Jesus the Son of God need to be Baptized?
Was he not already part of the family of God, He was the anointed One, what was the purpose?
Jesus was not baptized for His benefit; it was for ours. We needed the sign, the symbol, the permission to listen to him.
We live in a world that gives authority and value to experts, when was the last time that you did something, bought something or dined at a restaurant that you did not have a conversation about or influenced in some way.
Jesus’ baptism was God’s way of showing us that Jesus had His blessing and given authority and it is good to listen to Him.
So the Question is “Who are you listening to … God or the world”?
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
If someone would ask you to describe the model Christian family, how would you start, what would you focus on?
– How many children?
– How they dress or the car they drive?
– The about of money or time that they donate to the Church?
It is easy to put a show on for a few hours each Sunday, what do they look like the rest of the week; do they put God as their focus in everything they do?
We have a perfect example of the model Christian family in Mary and Joseph; spend time reflecting on how much your live is align with their values and standards.
What changes do we need to make?
Today’s Gospel – Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
They took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
—and you yourself a sword will pierce—
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.
Despite its name, Boxing Day, which is celebrated on December 26 has nothing to do with the sport of Boxing or it a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents. While the exact origins of the holiday are obscure, it is likely that Boxing Day began in England during the middle ages.
Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.
Another theory is that the boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on December 26, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
As time went by, Boxing Day gift giving expanded to include those who had rendered a service during the previous year. This tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and others who have helped them.
The Feast of St. Stephen also takes place on December 26. St. Stephen was one of the seven original deacons of the Christian Church who were ordained by the Apostles to care for widows and the poor. For the success of his preaching and his devotion to Christ, St. Stephen was stoned to death by a mob. As he died, he begged God not to punish his killers.
So here is the challenge …. we should continue the tradition of St Stephen and celebrate our evangelizing and devotion to Christ on December 26th.
Use this day to look back on our efforts in the past year to reflect on them to see if they are “worthy” of stoning.
Did you play it safe or did you go to the point of being uncomfortable?
What action did you take this year that would bring Christ’s light into the darkness?
Prayer to St. Stephen the Protomartyr
O Great St. Stephen, the scriptures tell us that your face was like an angel’s as you witnessed to the truth of Christ.
Please ask the Most Holy Trinity to fill my soul and the souls of all my brothers and sisters throughout the world with a deep hunger for the truth that comes from the Heart of Jesus, and also with the loving courage to embrace and profess the truth even amid difficulties, confusion, and persecution.
May the serenity and peace which were yours at the hour of your stoning be ours as well as we wait in hope for the coming of the Lord Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever.
Office parties, gift exchanges, baking, decorating why do we go through this every year.
The focus always appears to be more about the festivities than the true meaning of Christmas.
We all know the saying that it is better to give than to receive. It is that message that has skewed the true meaning of Christmas.
The message needs to be to receive the gift of Christ that God has given us.
We need to use the Advent season to prepare a home for Christ in our hearts so the we can receive God’s greatest gift and then need to go out and give that same gift that is in our hearts to others.
We need to use Christmas as a way to recharge ourselves so that we can spread the Light of Christ throughout the year.
The Gospel message that was read on Christmas day this year tells us to accept and testify that Christ is the light for the world.