As one trained in preaching, the words of St. Paul’s words sting: “If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! Woe to me if I do not preach it!"
“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.’” The Father baptized and blessed Jesus before one moment of ministry: before He turned water into wine; healed one sick person; broke one piece of bread; took one step toward Golgotha. It was the blessing, the imparting of being beloved, which strengthened Jesus for His ministry of healing and reconciliation.
On December 21, 2020, at 5:30 pm, we set out for the perfect view of Saturn and Jupiter. This was a once in a lifetime experience, as the last time this phenomenon occurred was eight-hundred years earlier. On the off-road, facing southwest, we followed this "Christmas-time" star. Sure enough, the two planets aligned so closely, they shined as one bright, beautiful, larger-than-life "star" in the sky. I’m not sure I would have been observant enough to even notice, if not foretold in the news.
A young mother shook her head, “Honestly, between virtual learning, isolation, and social distancing, our family is just one big hot mess.” I replied, “Yes, but your family is a holy hot mess, and the ‘holy’ makes all the difference.” Each family experiences its own unique struggles, but with Jesus at the center, the family is holy, if even a holy hot mess.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.