Good News for Christmas Eve

24 12 2010

Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

The Daily Path: “Let us go then to see this thing that has taken place.”

In this passage we hear how God has once again spoken to common men like you and me, inspiring them to witness His love and mercy. Then, when they have seen, they are again inspired to go out to share it among all they come in contact with.

Friends, we’ve been called to witness the miracle of God in our lives. Some of us have just had an inkling while others have opened their eyes fully to be truly transformed by the experience. Tonight, as we begin to come together as family and friends to celebrate the birth of the Savior, let us be like the shepherds that first holy night. Tonight we see the miracle of the Child who a benevolent and loving father sent to us. And now, filled with that grace we are called to go forth and live the miracle everyday of the year.

Thank you for all of your notes, prayers and support in 2010. You’ve made such a difference in my life. Truly, God has brought the miracle of you into my life.

I wish each of you a Blessed Christmas filled with His Peace!





Advent Day 26 – Good News for December 23

23 12 2010

Luke 1:57-66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.

Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

The Daily Path: Is your tongue locked in fear? Save your “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays”. Speak Christmas!





Advent Day 24 – Good News for December 21

21 12 2010

Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Daily Path:Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Do I believe?  667 GNTG blog posts later the answer is a resounding YES!

Am I “blessED”? Not with a capital “B” like Mary, but I was BLESSed by God the day He called me home. No angels. No leaping infants. Just a joyful heart that miraculously opened up to believe what I was feeling was indeed the Spirit moving within.





Advent Day 23 – Good News for December 20

20 12 2010

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He 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, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And 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. And 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; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary 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.

The Daily Path: “May it be done according to your word.”

I wish those words were always on the tip of my tongue, etched in my consciousness. Instead, old Gabriel hears this when he visits me: “Behold I am a stubborn, obstinate, egocentric servant of the Lord. Not sure why he even bothers with me.” Then the angel departed to report back on this woeful child of God. “Master, why DO you bother with this one?”






Advent Day 22 – Good News for December 19

19 12 2010

Isaiah 7:10-14

The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!”

Then Isaiah said, Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.

The Daily Path: Today’s Gospel is a repeat of yesterday so I’m sharing the words of the prophet Isaiah that foretold the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary. Did you know that the Qur’an mentions the birth of Christ and of Mary? It’s true. Both appear dozens of times. After receiving a comment from noted author Kashif Shahzada on yesterday’s post (GNTG 12/18) that led me to this bit of enlightenment, I started to think again about the void of understanding between so many on this earth. Where do we come together? What have I done to bridge the chasm, if anything? As we prepare for the birth of Christ, it strikes me that instead of harping on what divides we should spend our time finding common ground to build understanding, tolerance, peace, and the love of God. Governments and political agendas can’t accomplish this, but I believe people who are “truly” enlightened by God can.

Kashif, thank you for reaching out. Peace be upon you.





Advent Day 21 – Good News for December 18

18 12 2010

Matthew 1:18-24

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.

Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

The Daily Path: I’ve come to realize that the good sisters failed to convey the entire story of Joseph. Perhaps the questions about Joseph’s dilemma would have been a little too edgy for the nuns to discuss during our religion classes back in the 60’s. LOL I can understand why.

Can you imagine the headlines that would be generated by the media if celebrity M&J faced such an issue today?

MARY PREGNANT OUT OF WEDLOCK

Joe Outraged – Dumps “Virgin” Fiance

Mary’s Wild Miami Night With Kardashians Leads to Baby

WHO’S THE FATHER??

Joseph had quite a decision to make, as we all do facing many dilemmas in our own modern lives. Will we have the courage to do the right thing? Will we engage in grace when the angels come knocking? Don’t expect a winged being to appear – but do look inside and listen. The answers are there if we look beyond ME (ego).





Advent Day 20 – Good News for December 17

17 12 2010

The Daily Path: Today’s reflection is from Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas.

First World cultures tend to think that more is better.  I am told that busyness is actually a status symbol for us!  It is strange that when people have so much, they are so anxious about not having enough—to do, to see, to own, to fix, to control, to change.

What decreases in a culture of affluence is precisely and strangely time(in spite of our many “time-saving” devices)—along with wisdom and friendship.  These are the very things that the human heart was created for, that the human heart feeds on and lives for.  No wonder we are producing so many depressed, unhealthy and even violent people, while leaving a huge carbon footprint on this poor planet for the following generations.

Ain’t it the truth?!

Slow down today. Give up some control. Let it go. And when you do, look for God in that moment.