Welcome to the students from Wauwatosa Catholic, who will perform their annual Christmas pageant in our church at 6:15 Tuesday evening. All are welcome to come and experience their joy and enthusiasm!
I recently read an editorial that I thought gave a balanced view of the papacy of Pope Francis. I would recommend reading it. Simply enter “if a little Catholic confusion exists” in your browser, and it should come up.
This past Friday our staff celebrated Christmas, and at the same time thanked Marlyn Blonien for her years of ministry to our community. We wish Marlyn all the best in her retirement and accompany her in our prayers. Our new Office Manager/Communications Coordinator, Terese Neureuther, is adjusting well.
As we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, we are halfway through this season of preparation for celebrating the Birth of our Savior. Our readings remind us that we are called to live out in deeds the faith that we profess.
The Gospel presents the prisoner John the Baptist sending his disciples to ask Jesus if He is “the One”. Jesus’ answer has three parts: first, He points to His actions, which fulfill the prophecy we heard in the first reading from Isaiah: Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Jesus is saying, “My deeds show that I am.”
Next, Jesus talks about John the Baptist, quoting scripture to show that John was the messenger sent to announce Jesus’ coming. Finally, in the last part of His answer, He addresses the crowd, in effect saying that, as great as John was, those who bring about the Kingdom of Heaven are even greater.
The message to us is that, like John, we are to prepare the way of the Lord, we are to live in such a way as to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to fruition.
A very specific way of doing that is presented to us in our reading from the letter of James: Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another. Evidently, the human tendency to complain about others was so rampant in the early Church that James felt the need to call it out. Nothing is more disruptive to a family or community than gossiping, complaining, and criticizing others. Much of the unhappiness and stress that we experience comes from this.
Reflection for this week: how am I in controlling my tongue? How much of my speech is negative? How much do I listen to negative talking? How can I do better at making sure that conversations that I participate in are uplifting and positive?
As it turns out, Mom was right: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. One of the best ways we can help bring about the Kingdom is by refusing to be a part of destructive talking, either as the speaker or as a listener. Let us support each other in prayer, as we struggle to control our tongues and what we listen to.