The readings for this Sunday, Dec. 3, are a little bridge between our experience of God as King of the Universe and our experience of God as a tiny, innocent, helpless baby. The baby is going to be our focus soon, but we know that Jesus isn’t helpless. Our God has always come to us in ways that we can understand, this first week of Advent, we’re encouraged to pay attention to the many ways that Jesus reveals himself to us, to look for him everywhere in our lives, and to make our hearts ready to see him when he’s with us.
Grief can be paralyzing. It makes us stop, take notice of the pain, and sit with it. When dealt with healthily, it can move us into a new depth of human experience, making us stronger, more empathetic, and ready to reach out and help others. Or, it can hold us in place and prevent us from acting, stopping us from living fully. In the Justice League movie, each member experiences a form of grief that keeps them stuck in place until they find community, a common mission, and healing.
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 26, tell us that on the day we celebrate most particularly the Kingship of Jesus, we focus on him as being a shepherd—one of the dirtiest, least desirable jobs of the ancient world. This is our King—our God—the one who loves us so much that he uses his authority to become the lowest of the low in order to save us. And our salvation, we’re told, is dependent on our willingness to do the same.
The DC movies have been considered by most to be falling short of their competitor, Marvel, but Justice League, more than any of their most recent movies, in my opinion, holds up. It’s not a movie for all kids, but I highly recommend it for families with pre-teens and teens.
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 19, are a reminder of God’s protective, fulfilling love. Recalling the image from the Jewish Scriptures of our relationship with God being like a marriage, our readings invite us further up and farther in to our experience of God’s care. They also help us to understand how we can respond to that love in our every day lives, taking the resources that God has given us, and using them for the benefit of others. We’re reminded to be courageous and trusting that God will help us accomplish whatever God calls us to.
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 12, are all about God’s Wisdom and how it relates to our lives. God’s Wisdom makes lives better, and prepares us to meet Jesus. Wisdom seeks us out, wants to draw us in. It helps us to see things as they are, and to act in ways that are right and good. It helps us to see the truth about our situations, and to not get caught up in fear or anxiety. How does being prepared help to reduce anxiety in our lives? How does it make us more fit for meeting Jesus in the Incarnation and in the Second Coming?
Catholics don’t shy away from the darkness or pretend it doesn’t exist; we peer into it and find God. We live in it, sometimes, and God finds us.
The readings for this Sunday, Oct. 22, show us that, even when we can’t see it, God is working in every area of our lives. God used a pagan, conquering king, Cyrus, to free his people from exile and let them go home to Israel. Paul continues to give thanks for his friends, as well as to encourage them to live the call that they’ve received to represent the Gospel in every aspect of their lives. Jesus, when the Pharisees tried to trick him into saying something that could get him in trouble, made a bold statement about how we should live in relationship to our government—whatever that might be.