Advent Day 11 ~ Our God becomes flesh (and Hanukkah Day 2)

Wednesday of the Second week of Advent

Our God Becomes Flesh (and Hanukkah Day 2)

Dear Friends,

Today, let’s reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation — the Christmas portion of our faith.  (If you do not accept this as an article of faith, then just consider it as a beautiful story; it still has power; it still can have real meaning for you.)

St. John says “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus saves us as manIncarnation: Carnal: meat, flesh.  Our God became flesh. “He emptied himself of his equality with God and became as humans are” (Philippians 2). The Father sent his Son into our world to identify with us. To become one of us and with us.  God likes the human race!  In Jesus, a marriage is made between God and the human race.

But this article of our Christian faith often doesn’t dawn on folks.  Many think he was just play-acting – pretending to be human.

I offer this passage  (excerpted) from St. Gregory Nazianzen, bishop and doctor of the church in the fourth century from the Advent Office of Readings:

“He [Jesus] takes to himself all that is human, except sin (unfaithfulness) .

He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit.

Spirit gave divinity, flesh receives it.

He who makes rich is made poor;

he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of divinity.

He who was full is made empty;

he is emptied for a brief space of glory, that I may share in his fullness.

We need God to become one of us and with us.

To help us like and love ourselves.

To realize that Love and Beauty and all good things are our destiny.

We need God to invite us to our future instead of destroying ourselves.

If only we believed.

If only we believed.

Take time today to allow this story of God’s love affair with the human race to touch you,

embrace you, and heal your heart, and transform your life as it has mine.

And continues to do so, day after day after day

because I, for one, really, really, really like being caught up in Love!

And for your listening pleasure here’s a selection from Handel’s Messiah: “Rejoice, Greatly, O Daughter Zion!” Click here.  Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.

And here are today’s Mass readings for the Feast of St. Lucy. Click here.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Advent Day 8 ~ Mary’s song of justice

 

This is a feast of Mary for us Catholic’s.  In today’s gospel, we read the story of Mary’s Yes to God, her consent to bring Jesus into our world. (Click here to read entire text:) Luke 1:26-38.)

I offer for your reflection the Song of Mary that Luke places upon her lips ~ the Magnificat, sung or recited everywhere in the church throughout the world each evening of the year.

And as you’ll see, it has a pretty radical message ~ if you allow yourself to think about it.

And Mary said:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy on those who fear him in every generation

He has shown might with his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast  down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

for he has remembered the promise of his mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers [and mothers]

Abraham [and Sarah and Hagar] and [their] children for ever.

+ + + +

The song speaks of lowliness ~ humility. Yet it recognizes what God does in our lives.

Look with favor on ME too, Lord.

Please ~ I need Your favor, Your grace.

Let my Your greatness.

Let me see (and accept) that You do good things for me, too.

Let me cry out every day:  Holy is Your name, my God!

Let Your mercy be on us and our world.

Show Your strength, Lord, the strength of Your justice.

Scatter the proud, the arrogant ones who control so much of our world.

Cast down the mighty.

Lift up the lowly.

Fill the hungry.

Send the rich empty away like the poor, Lord.

Come to the help of Your people in our time.

We, too, are descendants of Abraham ~ Jew / Muslim / Christian.

We are all Your children, Father.

To You be glory and honor and praise for ever.  Amen!

Dear Reader,

The Evangelist Luke places these words in the mouth of Mary at the very beginning of the story of Jesus.  It is the “Magnificat,” the Canticle of Mary, sung or recited by priests and nuns and monks all over the world every day of the year at Evensong.  So, it’s a pretty important text to reflect upon.

I would like you to notice how radical this message is: “Cast down the mighty.” “Raise up the lowly.”  “Send the rich away empty.”

Sounds like a pretty political message, don’t ya think?

People have been thrown into prison for saying things like that.

But these words are two thousand years old!

An essential and enduring part of the Christmas story as told by Luke.

It’s a Song about Justice from the lips of Mary, the Mother of God.  About Justice entering our world.

I have sung Mary’s Song every evening for 30 years with spontaneous melodies arising from the mood of my soul of the moment.

And in that, I try to live the song!

How do you respond, dear friend?

How do you respond?

P. S.  This blog was first posted in 2009 and included this sentence, so don’t criticize me for playing politics! I wonder what is implied here about universal health care and so much more. . .

Now to thrill you and inspire you, here’s introduction to Bach’s Magnificat on You Tube.  If you scroll down the right side of the page, you will find other segments of the concert as well.  Or you can Google “Magnificat videos” and have an amazing choice, including Shubert and Mozart and Michael Talbot. Be sure to enter FULL SCREEN.  ENJOY!

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Day 9 ~ Mary’s song of justice

 

This is a feast of Mary for us Catholic’s.  In today’s gospel, we read the story of Mary’s Yes to God, her consent to bring Jesus into our . (Click here to read entire text:) Luke 1:26-38.)


I offer for your reflection the Song of Mary that Luke places upon her lips ~ the Magnificat, sung or recited everywhere in the church throughout the world each evening of the year.

And as you’ll see, it has a pretty radical message ~ if you allow yourself to think about it.

And Mary said:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy on those who fear him in every generation

He has shown might with his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast  down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

for he has remembered the promise of his mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers [and mothers]

Abraham [and Sarah and Hagar] and [their] children for ever.

+ + + +

The song speaks of lowliness ~ humility. Yet it recognizes what God does in our lives.

Look with favor on ME too, Lord.

Please ~ I need Your favor, Your grace.

Let my soul proclaim Your greatness.

Let me see (and accept) that you do good things for me, too.

Let me cry out every day:  Holy is Your name, my God!

Let your mercy be on us and our world.

Show your strength, Lord, the strength of Your justice.

Scatter the proud, the arrogant ones who control so much of our world.

Cast down the mighty.

Lift up the lowly.

Fill the hungry.

Send the rich empty away like the poor, Lord.

Come to the help of Your people in our time.

We, too, are descendants of Abraham ~ Jew / Muslim / Christian.

We are all Your children, Father.

To You be glory and honor and praise for ever.  Amen!

Dear Reader,

Luke places these words in the mouth of Mary at the very beginning of the story of Jesus.  It is the “Magnificat,” the Canticle of Mary, sung or recited by priests and nuns and monks all over the world every single day of the year at Evensong.  So, it’s a pretty important text to reflect upon.

I would like you to notice how radical this message is: “Cast down the mighty.” “Raise up the lowly.”  “Send the rich away empty.”

Sounds like a pretty political message, don’t ya think?

People have been thrown into prison for saying things like that.

But these words are two thousand years old!

An essential and enduring part of the Christmas story as told by Luke.

It’s a Song about Justice from the lips of Mary, the Mother of God.  About Justice entering our world.

I have sung Mary’s Song every evening for 30 years with spontaneous melodies arising from the mood of my soul of the moment.

And in that, I try to live the song!

How do you respond, dear friend?

How do you respond?

P. S.  This blog was first posted in 2009 and included this sentence, so don’t criticize me for playing politics! I wonder what is implied here about universal health care and so much more. . .

Now to thrill you and inspire you, here’s introduction to Bach’s Magnificat on You Tube.  If you scroll down the right side of the page, you will find other segments of the concert as well.  Or you can Google “Magnificat videos” and have an amazing choice, including Shubert and Mozart and Michael Talbot. Be sure to enter FULL SCREEN.  ENJOY!

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Day 7 ~ Mary’s song of justice

 

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

This is a feast of Mary for us Catholic’s.  In today’s gospel, we read the story of Mary’s Yes to God, her consent to bring Jesus into our . (Click here to read entire text:) Luke 1:26-38.)


I offer for your reflection the Song of Mary that Luke places upon her lips ~ the Magnificat, sung or recited everywhere in the church throughout the world each evening of the year.

And as you’ll see, it has a pretty radical message ~ if you allow yourself to think about it.

And Mary said:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy on those who fear him in every generation

He has shown might with his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast  down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

for he has remembered the promise of his mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers [and mothers]

to Abraham [and Sarah and Hagar] and [their] children for ever.

+ + + +

The song speaks of lowliness ~ humility. Yet it recognizes what God does in our lives.

Look with favor on ME too, Lord.

Please ~ I need Your favor, Your grace.

Let my soul proclaim Your greatness.

Let me see (and accept) that you do good things for me, too.

Let me cry out every day:  Holy is Your name, my God!

Let your mercy be on us and our world.

Show your strength, Lord, the strength of Your justice.

Scatter the proud, the arrogant ones who control so much of our world.

Cast down the mighty.

Lift up the lowly.

Fill the hungry.

Send the rich empty away like the poor, Lord.

Come to the help of Your people in our time.

We, too, are descendants of Abraham ~ Jew / Muslim / Christian.

We are all Your children, Father.

To You be glory and honor and praise for ever.  Amen!

Dear Reader,

Luke places these words in the mouth of Mary at the very beginning of the story of Jesus.  It is the “Magnificat,” the Canticle of Mary, sung or recited by priests and nuns and monks all over the world every single day of the year at Evensong.  So, it’s a pretty important text to reflect upon.

I would like you to notice how radical this message is: “Cast down the mighty.” “Raise up the lowly.”  “Send the rich away empty.”

Sounds like a pretty political message, don’t ya think?

People have been thrown into prison for saying things like that.

But these words are two thousand years old!

An essential and enduring part of the Christmas story as told by Luke.

It’s a Song about Justice from the lips of Mary, the Mother of God.  About Justice entering our world.

I have sung Mary’s Song every evening for 30 years with spontaneous melodies arising from the mood of my soul of the moment.

And in that, I try to live the song!

How do you respond, dear friend?

How do you respond?

P. S.  I wonder what is implied here about universal health care and so much more. . .

Now to thrill you and inspire you, here’s the introduction to Bach’s Magnificat on You Tube.  If you scroll down the right side of the page, you will find other segments of the concert as well.  There are other “Magnificat videos” on google; you have an amazing choice, including Shubert and Mozart and Michael Talbot. Be sure to enter FULL SCREEN.  ENJOY all of them if you like!

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Advent Day 3 – The wolf and the lamb – the owl and the lion

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Dear Friends,

Isaiah dreams of a bright future for us; he also chastises us for our idolatry and unfaithfulness to God and our best selves (We will look at this later>)

But today he shows us a wonderful vision: the animals lead the way to peace!

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb . .

The calf and the young lion shall browse together,

with a little child to guide them.

The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,

together their young shall rest:

the lion shall eat hay like an ox

The baby shall play in the cobra’s den – Isiah 11:5-10.

Let’s muse about peace and harmony today.

Let’s muse about the animal’s leading the way to peace.

(I have a Christmas short story about an owl from the banks of the Shenandoah

and a young lion from the Serengheti in Africa leading the way to peace.

It’s a fun story.  Why not download it and save it for close to Christmas?

My puppy Shivvy (of happy memory) demonstrated his fellow creatures of all sorts.

I have stories of him with turtles and little doves with broken wings and bunny rabbits and ducklings on our walks around our condo.

Think about it.

What can I do today to bring more harmony into the habitat in which I live

– at home, at work, at church, in my neighborhood, in our world?

Behold a broken world, we pray,

Where want and war increase,

And grant us, Lord, in this our day,

The ancient dream of peace.    — unattributed.

And for your listening pleasure from Handel’s Messiah here are two versions of “And the Glory of the Lord

~ one from Robert Shaw’s Atlanta Symphony   Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer



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December 1, 2009 / 2:14 am
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Advent Day 20: Depressed or lonely at Christmas?

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O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer

Our spirits by thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

~ O Antiphons

Fourth Sunday of Advent

There sometimes can be a lot of depression swirling around at Christmas.

People can feel lonelier because we’re expected to be cheerier and they often don’t feel it.

This blog is meant for us to pray and reach out and notice these folks.

In the gospel today (Luke 1:26-38) is  about the Annunciation of Mary.  The angel

didn’t take away Mary and Joseph’s problems of what to say to the neighbors and all the hardship they would have to face.

Let’s be with folks who have lost a loved one and still miss them.

With kids who are shuffled back from one parent to another to “celebrate” the holidays.

With soldiers far away from home and their families at home without them.

And so, may we pray:

There are sometimes dark clouds in our lives, Lord.
Pierce the gloominess of our lives with Your very own Light.
May we allow You to dawn on us and in us this day.
May we be ready for Your dawning in a new way in our lives this Christmas.
May this celebration of Jesus’ birth bring meaning and joy in the midst of our worries and concerns.
And may we BE the dawning of  your light and love and justice
in our homes, our neighborhoods, our jobs, our world.

And there are dark and ominous clouds over our world right now, Lord.
Pierce our greed and hate and fear and complacency and violence with hope, Lord.
May we pray earnestly for a new dawn for our beloved country and our world.
May we BE the dawning of  your light and love and justice in our land.

Lord Jesus, come!
May the light of that dawning transform our lives and our land.
We need Your Light and Your Love more than ever.

And now for your listening enjoyment here is the great Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Unto us a Son is given” Click here. Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.

For today’s Mas readings Click here.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Advent Day 19 ~ The Burning Bush of the World

Saturday of the third week of Advent

Christmas Eve is a week away.

Advent themes are all about waiting for light to shine in our darkness.
For we who are Christians we await, Jesus, Yeshua, who is for us the Light of the World.
We prepare a place for him to shine in our own hearts this day.
We invite you to search out your own inner meaning whatever that might be.

Here is one of the magnificent O Antiphons that appears in the liturgy as a countdown to Christmas:

O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel,

you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush

and on Mount Sinai gave him your law.

Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.

And my prayer . . .

O Adonai*, we need you in our world more than ever!

You appeared in the burning bush long ago.

I remember this awesome sunrise two years ago over the ocean at  St. Augustine Beach.

I’m reminded of the old sailor’s maxim:  “Red at night, a sailor’s delight; red in the morning, sailor’s take warning.”

Come with your refiner’s fire and burn your way into our hearts.

so that we can prepare the way for the Messiah to come into our lives,

into our homes,

our workplace and marketplace,

our neighborhoods

our beloved  country,

our waiting world!

Come Lord Jesus!

______

What are  the “O Antiphons?” One of the most cherished collections of our ancient liturgical chants are the seven “O Antiphons” that are sung each of the seven nights before Christmas at Vespers beginning tonight. They have beautiful chant melodies.  I am using some of them interspersed in the next week before Christmas. 

Here is a dramatic audio slide show of O come, O come Emmanuel for your reflection (which is the text of the seven O antiphons.  Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen

* Adonai — one of the names the Jewish people use for God.

For those those of you interested in Gregorian Chant, here is a web site that has information and  recordings of the chant melodies of all seven. (Scroll down to the bottom of the chart. The recordings for each antiphon are there; you have to click on the audio sign for each.  Have patience!  It’s well worth it.)

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

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Advent Day 17 ~ Soar like an eagle!

The symbol for St. John is the eagle because he soars to the heights of mystical love

Wednesday of the third week of Advent

Isaiah is so amazing.    He offers hope. He sees imminent possibilities for the human race.  He warns.  And also he chastises. (More on that later.)

I’ve always loved this scripture that appeared in the Mass readings recently:

God gives strength to the fainting,

for the weak he makes vigor abound.

Though young men faint and grow weary,

and youth stagger and fall,

They that hope in the Lord

will renew their strength,

they will soar as with eagle’s wings;

They will run and not grow weary,

walk and not grow faint.

~ Isaiah 40:30-31.

I ring up Betsy often, Lord. She’s eighty-something and has had a marvelous 65 year love affair with John. I last saw them on the couch, both dressed in denim gaga-eyed like teenagers.  Now John is slipping away into another world within himself.  And yet, she finds that her God and the angels are lifting her up on eagle’s wings. And she tells me — to her delight –she feels renewed by her faith and the Magnificat Mass book  I got her as a gift.   Renew her vigor, Lord.

Today  I got a notice for hefty fines for Augie, Lord, a really good guy, 34 for something or other; I didn’t know he was back in town.  He has “staggered and fallen” again. He has lost his vigor, has lost his way.  Be with him, too, Lord.

And then, praying about this Isaian text, I want to mention the guys on the corner of Broward and I-95, Lord.  I don’t care what they do with the buck I give them. I just look them in the eye, give them a thumbs up and ask their name.  When the light changes, I lift them up in prayer.   Their sign often says “Homeless Vet.” Young men whose souls are  buried deep within. Homelessness is tough, Lord.  I know.  I had a brief bout of it.    Be with them, too, Lord.  I’d love to find a way to help these guys find their souls again, Lord.  Let them run again, Lord, into the wind.  Let us honor the poor, Lord.  They have much to teach the rest of us.

Then there’s Sean, Lord.  He’s down for the count this Christmas because his marriage is headed for divorce and they have to get the kids through it all. Be with that family, Lord, and all the homes in our land that are not sweetness and light before Christmas.

I, praise you, Lord, because you have restored my vigor in marvelous ways at age 68!  You’re renewing my strength.  And I’d love to soar as if with eagle’s wings if you’d grant me that grace.  Soar to the heights of the mountains and dive to the depths of the ocean of Your love, Lord.  I’m ready and willing to serve You, Lord for the next twenty years.

Whatever You will, Lord. Whatever you will.

Day by day, let us serve You and Your people the best we can.

And now enjoy Michael Joncas’ anointed song “On Eagles’ Wings”  Click here. Turn up your speakers, enter full screen and have a great day ~ whether you want to or not!

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer


Advent Day 8 – Jesus’ wild and wooly advance man

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Second Sunday of Advent

He probably looked like someone from the cast of the old musical Hair or a hippie.

He lived in the wild in the desert of Judea.

He wore clothing made of camel’s hair, which I’m sure was – um – uncomfortable in the desert’s heat.  (He was probably pretty stinky.)

His scrumptious diet was locusts and wild honey ~yuck!

His message: “Repent,  for the kingdom of God is at hand!”

(Yeah, I know.  You’ve heard that  a zillion times before by street corner prophets.)

In our – um – respectable Sunday assemblies, he would probably be looked upon with scorn;  he was certainly not the kind of guy we would expect to be the Advance Man for the Son of God.  But that’s what he was.  (And we better pay attention to his message – which we’ll do this week – because it is critical for our own times.)

He was Jesus’ cousin, born only a few months before the Lord.  The pair may have played together as kids.  And John, must have gotten to know Jesus well enough to  perceive what his role would be in history.

As a result, he preached with exuberance and passion and sometimes with fury.  He raged at many of the Pharisees and Sadducees:  “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (And I’m sure they seethed and you can be sure they were out to get him.

He spoke fearlessly, unafraid of what the hypocritical religious leaders might do to him. Eventually Herod had him imprisoned and Herodias, his wife, demanded his head on a platter.

John was a prophet . . .

A voice crying out in the wilderness

Prepare the way of the Lord,

make straight his paths.

In today’s readings we find, Mark beginning his Gospel with the story of of John the Baptist.  He points the way to Jesus when he says: 

        One mightier than I is coming after me.  […]

        I have baptized you with water;

        he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit  (Mark 1:7-8).

The Christmas message is that Love has entered the world.

As we enter this second week of Advent, let’s ask ourselves:

How can I prepare the way for the Lord  (or Love, if you do not  share our  Christian faith,)

at home,

at the office,

in your neighborhood,

in our country,

in our politics,

in our world — this week?

God’s message to us in the Christmas story is Love.

That’s why he was born, entering our world as a vulnerable baby.

And that’s why he died – vulnerable / bound / nailed –

because the Father wanted us to have evidence that he loved us.

And in turn, his message is . . .

Love one another as I have loved you.

Right now, there’s a lot of hatred going around.

There are hate groups all over our country.  Over 900 documented armed hate groups.

Our country could be in flames.  All it might take is a spark to set it off.

There’s hatred toward Muslims.  I have Muslim friends.  They are devout and wonderful people.

There’s hatred toward gay people.  I have gay friends.  And they’re as decent and often as devout as those who sit in the front pews of our churches.

Some of our kids suffer from bullying ~ even to the point of committing suicide.

Yes, indeed! We have lots of need to repent.

How ’bout you, dear reader?

Is there hatred or love in your heart?

If we hate even one person, we cause hate to have its sway anywhere.

And the opposite is true as well — if we love one person sacrificially, love enters the world in a powerful way.

Let’s do it this week — this second week of Advent,

And then we will truly have a beautiful / meaningful /joyful / authentic Christmas celebration.

We don’t need all the frenzied shopping or frivolous, expensive gift-giving.

Celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah by being kinder, gentler, cheerier.

Hold the door open for the folks behind you when you enter a store.  Smile!

Think about and pray about reconciling with a friend you’re at odds with.  Smooth out hurt feelings.  Give somebody – anybody – the gift of your presence rather than presents.

Recently, as I was taking my groceries to the car I smiled at an older woman who was poorly dressed and who seemed troubled.  Her name was Sylvia, an immigrant from one of the islands.  She called after me and I took the time to listen to her, thereby allowing her to be recognized as a person, if just for a moment.  I stopped to pray with her a moment that God would send her an angel to help with a serious problem.  She said to me: “You are my angel!”  Perhaps I was.  Perhaps I was the instrument of grace to turn her life around.  You never know.

Your children don’t need lots of stuff ~ especially stuff that makes a lot of noise!   (We’ll get to the need for silence in our lives in a few days.)

And now, here’s my personal prayer on this Second Sunday of Advent:

Jesus,

You have allowed me, your priest/servant the grace

to prepare the way for You in the lives on many people  over forty years–

children / octogenarians / homeless / guys in jail / those dying /

grieving / celebrating / becoming Catholic / non-believers /

gay / parishioners / mentally ill / neighbors /  friends / strangers.

What an honor, what a privilege!

Thank you, Lord for that awesome grace!

And please forgive me and heal the hurt of anyone whom I have turned away from You by my failures and sins.

I remember and pray for so many of them today.

I am eager to continue doing so in my writing.

Guide my pen (my cursor), Lord.

And what a joy it would be if those whose lives I have touched through my written word or in person realize they, too, can prepare the way for you in our troubled world.

Come, Lord Jesus!  

You might also might like to look over the Mass readings for today. Click here.   (Hint: To get back to this page (if your not tech Savvy) at the very top left or your computer you’ll see the word “back”; above it is an (<). Click on it and voila! it will bring you right back to this page and . . .

Now, listen and watch Prepare the way of the Lord from Godspell. (Get a chuckle out of Jesus 1973 ‘Fro.’) Be sure to enter full screen.

Your light will come dear people of God;

the Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.

You will see his glory within YOU!

The Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.

                  ~ the Advent Liturgy.

This week we’ll reflect on what Jesus’ wild and wooly advance man has to say to us and our times.  You might want to look up the following scripture references over the next week if you have time: (Matthew 3:1-17 / 14:1-12 // Mark 1:1-8. // Luke 1: 39-45 / 1:57 – 80 // 3:1-20 / 7:18-35 // John 1:15-34 / 3:22-30

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Advent Day 4 ~ Our God becomes flesh

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Dear Friends,

Today, let’s reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation — the Christmas portion of our faith.  (If you don’t accept this as an article of faith, then just consider it as a beautiful story; it still has power; it still can have tremendous meaning for you.)

St. John says “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus saves us as manIncarnation. Carnal: meat, flesh.  Our God became flesh.

“He emptied himself of his equality with God and became as humans are” (Philippians 2).

The Father sent his Son into our world to identify with us. To become one of us and with us.  

God likes the human race!  In Jesus, a marriage is made between God and the human race.

But this article of our Christian faith often doesn’t dawn on folks.  Many think he was just play-acting – pretending to be human.

I offer this passage  (excerpted) from St. Gregory Nazianzen, bishop and doctor of the church in the fourth century from the Advent Office of Readings:

“He [Jesus] takes to himself all that is human, except sin (unfaithfulness) .

He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit.

Spirit gave divinity, flesh receives it.

He who makes rich is made poor;

he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of divinity.

He who was full is made empty;

he is emptied for a brief space of glory, that I may share in his fullness.

We need God to become one of us and with us.

To help us like and love ourselves.

To realize that Love and Beauty and all good things are our destiny.

To invite us to our future instead of destroying ourselves.

If only we believed.

If only we believed.

Take time today to allow this story of God’s love affair with the human race to touch you,

embrace you, heal your heart.

and transform your life as it has mine.

And continues to do so, day after day after day

because I ~ for one ~ really, really, really like being caught up in Love.

And for your listening pleasure here is more from Handel’s Messiah.  Every valley shall be exalted. Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers and have a great day!

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer