The Heart of Jesus by Henri Nouwen

Jesus is the vulnerable child, the humble preacher, the despised, rejected, and crucified Christ.  But Jesus also is “the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation, … [who] exists before all things and in him all things hold together”  (Colossians 1:15,17).   Jesus is the King, ridiculed on the cross and reigning from his throne in the heavenly Jerusalem.  He is the Lord riding into the city on a donkey, and the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  He is cursed by the world but blessed by God.

Let’s always look at Jesus, because in his crucified and glorified heart we will see ourselves called to share in his suffering as well as in his glory.
**

Psalm 25: 4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14

Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.

**

“If we can see the face of God in the child whose birth we celebrate, then we will see the face of God in the man whose death has set us free, whose blood inebriates our hearts and causes them to sing, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

from The Little Way of Advent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Thérèse of Lisieux by Fr. Gary Caster

**

Saint of the Day

St. John Kanty

Lived: (1390?-1473) | Feast Day: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

John was a country lad who made good in the big city and the big university of Kraków, Poland. After brilliant studies he was ordained a priest and became a professor of theology. The inevitable opposition which saints encounter led to his being ousted by rivals and sent to be a parish priest at Olkusz. An extremely humble man, he did his best, but his best was not to the liking of his parishioners. Besides, he was afraid of the responsibilities of his position. But in the end he won his people’s hearts. After some time he returned to Kraków and taught Scripture for the remainder of his life.He was a serious man, and humble, but known to all the poor of Kraków for his kindness. His goods and his money were always at their disposal, and time and again they took advantage of him. He kept only the money and clothes absolutely needed to support himself. He slept little, and then on the floor, ate sparingly, and took no meat. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, hoping to be martyred by the Turks. He made four pilgrimages to Rome, carrying his luggage on his back. When he was warned to look after his health, he was quick to point out that, for all their austerity, the fathers of the desert lived remarkably long lives.
Comment:
John of Kanty is a typical saint: He was kind, humble and generous, he suffered opposition and led an austere, penitential life. Most Christians in an affluent society can understand all the ingredients except the last: Anything more than mild self-discipline seems reserved for athletes and ballet dancers. Christmas is a good time at least to reject self-indulgence.

 

Advertisements