gold and black crucifix
Bible, Eucharist, Gospel, Lent, Mass Reflection, Self Care, Theology

It’s all About Relationships

16 March 2021

John 5:1-16

What exactly did Jesus do that was so upsetting to the Jews that they wanted to have him killed? The last line of the Gospel is the perfect place to begin this reflection, “because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal to God” (Jn 5:16).

Ironically, this last line points to exactly why Jesus was born. He came on a mission to create a kingdom of love to reign in our hearts, to share the love of God the Father with us, and reveal that he is one with God, for Jesus is God, a member of the Holy Trinity. Jesus came to invite us into a personal relationship, heal us, and inspire us to follow him and grow in holiness. 

In life, it is easy to see matters through “our worldly lenses”.  We can start to think that God will follow our formulas and ways of thinking rather than being open to the Lord’s plan. When life doesn’t go our way, we can become anxious, stressed, and even dive into depression. We can push God away. Yet, we’re called to press into God in these moments – into his promises, his embrace, his offer of salvation.

Think of the man in this passage who longed to be healed and waited 38 years for this most glorious moment of his life. He was not only healed but had a rich and meaningful encounter with Jesus!  Imagine how grateful he was when Jesus healed him. Jesus is offering us the same type of healing, he wants to set us free from the baggage that holds us back from loving Him. Jesus shows us that there is always meaning to be found when we are struggling. If nothing else, struggles offer us an opportunity to encounter Jesus more profoundly and learn to trust that he is there for us. 

Jesus sought out the man so that he would know that Jesus was the one who healed him and shared a powerful message. He said, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you.” In a way, these final words to the man are a formula for life. Jesus wants to heal us, yes, but the next line, “sin no more that nothing worse befall you” is the most important, for what is worse than being crippled or even blind? Sinning and going to hell, and ending our relationship with Jesus. May we seek to be holy!

Emily Jaminet

Meditation

From what do you need healing? It could be a physical ailment, anxiety, desire to control something, the need to forgive a wrong. Wherever you need healing, offer it to Jesus today. Invite the Lord to that place.

Lent Devotional 2021
Download A Time to Grow Lent Devotional as a free E-book here
father and son lighting candles
Advent, Bible, Gospel, Liturgical Living, Mass Reflection

Sacred Heart Enthronement: A Reflection for Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Friday 18 December

Matthew 1:18-25

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 be with child 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. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.


The simple and humble birth of our Lord is the most remarkable moment in history. God became man and liberated us from the bondage of sin. He came to “bring glad tidings to the poor, and to proclaim liberty to captives” (see Lk 4:14-19). Christ our Savior was born and we are invited to live with him, and the Father and the Holy Spirit, for all of eternity.

Jesus is the “who” in all of history. We are invited every Advent to grow closer to the Third Person of the Trinity and not make Christmas “one more thing to do.” We have a growing trend in our culture where religion fits into our schedule versus scheduling our life around our Faith. More and more our sporting events, activities, and even family time, trump our time for Mass. Without receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we cannot experience His peace, grace, and the invitation to follow him. 

This invitation is also present in the Sacred Heart Enthronement devotion. In this devotion, families are invited to welcome Jesus into their home each and every day. It helps us to see that Jesus is the solution to our difficulties, both ordinary and significant. He helps us carry our crosses, discover new solutions and see the good in everyone. Our journey through Advent is about growing closer to Jesus and learning to love with Divine Love. Even though we are imperfect, when we allow the Spirit of Jesus to burn through our weaknesses, we give Him honor for His humble birth. No matter where we celebrate Christmas, with friends and family or NOT, let us turn to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to be our guide.

As St. Matthew tells us, in quoting Isaiah, “the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” What more could we ask for?

Emily Jaminet

Meditation

Most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.[1]


[1] This prayer was originally published in the book “Enthronement to the Sacred Heart”, by Fr. Francis Larkin. To Request copies of this prayer card go to http://www.WelcomeHisHeart.com.

Advent, Bible, Gospel, Saints, Uncategorized

Second Sunday of Advent Gospel Reflection with Emily Jaminet

Sunday 6 December

Second Sunday of Advent

St. Nicholas Day

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


In addition to the second Sunday of Advent, today we celebrate one of the most universal and honored saints of the Church, St. Nicholas. The Lord’s Day always takes priority on the Church calendar, but I bet many excited children still put our their shoes last night!

In the Western culture a tradition began with the giving of gifts at Christmas time in the name of St. Nicholas. This was the genesis of Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was a 4th century Catholic Bishop who was known for giving gifts to the poor, his holiness, and his defense of our Faith against heresies. St. Nicholas is a reminder that our Catholic faith should lead us to share with others in need.

Today’s Gospel reading is an invitation to go deeper, celebrate more fully, and walk the road of prayer, penance, and almsgiving. St. John the Baptist is calling all of us to be holy and to prepare our hearts for Christ. In the modern culture we tend to focus on providing material items to others by blessing them with new coffee mugs, toys, and video games. But St. John the Baptist is calling us to spiritual awareness and to hear the message of “preparing the way of the Lord.”  The preparation is repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  While John baptized with water, Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit to transform our repentance into true joy. The holy season of Advent should prepare us for a Christ-Centered Christmas.  

No one should be too busy for Advent; Advent is an invitation to experience Christ in a new way! It gives us an opportunity to learn how to integrate our faith into our ordinary day-to-day lives. We can be the salt of the earth with our generosity, prayers, and service for others. Christ came that we might have life, and to share that life and his love with others. Let us be watchful during Advent for the person God wants us to share his divine love in our ordinary circumstances. Many times this turns out to be a “small matter” that in God’s eyes is a “great gift”.

Meditation: Preparing our hearts for Christ sometimes means we need to get to the Sacrament of Penance. Do an examination of conscience. Find time this week to go to confession.

Emily Jaminet

For Emily’s work, including her newest book Secrets of the Sacred Heart: 12 Ways to Claim Jesus’ Promises in your Life, visit Ave Maria Press.

You may download Good Tidings Advent Devotional Here. Good Tidings Free Download