Today’s Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter is an occasion to give thanks for the office conferred on our saint and passed to his successors. Such a movement of gratitude leads us, naturally, to give thanks for the role of this office in safeguarding the deposit of faith and for the Church commissioned with communicating this faith to the ends of the earth.
Despite the saccharine depictions of the Nativity found on so many greeting cards and coffee mugs, there is nothing sentimental about the accounts of Jesus’ birth put forward in the Gospels. There is, however, much that God wishes to communicate to us about Himself through the words of the inspired authors.
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Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. That is to say, today we celebrate the fact that God fell head-over-heels in love with a human being, and that human being had what it takes to love Him back.
In baptism, God invites us to a love which is so far beyond our natural strength that we must partake in God’s own life in order to practice it. What does this love, which is the essence of the baptismal vocation, look like?