God calls each of us. We may not see or hear Jesus the way that Philip did in today’s gospel, but Jesus still “speaks” to us in varied ways.
Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals ever, almost conquered the world because of his leadership. One night, he could not sleep. He left his tent and walked around the camp. He found one of his guard soldiers sleeping while on duty as he went around. This was a very grave offense, with a consequence of death by burning. Alexander woke him up. The soldier recognized the commander-in-chief and begged for his life.
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At the end of a long sermon on gratitude, a visiting preacher said, "And remember, no matter how small the gift, always be grateful to the Lord." Later, when it was time for the collection, an usher used the preacher's hat to take up the offering.
Today, we remember and pray to St. Peter Canisius, priest and doctor of the Church. He lived in the 1500s and, as a Jesuit, worked in South Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Switzerland during the Counter-Reformation. He was a tireless and influential preacher and teacher for adults and children. One of his famous sayings was, “If you have too much to do, with God’s help, you will find the time to do it.” That’s good spiritual advice at any time, but especially with only a few days left till Christmas Eve!
I love Saint Joseph, a man of action, silent action. While preparing this homily, I felt inspired to see how St. Joseph would describe his experience to other people. Let’s pretend that we are listening to a monologue from Saint Joseph, which I read a long time ago. It goes like this …
Today, we reflect on the readings from Isaiah and Matthew, we also commemorate Saint John of the Cross, a mystic and a teacher of deep faith. His life story intertwines beautifully with today's scriptural themes. In the book of Isaiah, we hear God's tender assurances: “I will help you... I will make... I will answer...”