Family Life

12-26-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

It wasn’t at all what Mary and Joseph expected their life to be like. Almost from the beginning, there were indications that something extraordinary was at work: Mary’s angelic annunciation; Joseph’s strange dream; the puzzling words of Simeon and Anna in the Temple. And now this: during Mary and Joseph’s annual Passover journey to Jerusalem, the discovery that their son Jesus was lost—and even when he was found, they didn’t totally recognize their twelve-year-old boy.


Incarnation and Paschal Mystery

12-19-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

For years, Catholic spiritual writers have drawn our attention to the Christmas liturgy’s subtle - and not-so-subtle - linking of Christ’s incarnation with his paschal mystery. In the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke, there are countless intimations of the Passion and cross. The saints of the Christmas octave, dubbed “comites Christi,” Christ's companions in suffering, form a royal honor guard of martyrs and others who bore witness at great personal sacrifice to the Child we hail as “Prince of Peace,” while the wood of the manger evokes the wood of the cross.



12-12-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Today is known as Gaudete - Rejoice - Sunday, the day’s Latin nickname is taken from today’s ancient official Entrance Antiphon, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” The optional rose vestments — reminiscent of winter's early morning skies as the solstice draws near, the festal organ music, the floral arrangements, all these ancient traditions together with the antiphon are meant to anticipate, in sight and sound, the soon-to-break-upon-us Christmas joy.


Three Advents

12-05-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Almost nine hundred years ago, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux suggested in one of his Advent homilies that we should think of three Advents of Christ: the First, when Christ came in humility as Mary’s Child, clothed in our human nature; the Second, when Christ will come in glory as Judge and Redeemer of the world.