Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Peace

Friends of Faith:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
        "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth among men of good will." Lk 2:13-14
“Who does not know that to receive this Child, it is sufficient to be of good will . . .He came to bless good will, which little by little he will render fruitful and effective, as long as we allow ourselves to be governed by it. And I hope that we will do so.” Saint Padre Pio
We wish you good will and hope that you, in turn, reflect and do good will with the gifts you have been given and for all that you will meet. With a reminder that goodwill begins at home by loving in the service of kindness and forgiveness those closest to us, our spouses, our children, and our parents, this Christmas and throughout the coming year – no one could or would ask for more.
With every decision made by goodwill we would have our most often requested and hoped for dream: Peace on Earth.
Blessings and Merry Christmas to All!
Charlotte, Stan & the Upah family

Monday, December 19, 2016

Watching and Waiting to Know What to Do

Friends of Faith:
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Is 7: 10-11

I’m always thinking about what I’m going to do next. And I pray to God often, what is it you want me to do, and help me to say yes.

But I wonder how often I am like Ahaz, that when God says, “Ask for a sign, I’ll tell you what to do.” My answer is: “I won’t ask, I’m too proud, I can do it myself, or I’m too afraid of what the answer might be.”

I so desire to be an obedient and humble servant, like Joseph and Mary, listening to and 
IMMEDIATELY following the signs they received that brought Jesus into the world.

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 conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, (Is 14) 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. Mt 1: 18-24

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk 1: 38

For hundreds of years, even before Jesus was born, we have been asking for signs. I personally have received many signs and God has answered many prayers. And still, I ask for more. I fail to listen or I fail to act even when I have asked and been granted a sign. There are some who won’t ask. There are some who fail to believe in God or even in Jesus’ coming.

And yet we continue to wonder, watch and wait for an answer to “what should I do.” Have I asked? Have I listened?

Maybe God is answering and I am just not looking in the right place.

In which manger do I look to seek Jesus? Will I listen to and answer God’s call? Will I say, “YES” like Joseph and Mary to make Jesus the reason and focus, not just for Christmas, but for life?

Be active. Don’t just watch and wait – ask and listen. God will give us a sign! This is what Advent is all about. This is what God promises!