Morning Prayers - 2nd Quarter 2018
Monday, October 15th – Ryan Cruice ‘19
So, it's the beginning of this year’s second quarter. For seniors we have taken another step towards our future after high school. Juniors, it is another quarter closer to your senior year, a step closer to being the big dog on campus. Sophomores, now that it’s second quarter you probably realized that this year may be a stressful one. Finally freshman, by now a lot of the excitement and energy of being a high schooler has settled and your probably realizing, “Wow, it’s only second quarter and I have 4 years of this.” You would be right it is exhausting to think about. Trust me I was there once. So, here’s a question. What do you do when life gets overwhelming? Do you shut down, stress eat or maybe stress shop, maybe you do things that go against your moral compass in hopes of relieving some stress, do you play video games till 2 in the morning, do destructive things to your body, OR do you pray. Too often in our hectic lives do we get caught up in everyday life and get stressed out. Some stress about school, some stress about what we have to deal with at home, and some stress about relationships. Everybody has something to stress about. For this reason we each have to talk to God and ask him for help. Acknowledging that you need help and praying about it are the first steps toward a relationship with God. And having a relationship with God will never cause you stress but rather, will allow you to handle your stress and to obtain some peace. Today is the Feast day of St. Teresa of Avila, so we will use her prayer.
Let us pray,
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
Tuesday, October 15th – Kara Grace Mirando ‘19
Think about it, do you believe God owes you anything? Or that you deserve something?
Well knowing the fact that He gave His only son to die for all of us, imperfect with sin and everything... what more could He possibly give? We get this mindset because we live in such an age of entitlement, and we are constantly comparing to what other people have and what we don’t have. So this all produces a sense of entitlement in our heart, meaning that many times we overlook everything that we have in our lives, or go through our daily routine not actually recognizing all the blessings that have been bestowed to us. Do you realize that you did nothing, absolutely nothing to be born into this extraordinary world. We need to start thinking of ways to get rid of that entitlement in our hearts. And that begins with the understanding and gratefulness of what we have and who we have in our lives, and also it begins with placing God and others over yourself. By diving into this verse, it is a good start…1 Thessalonians 5:16 - Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God.
Be happy, pray whether you know how to or not, and be thankful. So if you and I want to walk within the will of God, we must cultivate a grateful heart. The antonym of thankfulness is entitlement! And that means it is impossible to walk within the will of God with an entitled heart.
I’ll leave you with a question that you have heard before, but it is always a good reminder…
What would you have today if the only things you had were what you thanked God for yesterday.
Let us pray.
You have spoiled us with your blessings. Thank you for your endless love. Allow us to recognize the big and the little things in life, removing entitlement from our hearts and creating a loving appreciation for everything that we have. We love and we praise you.
It’s in your name, Amen.
Monday, October 22nd – Mr. Russ Hembrey
Once in a while, I enjoy watching shows on the History Channel or Discovery about biblical archeological finds or expeditions in search of the cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper. Maybe even the scientific examinations of the Shroud of Turin. They always have some tease that they’ll prove something about Jesus’ resurrection. In reality, they’ll typically unearth some ancient pottery shard and interview experts on its significance, but never have they scientifically proven what happened on that first Easter Sunday. While these shows are entertaining, and maybe even have some value in teaching history around the time of Jesus, they’re searching for something that can’t be proven. One minute, Jesus was dead in the tomb, the next, he was alive, made whole by God the Father. Faith in the resurrection will always be a matter of your choice. Proving it would take the faith out of the equation. God has given us free will to follow or not follow His Word. Those who choose to follow Him believe the reward is eternal.
Let us pray:
All knowing and eternal God, thank you for giving us inquisitive hearts and minds. May we use these gifts for the advancement of humankind. May we also accept the fact that your mysteries will always be beyond our understanding, and may we be at peace choosing to follow you and be counted among your faithful. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Wednesday, October 24th – Lillie Burke ‘19
Raise your hand if you think you have had a bad day this week. Now, raise your hand if you think that right now, at 9 in the morning, you are having a bad day so far. Of course, I can’t see into every classroom, but I’d be willing to bet that at least half of you raised your hand for at least one of those questions. Now let me ask you this: did you truly have a bad day? Or did you simply have a bad moment that you have been thinking about all day. Most of the time, when we are having a bad day, it is not because every minute of that day is completely terrible, but because one thing happened that brought us down, and we have been dwelling on it over and over again. We got a bad grade on a quiz; we got grounded this morning for not cleaning our room; we were late to school. Something happened that didn’t quite go our way, and suddenly, it brings the rest of the day into a whirlwind of negative feelings. Suddenly, we smile less, and we take our feelings out on those around us by snapping at them, or maybe even blaming them for whatever went wrong. But think about this: everyday, Jesus knew that someone close to him was going to betray him. Everyday, Jesus knew that he was going to die. Imagine how terrible a feeling that must have been. If I knew right now that someday, someone was going to betray me, the entire world’s future rested on my shoulders, and because of this, I was going to have to die to save everyone I loved, I don’t think I would be very thrilled. And yet, Jesus never seemed to have a bad day. He knew what was coming, but he accepted it because he loved us. Rather than spending his time dreading the future, and letting it ruin his days, Jesus didn’t dwell on the people who rejected him, and didn’t dwell on the bad things to come. Instead, he focused on the good, and focused on the people he loved. Most importantly, he focused on carrying out the will of God, and the good that he knew would come out of this. So, Bishop Kelley, I challenge you this week to focus on the good. Focus on the little things you’ve done that you can be proud of; focus on the friends who make you feel good about yourself; focus on the fact that it’s homecoming week, and therefore it is a great day to be a Comet. Focus on the good, and I promise you that your bad days won’t feel so bad anymore.
Let us pray,
God, we know that it can be hard to focus on all of the good things you have blessed us with. Help us not to dwell on the negative, but rather, live out our days by doing what you have called us to do, and by appreciating all the amazing things, opportunities, and people you have blessed us with. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Thursday, October 25th – Coach Dave Saunders
So I said goodbye to my “ trouble and strife” thats wife, and my dustbin lids (kids) as I left the Cat and Mouse, (that`s house), jumped in the jam jar, (car) , drove down the frog and toad (road) , turned left on the 14th field of wheat (street) and in to Bishop Kelley.
What on earth is Coach Saunders talking about, well here goes.
If you are from the East end of London you may be referred to as a “cockney”. Around 1850 a coded language called Cockney rhyming slang was started. Coded because it was meant to be a ways of communicating without others knowing what was really being said. So just so you kind of get it here are a few more:
“Rub a dub dub” is pub
“Apples and pears” is stairs
“Loaf of bread” is head (people often say in the UK, use your loaf to think
“Adam and Eve means believe, “Would you Adam and Eve it!”
And my particular favorite, “Mince pies” which means “eyes.
If you think about it texting is a kind of “slang language “isn`t it without the rhyming of course
BRB and kk are my particular favorites.
Now my favorite Captain Hook (that`s book) is the bible because it contains a really good guide to how to live life and treat others.
You see, I don't see anything coded about these familiar words from the book of Galatians;
Love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. These are things that, as Christians, we should naturally be doing toward others.
So I wonder this morning BK if I can challenge you to try and remember these 9 fruits of the Spirit and demonstrate them to all around you to make this school an even better place to work and study in.
So go out today and show some “turtle dove” (that's love of course) to all .
Let us pray
Father God help us today to demonstrate the love and kindness that you show us each and every day so that we may truly live Jesus in our hearts.
Tuesday, October 30th – Celeste McAtee ‘19
Each of us wants to be comfortable. We spend large sums of money to ensure we have comfortable shoes, clothing, cars, etc. These are all good things. However, in our faith lives, we should not strive to “be comfortable.” If we settle for our current faith lives, saying that what we do now is good enough, we grow stagnant, and before we know it, our faith begins to fade. Sometimes we think that we did a good enough job building up our faith in the past, so we’re good now to just plateau. Perhaps you have experienced something similar in a challenging class, where at first you work hard, but soon you grow comfortable, not putting in much effort, and all of the sudden that one test you didn't think you needed to study for is in front of you and--it isn’t pretty. In the book of Revelations we learn that a “lukewarm” faith is distasteful to God. Let us not grow lukewarm, but instead each day stir the fire of Love for God in our hearts. Do just one little thing extra--maybe read a few verses of the Bible tonight, or spend a couple extra minutes in silent prayer. And the next day, try just a little bit harder. Faith takes constant effort. Continually reaching in this relationship with God will be uncomfortable, will be awkward, will be frustrating, and will be difficult. But it will be worth it. What if everyday, each one of us grew just a little bit stronger in faith? I think we could set the world on fire.
Let us Pray
Dear God, thank you for the gift of faith. Guide us on our journey towards you, and send your spirit so that we may not become stagnant in our relationship with you, but continue growing as your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Wednesday, October 31st – Ava Olmedo ‘20
Today is a very spooky day. You might have watched some Michael Myers movies, maybe some Friday the 13th, or even you like to go a little lower with some Ghostbusters. Okay I don’t know about you but nothing scares me more than my math quiz tomorrow, my debate round today, and most importantly my lack of trust in God. Recently, I have noticed changes around my friends. Some of my closest friends are going through some very tough things right now, and I’m always wondering why can’t God be there for them like he is there for me? Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying to be there for them. They constantly tell me how thankful they are for me, but in the end I should be thankful for them. You see, when God puts people in your life unexpectedly like he did for me, you learn to appreciate the people that you love, and that love you. I realized God is helping them, through me. So Bishop Kelley I want you to remember that God is there whether it's for you friends, your family, or yourself. Instead of wondering where god is, learn that he is working in a very special way through everyone. Your true friends aren’t the ones commenting on your instagram, they are the ones that speak a special language with you, and most importantly know who you really are.
Let us pray
Thank you for the people, things and events you place in our lives to remind us of your presence among us. Help us to always look for you in others and in the circumstances of life and enable help us to be YOU, to them. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Monday, November 5th – Mika Ramos ‘20
This past weekend I attended Search 91. Going on this retreat was by far the best decision I have ever made. We spent most of the weekend reflecting on the quote by St. Paul of the Cross who said, “The passion of Christ is a sea of sorrows, but it is also an ocean of love”. Life is filled with so many different sorrows; however, the love that God has for us overcomes all of the trials and suffering that life hands us. The love of God is so undeniable and something that our human minds cannot even comprehend. God loves every single one of us so much that he sent his only son to die on a cross in order for each for us to be saved. Romans chapter 5, verse 8 says, “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Through Christ and with Christ, we are able to be forgiven and redeemed. We all have sinful hearts, and sometimes we feel like we’re all alone. But today, Bishop Kelley, and all the days to come, I challenge you to remember that you are not alone. Be kind to another and demonstrate the Lord’s love in all that you do.
Let us pray, Lord, we thank you for this wonderful day. We thank you for the gift of another day, and we thank you for the countless blessings that you shower us with. We pray that you help us to know and love one another in the same way that you know and love us. We pray that whatever burdens or struggles we may be holding onto, that we just give it all to you, God. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Thursday, November 8th
From the Gospel of Matthew, we hear that "whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Humility is the voluntary acceptance of the place that has been marked for us. Often, our own pride often causes us to try and be more and our humility causes us to less. Pride causes us to want to be the greatest, where humility causes us to want to be the least. Pride motivates us to be king, and humility inspires us to be a servant. The way to please God is by being willing to become the servant of all. God, the creator of the universe, humbled himself, was made flesh, like us, and continued that demonstration of great humility unto death. May we follow our Lord's example of meekness and humility, so that we, as Jesus told us in the Beatitudes, might inherit the earth.
Give us the grace to be humble and grant us the virtue of true humility. In doing so, may we receive the riches of Your grace. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Monday, November 12th – Ryan Cruice ‘19
If you were not aware yesterday was Veterans Day. It was also the 100th year anniversary of Armistice Day. Armistice Day was the day chosen to celebrate the end of World War 1 and it wasn’t changed to Veterans Day until 1954. Both of these holidays were made to remember those who have served in the military for this amazing country. It is a very special holiday for those with family and friends who are serving and have served in the military. I can tell you for a fact that the holiday is not about partying and setting off fireworks. If these are the only things you are doing each year for this holiday then you are most definitely celebrating incorrectly. I don’t mean you can’t do these things on Veterans Day, I’m just saying you shouldn’t only be doing them. What you should at least be doing is thanking any and all veterans you know for their service, volunteering for a Veterans Day memorial service, or just simply doing a kind favor for a veteran you may not even know. We will never be able to comprehend the weight of the sacrifices our veterans made for us. There is almost a whole year of my family’s life without my mother for when she served active duty with the Navy in Afghanistan and I, and we, will never be able to fully understand the mental and emotional effects of war on our veterans. But it is something they willingly endure to secure our freedom. So please, let us not take this this holiday for granted.
We thank you for all who serve and who have served in our military, in order to keep our nation free. Help us to always show our appreciation and respect for all veterans, never allowing them to be forgotten nor neglected. Help us to be grateful people, both in word and deed. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Tuesday, November 13th – Andrew Hennessee ‘20
Just over a week ago I had the privilege of going on the fall mission trip to Stillwater. Despite the fact that Stillwater is OSU territory, I enjoyed the trip. Beyond the fun I had with friends, many lessons were to be learned. The most prominent of which I found to be how fortunate we really are here at Bishop Kelley. This first occurred to me when we were volunteering at a winter clothes drive for children. As I organized the shoes I started to think about the ones on my feet. It occured to me that I never wake up and appreciate the shoes I put on. Simple things like this have always been a given in my life. And there I was. Organizing shoes for children that maybe didn’t have any. While someone is out there that has more than you, it is important to remember that someone else has far less. The great privilege of being a student at Bishop Kelley also comes with the responsibility of humbling ourselves to help those less fortunate.
I ask that you allow my peers and I to become more mindful of those around us. Not only in recognizing their significance but also their situations. Please humble our hearts and guide us to serve You and our fellow man. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Wednesday, November 14th – Leah Brainerd ‘20
Last week at Mass, we heard from the gospel from Mark, and Jesus was asking John the Baptist “who do you say that I am” and it got me thinking about who people say that WE are. Or even who society tells us to be. Maybe society is telling you to wear more makeup, wear less makeup, dress better, be smarter, or even- lose some weight. But in the end, what really matters is not who everyone else tells us to be, it’s about who we are and who God says that we are. God made each us us in His own image, therefore, we can be confident in knowing who we are, and who’s we are!
Let us pray,
Lord, help us to see ourselves as made perfectly by you and to not be who everyone else wants us to be but to be who You made us to be. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Monday, November 26th – Mr. Tim Wymore
The next time you enter the Bishop Kelley chapel, take a look at the icon on your left. There is an image of a man in overalls holding a lamb. It’s a picture of someone who is about to get a lot more famous.
Less than three weeks ago, Pope Francis officially recognized the martyrdom of an American Lasallian brother. James Miller was born into a small Wisconsin farm town. He considered the priesthood as a boy, but in high school was inspired by the example of the Christian Brothers, and at the age of fifteen began his journey toward profession as a Brother of the Christian Schools.
As a young man assigned to Cretin High School in Minnesota, Br. James assumed much responsibility. He taught Spanish, English, and theology. He coached football. And he was such a skilled handyman that the students sometimes called him Br. Fix-It.
Even as a teenager, though, Br. James knew he wanted to work as a missionary. And so he finally was sent to Nicaragua, and later to Guatemala. It was here, in Latin America, where he was made director of a school, and given to oversee the construction of ten new schools. Hermano Santiago, as he was known, worked long and hard for the poorest of the poor, particularly the indigenous Mayan peoples.
This work for justice was seen as dangerous by those who ruled Guatemala at the time. Br. James knew he was in danger, but once said, “Are you kidding? I never thought I could pray with such fervor when I go to bed.” On February 13, 1982, as he was working on a ladder to repair a wall at the local Indian school, Hermano Santiago was shot three times by masked men.
Br. James Miller is yet one more example of a Christian who has demonstrated heroic love for God and neighbor in our modern times. He will officially be declared “blessed” by the Catholic Church next year.
Let us pray: may Br. James’ courageous witness inspire us -- as Lasallians, and as Americans -- to strive every day to love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.
Tuesday, November 27th – Mika Ramos ‘20
Kindness, compassion, gentleness, love.
Ever since I was little, my mom has always repeated these four simple words to me. She would always tell me, “Mika if you live your life following the example of Christ along with these four words in mind, your life will be filled with so much joy.” At the time, I thought she was crazy. I thought to myself there’s no way these four words are going to just bring me joy. But as I take time to reflect on each of these words, I realized that she is completely right. Jesus is all these things and more. He continually showed kindness, compassion, gentleness, and love towards those who didn’t deserve it.
So today, Bishop Kelley, and all the days to come, I challenge you to be kind and compassionate to others because you never know what everyday crosses they may be carrying.
Let us pray,
Lord, we thank you for this beautiful day. We thank you for the constant love and grace you show towards us, and we thank you for the many blessings we are gifted with each day. Help us to show kindness, compassion, gentleness, and love towards each other and towards ourselves. We also pray that you help us to understand that You have a plan for each of us and everything will work out in Your perfect timing. We ask that you fill our days with joy and love, and help us with the burdens of our everyday crosses. We ask all of this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Thursday, November 29th – Davis Woodliff ‘19
Okay Bishop Kelley, I got a question for you. Have you ever been driving to school listening to 106.9 or 92.1 and hear “and these are perceptions from Asbury united Methodist church”? If so, you probably just listened to Tom Harrison give a quick life lesson for you to think about to get your day started. Before school for the past few months I have tried to read one of these so called “perceptions” that Pastor Harrison has in a book. So this morning I thought I would share one with you. It stays, “ one morning a man on a run encountered a mean yellow dog. The dog looked like a cocker spaniel but acted more like a pitbull.Conventionally, his owner put him outside early each morning just in time to ambush unsuspecting joggers. The first few days when the man was confronted by the canine, he accelerated to avoid being bitten. The dog would chase him to the end of the yard and bark in disgust. But one morning, tired of this routine, the man tried a new tactic. Rather than trying to out run the dog, he stopped and yelled at the dog: you want some of this? then come and get me! The dog stop cold and even stopped barking. He had finally captured what he had been chasing but didn’t know what to do with what he had caught. When we stop and confront our fears-we find many times, the worst part of the experience was our fear. Our worry can control us and It can rob us of our joy. The “bark” of fear can sometimes be worse than its bite. As people of faith, we need not fear, for the end result is always in God’s hands and he knows that result before we even have a inkling of fear in our minds.
Let us pray
Give us the courage to face our fears, knowing that you are always in control of every situation. Help us to understand the plans you may set before us each and everyday to help us to grow closer to you. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen
Monday, December 3rd
Today is Monday of the first week of Advent. Advent is the four-week season leading up to Christmas and it is this time in which we anticipate the coming of Jesus. It’s a time full of reflection, excitement, and hope. During Advent, we are invited to take a step back and look at who we are, what we are doing, and where Jesus fits into our lives. Jesus came into this world at that first Christmas for each of us, and ultimately, he came to bring us eternal happiness with him in heaven. That’s what we celebrate at Christmas and that is what we need to prepare for. Think about this, we prepare for everything we consider important in life. You wouldn’t show up to play in a football game and expect to win if you had not been training. You wouldn’t show up unprepared to a big test and expect to make an A and you certainly wouldn’t put on a Musical without hours of memorizing lines, working out choreography and performing dress rehearsals. And while we spend hours preparing for Christmas by buying and wrapping presents, baking cookies, planning parties, putting up the lights, the tree, and other decorations… Advent actually means preparing our own hearts. So, when was the last time you prepared your heart for Jesus’ coming at Christmas? Perhaps we can all make a conscious effort this Advent, through prayer… through acts of service… and through practicing virtue, in order to experience joy, hope and peace during this Advent season.
Let us pray
Dear Jesus, you are the hope in our messy world. This Advent, help us slow down, listen to your voice, and focus on what’s really important. We place our hope in you as we prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth on Christmas. We ask this through CHrist our Lord, Amen.
Tuesday, December 4th - Ms. Sarah Dicks ‘04
When I was in middle school my favorite band was ‘NSync. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, they were Justin Timberlake’s band, and they sing the hit Bye Bye Bye. In 1999, they were going to come to the Brady Theater for a concert. I wanted to go so badly.
And the waiting began. This was before online ticket sales, so we went to the venue and waited for hours in line for tickets. Then, once we got tickets we prepared for the concert by listening to their cd over and over. We bought T-shirts and new makeup, and finally the week of the concert was here. We also got tickets to a meet and greet. On the day of the concert my friend and I waited outside in a cold line with a couple hundred other people get to meet our favorite band!
The concert was great, but it was only 2 hours. So much of the fun of it was in the waiting and the preparing.
During advent we get to share in that experience of waiting. We wait for the second coming of Christ but we also remember the long period of waiting before his incarnation. While we wait, we prepare. We prepare our hearts to love and worship him more fully. We listen to his word over and over. We get more and more excited as we light a new candle on our wreaths each week. We pray that as a people of hope, our preparations help us grow in holiness.
Let us pray. Eternal God, help us to prepare our hearts for you during this Advent Season. Speak to us through your word. Let us trust in your promises. Find us ready this Christmas to welcome you into our hearts. In your name we pray. Amen.
Wednesday, December 5th - Mr. Russ Hembrey
Many Christian churches, Catholic and protestant alike, change their prayers over the years to keep up with the times or to make the language more easily understood. While that’s good to keep us from becoming complacent in our praying, sometimes I miss the great language of old prayers. Advent scripture readings are very descriptive about preparing to come out of darkness and into light. That Jesus is the light for all mankind. Over and over, images of darkness and light are woven into both old and new testament readings during this time of year. I grew up in the Episcopal church, and my family often said Advent prayers from an old prayer book before dinner, and this particular one always resonated with me because of its great imagery and language that we rarely use today. This collect came directly from scripture, and I’d like to use it for today’s prayer.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Thursday, December 6th - Monse Solorzano ‘19
We all know that Jesus was born in a manger, because “there was no room for them in the inn.” I am sure that we have all considered at some point, what must that inn keeper have thought and felt when he became aware that he had denied the King of the World.
As we make our way through Advent, how can we avoid repeating the inn keepers’ mistakes? What can prevent us from having room in our lives to welcome the message of Christmas?
Have you ever considered that we too, are inn keepers… the inn keepers of our own hearts and souls. Who and what we “welcome” and what we “have no room for” — in our inner souls and in our outer worlds. Do we dare to look more closely at what and who we welcome and who we turn away? We make room for lots of things, but which are the most essential? Those things we make room for reveal our values and priorities. As we examine that list, we can see if those values and priorities are ones to keep or to renovate.
God comes to us as an infant. Vulnerable. Dependent. Needing tender care. Perhaps this Advent, we can make room and welcome this God who comes in this way. Our Advent may find more meaning if we find room and time to welcome, affirm and praise God’s wisdom, grace and presence in our own lives.
Let us pray
You entered our world on Christmas as a child, but also the Prince of Peace. This Advent, as we strive to welcome you into our hearts, fill us with a deep and abiding peace. Help us share that peace with everyone we encounter, especially those who need it most.We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Monday, December 10th - Ryan Cruice ‘19
So if you are not Catholic then you may not know but Saturday was the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. It is the day we celebrate Mary saying yes to God. In Luke 1:30-38 the bible says, ‘The angel told her “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.”’ Now I don’t know about you but I cannot imagine the amount of pressure and distress this would've caused Mary when she heard this. The Lord Almighty chose out of everyone in the world, her, and put that decision in her lap and basically said “here you go, now choose.” And she had enough trust in God to say yes. She had multiple reasons to say no, but she said yes. Our lives are very similar, especially during this season of Advent. We have so many things in our lives trying that distract us and keep us from saying yes to God. Phones, TV, video games, gossip and other social opportunities, and social media. All of these distract us from being able to listen to God. In the next 15 days of Advent that we have left, I challenge you to set aside those distractions and make time to try and listen to what God is saying to you.
Dear God, thank you for Mary’s example. Please help us to also trust in you and your will so that we may grow closer to you as we prepare to celebrate the birth of your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Wednesday, December 12th - Mrs. Maggie Gabel ‘00
On this day each year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, marking the day when, in 1531, the Blessed Mother appeared in Mexico to a peasant named Juan Diego. According to the story, Juan Diego was walking near what is now Mexico City when he came upon an apparition of a “maiden” who he soon came to recognize as the Virgin Mary. In trying to convince the archbishop of what he had seen, Juan Diego eventually was asked for a sign to prove what he had seen.
Upon returning to Mary and sharing this with her, Juan Diego was instructed to climb to the top of the hill to gather flowers to bring back to the bishop. Reaching the crest of the hill, Juan Diego found Castilian roses, which were neither in season nor native to the region. The Blessed Mother arranged the flowers herself in Juan’s tilma (a cloak) and instructed him to open the cloak only upon return to the bishop.
When Juan Diego arrived back at the bishop’s residence and opened his cloak, the flowers fell to the floor and left on the surface of the tilma was the image that’s come to be known as “Our Lady of Guadalupe”.
Here are 4 awesome facts about the tilma which still hangs today in Her church in Mexico City:
1. It has qualities that are humanly impossible to replicate.
2.People say it’s just a painting, yet the tilma has outlived them all, in time and in quality.
3. The tilma has shown characteristics startlingly like a living human body.
4. It appears to be virtually indestructible. It survived a bombing in 1921.
My classes learn about Our Lady of Guadalupe each year. One year, the question was asked, Why is Our Lady of Gaudalupe important? A student, who was from Mexico, raised his hand to answer. His response has stuck with me and inspired me for nearly 10 years now.
His answer was simply this, She is important because she is Our Mother and We love her. Awesome.
Let us pray:
Dear God, You have been pleased to bestow upon us unceasing favors by having placed us under the special protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant us, your humble servants, who rejoice in honoring her today upon earth, the happiness of seeing her face to face in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, December 14th – Zach Lissau ‘19
There are 11 days till Christmas, the semester is almost over. Freshmen, you will have officially finished your first semester of High School, and seniors, you will have one semester left. 2018 is almost coming to an end. During this Advent, we have talked about preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. In the same way, we should be preparing for the end of our school semester by completing projects, papers and studying for finals. As we are approach Christmas, may our preparations allow our hearts to be filled with love, peace, and joy. And as we enter the new year, let our hearts be filled with those same virtues.
Let us pray.
As we prepare for Finals let our minds be settled of all the worries that we may have, and allow us to look with anticipation toward your Son’s coming at Christmas. As we start the new year, let our hearts be filled with your love so we might spread that same love to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Monday, December 17th – Mrs. Mary Jo Othon
You may have heard that a little over three weeks ago, NASA successfully landed the INSIGHT rover on the surface of Mars. During the past few days, scientist are finally receiving stunning new photos and enormous amounts of data about the surface of our neighboring planet. These rewards were a long time in coming. Initial funding for INSIGHT was received in 2011, construction of the rover began in 2014, and after a failed launch attempt in 2016, the rover left the Earth in May of this year. During the last seven months, scientists have waited patiently for INSIGHT to make its way to Mars. With many years of preparation behind them, they anxiously awaited the touchdown of the rover on the surface of Mars. While INSIGHT was in transit, scientists could only hope that the nearly nine years of preparation was enough and this probe could successfully begin its mission.
As we enter our final week of school of the semester, we too hope our preparations are enough. We have waited patiently and with great anticipation for this week to be complete, for all assignments to be done, all tests and finals to be taken. But are all of our preparations for the advent season complete? Have we prepared for the coming of Jesus on Christmas? Are hearts and souls ready to receive the One who is to come? With all the items we have on our “to-do” list for this week, have we done all we can to complete our advent mission?
Let us pray. Dear God, help us prepare for the celebration to come this Christmas. Prepare a path in our hearts for the coming of Your word and let Your glory be revealed among us. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Tuesday, December 18th – Corbin Patovisti ‘19
As we know, we are currently in the third week of Advent. The season of Advent is all about waiting. We all wait for things, whether that be the tests that are coming up, the season of our favorite sport to come, or maybe it is for the quarter to end. No matter what, we have all waited for something in our lives. But the one time that seems to be the most important in our lives is waiting to get our driver’s license. We spend our whole lives wondering what it would be like to drive and go anywhere we want when we want. But you can’t pass your drivers test unless you prepare yourself for it. With the classes that seem to take forever to the awkward drives with the instructors, we all have to prepare, and if we don’t, then we won’t pass the test. Once we get our permit we spend time driving with our parents and have to deal with them correcting the small mistakes we make. The season of Advent is similar in a way. We prepare ourselves for four weeks waiting for the coming of Jesus. But sometimes we don’t focus on what is important. We always get distracted and focus on the presents or the time we get to spend with our friends and family. Advent is a time for the giving of others and to be generous in all you do. So, while in these last days of Advent, let us remember that the true reason we celebrate is due to the coming of Christ. Let us have the same excitement for Jesus as we would for our drivers license.
Let us pray,
Thank you for sending your Son to us at Christmas. Help us to continue to prepare our hearts so that we might receive the love, peace and joy that can only be found in Him, through Christ our Lord, Amen.