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Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.

Today's Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a half penny will do and if you haven’t got a half penny, God bless you. God bless you!”

I remember singing this old song as a child, in my excitement for Christmas to come. Often when someone would remind me that Christmas was coming, I would start singing this song in my head and often out loud, and sometimes a sibling or two would join along.

And while this song is joyful and fun, it is also a reminder that others suffer poverty at Christmas time and we should help them if we can. That juxtaposition of happiness and hardship.

St. John of the Cross reminds us of this reality. He endured opposition, misunderstanding, persecution, and imprisonment. He truly understood today’s Gospel, which says:

“. . . the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force.”

He lived his own version of the cross. Yet he found joy in prayer, becoming a mystic and a poet in his prison cell!

Just as John the Baptist was proclaimed to be Elijah, and the greatest man born of women, all those in heaven were declared greater than him. Once again we see that juxtaposition of greatest and least. The greatest on earth, but the least in heaven.

Only God can clarify these seemingly opposite and confusing mysteries. Only He can answer our doubts and calm our fears. John the Baptist fulfilled his mission. He prepared the way for The Way. Jesus is the way.




How do I navigate the spiritual juxtapositions that are present in my life?



Lord Jesus, You are the answer to all of life's quandaries. Show me the way.


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John the Baptist fulfilled his mission. He prepared the way for The Way. Jesus is the way. #DailyGospel

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Copyright 2023 Tami Urcia