December 18, 2017
by Fred Hanna
Creighton University's Department of Fine & Performing Arts
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 194

Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalms 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Matthew 1:18-25

Today's Advent Prayer

Praying Advent Home Page

Pope Francis: On St. Joseph in today's reading.

The Annunciation

Contemplating with Joseph

"A baby changes everything," as the song goes.  I know from watching our children all growing up so fast in front of our eyes.  How the first baby in the house changed EVERYTHING!  And so it was with the second, third and fourth.  Our lives were thrown into uproar, little sleep, worry, the sick days, the happy days.  And on, teen years, driving, college.  It still doesn't change.  Our first child has now moved out of state with her first job, and the others are busy with college and high school schedules.  And this is the first season when one of our 'babies' cannot be with us at home for the holiday.  Difficult.

Happily, I'm able to find comfort in today's reading as we focus on Jesus' birth.  The angel said "do not be afraid" and name him Emmanuel "which means 'God is with us.'"  The story about the baby Jesus is wonderful story, but also knowing that Jesus, while not on this physical earth today, is still with us in spirit.

We try to remember the Holy Spirit is still guiding us as we raise our children, and especially enjoy the Christmas season – 'God is with us.'


of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai:

Come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

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