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December 16, 1995     Arkansas Catholic
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December 16, 1995
 

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CATHOLIC December 16, 1995 Page I S Perpetual Adoration of Blessed Sacrament ' " ' presence Imagine if you will, coming to Holy Mass on just an ordinary Sunday, or any Lso uda day for that matter, and as you enter the luct thurch, you are greeted by this man who reminds you of Jesus. He has such a get comforting smile, and he is look- nag right at you. Abruptly, your mind ex- ~nas plodes, reality sets in, it is Jesus. He walks Love tOward ou arms extended in welcome, ,,fits Y , as He does, you see the nail marks ia His hands, in your mind you cry in lairiPain for Him. The holes, they are so aer uch larger than in pictures. He is sap that ing, 'I am the light of the world. No tery fOllower of mine shall ever walk in dark- way ber ; of tt, I L tO ofe Lop" we I us OVe bess; no he shall possess the fight of life." (John 8:12) ust as a babe He was [ I| given gifts of gold, flank ] IJl incense and myrrh, what I I better way can we gift Him I Ln_ow than with our time? I "I have been ting for you to come," Fie continues. I knew you had a very bad day this past week, and I wanted so tO comfort you; let you know everything Ould work out for you, but you never .ed. turned to me. You are here now though, and I have so much good news for you. Just rest in Me and I will lighten all your burdens." Sud- denly you realize that you have just had a "personal encounter" with Jesus Christ. To those of us blessed with the '2' Loretta Longinotti grace of being believers in Jesus Christ's true divine Church, either through birth or conversion, we know that the most important thing we have, aside from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is perpetual Eucharistic adoration. It is only in this form of adoration and worship that we can encounter the personal "physi- cal" presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many of our churches have set aside a certain hour or hours of the day where one can go and be in the real presence of Jesus, to uphold and affirm Him and make Him known to the world, and this is good. At Our Lady of Good Counsel, we are very proud of the fact that on Dec. 12, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with the help of many adorers from our sister parishes, we surpassed the two-year mark of continuous perpetual Eucharis- tic adoration on a 24-hour-a-day, seven days a week basis. Our willingness to com- mit one hour a week in Eucharistic ado- ration of our dear Lord and Savior al- lows His reign to be triumphantly emi- nent and exalted on earth. It also en- ables us to experience that personal "physical" encounter with Jesus during our requested adoration hour. If you feel touched to respond to Jesus' appeal made over 2,000 years ago while anticipating the "Agony of Calvary" He was to undergo for us who live in 1995, then you are invited to be a part of this sacrifice in Jesus' name. Just as a babe He was given gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, what bet- ter way can we gift Him now than with our time? Jesus will spend all eternity thanking us and loving us in heaven for our faithful commitment on earth of spending one hour each week worship- ping and adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Loretta Longinotti writes from Little Rock. That was then, this is now "What should we expect to see hap- if God were to come and live among liis people?' The ancient Israelites as well as their descendents, the Jewish people of Jesus' were deeply concerned about this question. You see, they believed it to be 0nly a matter of time until He would COme. Isaiah answered their question in ekMay's Old Testament reading. In po- try of unparalleled beauty he described a time more wonderful than anyone C.Ould imagine. "Here is your God, "he pro- Claimed, "he comes to save you. Then will the the ncl be the ears of the deaf cleared. Then will the fame leap like a sta the tongue of the dumb sing...sorrow and mourning will flee." This was the promise that gave hope to Isaiah's people for many generations. In today's gospel,Jesus toldJotm's dis- Isaiah 35: 1-6, 10 James 5:7-10 Matthew 11:2-11 Fr. William Gould ciples (and He tells us) that the promise has now been fulfilled. "Go back and tell John," he said, "what you hear and see: the blind recover their sighg cripples the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them." "That was then, but what about now?" A now-deceased friend once asked me this question because she did not see much evidence in today's world. "Look around at all the wars, the poverty and the suffering," she said. She had a good point. People should be able to "hear and see" the evidences of God's presence among His people. I do not think that GOd has failed us. We have probably failed Him. We need to do something to change things. Jesus Christ does live among us, and He has fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy. But He has called us to be His disciples so that we can help Him bring that fulfill- ment to completion. We are His hands, His voice, His heart in today's world. He works through us. "rhat was then, but what about now?" This is still a good question. Jesus is the answer -- but so are you and I. Father Gould's weekly column is sponsored by Little Rock Scripture Study. PERSPECTIVE Christmas Memories Christmas seems to have two faces. One is the secular-Santa-Claus and- egg-nog-kind of Christmas that is ob- served without reference to the "reason for the season." The other is the one we try to observe with Nativity scenes, Ad- vent preparations and thoughts of the day that Jesus was born. Some people celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday. Others try to keep Christ- mas as a holy day, a season in the Church where we prepare for the birth of the Lord. But most of us, Christmas has kind of melded into a holiday to buy presents and spend time with family as well as observing the religious significance of the day. That's why I love Christmas. Here is a few of my Christmas memo- lies that ensure that Dec. 25 will always be my favorite holiday and holy day: Hearing spectacular choirs and orches- tras at church and special events. Singing Christmas carols. Having my younger sister tell Santa what I want for Christmas. Eating cookies and candies that are never made any other time of the year. Seeing the face of families and friends when they open the presents I give them. Walking into church for Christmas and see it transformed into a wonderful site with garland, Christmas trees and large Nativity scenes. Visiting grandmas in another state to have said I actually have se n a white Christmas. Hoping that it would snow on Christ- mas in Little Rock. Putting out the Nativity scene and hid- ing baby Jesus and Three Wise Men until the appropriate time. Decorating the tree, especially putting on my first Christmas ornament. Having my own Christmas tree and a few ornaments. Staying up late to go to Midnight Mass. Getting out the best China and silver- ware for Christmas dinner. Seeing an infant and thinking that Jesus could have looked just like him. --MAW Let it snow: Simple things of life bring wonder, joy There is something magical about snow. Please forgive the pagan term, ut more politically/religiously correct terms just don't quite do it. Not at first anyway. The first snow in Little Rock began around 1:45 p.m. Nov. 28. I was helping a StUdent with a paper she was writing Lhen I noticed it Usually the kids see it t. I said. "Zosia, is that snow?" She gasped and then announced to her class- mates, q-Ieyl Look! It's snowing!" More gasps and oooh's. Some students left eir seats .... ana went to me wlnaows. l'hose at their seats started whispering to each other. "Will the streets be slick?" tdi .... ,, .dn t know ~t was supposed to snow! Wtsh I could call my mother." "Wow!" r~Verybody, EVERYBODY had a big smile on her face. And these girls are 17 and 18x,years old, seniors in high school. ,nc WlI usually run a pretty tight ship Y assroom. After all, we have work :o do; education is serious business. Knowledge is next to Godliness... or something like that. But for snow, I always let chaos reign. And there is a reason. Years ago, when my son was a grade schooler, we were at our breakfast table one November morning by our Charlotte Miller large kitchen win- dow, looking onto a forested area behind the house. I was sipping coffee, and my son was lingering over his Lucky Charms when he saw it was snowing. "Oh, Mommy! Look!" he said. We talked about how pretty it was -- big fat flakes settling on the pines. And then I said. "I'11 bet it's fun when you're in school and it starts to snow, isn't it.~ Do you get all excited?" miracle. The growth of crops was "No," he said. miracle. The birth of a child was as mi- "You don't?" raculous as the raising of Lazarus. Life "No," he said. "If we get excited, the itself was a miracle. teacher says, 'What's the matter with you I don't know that I completely buy people? Haven't you ever seen snow be- that theory. It seems to me that raising fore?' And then she shuts the curtains so Lazarus is obviously a few points above we can't see it." a wheat crop. And yet... I was so surprised that I don't think I The day it snowed I delighted in my said anything in response. But I have students' delight. I watched them watch- thought many times about that conversa- ing the snow. Outside one of the little tion. children of faculty members was twirl- "Haven't you ever seen snow before?" hag around, arms flung out at her sides. Well, in a senses no. We see every snow- Another one was leaning forward with fall as if we have never seen snow before, her tongue out catching flakes. Two oth- It is always awesome, wondrous, miracu- ers were chasing each other and laugh- lous. It reminds us of the joy of simple ing. Simple joy. Joy that just cannot be things, I think. Not that we meditate on that contained but has to be acted out. value. We simply respond with the joy. It is all really too wonderful -- the I read once that one of the reasons snow, the kids, the joy. the Jews of Jesus' time were not overly May we never lose any of it. And may impressed with His miracles is that they we never fail to be grateful. saw miracles all the time. The sun's rising (Thank you, Jesus.) and setting were miracles. Rain was a Charlotte Miller writes from Little Rock.