The Word Among Us

Advent 2006 Issue

Christmas is such a magical time for little children. For weeks, they are wondering about the gifts they will receive. And then finally, the day has come to open their presents. Finally, the day of revelation has come, when they will get to see what is in those packages under the tree. In a similar way, as we adults approach Christmas, Jesus wants to give us gifts. He wants to reveal his glory to us. He wants to fulfill our deepest hopes and desires through this revelation, giving us the same joy and sense of promise that St. John described when he wrote, "The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory" (John 1:14). More »

Go outside on a clear day and look at the sun. See how generously it pours light upon the whole earth. The sun is so bright that from a full 93 million miles away, it lights up an otherwise dark world. But the sun doesn't only give us light. It makes things grow and flourish; it provides just the right amount of heat to sustain life in all of its variety and beauty. Imagine what the world would be like without the sun: nothing more than a giant ball of ice suspended in a darkened sky. More »

Have you ever noticed how we live by seasons? Our calendars may break life up into weeks and months and years, but it's the seasons that really count for us. And nothing seems to get more attention than sports seasons. Whether it's football, baseball, cricket, or soccer, all the seasons follow a general pattern. Initially, people get excited about their home team as the games begin. But as the season progresses, fans gradually turn their attention to the teams likely to win the championship, whether it is the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the World Cup. More »

Special Feature

It is late at night, almost seven hundred years ago, in the lovely central Italian region of Tuscany. Inside a small room, a young woman is speaking animatedly about God. Her hands fly back and forth, flickering in the candlelight. Opposite her, struggling to listen but barely able to remain awake, sits her confessor—a trained theologian and a saintly man. More »

It is nearly one hundred degrees in the gym on a summer Sunday afternoon at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women (MCI-W). Chris Schwartz pauses to drink more water as he gives his reflection on the readings during the Communion service. Thirty women in jeans and gray T-shirts, or pink jumpsuits, listen over the roaring of the two large fans. "I'm soaked by the end," Chris says. More »

My husband and I belong to a Byzantine Rite Catholic parish, where I often serve as cantor. Right after the Liturgy one recent Sunday morning, I let my pleading three-year-old sing "Alleluia" into the cantor's microphone. I smiled as he sang on key. He told me he was singing to Jesus. I felt so proud of him. More »

There are many different ways we can receive the revelation of Jesus, the Word of God, this Advent. We can take time to sit before a manger scene and ponder the night when Christ was born. We can enjoy the blessings of family and friends. We can try to attend Mass more frequently. We can go to a Christmas concert at our parish or in the community. More »