A Christmas of LOVE 2018

Christ the King is Born!

Jesus is Born

Antiphon 1: You have been endowed from your birth with princely gifts; in eternal splendor, before the dawn of light on earth, I have begotten you.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)


God Sends Jesus to Earth

The last words before this posting was written just before Advent, on the topic of tithing. I think Christmas and tithing have a lot in common because here we see Jesus as an adult teaching about giving all you have away. True riches are not found in the earthly possessions but yet in Heaven were nothing rusts or is eaten by moths. But what makes a person give away everything for God? Jesus would most certainly answer that question with one word – the same word that his ministry was based upon, the same word that is used to describe His father in Heaven and which is the link to our Christmas Season. So what is that word? LOVE.

Isaiah 9:6-7 is about hope rooted in God’s perfect love, grounded in the very reason – justification to why Jesus came in the first place. Jesus our ‘Wonderful Counselor’, ‘Mighty God’, ‘Everlasting Father’, Prince of Peace’, and all of those titles are filled with God’s love for every one of use. Isaiah is foretell the action of God centuries before He actually does it. In this scripture we have God’s will working in the world preparing us for His son Jesus. This one action is the greatest act of love on behalf of God because it would be used to save every human being on Earth. So that we could spend eternity with God in Heaven forever. So what we are really celebrating is perfect love bestowed upon us by God the Father. I can’t think of a better gift than LOVE.


King of Love

Antiphon 2: With the Lord is unfailing love; great is his power to save.

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Merry Season of Love my brothers and sisters, to you I pray that joy is multiplied a thousand fold in your lives. May God show you His perfect undying love to you and your family. It is often said that we reflect and wait for the birth of Christ within Advent. But I say to you… reflect everyday, contemplate your service to God, your mindset as God perceives it. Ask yourselves the hard questions such as… ‘How have my actions this year served God’s purpose?’ Ask yourselves, ‘Have I forgiven enough? Have I followed God’s will for my life?’ Look deep inside and contemplate the love God has shown you, reflect how He has blessed you, and thank Him for this most wonderful of all gifts… His saving love. In reflection the one question I ask every morning when I wake up and before I get out of bed is, ‘Dear Lord, how can I be of service to you today?” Then I listen intently and hear Him say the same things over again, ‘Be kind, be gentle, be considerate, be forgiving, be patient, believe in my word for it is the truth, and above all love all you meet especially your enemies even if they do not love you back.’ In this I try everyday to do… some days I fail, other days I succeed beyond my wildest dreams. But I try everyday without fail to always LOVE.


Solemnity of All Saints

Antiphon 3: In the beginning, before time began, the Word was God; today he is born, the Savior of the world.

11 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

1 John 5:11 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Have you ever wondered what the words, ‘eternal life’ actual mean? Have you ever thought about the implication of eternal life with God? The very definition implies life beyond death. So, death has no real meaning in the face of eternal life. Again, my brothers and sisters I say to you… eternal life with God comes at the birth, life, and death, then resurrection of Christ Jesus who defeated death and sin, paid your sin debt in full so you could live with God in heaven forever! This Christmas is about love, God’s perfect love, Jesus’s perfect love for you. We celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus because of the miraculous gifts he offers to all of us, gifts we cannot buy, steal, bargon for, and or earn on our own. This Christmas give the gift of love by opening a door for stranger, taking out the trash for your grandparents, calling a long lost friend and telling them how much they mean to you, and or simply tithe giving of yourself for in that giving your heart reflects your love. Much in the same way Jesus shows us His love that He has in His heart for us. Whatever you do… make it real, make it tangible, make it a reflection of God’s LOVE.

Let Us Pray

Praying to the Lord

The Supremacy of Christ

“Let us give thanks to the Father, for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light.

He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.

Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creatures.

In Him everything in Heaven and on Earth was created, things visible and invisible.

All were created through Him; all were created for Him.

He is before all else that is.

In Him everything continues in being. It is he who is head of the body, the church; He who is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, so that primacy may be His in everything.

It pleases God to make absolute fullness reside in His person, both on Earth and in the Heaven, making peace through the blood of His cross.”

Colossians 1:12-20

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’


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Brother Brian – Knight of Columbus

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark, M.S.Ed.

© 2009-2018

The Transfiguration

Jesus the Heavenly High Priest


Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, leading them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. – Mark 9:2-3 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

The Transfigured Christ

 A Glimpse of Glory

Many times in my life especially as a child I wondered what life would be like when I grew up. I wondered what I would look like, sound like, and or how much my personality would have changed as an adult. I often would be laying down in my bed wishing I could hit a fast-forward button and be an adult. Of course, I never wanted the responsibilities of an adult just the respect, glory without the pain, and stature without hardship. When I read (Mark 9:2-3) it reminds me of those moments because as flawed, broken, human beings uncertain of what is coming down the line in our future it is always better to receive the prize before we run the race. It is human nature to wish we could avoid the hardship and glimpse the end result. My grandma Stark called this, ‘having your dessert before fixing your dinner.’ 

See my brothers and sisters Jesus took Peter, James, and John up high upon the mountain out of sight from the others to give them a glimpse of the end result, the glorified Christ, and a taste of Heaven backed up by two of the greatest prophets in human history. But as flawed human beings the three disciples though in awe, was filled with fear, and so missed the bigger picture until much later. Jesus wanted to give them comfort in the knowledge that His death was not pointless, that He would conquer the world, not be conquered. Jesus wanted to strengthen them for the hardships to come. Remember, what they had been through up to this point and what miracles they had seen. From His baptism to Jesus feeding the five thousand, the earthly temptation of the Pharisees who had demanded a sign from heaven all of which was sure to test Him. From there Jesus cures a blind man from Bethsaida, then on a beach of the dead sea Peter declares Jesus the Messiah. But most assuredly what was on all their minds was what their rabbi had predicted about the ‘Son of Man’, which by now all of them agreed was Jesus, (Matthew 16:21Jesus’s emphatic, heartfelt, and detailed description about His own suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection. In a reflection of this moment, perhaps it was His certainty that this was God’s plan for Him, that it must be done which struck the deepest cord of concern in the disciple’s hearts. None of them wanted Jesus to leave them, in fact, they wanted to go with Him, they all wanted the fruits before the labor. Perhaps, the three who went with Jesus saw the glory and power of their Lord but failed at that moment to see the true High Preist that would reign in Heaven forever. Maybe, they concluded Jesus didn’t have to suffer, die, and be raised from the dead, so in their innocents, they offered to erect three tents so this moment would never pass them bye. The three disciples reacted in a very human way, wanting to hold onto the moment rather than to embrace the hardship that would lead to this transfigured Jesus. Very much as I had wanted to be an adult before my time but without the heartache and pain of making the real world sometimes agonizing, dreadful, and sensitive decisions that all adults have to make.

Jesus – The Real-World Teacher

The Sermon on the Mount, Block 1890

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. – Mark 9:9-10 (NRSVACE)

After 15 plus years in the classroom, 22 years of being a parent, and all my life being a student there are times I have given real-world examples or have been asked questions pertaining to a real-world scenario and just simply come up empty-handed. There have been times I have questioned my parents, teachers, ex-spouse, bosses, my only child, and or I have been put on the spot and still are left with more questions than answers though the real, less complicated, and the most logical answer was always right there before me. So, I can relate to Peter, James, and John as they came down from the mountain. Though they saw who Jesus was, what He would transform into after suffering and dying, they still did not connect the dots to His resurrection. I would have loved to have lived during this period and heard the questions about this resurrection Jesus was talking about. All this time spent watching Jesus perform miracles they did not connect the phrases He was using, or perhaps they did understand but refused to believe it out of love for Jesus as their desire was to be with Him forever on this earth. Ironically, it is this same stubborn human desire of Peters that was the cause of him being scorned by Jesus, (Matthew 16:23) just prior to the trip up the mountain and the same unwavering human impulse to question things that should be obvious. I truly believe that even if Jesus had given them a mental flash-forward they still would question it’s real-world relevance to them in their own lives; though I have to admit the transfiguration was an infinitely better visually.

The Message of the Transfiguration

24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 The Message (MSG)

Perhaps one of the most overstated things people hear in church is, ‘God so loved the world… ,’ (John 3:16-18). But nevertheless, my brothers and sisters God indeed loved us so much he sent His only son, but on the flip side of this coin, ‘God did not spare his own Son but gave Him up for us all.’The Liturgy of the Hours, pg.294. With that said, the medal we win after living our life for Christ is one of eternal value, running on behalf of our brothers who cannot run, morally defending those who struggle mentally or spiritually, and standing up against injustice which is so prevalent in our world. We can live for others, changing their lives for the better, and giving the example of grace which brings those we touch to Christ. In a way, Jesus showed the true person He is, the true self we all have within, and the eternal reward we run so hard for and run too. See my brothers and sisters the message behind the transfiguration is one of hope and rejuvenation in the life to come. It was the promise of God that salvation is real, that He means what He says, that His covenant stands and is binding.  At that moment Jesus is saying, “Here I Am!”, He is lighting the pathway, revealing Himself in such a way no one could ever deny His divinity and purity of heart and to truly find Him we must listen faithfully to the words He speaks to our hearts that will guide us throughout our lives. Our Lord and Saviour had proven His connection to Heaven while standing next to Moses and Elijah. The symbology for the Jewish people was unmistakable for Moses representing God’s divine law and Elijah representing all the prophets, both symbolizing the Old and Jesus the New. The dividing line between both halves of the story as it unfolds in real time, as one covenant ends and a new one begins. The rejuvenation of God’s promises, His Law, His love and mercy through His only Son which He stated clearly for all to hear when Jesus was baptized;

Matthew testified;   

17 “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’” – Matthew 3:17 (NRSVCE)

Earlier I had said that the three disciples did not fully understand the transfiguration of Christ until much later, after the events of Pentecost. But when they did get it, this is what two of them wrote;

John testified; 

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14 (NRSVCE)

Peter sometime later testified:

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.” – 2 Peter 1:16-18 (NRSVCE) 

Let Us Pray

God our Father, help us to hear your Son. Enlighten us with your word, that we may find the way to your glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.    – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg.295.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Amen, Alleluia

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Be apart of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”


Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018