90 Day Challenge – Day 78

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Bible Time Period: Messianic Fulfillment

You sent your only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, to fulfill all your promises: Give me new life in him.

Period Preview

The period of Maccabean Revolt drew a curtain on the Old Testament. “Testament” is our English translation of the Greek word that itself translates the Hebrew word for “covenant.” It refers to the covenant promises through which God bound Israel to Himself as His people. That covenant becomes “Old” when the one to whom the promises point—the Messiah, and his reign—comes to make a new and everlasting covenant.

This new covenant will not do away with the old, it will fulfill it. The things we have already seen come to pass—the conquest of the land, the establishment of the kingdom, and so on—turn out to be temporal signposts pointing to the much greater spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God that His Son comes to establish.

Humanly speaking, at the start of the New Testament things do not look good for Israel. The Jews may be home but in a sense they are still “slaves” subject to foreign empires. Spiritually speaking, they remain exiled by sin. They wait in longing for the coming of the Messiah. But when Israel looks to be at its weakest, God will change everything.

We will read about the period of Messianic Fulfillment as it is told in the gospel of Luke.  Today’s chapters cover the birth of Jesus, his baptism and temptation in the desert, and the start of his ministry in Galilee.

Today’s Reading

Luke 1-4

Today’s Question

What do these witnesses tell us about who Jesus is and why he has come?  God; Zechariah; Simeon; John the Baptist; demons.

Join the discussion below!

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She serves as Strategic Consultant of The Great Adventure and is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of “Genesis Part I: God and His Creation” and “Genesis Part II: God and His Family,” published by Emmaus Road. Sarah has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is working toward a Masters of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at comeintotheword.com/.

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  • Margie

    The coming of Jesus is the promise of God as the new covenant. The New Testament with Mary as the chosen mother to give birth to the son of God, is God’s fulfillment of love. Zechariah was hard to convince that God’s capabilities would allow Elizabeth to give birth, and when he couldn’t speak until he confirmed his son would be named John, he learned the power of God’s love was true. Simeon knew as soon as he held Jesus in his arms Jesus was truly the Messiah the people have been waiting for. He also understood the Mother of Jesus would suffer a traumatic pain as her heart will be pierced. John the Baptist knew he was honored by many as he baptized the people in the Jordan, but he knew Jesus was to be held in a higher honor, for he felt he was not worthy to untie the sandals of Jesus. Jesus will bless the believers with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The demons felt confident they could tempt Jesus into following them, but Jesus showed them that his faith and love of God in his soul was more powerful than any demon.

  • Marian Potts

    Jesus came to redeem us and give us Life. Just as Zachariah prophesied in his canticle. Simeon prophesied that the would be the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel. He would teach and many would reject him. He is the promised one of God according to Isaiah the prophet, and Jesus open Isaiah’s words in the synagogue in Nazareth and the people rejected Him.

  • Marianne

    As pnkyB4brain said in her post, “Satan tries to dupe a person regardless of who he/she is, and Our Lord teaches and prays…” Jesus quoted Scripture during His temptation and so must we follow His example. We must know Scripture and the Catechism in order to defend our faith. We need to beware of people who try to undermine you or put you down with their evil words. Remember Whose child you are! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJWQzjfU3o

    Dear friends, this weekend I will participate in the Cursillo Women’s Weekend. Please pray for me, my teammates and the women who will live this Cursillo Weekend and encounter Christ and the Holy Spirit in a very special way.

    Blessings,
    Mar

    • God Bless Your Weekend.

      • Marianne, How was your weekend?

        • Marianne

          In a word, awesome. Thanks for asking! Jesus touched the hearts of many of us women and we had a very special guest throwughout the weekend… the Holy Spirit, Who filled our hearts with grace and love.

          I gave a talk on “Study” (how appropriate!) I love photography and took plenty of pictures. When I took the group picture, I didn’t realize that there was a crack in the pavement. The irony is that at first, all I saw was an ugly crack, until I peered closer. And you know what I saw… a cross! Just like Jesus is often not recognized, until one takes a closer look. Just like He was not recognized on the road to Emmaus… Earlier in the morning I shared some of my photos with crosses, and here was another one, reminding us of Jesus. The irony is, it looks exactly like a cross that Sr. Elsa brought with her from Africa, with arms raised…

          The Cursillo weekend is just a beginning… it deepens one’s faith, makes us think about where we are in our lives and how we may be called to serve God, and provides us with a lifetime of fellowship with a community of other dedicated Christians who make evangelization a way of life.

          Thanks again for asking, Anthony!
          Blessings,
          Mar

          • Sounds wonderful. I Love retreat weekends. I can do them every other month if they were available. Welcome home.

          • Pnkyb4brain and Marianne,

            I wanted to share this with you. It may be nothing to you but for me it was Gigantic.
            When My son AJ was in the hospital October 12th, 2013, a Monsignor came to bless him and said “I am coming back tomorrow- it’s the 13th and the feast of our Lady of Fatima, and AJ
            is in bed 13 so we will pray for a miracle.” Just before he left, a doctor asked if we could all say a prayer together, and when Msgr. asked if there was any prayer in particular, the dr. said “A Prayer from St Anthony”.
            So we said the prayer, which the doctor had memorized, and it was a very long prayer which amazed us, and upon finishing, Msgr said “The feast of St Anthony is June 13th.” So that was 3 – 13’s in a row. Well the number 13 came up dozens and dozens of times since that day in unbelievable fashion. As I said the last message I was receiving signs but rejecting them so as not to be deceived by false signs just because I was so distraught. Just before last Easter 2014, I was very troubles, crying and prayerful. Now watch this video that I linked you to: It was too hard to describe to everyone so I made this short video. This day was a great day for me in Faith.
            If you send me your emails, I will gladly share another GREAT sign. God Bless You, your families are in my prayers, and HAPPY EASTER to YOU ALL!
            https://youtu.be/C24OJ9haft8

    • Rosi

      Marianne, I hope you have a very Spirit-filled weekend and experience Christ’s love in a very deep and personal way. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Susan

    As we begin reading the Gospel of Luke, it is obvious that there is a remnant of Jews who are still faithful and obedient to the Lord even after all that has gone on in the Old Testament – the House of David still has descendants to carry on the important work of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

    From Zechariah to the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna and so many others (including the evil one), they recognize the coming of their Savior told to them through their faith and belief in God as well in the prophets that have been foretold these events through the ages. They have known a Savior is coming. When Jesus is conceived, born, begins to grow, and starts his ministry and teaching, the Holy Spirit touches the faithful allowing them to “see” the Messiah and hear his message. Even in their current timeframe through Zechariah’s prophecy, the foretelling of Jesus is told. The faithful are finally witnessing what they have long awaited.

  • The witnesses tell us like this:
    Gabriel the Angel of God states “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father…” Here Gabriel implies that Jesus will fulfill the Davidic covenant. Later in 2:35 the angel states to her in a reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. Then again in vs 11 “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” And in 3:22 …and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

    Next Zechariah calls Him God when in his canticle he states “… And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High (John, the precursor of Jesus), for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.

    Then there’s Simeon, an elderly prophet to whom God made a promise
    (2: 26). Simeon longed to see the arrival of the Messiah; when he finally meets Him, he delivers a message of hope and sorrow to Mary and Joseph. The birth of Jesus brings these hopes to fulfillment.

    John the Baptist says, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (in contrast to John’s baptism of water).

    As for demons, twice in the desert satan addressed Jesus as the Son of God (see 4:3, 4:9). The devil uses this challenge for all three temptations and he turns the words of 3:17 into a taunt.

  • pnkyB4brain

    What is so fascinating about these witnesses is one in particular, Satan. This is the first time he confronted Jesus, Our Savior, as written by Luke. Satan put up a good front but reading this discourse, you could clearly see he was testing Jesus to see if He was the really the Son of God. It was as if the time of the New Covenant was here and Satan had to check it out for himself. The other characters in these chapters were filled with the Holy Spirit and praised the Lord! Satan tried to break down Jesus’ mentality and authority so he could worm his way into the hearts of the Jewish people. The difference between Satan and Jesus is that Satan tries to dupe a person regardless of who he/she is, and Our Lord teaches and prays for lost souls and
    people before, during, and after this period of time. Satan will never win because of his cynical and cunning methods. He is such a looser!

  • We find the best answer as to why the messiah came in the Feast of the Annunciation. I enclose a poem I wrote for this feast. It is on my website http://www.hearhisword.ca.
    I hope it is inspiring to some. The writing of it was inspiring to me.

    One The Eight Day Redemption Day

    Eighth Day Redemption
    Day

    And on the eight day –Redemption Day!

    Creation sang an opera

    The poem that God wrote –

    Breathed by the Spirit –

    An opera like no other!

    No arias of requited love,

    War, intrigue, guise and disguise –

    But heaven and earth are as one

    In this universal opera.

    The Trinity, in trinity with creation,

    The Trinity with Angel, human

    And, the Universe as one .

    The stage is set.

    A proposal, the profoundest

    Truest love song of all time,

    -intoned by Gabriel, the emissary

    “Hail Mary!

    ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary but Rejoice!”

    In breathless anticipation

    All creation waits!

    Waits to hear the words

    The words they know so well –

    Never forgotten, engraved in the very being of all that is –

    God’s word throbs within the land, the sea, sun and moon

    Stars and planets and mankind

    “Let it be!”

    Day one, day two, day three

    Day four, and five,

    Then six and seven.

    Such goodness, love,
    life, oneness !

    “Let it be!”

    God said – and saw
    that it was good!

    Until man would be God!

    A tragedy of tsunamic proportions!

    Now the creation chorus waits to hear

    One of their own,

    a daughter say

    The very words of the creator

    “Let it be!”

    Oh, Mary –

    Quickly Mary!

    Do not be afraid, Mary!

    Creation, in a whispering crescendo,

    Supporting Gabriel in his divine task.

    Let it be, Mary, they plead

    In an almost breathless, operatic chorus.

    Oh, Mary,

    God would be one with
    us!

    Be one of us!

    Such love Mary!

    Oh Mary, you are highly favoured!

    We, through you are favoured!

    We are loved! In your
    response we will be freed!

    The Tsunami will recede.

    “Mary, do not be afraid!

    The power of the most High will overshadow you!

    You will bear a son

    The Son of God!

    You will name him, Jesus.”

    God will save us, Mary!

    The proposal fills the air,

    Volleying from planet to planet

    Sun and Moon, Stars

    The Seas and all that fills them –

    Ready to burst into praise of their God.

    Mary, the favoured
    servant of God,

    In words from a Holy pause

    Proclaims the Fiat, the aria of love –

    “Let it be, as you have said!”

    Echoing God’s word –

    “Let it be!”

    God became man!

    And dwelt amongst us!

    And the operatic chorus sings forever

    “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

    The eight day, the day of Redemption Is ushered in.

    “Let it Be!”

  • jacqueline

    These witnesses, Zechariah, Simeon, John the Baptist, the demons all pointed to the Messiah, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. But what I love about this reading is that we have at least four beautiful
    prayers in the first two chapters. The Hail Mary is derived from Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. The canticle of Mary: the Magnificat is Mary’s response to Elizabeth. The canticle of Zechariah: the Benedictus is Zechariah’s thanksgiving prayer for the child he thought they would never have and the canticle of Simeon: the Nunc Dimittis is Simeon’s farewell prayer at the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple. Wow! Great stuff. God sent his only son Jesus to fulfil the covenant made with Abraham. His word became flesh. How awesome! The mystery continues… he died and rose again for us. And for some of us that is still not enough. God sent his only son into the world because he loves us. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only son”…John 3:16. “My Lord, I believe, I adore I trust and I love thee; I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love thee” (Fatima prayers). Even the demons knew and believed that he was God.

  • Avila

    Everyone has covered the preparation for the coming of Jesus and the start of His work. What struck me was the genealogy. It said that “it was thought He was” and then traced the genealogy through Joseph, who as we know was not His biological father. To be descended from David, I would have thought it had to be through Mary? Unless being from the house of David simply means that people at that time only counted lineage through the male head of the household? I am sure there is a simple explanation and would be grateful for guidance. Thank you and God bless.

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      Indeed people of that time only counted male lineage. But even today when a child is adopted his geneology becomes that of his parents only medically speaking is he connected to his birth parents. Another thing I picked up on was that through Elizabeth Jesus is a Levite a decendant of Aaron. That came up in Bible Study when the questions was asked how could Jesus be a high priest if he was not a Levite.

      • Avila

        Thank you. That is one of the challenges of Bible Study – culture and languages change in over 2000 years. What is logical and simple to the Jews at the time, can be confusing when we don’t understand the history and life at the time. I definitely need the 24 week Great Adventure they are planning to do at our Diocese.

        • Barbara Ann Baugh

          I just finished 24 week Bible Timeline I can’t recommend it highly enough Don’t miss it

    • Marianne

      Good question. And I always wondered why the genealogies differ in Matthew and in Luke. Then I was told that Luke describes the genealogy through Mary and Matthew describes the line through Joseph. There’s a “detailed” explanation on this web site:
      http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/jesusgenealogy.htm

      Well, I guess we have another question for when we reach the Eternal Bible Study in the Sky!

  • sylvie

    Comment: It was fascinating to me that satan was using the God’s words in order to trip up Jesus.

    Seems like this is happening still today, using scripture to say what it is not intended to say.

    • Marianne

      Yes, Sylvie, the threat is very real. It was true then and it’s still true today. Like Jesus, we can use Scripture to battle temptation as well as the evil in the world.

      “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) Read Ephesians 6:10-17…

      There are two prayers I now say daily, Prayer to the Holy Spirit by St Augustine, and the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel.
      http://feastofsaints.com/staugustine.htm
      http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/michael.htm

      • jacqueline

        Thanks Marianne for the St Augustine prayer. Some prayers I fall in love with the first time I read them, this is one of them. It is beautiful. It says everything that you need to get by for the day. I will memorise this one to say daily. Thank you for sharing. Love and blessings.

      • sylvie

        Thank you Marianne,

        Your recommendations are much needed and much appreciated

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    God speaks through the Angel Gabriel to Mary Jesus is refered to as Son of the Most High and Son of God. In this narrative there is also another person who speaks to about who Jesus is and why he has come, It is Elisabeth when Mary visits her. She proclaims “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me” In a way this is John the Baptist’s first proclamation of Jesus’ divinity. I often picture Mary and Elizabeth embracing each other and reciting the Magnificat together. The older woman and the young girl.

    Zechariah declared Jesus to be

    “He has raised up a horn for our salvation
    within the house of David his servant,l
    Simeon declared He is the Messiah of the Lord

    Joh the Baptist says this of Jesus
    * John answered them all, saying,l “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.

    His winnowing fan* is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

    The demons are the most interesting of all proclaimations They call him Jesus of Nazerth… Holy One of The Lord. Jesus silences them

  • Marianne

    GREAT posts, everybody!

    I see the Presence of the Holy Spirit in these witnesses. And I see that Jesus brings Light to the world, as these passages reflect LIGHT in various forms. Even the demons know that He is the Light that has come to dispel the darkness…

    What do these witnesses tell us about who Jesus is and why he has come?

    God; “The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord SHONE around them” (Luke 2:9)

    Zechariah; “because of the tender mercy of our God by which the DAYBREAK from on high will visit us TO SHINE on those who sit IN DARKNESS and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)

    Simeon; “a LIGHT for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2:32)

    John the Baptist; “He will baptize you with the HOLY SPIRIT and FIRE.” (Luke 3:16)

    Demons; “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and THEY COME OUT… At SUNSET, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” (Luke 4:36, 40-41)

  • pnkyB4brain

    This question was extremely hard for me to answer. So I refrained from joining in the discussion for today. However, as a side note, my husband and I went to see “Mary of Nazareth” last night. If you can, please see it. The Knight of Columbus set it up and many parishes sold tickets for the event. The story is beautiful and so aptly done. The acting was superb. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t discuss today’s question in its entirety. I have this film on my mind and the utter feeling of Mary, Our Mother being so completely and utterly in love with her God and with her Son, Jesus. The movie gave me pause to reflect upon my feelings about God, the Father and Jesus, His only Son. I am still within that mode of thinking.

    • Marianne

      Thanks for the info about the movie. I am always awestruck by Mary’s incredible obedience and faith. I am striving to emulate Mary”s “yes” in my own life. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)

      Amen, Most Blessed Mother! Thank you for your inspiration! Thank you for watching over all your children!

    • beatriz

      It is on Netflix! It is a wonderful movie

  • Carla Archuleta

    From the first chapter in the Gospel of Luke up to the end of chapter 4 it slowly brings in that Christ Jesus is forthcoming. First through Angel of Gabriel’s messages forward to Zacheria and his wife Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph. John the Baptist during the baptism of Jesus. Simon’s life was fulfilled once he saw and held Jesus for the first time. He gave thanks to God and then departed in peace according to the salvation of the Lord. All of these people knew Jesus was the Messiah, the Lord salvation, Christ Jesus, and the holy Spirit.

    In this section I was touched by the many verses here that are carried out when praying the luminous mystical rosary. Another beautiful prayer come to light through these versus is the Hail Mary during the time that Mary goes to visit with Elizabeth. The two are standing together, facing each othewhen Elizabeth tells her, ” Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.

    During chapter four I could feel the excitement of the People witnessing Jesus first hand either by chasing their demands out, healing their sicknesses or by being present to witness such miracles.

    For us during this time we must believe. There are many times that I wish to see Jesus physically and then have to remind myself that this happens through others or within my daily life’s experiences. I need to strengthen my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I do believe, but still need a lot of growth.

    • Marianne

      Beautiful insights, Carla! Can you imagine what it must have been like to live in those times?

      But we have Hope, in these modern times. And I see a revival sweeping the nation and across the globe. It seemed to take off during the Year of Faith. And now so many people are returning to the faith, under the inspiration of Pope Francis. When I went to the National Catholic Bible Conference two years ago, I was totally energized by the focus on evangelization.

      Thanks to Sarah, Jeff, et al, WE ARE to be counted among the witnesses of this generation. We are “living history”!

      • Carla Archuleta

        Marianne, thank you for the reflective response. Much appreciated, Carla

    • Luz

      I think I’d rather feel Jesus’s presence than to see Him, and I do when people are good to one another, I feel such warmth inside! I wish it were more evident, rather than so much evil in the world.

      During the Biblical days, everyone wanted to be close to HIm when they realized that he was special, even just to touch His clothing – people would do anything. That must have been very difficult, the crowds pushing as he walked by, which must have left Him exhausted.

      If I could see Jesus’s face up close, can I actually look at HIm in his eyes? So Godly and pure and me a mere mortal who sins like everyone else… I thank God that I am living in today’s world. It is hard enough to remember these events and watch films of His crucifixion, I cry every single time. Yes, we do need to be in constant prayer, to keep our faith and continue to grow.

      • Carla Archuleta

        Luz, I agree that a physical touch from Jesus would be amazing, but you summed it up beautifully. His touch is in the good of people. I will continue to keep the faith, and to pray. Thank you and God bless.

  • Fisher

    Luz, MG, Beverly and Michelle have all covered the question well. And everyone is “struck” by something!! It is a great light we are entering into with the New Testament; what a relief! Here is what I was initially struck by, concerning the actual written word in the NAB – the footnotes for all four chapters are about as long as the chapters themselves; what a lot of theological “meat” to chew on these chapters provide!
    I have also always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of Gabriel’s response to being questioned by Zechariah and Mary. Why did Zechariah get punished (struck mute until John’s circumcision) for questioning the good news of Elizabeth’s conception, while Mary received a reassuring answer? My own thoughts on this are: 1-God knows our heart conditions and perhaps could see disbelief in Zechariah as opposed to Mary’s belief but curiosity over how it would occur; 2- Zechariah is a priest, allowed to approach God in the Holy of Holies; how could one given so much holy authority doubt, while one so humble (a young girl with no religious or societal worth) could be so faithfully obedient? Blessed are the poor in Spirit (humble), for theirs is the Kingdom of God!!

    I would love to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this – it seems like there could be many wonderful points of view and applications for us here.

    • pnkyB4brain

      Fisher, I think you answered it best when you mentioned that Mary was so simple and free with her feelings about her Lord, God. She didn’t really question what was about to happen to her according to the gospel of Luke as she replied, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38. Whereas Zechariah replied to the angel, “How should I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in her years.” Luke 1: 18 Gabriel, the angel had to explain who he was to Zechariah and with that little bit of doubt led to Zechariah’s punishment of being mute until his baby is born. I often wonder if an abundance of knowledge could cause more doubt for those individuals than ordinary people just believing without question.

      • Fisher

        I am always in awe of those people I come across who possess pure, simple and unshakable faith without the need of proof or academic confirmation. What a powerful gift from God this faith is!

        • Marianne

          Yeah, sometimes the smartest people are the ones who “think too much” and it gets them in trouble. It’s very clear that God’s message is to trust, as children do… Has anybody ever counted how many times the word “trust” appears in the bible? There are 40 references in Psalms alone!

          • Fisher

            We certainly need to trust to most effectively and charitably utilize the gifts and charisma God has given us. Some are meant to utilize academic talents, for some it’s prayer, for some it’s healing, etc. As St. Paul says, “many parts, one body in Christ.”

          • Liza

            I also think Zechariah was a great witness to what was coming by being struck dumb. Everyone was waiting to hear what had happened. Sometimes we also have to wait and listen eagerly, even when there is a dramatic pause . Great comments and lots to take in even though it is so familiar.
            I did a youth session on “Who do people say I am?” and “Who do you say I am?” one of the challenges was to match up what was said with who said it. They were surprised that the demons recognised Jesus as the Son of God: so many didn’t.

          • Fisher

            Great points!

          • pnkyB4brain

            What insight! Thank you, Liza.

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            I for one have been accused of “over thinking God” I had gone to the healing Mass and anointing of the sick the year before had gone to the Mass but had not come up for the anointing the next year. When the Deacon came brought Holy Communion to me in the hospital five months later he asked me why I had not gone up to be anointed “I said that I thought it would show lack of faith to go a second year. The Deacon said “Don’t try to over think God you just can’t do it.

          • Marianne

            Oh, Barbara, I agree with your Deacon. Last spring during the Cursillo weekend, the priest decided to offer a healing mass. And he said, “I invite everyone to come up… even if you don’t need physical healing”. He encouraged us all to receive anointing, whether we sought physical, spiritual or emotional healing. Well, I’m pretty sure every person got up to receive this sacrament. It was so widely received that he did it again in the fall. I decided to go up as well. I did not ask for a specific healing. I am content to offer up my physical ailments as the thorn in my flesh. I prayed that God would hear the prayers of my sisters, and I would accept any type of healing for myself if He saw fit.

            I recall that I was sitting next to a woman who had cancer. After receiving the sacrament, I leaned over and whispered to her “I just felt the Presence of the Holy Spirit when you touched me”. A while later, I had a conversation with the Deacon who assisted the priest in administering the anointing about this experience. I’m not sure which way the Holy Spirit transferred between us. Perhaps I’ll never know. For me, it was “enough” that it happened, a tremendous blessing.

            Anyway, Barbara, Deacon is right. Don’t try to overthink God. You of all people deserve to receive His grace and His healing. Any and all ways that He gives… God bless you.

            “He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            You are so right about Jesus working through weakness. I don’t remember how many times. “Stop overthinking” has appeared in that NEEDS IMPROVEMENT box on my work evaluation reports,

    • Rosi

      I believe Zechariah was doubtful because he and Elizabeth were advanced in age and he was asking for a sign. “How shall I know this?” Mary, on the other hand, didn’t ask for a sign. She knew that physically this could not happen because she was not yet married and “had no relations with a man.” In her humility, she believed what the Angel said. She would have been aware of the prophecy of Isaiah that the Emmanuel would be born of a virgin. Her question was more a wondering how this would happen…how God, so rich in miracles, would accomplish such a marvel. The Angel then went on to say, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Without hesitation, even though she would have been aware of what consequences could face her being pregnant while single, she was completely submissive to the will of God…her response being, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word”.

      What a pure and holy spirit and completely full of grace. She humbly and with total trust, believed in the words of the Angel. Mary, full of grace, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

      • Fisher

        Just so!

  • Michelle

    Each of the witnesses show to us that God is truly the Son of God. The Lord, Himself during Jesus’ Baptism says as much when a voice from Heaven calls, “You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased.” Also, John the Baptist states that “one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the straps of His sandals.” Upon seeing Jesus in the Temple Simeon proclaims to God, “Master, let your servant go!” This he says after the Holy Spirit revealed to him he would not die before he sees the Messiah!

  • mg

    It was so exciting to enter this period of our readings. I haven’t commented much the past few days but have read everyone’s comments. I must say they have helped me greatly in understanding what was written about in that period as it did get very confusing for me…so thank you for your comments!

    How exciting that we are starting to read about our Lord Jesus! How exciting that he is being recognized as the son of God, our SAVIOR!

  • Luz

    I was struck how often the Holy Spirit appeared in the Gospel of Luke. Whereas in the Old Testament we occasionally saw few references to the Holy Spirit as it was less often mentioned as “the Spirit” or “the Spirit of the Lord.” It was however, mentioned as early as in the second verse of the Bible! In the New Testament we begin to see “the Holy Spirit” and this was mentioned 9 times in these four chapters of Luke we just read; He was present in Mary, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon, John the Baptist, and Jesus.

    Back to our assignment question – Who do witnesses state Jesus is? (1) God – he will be great and be called the Son of the Most High. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever and his kingdom will have no end. (2) Zechariah – our mighty savior from the House of David. (3) Simeon –the Messiah of the Lord, our savior for all people including the Gentiles. (4) John the Baptist – the Lord in the flesh. (5) Demons – the Son of God.

    • Michelle

      Luz, I too was struck by this mention of the Holy Spirit so frequently!

  • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

    God; Zechariah; Simeon; John the Baptist; demons give us some of Jesus’ titles: Son; Promised One; Messiah; Savior; and God’s Son; God…It is in these titles and through these recognitions of Him that we learn that he has come as God’s Promise; That He has authority from God Himself; that He will save us from ourselves; and that He will be our leader and king…How awesome is that!!

    • Marianne

      Well, our God is an Awesome God!