Why did God become man? To save us from our sins, yes. But also from hatred. And fear. He became man to prove God’s raging love for us and to prove once and for all that man was made for more than the the material stuff and the ego, that man was created for love. He was fully God and fully man. And by fully man, we mean the fullness of man. The ultimate man. The greatest man. I used to hear that teaching and think, yes, of course He was the ultimate man, because He also happened to be the second person of the Trinity! Today, I think I understand it a bit different. See, I’m starting to see Jesus, not merely as some mythology of a man-god sent down from the clouds to shield me and my wretched self from a judgmental Father ready to strike. I’m starting to see him as a human, as a mix of flesh and blood and guts and breath and life and joy. The ultimate man, who stepped right down into the mess and pissed off the world’s most violent and oppressive people on the planet. A man who knows what it’s like to be born, to be alone, to love, to mourn and to be tortured in the town square. He could’ve done it any other way. But He had to bring the message, the truth, the very Word right to our living rooms and to our pubs. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” in other words THAT flesh revealed THAT Word. The very Word of God: I am here. You are loved. Follow me.Let us prepare the way in our hearts this Christmas, to accept that we are not alone, that we are loved as we are, and that by following Jesus’ life of love and preference for the least the oppressed and the poor, that we too shall be guided into the way of peace. #letusadorehim :: Art by @scottthepainter@ennie4

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adminWhy did God become man? To save us from our sins, yes. But also from hatred. And fear. He became man to prove God’s raging love for us and to prove once and for all that man was made for more than the the material stuff and the ego, that man was created for love. He was fully God and fully man. And by fully man, we mean the fullness of man. The ultimate man. The greatest man. I used to hear that teaching and think, yes, of course He was the ultimate man, because He also happened to be the second person of the Trinity! Today, I think I understand it a bit different. See, I’m starting to see Jesus, not merely as some mythology of a man-god sent down from the clouds to shield me and my wretched self from a judgmental Father ready to strike. I’m starting to see him as a human, as a mix of flesh and blood and guts and breath and life and joy. The ultimate man, who stepped right down into the mess and pissed off the world’s most violent and oppressive people on the planet. A man who knows what it’s like to be born, to be alone, to love, to mourn and to be tortured in the town square. He could’ve done it any other way. But He had to bring the message, the truth, the very Word right to our living rooms and to our pubs. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” in other words THAT flesh revealed THAT Word. The very Word of God: I am here. You are loved. Follow me.Let us prepare the way in our hearts this Christmas, to accept that we are not alone, that we are loved as we are, and that by following Jesus’ life of love and preference for the least the oppressed and the poor, that we too shall be guided into the way of peace. #letusadorehim :: Art by @scottthepainter@ennie4

2016 has been a rough year. With a confusing election cycle, terrorism on the rise, government corruption, and racism being brought back to the fore front of American culture. I’ve heard some people, in the middle of grief, or even despair say, “This must be the end”, or “we’re headed to hell in a handbasket”. Hasn’t this always been the case though? Haven’t we always been in need of a savior? Two days away from Christmas, the responsorial psalm invites us to proclaim “Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand” With so much bad news this year, lets make this our Christmas prayer. As we look at the empty manger, and wait with Mary and Joseph, yearning for the coming of Jesus, let’s remember. However bad the news, however bleak the outlook, or uncertain the future. The anticipation of Advent is always fulfilled in the good news of Christmas. Our redemption is always at hand, we simply have to lift up our heads. @baumlife #letusadoreHim

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admin2016 has been a rough year. With a confusing election cycle, terrorism on the rise, government corruption, and racism being brought back to the fore front of American culture. I’ve heard some people, in the middle of grief, or even despair say, “This must be the end”, or “we’re headed to hell in a handbasket”. Hasn’t this always been the case though? Haven’t we always been in need of a savior? Two days away from Christmas, the responsorial psalm invites us to proclaim “Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand” With so much bad news this year, lets make this our Christmas prayer. As we look at the empty manger, and wait with Mary and Joseph, yearning for the coming of Jesus, let’s remember. However bad the news, however bleak the outlook, or uncertain the future. The anticipation of Advent is always fulfilled in the good news of Christmas. Our redemption is always at hand, we simply have to lift up our heads. @baumlife #letusadoreHim

This morning, as I read the first reading for Mass, tears fell down my face in gratitude to a God who loves us each so personally. The picture you see here is of Beckham Samuel who was born on Sunday. He was just adopted by my friends, Jackie and Brett. How does Beckham Samuel relate to this passage today? Because Jackie has struggled for years with infertility and pregnancy loss. She had two children—one daughter given to her through adoption and one son was hers biologically. But the yearning and deepest prayer of her heart was for another child. Last month, the adoption agency said that there was a mom due in December who wanted them to adopt her son; when Jackie sent me a text announcing this news, the first thing that I could think to send her was this, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request” (1 Samuel 1:27). Samuel is this child’s middle name because of this verse, because the words of thanksgiving from Hannah in the Scripture became Jackie and Brett’s own prayer of thanksgiving. Today is their first day at home with Beckham, the child that they prayed for. And what words are in the first reading today? “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.” Pope Benedict XVI, in a homily in Advent 2012, said this, “We can reflect on whether we are really aware of this fact that the Lord is present among us, that he is not a distant God but a God-with-us, a God in our midst who is with us here…God rejoices in us and we can attain joy: God exists, God is good and God is close.” This morning, my friend Jackie saw this reality first hand—that God is not distant but is a God who is personally invested in us, who is God-with-us. In a few days, we will celebrate the coming of Christ, Emmanuel, the name that means “God is with us”. As Advent comes to an end, let us ask ourselves if WE are aware of this fact: that the Lord is present among us, that he is not distant, that he exists, is good and is close. Today, God might not come as obviously for you as he did for Jackie, but we can trust that he is there. Let’s ask for the grace to see him, in whatever way he chooses to come.@baumwife#letusadorehim

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adminThis morning, as I read the first reading for Mass, tears fell down my face in gratitude to a God who loves us each so personally. The picture you see here is of Beckham Samuel who was born on Sunday. He was just adopted by my friends, Jackie and Brett. How does Beckham Samuel relate to this passage today? Because Jackie has struggled for years with infertility and pregnancy loss. She had two children—one daughter given to her through adoption and one son was hers biologically. But the yearning and deepest prayer of her heart was for another child. Last month, the adoption agency said that there was a mom due in December who wanted them to adopt her son; when Jackie sent me a text announcing this news, the first thing that I could think to send her was this, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request” (1 Samuel 1:27). Samuel is this child’s middle name because of this verse, because the words of thanksgiving from Hannah in the Scripture became Jackie and Brett’s own prayer of thanksgiving. Today is their first day at home with Beckham, the child that they prayed for. And what words are in the first reading today? “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.” Pope Benedict XVI, in a homily in Advent 2012, said this, “We can reflect on whether we are really aware of this fact that the Lord is present among us, that he is not a distant God but a God-with-us, a God in our midst who is with us here…God rejoices in us and we can attain joy: God exists, God is good and God is close.” This morning, my friend Jackie saw this reality first hand—that God is not distant but is a God who is personally invested in us, who is God-with-us. In a few days, we will celebrate the coming of Christ, Emmanuel, the name that means “God is with us”. As Advent comes to an end, let us ask ourselves if WE are aware of this fact: that the Lord is present among us, that he is not distant, that he exists, is good and is close. Today, God might not come as obviously for you as he did for Jackie, but we can trust that he is there. Let’s ask for the grace to see him, in whatever way he chooses to come.@baumwife#letusadorehim

We all love adventures and epic stories. But even deeper than that, we all want our own epic adventure. In the last few days before we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Gospel brings us back to where it all began: The Annunciation. We read how Mary allowed herself to be completely set apart for the Lord through her simple “yes” and He begins to write the rest of her adventure. When we say “yes” to God and his plans for our lives it changes us and brings us to life. Its like St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” We will never be more fully alive than when we give God our yes. You were created for adventure, for greatness, for holiness, and for life with God. Don’t settle for anything less.@laurenkoath19 #letusadorehim

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adminWe all love adventures and epic stories. But even deeper than that, we all want our own epic adventure. In the last few days before we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Gospel brings us back to where it all began: The Annunciation. We read how Mary allowed herself to be completely set apart for the Lord through her simple “yes” and He begins to write the rest of her adventure. When we say “yes” to God and his plans for our lives it changes us and brings us to life. Its like St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” We will never be more fully alive than when we give God our yes. You were created for adventure, for greatness, for holiness, and for life with God. Don’t settle for anything less.@laurenkoath19 #letusadorehim

My man Zechariah, I feel you. Two weeks ago I came down with a nasty cold that escalated into bronchitis. I woke up one morning unable to talk. I physically could not speak for about 36 hours. It was a weird sensation going about my daily business among co-workers, neighbors, wife and son, as best I could with body language and one word whispers. It was an (almost refreshing) experience polar to our hyperactive 140-character yelling matches. Anytime I wanted to speak my mind, I was forced to stop and listen. No getting in my 2 cents, the first word or last word.In the readings today, Zechariah was going about his daily business when God took his physical voice away. Boom! His day was turned upside down and he was forced to silence his self and focus his soul on the big things God was preparing.Yall, this is it. The home stretch of Advent. If you haven’t made time, silence your own words. God is sending the first word and last word, the alpha and omega. But this time around He’s not sending a prophet, the law, scripture, or another cool miracle story.  He’s sending himself.  God is making himself accessible and making a relationship attainable. He’s making it personal this time, sending the very person of his being, Love in the form of a person, to Zechariah, me and you. Be still and know that He loves you. Be still and know. Be still. Come, #letusadorehim.@mattyhams24

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adminMy man Zechariah, I feel you. Two weeks ago I came down with a nasty cold that escalated into bronchitis. I woke up one morning unable to talk. I physically could not speak for about 36 hours. It was a weird sensation going about my daily business among co-workers, neighbors, wife and son, as best I could with body language and one word whispers. It was an (almost refreshing) experience polar to our hyperactive 140-character yelling matches. Anytime I wanted to speak my mind, I was forced to stop and listen. No getting in my 2 cents, the first word or last word.In the readings today, Zechariah was going about his daily business when God took his physical voice away. Boom! His day was turned upside down and he was forced to silence his self and focus his soul on the big things God was preparing.Yall, this is it. The home stretch of Advent. If you haven’t made time, silence your own words. God is sending the first word and last word, the alpha and omega. But this time around He’s not sending a prophet, the law, scripture, or another cool miracle story.  He’s sending himself.  God is making himself accessible and making a relationship attainable. He’s making it personal this time, sending the very person of his being, Love in the form of a person, to Zechariah, me and you. Be still and know that He loves you. Be still and know. Be still. Come, #letusadorehim.@mattyhams24

I’m good at complaining. Like really really good. I’m particularly good at it when things don’t go the way that I want them to…which, shockingly enough, happens quite frequently. That’s why I’m so impressed by St. Joseph, in today’s Gospel reading. I mean, let’s be honest, things certainly did not go as planned. One minute Joseph thinks that Mary has been unfaithful and conceived a child by another man and the next he is told that God has chosen him to be the foster father of the Savior his people had been waiting for for hundreds of years…no pressure. But Joseph doesn’t even bat an eye. He doesn’t complain or throw a fit because God’s plan is vastly different from what he had expected. He simply, “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” He placed his trust in the will of God no matter how crazy it might’ve seemed. So as I prepare for the coming of the Lord, I pray that I might become more like St. Joseph. That I might learn to trust in the will of the God who makes all things work for the good of those who love him. @laurenmarie2893#letusadorehim

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adminI’m good at complaining. Like really really good. I’m particularly good at it when things don’t go the way that I want them to…which, shockingly enough, happens quite frequently. That’s why I’m so impressed by St. Joseph, in today’s Gospel reading. I mean, let’s be honest, things certainly did not go as planned. One minute Joseph thinks that Mary has been unfaithful and conceived a child by another man and the next he is told that God has chosen him to be the foster father of the Savior his people had been waiting for for hundreds of years…no pressure. But Joseph doesn’t even bat an eye. He doesn’t complain or throw a fit because God’s plan is vastly different from what he had expected. He simply, “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” He placed his trust in the will of God no matter how crazy it might’ve seemed. So as I prepare for the coming of the Lord, I pray that I might become more like St. Joseph. That I might learn to trust in the will of the God who makes all things work for the good of those who love him. @laurenmarie2893#letusadorehim

Did you ever read that book “Did Adam and Eve have Belly Buttons?” It’s a good book, but it’s an even better question to reflect on. Hang with us for a second. That seems silly, maybe even ridiculous. But our belly buttons do more than just gather lint (reflecting on how that lint gets in there is a whole other reflection), our belly buttons reveal our origin. They reveal the truth that at one point we were completely connected to, AND completely dependent on someone else (ie your mother). Check out today’s readings – it’s more than a bunch of names – it’s inviting us to reflect on our origin; your origin. Today the readings are inviting us to remember who we are, where we come from, and… who we’ve been waiting for. @nic_frank_#letusadorehim

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adminDid you ever read that book “Did Adam and Eve have Belly Buttons?” It’s a good book, but it’s an even better question to reflect on. Hang with us for a second. That seems silly, maybe even ridiculous. But our belly buttons do more than just gather lint (reflecting on how that lint gets in there is a whole other reflection), our belly buttons reveal our origin. They reveal the truth that at one point we were completely connected to, AND completely dependent on someone else (ie your mother). Check out today’s readings – it’s more than a bunch of names – it’s inviting us to reflect on our origin; your origin. Today the readings are inviting us to remember who we are, where we come from, and… who we’ve been waiting for. @nic_frank_#letusadorehim

Call me crazy, but when I read the Gospel for today, I immediately thought of Santa Clause. Jesus addresses the Jews about his cousin John, saying “Listen, this guy is super cool, I love him like a brother, but let’s not overlook the reason he is doing this… me!” loosely interpreted, of course. John was the prophet of all prophets, the miracle of grace, and everyone looked at him as the answer to the promises of the Old Testament. Jesus is proclaiming, “I have testimony greater than John’s… the Father has sent me.” There is so much goodness around Christmas time: beautiful trees, lights, presents, stars, family time, Santa Clause/ St. Nick. These things are good and bring joy. But sometimes they over-shadow or distract from the reason they are actually meaningful. Let’s re-center our Advent season and #letusadoreHim whose works testify that the Father has sent Him.@saraluanne

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adminCall me crazy, but when I read the Gospel for today, I immediately thought of Santa Clause. Jesus addresses the Jews about his cousin John, saying “Listen, this guy is super cool, I love him like a brother, but let’s not overlook the reason he is doing this… me!” loosely interpreted, of course. John was the prophet of all prophets, the miracle of grace, and everyone looked at him as the answer to the promises of the Old Testament. Jesus is proclaiming, “I have testimony greater than John’s… the Father has sent me.” There is so much goodness around Christmas time: beautiful trees, lights, presents, stars, family time, Santa Clause/ St. Nick. These things are good and bring joy. But sometimes they over-shadow or distract from the reason they are actually meaningful. Let’s re-center our Advent season and #letusadoreHim whose works testify that the Father has sent Him.@saraluanne

I can’t recall all of my kids social security numbers. I sometimes even have a hard time with their birthdays. Names? I’ve learned those. But, with seven of them…man… it can be very difficult to meet all of those needs, make myself available to them, and save the day when it needs to be saved. The truth is, I screw up a lot. And the reality is, I WILL wound them, and I will screw them up. My constant prayer is that I don’t screw them up too bad. But, today’s readings reveal a different kind of Father all together. A Father that won’t screw up, is always available and forever keeps His promises. He will never abandon us, never forget about us, loves to wow us with His abundance. To prepare the way, John the Baptist implored us to turn, receive, trust, follow, and repeat. During this final push of Advent, let’s turn towards Jesus, receive His love, trust that He’s God, and follow where He leads. Simple, but not easy I know. The truth is, there is a lot of crazy going on in our lives and in our world right now. But I’m reminded today that everyone and everything is going to be okay. Whether we recognize it (like the first followers) or not (like the Phariees), there is a beautiful swirling drama being played out on the stage of our vast universe. The main subject, a Creator who is jealous for His adopted children, who stops at nothing to help them recognize who He is and how He loves. Our Abba is Creator, and He sent His only Son into the world to reveal His unconditional, indiscriminate love. He never tires of forgiving us and is way bigger than whatever is bugging you today or even what’s ailing our world. He’s got this! Rescue is coming!@ennie4 #letusadorehim

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adminI can’t recall all of my kids social security numbers. I sometimes even have a hard time with their birthdays. Names? I’ve learned those. But, with seven of them…man… it can be very difficult to meet all of those needs, make myself available to them, and save the day when it needs to be saved. The truth is, I screw up a lot. And the reality is, I WILL wound them, and I will screw them up. My constant prayer is that I don’t screw them up too bad. But, today’s readings reveal a different kind of Father all together. A Father that won’t screw up, is always available and forever keeps His promises. He will never abandon us, never forget about us, loves to wow us with His abundance. To prepare the way, John the Baptist implored us to turn, receive, trust, follow, and repeat. During this final push of Advent, let’s turn towards Jesus, receive His love, trust that He’s God, and follow where He leads. Simple, but not easy I know. The truth is, there is a lot of crazy going on in our lives and in our world right now. But I’m reminded today that everyone and everything is going to be okay. Whether we recognize it (like the first followers) or not (like the Phariees), there is a beautiful swirling drama being played out on the stage of our vast universe. The main subject, a Creator who is jealous for His adopted children, who stops at nothing to help them recognize who He is and how He loves. Our Abba is Creator, and He sent His only Son into the world to reveal His unconditional, indiscriminate love. He never tires of forgiving us and is way bigger than whatever is bugging you today or even what’s ailing our world. He’s got this! Rescue is coming!@ennie4 #letusadorehim