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Showing posts from December, 2018

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:41-52

Highlight: "His mother kept all these things in her heart."

Reflection: A lot of things that happened in Mary's life probably didn't make sense in the moment. But she kept them in her heart. None of us is raising the Messiah, but I'm willing to bet that we don't fully understand the full significance of most events in our lives. We should imitate Mary, and hold these things in our hearts. Not to stress about them, or ruminate, but rather to offer them up in prayer. Later, if we're fortunate, we'll be able to look back at those moments and get a glimpse of God's plan, and the part we played in it.

Geeky Quote: "Run, you clever boy, and remember." - Cara Oswin Oswald, Doctor Who

Prayer: God, help me to be a willing participant in your providence. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Christmas 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-25 (Vigil), Luke 2:1-14 (Midnight), Luke 2:15-20 (Dawn), or John 1:1-18 (Day)

Highlight: "Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

Reflection: We have great news. Our Creator loves us so much that he became one of us, to save us from sin and prepare a place for us in heaven, a place of endless joy. There is literally no greater news than that. But so often we just keep that news to ourselves. It's just part of our religion, and we don't want to impose that on other people. But surely there are ways of sharing this fantastic news without "imposing," right? We don't have to stand on the street corner handing out pamphlets. We can share our faith through our behavior, through our attitudes, and through our relationships with others. So let's "go tell it on the mountain"!

Geeky Quote: "I come with glad tidings of a world made free." - Loki "Reindeer Games" L…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:67-79

Highlight: "The dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Reflection: What a striking visual we're given at the end of Zechariah's canticle. The dawn form high shall break up on us. The dawn is what comes after hours of night; it is salvation from darkness. When things are as bad as they can be, when it feels like we are about to be strangled by sin, God comes down like the dawn and saves us. Why? Because He loves us.

Geeky Quote: "There suddenly upon a ridge appeared a rider, clad in white, shining in the rising sun. 'Behold the White Rider!' cried Aragorn. 'Gandalf is come again!'" - Gandalf's arrival at Helm's Deep, The Two Towers

Prayer: Lord, save me from my sins. I look forward with hope to your coming. Come Lord Jesus, come! Amen.

Tomorrow is Christmas. Make sure to check back here tomorrow for a…

Geeky Catholic Advent: The Fourth Sunday of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45

Highlight: "At the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy."

Reflection: When Mary came to visit Elizabeth, both Elizabeth and her unborn child John were aware of the presence of Jesus inside Mary. And that impacted how Elizabeth addressed Mary. Now, as far as I know, none of us are physically pregnant with God Incarnate, but we do carry Christ's presence inside of us in a spiritual way. Does that impact the way we interact with each other?

Geeky Quote: "Therefore when [the Ainur] beheld [the Children of Ilúvatar], the more did they love them, being things other than themselves, strange and free, wherein they saw the mind of Ilúvatar reflected anew, and learned yet a little more of his wisdom, which otherwise had been hidden even from the Ainur." - The Ainur (analogous to angels), seeing Ilúvatar (God) in His creatures, The Silmarillion

Prayer: Jesus, help me to see you in everyone I encou…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Saturday of the Third Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:46-56

Highlight: "He has scattered the proud in their conceit."

Reflection: There are a couple of ways we can take this verse. For those who have suffered at the hands of people in power, it might be some comfort to know that while the proud seem to get whatever they want, they will not be rewarded for their pride in the next life. On the other hand, none of us is totally without pride. It was the first sin, and it is the root of most of our sinful behaviors. This is not to say that we should cower in fear of a vengeful God who will punish us for our sins. Rather, God scatters the proud in order to remind them that they can't rely only on themselves. He scatters them in order to gather them back to Himself.

Geeky Quote: "Twice the pride, double the fall." - Count Dooku, Revenge of the Sith

Prayer: Jesus, there is nothing I can do without your help. May I rely only on you, and let my soul magnify your glory. Amen.

To get these short reflection…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Friday of the Third Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45

Highlight: "Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country... where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth."

Reflection: Imagine being Mary, just given the news that you would be responsible for raising the Son of God. It would be totally understandable if she had turned inwards, to focus on preparing herself for this great task. Instead, she went to visit Elizabeth and help her in any way she could. Even when she was a pivotal player in what was arguably the most important event in human history, Mary still recognized that it wasn't all about her. How can we be more like Mary? Are there people in our lives who could use our help?

Geeky Quote: "Let's get out of here. All of us." - Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see beyond my own desires and difficulties, so that I may bring your love to others. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Thursday of the Third Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38

Highlight: "Of his Kingdom there will be no end."

Reflection: No matter how bad things get, we can have hope in two things. The first is that Christ will be victorious over evil, and His Kingdom will reign. The second is that this Kingdom will last forever. So rather than put our faith in the institutions of this world, we should strive to be worthy citizens of the Eternal Kingdom.

Geeky Quote: "Wakanda forever!" - T'Challa, Black Panther

Prayer: Jesus, please don't allow me to get so attached to material goods and human institutions that I lose sight of Your Kingdom. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:5-25

Highlight: "You did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time."

Reflection: Zechariah did not believe the angel's words, and asked him for a sign. It's not a bad thing to ask God for a signs, as long as we do it in the spirit of faith. If we tell God, "I won't believe unless you give me a sign," then we have no right to expect God to show us anything. We must have the attitude of the father of the possessed child in Mark's gospel, and say, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

Geeky Quote: "I want to believe." - Poster in Mulder's office, The X-Files

Prayer: Jesus, I believe in you. Help my unbelief! Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

Highlight: "They shall name him Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"

Reflection: One of the unique things about our faith is that, while God is infinitely powerful and infinitely above us, He is also with us. He doesn't just stand in a high place and wait for us to come to Him; He comes down to our level, and invites us to accompany him to the heights.

Geeky Quote: "They say that the One will himself enter into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end." - Andreth, "The Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth," Morgoth's Ring

Prayer: Jesus, You became one of us so that we may join You in heaven. Thank you for this amazing and merciful gift. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Monday of the Third Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-17

Highlight: "Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations."

Reflection: This gospel summarizes how, over the course of thousands of years, God carried out his plan of salvation. Every event in those 42 generations, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed, led to the Incarnation, and the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Even the Babylonian exile. At the time, the people cried out, "How could God let this happen to us?" But even that was a part of God's plan. Have you ever asked, "How could God let this happen?" I have. God's plan is so big, so far-reaching, that most of the time, it's impossible for us to see how things could ever turn out well. But through God's providence, the way things turn out will be better than we can possibly imagin…

Geeky Catholic Advent: The Third Sunday of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:10-18

Highlight: "Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ."

Reflection: Sometimes we get so impatient with waiting, that we mistake the thing in front of us with the thing we're waiting for. The disciples of John the Baptist made that mistake 2000 years ago. In what ways do we make that mistake today? Sometimes we try to skip over Advent, and start celebrating Christmas early. Sometimes, we treat the warm fuzzy feelings that sometimes accompany prayer or good deeds as our ultimate goal, instead of communion with Christ. We have to be patient, and set our sights on the true goal, so that we do not mistake the goods of this life with our ultimate destiny.

Geeky Quote: "I'm waiting!" - Vizzini, The Princess Bride

Prayer: Lord, it can be so hard to wait for the good things You have promised me. Help me to enjoy the good things in this life, but do not let those things b…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Saturday of the Second Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:9A, 10-13

Highlight: "They did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased."

Reflection: Not everyone recognized John the Baptist as a prophet of God. This was because they were focused on keeping their power, and were not open to John's message. What things in our life keep us from recognizing God's message to us? Are we so attached to material things - food, money, comfort, and pleasure - that we fail to see opportunities to grow closer to Jesus?

Geeky Quote: "All that is gold does not glitter, / Not all those who wander are lost; / The old that is strong does not wither, ; Deep roots are not reached by the frost. ; From the ashes a fire shall be woken, ; A light from the shadows shall spring; / Renewed shall be blade that was broken, / The crownless again shall be king." - Strider, The Fellowship of the Ring

Prayer: Jesus, open my eyes to see the truth. Give me the strength to turn away from my sins and avoid temptation.…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Friday of the Second Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:16-19

Highlight: "Wisdom is vindicated by her works."

Reflection: It can be very difficult to be a Christian today. It seems that at best, we are called old fashioned and irrelevant, and at worst we are called intolerant bigots. The truth is twisted around so much that it's hard to know the difference between right wrong. But Jesus assures us that those who remain in the truth will triumph in the end - if not in this life, then in the next.

Geeky Quote: "Compromise when you can. Where you can't, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move. It is your duty, to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say, 'No... you move.'" - Sharon Carter, Captain America: Civil War

Prayer: Lord, help me to hold onto your teachings no matter what. Give me the courage to do what is right, no matter what anyone else says or thinks about me. Amen.

T…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Thursday of the Second Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 11-15

Highlight: "There has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

Reflection: We are destined for greatness. The glory of heaven and communion with Jesus is more amazing than we can possibly comprehend. Whenever we think that we couldn't possibly measure up to the holiness attained by the saints, we should remember that Jesus calls all of us to greatness in His Kingdom.

Geeky Quote: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

Prayer: God, I know you have great plans for me. Help me to strive for the highest levels of holiness, instead of settling for the bare minimum. Amen.

To get these short reflections every day of Advent, click the Subscribe button at the top of this page, or you can "Like" or "Follow" the GeekyCatholicDad Facebook page here.

Geeky Catholic Advent: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38 or Luke 1:39-47

Highlight: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

Reflection: We do our best to plan out everything in our lives. We try to anticipate every outcome, and prepare for it. But there are two problems with this: 1) we can't anticipate everything, and 2) we have to accept that God's plans might be different than our plans. So we should always ask God what his will is for us, and try to live that out.

Geeky Quote: "Mesa your humble servant." - Jar Jar Binks, The Phantom Menace

Prayer: God, what is Your will for me? Am I living the life You want for me? Show me Your will, and help me to conform my will to Yours. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:12-14

Highlight: "It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost."

Reflection: How wonderful it is that you have a God who - if you stray - will abandon the ninety-nine to come get you. That's how important you are to Him. That's how powerful His love is for you.

Geeky Quote: "What is, and always will be, my greatest creation... is you." - Howard Stark, Iron Man 2

Prayer: Your love for me is amazing, Lord. It's not just that you want the salvation of humanity in general, but you want me, specifically, to share an eternity of happiness with you. Help me to accept and respond to that love. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Monday of the Second Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 5:17-26

Highlight: "He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God."

Reflection: It can be easy to turn to God when we need something, or to be angry with Him when tragedy strikes. But how often do we give Him glory for all the wonderful things He has done in our lives?

Geeky Quote: "Did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?" - Finn, The Force Awakens

Prayer: God, thank you for this amazing universe you have for created, and thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Glory to you! Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: The Second Sunday of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:1-6

Highlight: "John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."

Reflection: John had a message for the world, and he did everything in his power to share it with as many people as possible. He was preparing them for the coming of Christ. Now that Christ has come, we have good news: we can receive salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. Do we really believe that? If so, what are we doing to share that message with others?

Geeky Quote: "Pass on what you have learned." - Yoda, Return of the Jedi

Prayer: Jesus, help me to share your Gospel with everyone I meet. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-28

Highlight: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."

Reflection: There are a lot of things to be afraid of today. There's fear of terrorism, fear of persecution, fear of losing our rights, fear of humiliation, and a whole host of other fears. But to a person who is right with God, those fears can be dispelled. God will take care of those who love Him. If we accept Jesus and live the way He tells us to live, then no physical threat will be able to keep us from eternal happiness in heaven.

Geeky Quote: "The Force is with me, and I fear nothing. For all is as the Force wills it." - Chirrut Imwe, Rogue One

Prayer: Lord, cast out all the fear in my life. I know that you will protect me. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Friday of the First Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:27-31

Highlight: "'Do you believe that I can do this?' 'Yes, Lord,' the said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, 'Let it be done for you according to your faith.'"

Reflection: God requires that we place our trust in him. If we rely only on ourselves and the things we can see, we will be disappointed. The more completely we trust in God, the more we will see Him working in our lives.

Geeky Quote: "I don't believe it!" "That is why you fail." - Luke and Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to let go of my fears and anxieties, so that I may trust completely in your providence. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Thursday of the First Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Highlight: "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock."

Reflection: It's not enough to just listen to the Word of God. We have to act on it as well. Ask yourself, "What is something specific that I can do to act on God's Word today?"

Geeky Quote: "When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I build it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. And that one sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up." - King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Prayer: Lord, give me the wisdom to hear Your Word, and the courage to act upon it. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Wednesday of the First Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 15:29-37

Highlight: "[Jesus] took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied."

Reflection: Where do we turn for satisfaction? Money? Technology? The approval of our friends? None of those things are lasting. The fact that Jesus was able to multiply the loaves and the fish shows us that his power to satisfy us is greater than anything we can find in this life. Only in Him will we be satisfied. This doesn't mean we should reject all earthly things, but we have to make sure they aren't coming between us and God.

Geeky Quote: "Stick with me, and you'll never go hungry again!" - Scar, The Lion King [NOTE: In this example Scar represents earthly things, and is in no way a Christ figure!]

Prayer: Jesus, only you can satisfy me. Remove from my soul all unhealthy attachments to earthly things, and prepare me to enter into fu…

Geeky Catholic Advent: Tuesday of the First Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:21-24

Highlight: "Although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."

Reflection: It is no bad thing to want to learn more about our faith. But we must be wary of the temptation to think too highly of ourselves because of all the knowledge we have attained - to believe that we will be saved because of our vast knowledge of spiritual things. In order to grow spiritually, we must humbly ask God to help us.

Geeky Quote: "Teach me!" - Stephen Strange, Doctor Strange

Prayer: Holy Spirit, let me seek a deeper relationship with God, not through my own power, but with Your help. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: Monday of the First Week of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Matthew 8:5-11

Highlight: "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed."

Reflection: We do not deserve salvation, and there is nothing we can do to earn it. But God loves us so much that he saves us anyway. We must open ourselves to that grace, and allow Jesus to work in our lives.

Geeky Quote: "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." - Princess Leia, Star Wars: A New Hope

Prayer: Jesus, help me to see the power of Your mercy. Please heal the brokenness in my life, so that I can one day be with You forever. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Advent: First Sunday of Advent 2018

Gospel Reading: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Highlight: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day [the Second Coming and the General Judgment] catch you by surprise like a trap."

Reflection: It is easy to be distracted from our spiritual lives - not just from literal carousing and drunkenness, but from all the passing things of this world. We must always remember that we are destined for eternity, and that we will be called to account for all our actions (and failures to act) in this life.

Geeky Quote: "Constant vigilance!" - Mad-Eye Moody, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Prayer: Jesus, I ask you to give me the grace to remember You in everything I do. Keep me from sin, so that Your coming will not catch me by surprise. Amen.

To get these short reflections every day of Advent, click the Subscribe button at the top of this page, or you can "Like" or "Follow" the GeekyCatholi…