Luke 1: 39-45

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

{Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • Illustrations on Advent

    from the Archives
  • Illustrations on Humility

    from the Archives
  • Illustrations on Joy

    from the Archives
  • Illustrations on Motherhood

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • The Assumption of Mary

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("The doctor steeled himself to tell the parents the news. In his most professional, clinical, detached voice, he explained to Sharon and John what the ultrasound showed: that their daughter suffered from anencephaly--the baby had developed without a brain. She would live only a few minutes, an hour at best. The mother was in shock; the father became bitter, hostile, withdrawn...")
  • Mary Visits Elizabeth

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("An editor from The Tablet, Margaret Hebblethwaite, reports upon a diocese where 34 parishes have begun a program of using lay people as pastoral visitors. As the editor puts it, "Each member of the neighborhood pastoral team is responsible for making and maintaining contact with a dozen households...")
  • All in God's Hands

    by Sil Galvan
    ("One day, a woman named Lisa happened upon a swallow's nest tucked under the roof of her porch. She looked on enviously as the small birds created a comfy home for their anticipated clutch of eggs. Lisa wished that she and her husband, Wayne, would be doing the same thing. They had tried unsuccessfully for years to have a child...")
  • One Like Us

    by Sil Galvan
    She slips into this world, and into my arms, placed there by heaven. She is straight from God. An indescribable gift. As I look upon her, peace and purity fill the air around her. Through joyful tears I whisper in her ear, "We are glad you are here. We waited so long to see you." She opens her eyes, and I am transformed--a timeless moment filled with the infinity of what life is. In her eyes I see total recognition, unconditional love and complete trust. I am a mother. In that instant I feel and in my heart I know, everything I need to know to guide her.
  • The Power of Prayer

    by Sil Galvan
    I lit my purest candle close to my Window, hoping it would catch the eye Of any vagabond who passed it by And I waited in my fleeting house. Before He came I felt Him drawing near And as He neared I felt the ancient fear That He had come to wound my door and jeer And I waited in my fleeting house. "Tell me stories," I called to the Hobo; "Stories of cold," I smiled at the Hobo; "Stories of old," I knelt to the Hobo; And He stood before my fleeting house.
  • Advent 4C

    by Bill Loader
  • No More Lying About Mary

    by Nancy Rockwell
    "According to Luke, the Angel approached her with words of great honor: Hail Mary, full of grace. Many artists paint the angel kneeling, in recognition of the honor given to her. The angel is explicit; the honor is for the grace that is distinctly hers. This is a courtship scene. the angel is wooing her, on bended knee, a suitor – not a constable bringing a decree. It is Mary's grace that has attracted God's attention. And what is this grace? It is what Luke shows us in her conversation and her actions – courage, boldness, grit, ringing convictions about justice..."
  • Exegetical Notes [Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)]

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)

Narrative Sermons

  • Magnificat

    by Frank Fisher
  • Saying "Yes"

    by Frank Fisher
  • A Christmas Card from Mary

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Joseph has been reminding me for days to get the Christmas mail done. So here it is at last. Let me take the time to tell you about the fantastic events that happened to Joseph and me. In my early teens I lived with my parents and helped my mum at home...")

Illustrated Resources from 2018 and 2019

[If you have any questions about navigating through the site (and for some helpful tips even if you do!), please check out our video guide. Just copy this link (https://www.loom.com/share/afe3352a69f44bff814af8b695701c5e) and paste it into your favorite browser.]
  • Any Final Thoughts?

    by Jim Chern
    A week ago, the TODAY show posted on their website an interview with a doctor who works in Hospice care – which is specialty care for patients who are dealing with terminal illnesses or diseases.. The doctor shared her thoughts in attempt to guide people in “how to avoid regret” with the title of the segment: “What a doctor wishes people knew about living, dying well.” Probably most of us could imagine what was going to be said: The need to cherish every day as a gift. The reality that tomorrow is not a guarantee. The observation that many people who knew their end was coming were upset that they worked so hard or didn’t stay in touch with friends or didn’t choose to live a happier life. Dr. Miller observed: There’s usually regret about having been unkind and selfish. It’s shame around having ever been a jerk to anybody, including to oneself. The interview contained a lot of those types of reflections which you’d expect from someone who’s daily work is with people confronting their ends. How many people who’s life was diminished because of lack of forgiveness or anger? How much time was wasted on fears and worries?...
  • Putting It All in God's Hands

    by Jim Chern
    Back in 1974, James Bain was arrested and convicted of a kidnaping and committing a horrible act of sexual abuse to a 9 year old boy. The 9 year old picked Bain out of a lineup… the jury didn’t believe Bain’s alibi that he had been home watching Television (that his sister had corraborated) he had remained in prison ever since. Being wrongly imprisoned for 35 years?, that’s the stuff of nightmares. How many nights did he go to bed in tears? How often did he hope that someone, ANYONE, would believe him – finally believe and listen to him, that he was innocent – that he didn’t do this horrible thing that he was convicted of doing? Well finally, someone did back in 2009… Fortunately (and finally) everything came together proving his innocence. In one afternoon, a judge signed an order and he was released from prison...
  • Love That Changes the World

    by Kathy Donley
    The German theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer recognized the subversive nature of her song. In 1933, the year that Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, during an Advent sermon Bonheoffer said, “This song of Mary's is the oldest Advent hymn. It is the most passionate, most vehement, one might almost say, most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung. It is not the gentle, sweet, dreamy Mary that we so often see portrayed in pictures, but the passionate, powerful, proud, enthusiastic Mary, who speaks here. None of the sweet, sugary, or childish tones that we find so often in our Christmas hymns, but a hard, strong, uncompromising song of bringing down rulers from their thrones and humbling the lords of this world, of God's power and of the powerlessness of [humans].”...
  • Preaching Helps (Advent 4C)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Scientists tell us that there is a most amazing, and thus-far inexplicable, phenomenon called “quantum entanglement.” If two particles of energy are kept in close proximity to each other for a long time, they form a relationship, a kind of bond that defies the imagination. The connection between these two particles is so strong that if you take one particle to a laboratory in Los Angeles and remove the other one to a lab in New York City, whatever you do to the particle in L.A. will instantly happen to the one in New York, too. Einstein called it “spooky.” It also defied his theory that nothing can travel faster than light. Somehow, however, once particles form this kind of bond, it cannot be severed no matter how great the distance between the two becomes...
  • Mary and Hannah and a Woman in the County Jail

    by Janet Hunt
    it was a few days back that I dropped in at our county jail. I had been trying to get in to see a young woman, a friend of our congregation, who has found herself in an unimaginable place. Friday morning I was fortunate to bump into the County Sheriff who recognized me from one funeral or another. He called upstairs and put me in touch with a Corrections Lieutenant. They let me in to sit with her for a precious half hour. Though we had only met once or twice before, she met me at the door with a hug which would not let go — so starved was she for simple human touch. There were tears shed, powerful fears spoken aloud, disbelief expressed. I could not, would not, argue with her grief or disbelief and certainly could not counter her fears for they are real. I could and did pray with her asking for peace and courage for whatever lay ahead...
  • How Do We Celebrate the Assumption of Mary in This Summer of Sex Abuse Scandals?

    by Terrance Klein
    One effect of worshipping according to a liturgical calendar is that each commemoration comes amid a constellation of others, so that we always begin a celebration, preach a new homily, aware of where we have been and where we are going. Pope John Paul II knew just that when he assigned to Maximilian Kolbe the memorial date of Aug. 14, one day before the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The priest martyr not only died on the eve of her feast, his ministry had been centered upon devotion to Mary. The story of his death could not be more inspiring. A prisoner in Auschwitz because of his Christian publishing activity, he watched as 10 men were randomly chosen to be starved to death because one had escaped. When one of them cried out, “My wife! My Children!” Father Maximilian volunteered to take his place...
  • Why Do the Gospels Insist on the Virgin Birth of Jesus?

    by Terrance Klein
    Try to imagine not knowing who your father is. And then, imagine learning that your father is the one who condemned your life to bondage—not metaphorical servitude but real slavery. One need not read very deep into U.S. history before learning that Africans, brought to America as slaves, and their descendants were also sexually abused by their masters. What happened to the children born of these illicit, abusive relations? According to the law of the time, any child born to a slave woman was a slave. But how could a man know that he had fathered a son or a daughter and leave that child in bondage? How could any man, even a master, look upon his own child as a slave?...
  • Forever But Not for Keeps

    by Leslie Scoopmire
    The poet Khalil Gibran urged this same perspective in his book, The Prophet: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you, they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday...
  • Mary, the Mother of God

    by Eleonore Stump
    In his moving musical composition Like Winter Waiting, John Foley, SJ, has Joseph sing about Mary, “Who is this woman?” For many people (and, of course, maybe for Joseph too) the question is really, “Who is this woman to me?” These two questions are very different in character. Consider the first one. The traditional answer to it is that Mary is the Mother of God...

Illustrated Resources from 2015 to 2017

  • Mary's Assumption and Seeing Ourselves as God Does

    by Jim Chern
    reflecting on this Gospel reading, it reminded me of a story that one of my former High School teachers shared. He would ask his students to take a sheet of paper and divide it in half. On the left side he said "I want you to write down all your gifts, all the talents you have... things that you’re really good at." After a few moments he said, "on the right side write down all the things you want to change about yourself, things that you’re not good at, things your embarrassed about." The sad reality was that he would often have to stop the students writing the second list. That 9 times out of 10, the things they want to change list far exceeded the things they were grateful for list
  • Homeless at Christmas

    by Dan Clendenin
  • Mary and Elizabeth: Visitation or Escape?

    by Dawn Hutchings
    let me tell you another story. It’s the story of a woman who made it into the sacred halls of academia. She was a daughter of the Roman Catholic Church who against all odds managed to earn a PHD and teaches at a Roman Catholic University in Detroit. In 1987, when she dared to publish her scholarly account of our fallen heroine, she faced the wrath of the men in academia, who poo pooed her work and discounted her evidence without so much as a by your leave. This much she had expected, what she didn’t expect was the violence or the strange characters who showed up at her lectures hurling more than verbal insults; and she certainly didn’t expect to wake up in the middle of the night to find her car burning out in her driveway.
  • Bespeaking the Soul

    by Terrance Klein
  • Visit a Family Member (Luke)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
  • Thanks, Mom

    by David Sellery
  • Advent 4

    by J. David Tate
  • Why Not Me?

    by Carl Wilton

Illustrated Resources from 2009 to 2014

  • I Am in Love

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Sometimes people ask me why I don't get more emotional or dramatic in my homilies. I realize it is a defect - perhaps part of the Norwegian heritage from my dad. Believe me, I have tried to correct it. When first ordained, my pastor, Fr. Joe Petosa, tried to help me. Being Italian, expression of emotions came easier to him...")
  • A Song Pregnant with Hope

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("In the Nuremburg War-crime trials a witness appeared who had lived for a time in a grave in a Jewish graveyard, in Wilna, Poland. It was the only place he – and many others – could live, when in hiding after they had escaped the gas chamber. During this time he wrote poetry, and one of the poems was a description of a birth...")
  • "Immensity Cloistered in Thy Dear Womb": Venerating the Mother of God, Worshipping the Son of God

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("In his poem The Annunciation, John Donne thus marvels: 'Salvation to all that will is nigh; That All, which always is all everywhere, Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear, Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die...")
  • Advent 4C (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Scientists tell us that there is a most amazing, and thus-far inexplicable, phenomenon called "quantum entanglement." If two particles of energy are kept in close proximity to each other for a long time, they form a relationship, a kind of bond, that defies the imagination...")
  • The Song of Divine Triumph

    by Charles Hoffacker
    As Jack Kornfield recounts in the book “How, Then, Shall We Live?” it is the custom in one African tribe that when a woman decides to have a child, she goes and sits alone under a tree, and she listens. She listens until she hears the song of the child who wants to come. Once she hears the song, she returns to the man who will be the child's father and teaches the song to him. When they make love to conceive the child, they sing the song to call the child to them. When the woman is pregnant, she teaches the child's song to the midwives and old women of the village so that when the birth time arrives, the people surrounding the mother sing the song to welcome the child among them. Then as the child grows up, the other villagers learn the song. If the child falls or hurts his knee someone picks him up and sings the song. When the child does something wonderful, the people of the village sing this song. When the child goes through the rites of puberty and becomes an adult, the villagers sing the song. It goes this way through life. At a wedding, the songs of husband and wife are sung together. Finally, when this child grows old, and lies in bed ready to die, all the villagers know the song, and they sing it for the last time...
  • Moving with Mary's Song

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • Mary, the First Theologian

    by Terrance Klein
    ("In his new work The Infancy Narratives, Pope Benedict XVI, resets the stories of Christmas against the backdrop of inquiry that must have existed in the minds of the first believers. Benedict begins his work with a scene never associated with Christmas. In Saint John's Gospel, Pilate asks Jesus, 'Where are you from?'...")
  • The Mother's Face

    by Terrance Klein
    ("When Michelangelo's Pieta was first unveiled, wags found two errors. The Virgin, holding her dead son, is larger than he is. By three feet, if they both stood up. The artist answered that this distortion was done in the service of beauty. The body of a fully grown man would look ungainly in Mary's lap. The second criticism was the Madonna's face. It's that of an adolescent, perhaps the Virgin who conceived but certainly not the Mother who received her dead son's body. Responding to the criticism, Michelangelo quipped, Chastity enjoys eternal youth'...")
  • The Light Within

    by Linda Kraft
    ("The purpose of the candles, then, in that tradition, was to keep danger at bay. One of the other traditions I've heard about the candles in the windows at Christmastime, is that they signal space available for the Christ child. "Look, Mary! See here, Joseph. In our home there is space for you to come and dwell. Stay as long as you'd like. We'd love for you to stay forever."...")
  • A Multitude of Ruptures

    by Jim McCoy
    ("In his classic study, The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann insists that biblical prophets are neither fortune tellers nor social protestors. Rather, their ministry is the formation and nurture of an alternative community. The first prophetic task is to criticize the dominant culture in such a way as to penetrate numbness and denial....")
  • Advent 4C (2009)

    by Joseph Parrish
    ("Sam Levenson tells a wonderful story about the birth of his first child. The first night home the baby would not stop crying. His wife frantically flipped through the pages of Dr. Spock to find out why babies cry and what to do about it. Since Spock's book is rather long, the baby cried a long time...")
  • For Joy

    Image for Worship by Jan Richardson
  • Sexuality and Creativity

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Anne Michaels in her recent book, Fugitive Pieces, makes a virtual spirituality of creativity out of sex. Her two main characters, both male, have their personalities and creativity opened up only through sex. The intimation of course is that this is true for everyone. This is not a simplistic thesis...")
  • Beware of Cute

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("This is the time of year when we need to be on high alert for cute. We love cuteness. This is a cute-driven culture. And this season of year turns everything it touches into glitz and cuteness. But the story of Jesus' birth wasn't cute....")
  • Live the Lullaby

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Every baby will keep every parent up all night, at least once. It's a rule. Whether because they are teething or colicky, anxious or tummy-troubled, or just plain fussy, it's part of a baby's mission in life to keep its parents awake weeping and wailing. We parents are 'hard-wired' to respond to an infant's cries....")
  • Mary's View of Christmas

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Natalie Grant tells the story about Christmas when she was six years old. Her family was traveling to Sand Diego in an RV to visit her grandmother at Christmas. Like all little children, Natalie was excited about opening presents on Christmas Day. On the way her family stopped in northern California for the night...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

  • Seeing the Unexpected in Advent

    by Doug Adams
    ("A contemporary artist's rendering of this meeting of Mary and Elizabeth occurs in Michele Zackheim's The Tent of Meeting. Her 1500 square foot art work is in the form of a Bedouin style tent whose canvas walls are covered with historic imagery from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam....")
  • This Magnificent Mess

    by Mickey Anders
    ("In 1964, Marshal McLuhan published his monumental work Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Because of the influence of this book and his ideas, McLuhan is often considered to be the first father and leading prophet of the electronic age..." and another illustration from Philip Yancey)
  • Why Me?

    by Craig Barnes
    Several years ago, at Christmas, I was walking downtown, late for an appointment. I rushed past a small group of young teenagers who were singing carols on the sidewalk. I should have kept running, but for some reason I stopped for just a moment. It was then that I noticed these teenagers all had some developmental disability. One young lady with Down's Syndrome had the j ob of playing the triangle. Whenever the director pointed to her, her face would light up, she would smile from ear to ear, and give her triangle such a whack. I was riveted by her. She became my priest. As my eyes teared up something inside me leapt for joy. I noticed the stressed out leaders of business and government around me who had also been captivated by this moment, dabbing their eyes. What was happening? Something deep inside, something planted by God, was touched as they sang, "the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight." That holy thing God had started leaped up to our hearts and everyone of us wanted to join that group of singers saying, "I have disabilities, too. My spirit and heart have been disabled by cynicism, hurt, and anger. I would love to have your innocence and purity leap out of me as it does your little choir."...
  • Who Is the "Woman Clothed With the Sun?

    by Frank Blisard
    ("Every August 15th, my parents would pack their six kids into the ol' station wagon and head down to Cape May, just for the day. Our mission? To bathe in the miraculous ocean waters which, for that brief 24-hour period, had been "blessed" by Our Lady, Star of the Sea—a.k.a. the Blessed Virgin Mary—in honor of the feast of her bodily assumption into heaven. Years later, in conversation with an African-American professor, I was delighted to learn that the same custom has been observed from time immemorial by women in West Africa in honor of a local water-goddess...")
  • Only the Mother of Jesus?

    by Phil Bloom
    ("An insider's book on the presidency of George W. Bush illustrates the very limited role a mother has today. According to the book, Barbara Bush was quite concerned that her son would get involved in a war with Iraq...")
  • Advent 4C (2006)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Several years ago, at Christmas, I was walking downtown, late for an appointment. I rushed past a small group of young teenagers who were singing carols on the sidewalk. I should have kept running, but for some reason I stopped for just a moment. It was then that I noticed these teenagers all had some developmental disability...")
  • The God Of Surprises

    by Tom Cox
    ("A typical Sunday congregation were startled one Sunday by the sight of their priest tottering onto the altar in a red dress with matching hat and heels. Mass started as usual, to the accompaniment of arched eyebrows, shock and pitying looks that spoke; 'the poor man is cracked'...")
  • Crossing the Threshold

    by Robert Crouch
    ("Dear Abby, I feel like ending my life! What seemed like the ideal dream has become an unending nightmare. Only a few weeks ago everything seemed perfect. I had just graduated from school with honors. My girlfriend and I got engaged the same day my father made me a full partner in his construction business. I was so pumped and definitely in love...")
  • The Rose Will Bloom

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("There is a prayer that comes to us from the people of Nicaragua, written in 1989, in the midst of the struggle and turmoil of that tiny country: 'May it come soon to the hungry to the weeping to those who thirst for your justice to those who have waited for centuries for a truly human life. Grant us the patience to smooth the way on which your kingdom comes to us...")
  • Holy Is His Name

    by Adrian Dieleman
    ("I came across something in my files that speaks to this. How to act when you meet Jesus: If Jesus came to your own home to spend a day or two if He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do? I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored Guest, and all the food you'd serve to Him would be the very best..." and other illustrations)
  • Enlarging God

    by Robert Elder
    ("Anita Wheatcroft is a religious writer who once shared the story of her first experience with the enlarging power of God to rescue and lift up the tiny things: 'It happened in a large church in New York City where I grew up. During an annual Nativity pageant, the church was especially full...")
  • Making a Place for Hospitality

    by Heather Entrekin
    ("Mary entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. The word 'house' means 'go in', 'spend the night', 'find safety from the dangers of the dark'. It would not be too much of a stretch to assume that Mary needs shelter that a friend can give; she needs the blessing that a family can offer. Irish proverb: It is in the shelter of each other that the people live...")
  • The Gift of Love

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("the spirit of Christ is found in the story of the welfare mother back East, a woman with three boys, who some three weeks ago just after cashing her mother's allowance cheque lost the money while looking after her infant son. She faced an incredibly bleak Christmas - so desperate in fact that her oldest child, a seven year old, tried to get a Salvation Army worker to give him his donation kettle one afternoon..." and other illustrations)
  • Mary Sings

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("A five-hour bus ride along muddy jungle roads from Colombia in South America there is a small congregation with about 20 believers. The pastor of this congregation was a young man who travelled there on weekends. A visitor to this congregation made this report, 'The home of a village woman, Dona Maria, served as their meeting place. The worship services left much to be desired....")
  • Inviting Others to Christmas

    by Bruce Goettsche
    ("One day a man stopped into the convenience store to get a newspaper like he normally does. Today he noticed that the owner of the store had tears in his eyes and kept looking out the window. He asked what was going on. The store owner said, 'Do you see that bus bench over there? There's a woman who comes there every day around this time...")
  • Keeping Our Focus

    by Bruce Goettsche
    ("The story is told of a native American from a reservation in the southwest part of the country who won a trip to New York City. He chose to cash in his prize at Christmastime. Among the holiday lights, amplified music, bustling shoppers, and jammed traffic of Manhattan, the young man walked alongside his host, wide-eyed, drinking in the sights and sounds of Christmas in the city...")
  • The Praise of Mary

    by Doug Goins
    ("In the interview, Garrison Keillor was asked if there were any Christmas customs celebrated in Lake Woebegone that should be adopted elsewhere. He replied, 'The custom of postponement, I think, is one that everyone can benefit from'. The interviewer asked, 'What's that?' Keillor said, 'Well, retailers want Christmas to begin somewhere in October...")
  • When Grace Comes In

    by Leah Grace Goodwin
    ("December 1914. The first Christmas of World War One. Trench warfare is the order of the day. The European countryside is slashed by thousands of miles of them, parallel lines of flooded, frozen, muddy pits in which German and English soldiers huddle and make home for themselves. The no-man's land in between is, in some places, only a few yards wide...")
  • Advent 4C (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there were two kids who were fed up with Christmas. They began an anti-Christmas campaign among their friends. Look, they said, everyone is tense and worn out, moms are tired from cooking, dads from putting up trees and decorations, kids from wrapping presents, neighbors from all the noise and bustle...")
  • Assumption (2004)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time the Lord God went out on patrol of heaven just to make sure that it was still a city that worked. Everything was fine, the hedges trimmed, the grass cut, the fountains clean, the gold and silver and ivory polished, the mall neat...")
  • Christmas Vigil (B)(2000)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there were two kids who were fed up with Christmas. They began an anti-Christmas campaign among their friends. Look, they said, everyone is tense and worn out, moms are tired from cooking, dads from putting up trees and decorations, kids from wrapping presents, neighbors from all the noise and bustle. We open the presents and they're not really what we wanted, though we thought we did...")
  • The Song of Divine Triumph

    by Charles Hoffacker
    ("As Jack Kornfield recounts in the book How, Then, Shall We Live? it is the custom in one African tribe that when a woman decides to have a child, she goes and sits alone under a tree, and she listens. She listens until she hears the song of the child who wants to come...")
  • The Nativity As Divine Comedy

    by Conrad Hyeres
    ("Anyone who has sat tearfully and joyfully through Charlie Chaplin's comic film masterpiece, City Lights, will immediately sense the profound relationship between these biblical themes and those of the tradition of comedy and clowning. Chaplin plays the tramp, the outcaste of society, the vagabond with 'nowhere to lay his head' who becomes the strange vehicle of salvation for a poor blind girl, and for a rich man bent on drowning himself...")
  • Are We There Yet?

    by Beth Johnston
    I was reading a piece of news on the internet on Friday that said that the people who work in sweatshops in China making Bratz dolls (which apparently are Barbie’s new competition) earn just .17 per doll and are forced to work up to 90 hours a week in poor conditions with no benefits...
  • Songs of Hope

    by Beth Johnston
    Last week I went down to Grant's Store and I borrowed Losing Isaiah, the poignant story of a baby of colour born to a young woman addicted to crack cocaine and abandoned by mistake in a cardboard box in an alley. Discovered in the nick of time by garbage collectors, Isaiah was raised by a white social worker and her husband and had many of the social and developmental problems common to 'crack babies'...
  • Head of Household?

    by Scott Black Johnston
    ("Today we tend to use the word 'hysterical' to describe something extremely humorous, as in, 'Comedian Robin Williams was hysterically funny last night on the Late Show'. Of course, the term is not limited to expressions of the comical. Webster's dictionary also defines the word 'hysterical' as 'an uncontrollable emotional outburst as from fear'...")
  • With God Nothing Is Impossible

    by James Kegel
    ("Impossibilities can happen. Take the case of the Reverend Robert Schuller. He graduated from Calvin College and Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan and went to California to start a church. Schuller loaded his books in his station wagon with his wife and small children and drove around until he found a place to start a congregation...")
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?

    by David Leininger
    ("It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger..." and the hymn of the same name)
  • Created for Community

    by Ben Manning
    ("I remember a night a while back when some of the kids who were here for choir practice urged some of us adults to go outside to the parking lot. It was during the week that the planets were all lined up in the sky. The youngster told us all to look up and pointed. 'There,' she said, 'There's Venus, the bright one. And just below and to the right is Mars, a faint red...")
  • The Birth of Christ and the Birth of Christmas

    by Edward Markquart
    ("I found a poem the other day that seems to fit: 'When Jesus called that Christmas week I wasn't at my best; And the house was much too cluttered to entertain a guest. He seemed to notice everything, the card still unaddressed, The gifts piled high awaiting wraps, the baking and the rest...")
  • Luke's Original Christmas Pageant

    by Edward Markquart
    ("This past week, I have been thinking about my experiences with poverty and poor people. The first image of poor people that jumps into my mind are the men living down on First Avenue in downtown Seattle. They are often labeled the winos, bums, transients, and other things. If we visit Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle, we will see several of them sitting on benches during the day or sleeping on those benches during the night...")
  • The Magnificat and God's Revolution

    by Edward Markquart
    ("William Barclay says that the Magificat is 'a bombshell'. Barclay goes on to say that people have read it so often that they have forgotten its 'revolutionary terror'. It takes 'the standards of the world and turns them upside down.'...")
  • Mysterious Visitations

    by Kathi Martin
    ("In the book Misconception, Naomi Wolf describes the paradoxical nature of motherhood, particularly the impact on first-time mothers. She suggests that in pregnancy 'a woman is in the grip of one of the most primal, joyful, lonely, sensual, psychologically challenging, and physically painful experiences she can face..." and other quotes)
  • The World Reborn in a Womb

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Susan Andrews tells the story of a colleague who serves several small churches in northeastern Pennsylvania, congregations that have been shaped by what he calls the drudgery of coal mining. The pastor spends a good deal of time serving communion in the simple houses of his discouraged members - bringing into their gray and grimy lives the gifts of God's exquisite grace...")
  • Let It Be

    by Herbert O'Driscoll
    ("When I was a small boy in Ireland my parents would take us to our grandfather’s farm near Castlecomer in County Kilkenny. On the farm there was a hired man whose name was John Brennan. Sometimes I would sit beside him and he would tell me stories. One story John told me I never forgot. He told me to look up into the sky...")
  • The Acceptance of a Joyful Heart

    by John Pavelko
    ("She was a single, young coed attending EMU. She had dreams and ambition but then she became pregnant not from an angel but from an 18 year old boyfriend. It was 1967 and it was simply unthinkable for a white middle-class young woman to keep an 'illegitimate' child. Janet decided otherwise...")
  • From a Nobody to a Somebody

    by John Pavelko
    ("It is a cold December evening. The snow is covering the ground. In the back corner of the yard stands a lone doghouse with the proverbial beagle lying forlorn on the roof. Snoopy is depressed because he does not know what to say to his little bird friend Woodstock...")
  • Love Invades

    by Michael Phillips
    ("In George MacDonald's haunting tale The Golden Key, the young heroine of the story encounters the Old Man of the Earth, who stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. A great hole was disclosed that went plumb down. 'That is the way,' he said. 'But there are no stairs.' 'You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.'...")
  • Stories of Christmas

    by Michael Phillips
    ("In 1941, Hitler's armies were invading the city of Leningrad. The staff of the famous Hermitage Museum worked around the clock to load priceless paintings and sculptures onto three trains and move them to place of safety. On July 1st, the director of the museum stood weeping at the station as the three trains prepared to leave for the Russian heartland..." and other illustrations)
  • To Know How to Visit

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("Johnny had a motorcycle accident three years ago. As a result his right leg was amputated above the knee. He became known in the locality as 'Punkol, the maimed one,' as he hobbled around using a crutch. People pitied him. He appreciated their kindness but felt deeply hurt at being an object of pity...")
  • An Extreme Christmas Story

    by Stephen Portner
    ("A church drama troupe had presented, as a special event on the weekend before Christmas, a "dessert and drama" production of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. The church fellowship hall was transformed into a theater, folding chairs clustered around tables, all facing a makeshift stage fitted with painted backdrops of the tenements and sooty chimneys of nineteenth century London...")
  • A Woman Thing

    by Martin Singley
    ("One day in the Garden of Eden, Eve calls out to God. 'Lord, I have a problem!' 'What's the problem, Eve?' asks God. 'Lord,' she says, 'I know you created me and have provided for me and surrounded me with this beautiful garden and all these wonderful animals, but I'm just not happy.' 'Why is that?' asks the Lord. 'Well, I'm lonely.'...")
  • Magnificent

    by James Standiford
    ("Everett Taylor was a retired Presbyterian pastor, a refined, handsome man with chiseled features, eloquent in his phrasing and clear in his diction. I went calling with Everett one day, and as I went to get out of the car, my back 'caught'..." and another illustration)
  • From the Heart

    by Billy Strayhorn
    ("Charles Krieg of Princeton, NJ tells how each Christmas season he takes his mother into New York City to look at the Christmas decorations and to visit Santa at Macy's Department Store. He says he will always remember the windows of one department store. The first window had a scroll which read The Smell of Christmas in the Kitchen...")
  • Mystery of the Unlikely

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("You probably remember that when they were older, the Wright brothers, had a bicycle shop, which was the source of their income for their experiments in flight. They had tried repeatedly to fly a heavier-than-air craft. Finally on December 17, 1903, on the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they did what no one had never done before...")
  • Such a Small Thing

    by Billy Strayhorn
    ("a young pastor and his wife were assigned to a downtown church. The church had flourished at one time but now had fallen on hard times. But the pastor believed that the Church could flourish again. This particular year a horrendous storm had come through. The church, in need of repairs, suffered another blow..." and another illustration)
  • Mary's "Yes" to God

    by Ray Suriani
    ("One day a priest died and he found himself standing in line at the pearly gates of heaven. Ahead of him was a man dressed in sunglasses, a leather jacket and worn out jeans. St. Peter, who was sitting at his check-in desk, said to the man, 'Sir, please tell me your name. If it's on my list, then I can let you into the kingdom of heaven.'...")
  • The Power of Story

    by Alex Thomas
    ("It was the first year that Paula and I were married and we moved into a new parish in a small community of Killarney Manitoba on the 14th of December. We didn't know whether our furniture would arrive before Christmas because snowstorms held up the moving van some place in Northern Ontario...")
  • Bethlehem Moments

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Faye Kellerman tells of a blessing that changed her career. She was a graduate of UCLA Dental School and about to begin a career in dentistry. But, she never filled the first tooth. Instead she became a writer of defective fiction, choosing to explore the human condition rather than oral hygiene...")
  • Real Hope

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Jane Adams was only seven years old when she visited a shabby street in a nearby town, and seeing ragged children there, announced that she wanted to build a big house so poor children would have a place to play. As a young adult, Jane and a friend visited Toynbee Hall in London, where they saw educated people helping the poor by living among them..." and another illustration)
  • Small and Great

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("In the following story, Timothy F. Merrill speaks of such joy and hope waiting to born at Bethlehem when he visited there: 'Bethlehem in December, 1995, was a far cry from Bethlehem of 4 B.C., or even the Bethlehem of 2003. For the first time in its history, the little village of Judea was on the verge of self-rule. Now it was the Israelis. Before them, the Jordanians...")
  • How Can I Keep From Singing?

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("One day back in the early years of computers, an engineer was asked to demonstrate to a group of reporters what his then 'state-of-the-art' machine could do. His computer was one of those huge, room-sized machines -- complete with whirring reels of tape, flashing lights and a great clattering punch-card machine. It probably accomplished about as much work as the typical personal computer today...")
  • Images of the Visitation

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Advent 4C (2004)

    by Steve Wyles
    ("It seems that a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at the local mall where they always shopped one year. The little guy climbed up on Santa's lap holding a picture of a little girl. 'Who is this?' asked Santa, smiling. 'It's my sister Sarah. She wanted to come to see you too, but she's very sick...")
  • Illustrations (Advent 4C)(2004)

    by Timothy Zingale
    ("In our story today both ladies are greatly blessed by the imminent birth of their sons. 'In the town of Stepanavan, Armenia, there is a woman whom everyone called "Palasan's wife". She had her own name, of course, but townspeople called her by her husband's name to show her great honor...")
  • The Leap of Joy

    by Timothy Zingale
    ("There is a movie about the ultimate despair in life entitled They Shoot Horses Don't They. I saw it in college and again just recently on TV. The movie is about an actress who has a fallen career on the big screen during the 20's. She enters a dance marathon hoping to win the jackpot and to use the money to launch a new movie career...")

Other Resources from 2019 and 2020

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  • Any Final Thoughts?

    by Jim Chern
    A week ago, the TODAY show posted on their website an interview with a doctor who works in Hospice care – which is specialty care for patients who are dealing with terminal illnesses or diseases.. The doctor shared her thoughts in attempt to guide people in “how to avoid regret” with the title of the segment: “What a doctor wishes people knew about living, dying well.” Probably most of us could imagine what was going to be said: The need to cherish every day as a gift. The reality that tomorrow is not a guarantee. The observation that many people who knew their end was coming were upset that they worked so hard or didn’t stay in touch with friends or didn’t choose to live a happier life. Dr. Miller observed: There’s usually regret about having been unkind and selfish. It’s shame around having ever been a jerk to anybody, including to oneself. The interview contained a lot of those types of reflections which you’d expect from someone who’s daily work is with people confronting their ends. How many people who’s life was diminished because of lack of forgiveness or anger? How much time was wasted on fears and worries?...
  • God’s Revolution

    by Louise Kalemkerian

Other Resources from 2018

Other Resources from 2017

Other Resources from 2015 and 2016

Other Resources from 2010 to 2014

Other Resources from 2009

Other Resources from 2004 to 2008

Other Resources from 2003

Other Resources from the Archives

Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Something About Mary

    by Anne Watkins
  • Waiting

    by Brittany Accardi
  • La Asunción de la Virgen

    (de Archidiocesis de Valencia)
  • Advent 4

    by Clyde Bonar
    ("In the year 1865, a young minister was studying in the Holy Land. His name: Phillips Brooks. Traveling by horse on Christmas Eve, Phillips Brooks found himself on a hilltop overlooking Bethlehem. So small, Bethlehem was hardly big enough to be called a town. Gazing at this little village in the evening light, Phillips Brooks wrote a poem...")
  • The Son of God Is Born

    from Children's Ministry
  • The Friendship of Women

    by Joan Chittister
  • Advent 4

    by Robert J. Cole
    ("A week or so ago, the History Channel had a program on called The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. It began with the battle of Marathon where the Greeks defeated the Persians in 490 BC and ended with the battle of Waterloo where the French were defeated by the European allies in 1815. These 15 battles were supposed to have had a significant impact on the course of human history....")
  • Assumption

    by Frank Doyle, SJ
  • Mary's Gift

    by Robert Dunn
  • Theotokos

    by Art Hebbeler
  • Advent 4

    by Lanie LeBlanc, OP
  • Advent 4 (2009)

    by Lanie LeBlanc, OP
  • Advent 4

    by Lanie LeBlanc, OP
  • Assumption

    by Lanie LeBlanc, OP
  • Assumption

    by Alex McAllister
  • First Impressions

    by Jude Siciliano, OP
  • Advent 4C

    by Jude Siciliano, OP
  • Assumption

    by Benjamin Sim, SJ
  • Advent 4

    by Terry Tastard
  • Advent 4

    by Terry Tastard
  • Adviento 3

    by Diana Rocco Tedesco
  • Carried by Joy

    from the UCC
  • Surprising Joy

    from the UCC
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • A Leap of Faith

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time there was a man who was discouraged and had a broken heart. He went home and told his wife, Sophia, that he was a failure because he had been fired from his job at the customhouse. Upon hearing the news, she startled him with an exclamation of joy. 'Now,' she said triumphantly, "you can write your book!' To that he responded with the question, 'What are we going to live on while I am writing this book?..." and other illustrations)
  • Advent 4

    by Martin Warner
  • God's Surprise

    by Glen Wilberg
  • A Royal Pregnancy

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("Now, just for fun, let's compare the pregnancy of Kate, wife of William, Duke of Cambridge, with that of Mary, wife of Joseph of Nazareth. Kate has a loving husband who, by all accounts, dotes on her. Mary has a loving husband, too — but it hasn't always been that way. Unlike William, Joseph is not the biological father of the child his wife is carrying...")
  • Sing Faith's Song

    by Kwanza Yu
  • Advent 4C (2018)

    by Austin Crenshaw Shelley
  • Self-Image Remade in God's Vision

    by Jim Chern
    A former High School teacher shared a somewhat surprising, as well as sad occurrence, that seems to get repeated each and every start of the school year. He would ask his students to take a sheet of paper and divide it in half. On the left side he said "I want you to write down all your gifts, all the talents you have... things that you’re really good at." After a few moments he said, "on the right side write down all the things you want to change about yourself, things that you’re not good at, things your embarrassed about." The sad reality was that he would often have to stop the students writing the second list. 9 times out of 10, the things they want to change list far exceeded the things they were grateful for list - sometimes even continued on the back of the paper.
  • Who for Us....

    by Fred Anderson
  • Mothers of God?

    by Fred Anderson
  • La Asunción de la Virgen

    por Fernando Torres Pérez, CMF