Advent Reflection: Who is Jesus?

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For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:5

Which of the titles for Jesus resonates with you? Why is that title particularly meaningful?

Going Deeper

Read Isaiah 9:1-6.

Speaking in the eighth century B.C., Isaiah offered hope and a promise of God’s provision to a people who were scared and turning to neighboring countries for safety and protection. While the timing of the arrival of the Prince of Peace may not have been what Isaiah and the people of Judah expected, the Lord was faithful in fulfilling his promise.

Isaiah offers four titles for Jesus:

Wonder-Counselor

God-Hero

Father-Forever

Prince of Peace.

Below are some other Biblical titles/descriptions of Jesus.

who-does-the-bible-say-i-am

Select one or two of the titles for Jesus and reflect on what they mean for your life and your relationship with Christ.

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Who do you say that I am?

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Today’s Gospel reading, from Luke chapter 9, begins:

Once when Jesus was praying by himself, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ ” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”                                      Luke 9:18-20

Reflecting on this passage, I wondered how Jesus’ questions would be answered today.

Who do the crowds say that I am?

According to Barna research (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/714-what-do-americans-believe-about-jesus-5-popular-beliefs#.V2Da8rsrLIU):

  • 92% of Americans believe Jesus was a real person who actually lived.
  • 56% of Americans believe Jesus is God, while 26% say he was just a religious leader, on par with the Buddha or Mohammed.
  • 46% of Americans believe Jesus remained sinless throughout his life, while 52% believe Jesus committed sins, just like other people.

On-the-street interviews asking the question “Who is Jesus?” garner a variety of answers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB2cvvHtqsA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=johNLhZ5y48, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm308hopZhU, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YztvjePz0uk):

Who do people say I am Word Cloud

Who do the Bible and the Church say that I am?

Who does the Bible say I am

But who do you say that I am?

This is perhaps the most important question. I challenge you to think and pray about it, and write down your answer to this question. I would love it if you would share your answer with me.

Here is my answer, at this time in my life:

Who do you say that I am Word Cloud

Jesus is the light of the world

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100_9208Second Sunday of Advent 12/7/14

As you prepare to invite Jesus, Light of the World, more deeply into your heart this Christmas, I invite you to pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, along with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word:

Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.  Jesus, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,  Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,  Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,  Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of the living God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, splendor of the Father,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, brightness of eternal light,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, King of glory,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, sun of justice,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most amiable,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most admirable,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, mighty God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Father of the world to come,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, angel of the great counsel,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most powerful,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most patient,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most obedient,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, lover of chastity,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, lover of us,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, God of peace,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, author of life,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, model of virtues,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, zealous for souls,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our refuge,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, father of the poor,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, treasure of the faithful,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, good Shepherd,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, true light,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, eternal wisdom,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, infinite goodness,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our way and our life,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, joy of Angels,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, King of Patriarchs,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Master of Apostles,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, teacher of Evangelists,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, strength of Martyrs,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, light of Confessors,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, purity of Virgins,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, crown of all Saints,  Have mercy on us.

Be merciful,  spare us, O Jesus.

Be merciful,  graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil,  Jesus, deliver us.

From all sin,  Jesus, deliver us.

From Your wrath,  Jesus, deliver us.

From the snares of the devil,  Jesus, deliver us.

From the spirit of fornication,  Jesus, deliver us.

From everlasting death,  Jesus, deliver us.

From the neglect of Your inspirations,  Jesus, deliver us.

By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Nativity,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Infancy,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your most divine Life,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your labors,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your agony and passion,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your cross and dereliction,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your faintness and weariness,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your death and burial,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Resurrection,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Ascension,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your joys,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your glory,  Jesus, deliver us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus, hear us.  Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord, Jesus Christ who has said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you.” Grant, we beseech thee, to us who ask, the gift of thy most divine love, that we may ever love thee with all our heart and all our words and actions, and never cease from praising thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have both a perpetual fear and love of thy Holy Name, for thou never failest to govern those whom thou foundest upon the strength of thy love, who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Conclude by praying along with “Light of the World” by Watermark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U-3Sh7QNdk