The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
The Twenty-fifth Day of December,
when ages beyond number had run their course from the creation of the world,
when God in the beginning created heaven and earth, and formed man in his own likeness;
when century upon century had passed since the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood, as a sign of covenant and peace;
in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith, came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses in the Exodus from Egypt;
around the thousandth year since David was anointed King;
in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
in the year seven hundred and fifty-two since the foundation of the City of Rome;
in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the whole world being at peace,
eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence,
was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and when nine months had passed since his conception,
was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man:
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
I was featured in the Tablet with an article from the Evangelization Congress as I spoke about the importance of Pope Francis’ exhortation, the Joy of Love.
“‘The Joy of Love’ is a master document on the church’s teaching on the family, marriage, sexuality as well as the virtue of marriage and educating children,” said Sutton, who attends Holy Family Church, Fresh Meadows, with his wife and five daughters. “God is providing a source of comfort and companionship for every family in the word of God.”
Sutton broke down the exhortation’s sections and likened it to Pope Francis washing the feet of 12 people during Holy Thursday liturgy, when the pope made three movements: cleansing, kissing the feet, and accompanying the person. This relates to a culture of encountering families where they are, followed by kissing and acknowledging the reality and challenges families face, and constantly accompanying families, which includes the extended family.
“Our grandparents, they come from a generation where if something is broken you fix it,” Sutton said. “We live in a broken culture, where we throw away our spouses when it gets tough, but remember that generation… Ask for help and reach out when that fixing needs to happen.”
He also talked about the examples of families in Scripture and how humankind starts with a family in Adam and Eve and is redeemed in Jesus’ family. He added that the intent of the pope in having two synods on the family as well as this exhortation is to respond to the brokenness families can experience and remind the faithful that God’s grace is always available for them.
Here I focused on the image of Francis’ washing of the feet as an interpretative key for how we can evangelize to the broken families in our diocese. I’m so looking forward to the testimonies that will come from this day of healing and reaching out to the Lord.
If you are interested in having me speak at your next event please contact me.
A great list of insights from students about what they need to do and what the instructor needs to do for them to excell.
I wondered: What would happen if you asked undergraduate students not about how to please the professor but about what promotes good learning, for all of us, together, as participants in a learning community?
I love my Heavy Metal.
Long ago getting ready for the hockey battles at the Larsen Center at the Brookings Ice Rec Center we all got into game face with our Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and Metallica. My team brought metal to ice. We were awesome and I was there.
Well, truth be told, we lost almost every game, but, dude, the rush facing the onslaught of the breach. I will STAND in the BREACH.
I have traveled for a time in softer tones, but in 1999, I discovered Skillet at one of the best festival concerts I've ever attended. It was all summarized by the guy with the "Satan Sucks" tattoo. And then he screamed, "Jesus Christ Reigns."
Everything became clear. Jesus is invincible because He Reigns!
In Christ, You are Invincible. And here is the full concert.
You are made of fire.
So I play chess ...
Let the pre-judging begin. Yes, I play chess and I play it well. I play well enough to know better and well enough to know that I can sometimes hold my own against the strong.
But I am writing now to let you know what I have learned from playing chess:
- achieve by being tenacious
- achieve by learning from blunders or even leaning into blunders - sometimes your going all in and will go from blunder to gambit
- achieve by seeking the best possible solution even if it takes the maximum amount of time - singular focus solves problems best
- achieve by confidence - God knows the thoughts of men, but your opponent does not - maximize this insight
- tactics matter - the big idea will not give you big results without sound tactics and 99% of sound strategy is 99% of sound tactics - achieve big by achieving small
My favorite chess books:
- Chess Tactics for Champions by Susan Polgar on amazon
- Easy Endgame Strategies by Bill Robertie on amazon
- The Immortal Game: A History of Chess by David Shenk on amazon
- Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady (a colleague of mine at St. John's University) on amazon