Alone For Christmas?

The sad reality of 2020 continues on. After nine months of cancellations, closures, and tragedies, COVID is after Christmas now too. Time will soon tell how dangerous everyone’s Thanksgivings were, what with college students coming home, people still traveling in large number to gather in large groups. I pray that it will not turn out to be a devastating disaster… but I fear it will.

My hope is that we can learn our lesson before Christmas comes: please stay home.

But before you all attack me for being against family and tradition, that telling people to stay home for Christmas is the last thing a priest should do, let me off you this: this might be the most meaningful Christmas of your life. Stripped of all the commercialism and chaos, removed from the traveling and large parties, what we might just find ourselves with a silent night to behold, a simple evening of prayer to touch our hearts. We might just have ourselves a Christmas that captures the true meaning of the season.

In this video, I’d like to suggest that Christmas (and by extension, Advent) is more than just gift-giving and merry-making, it is an opportunity to realize that our world is fundamentally broken and in need of a savior. It is an opportunity to get in touch with our deep longing for new life, and to realize that that new life is already before us, and yet on the horizon.

We behold but a taste of the gift that is to come. Jesus came once 2000 years ago to begin the mission, but we still await the fullness of his glory in the new Jerusalem.

Things that Make you Say WOW

The world is an incredible place. All around us are mysteries of science and nature, dazzling us with their magnificence. Thanks to the internet, we have the opportunity to share them with the world.

In this episode of Upon Friar Review, I share with Fr. Patrick some of the craziest things I could find on the internet, things like the scale of the universe, human hair on an atomic level, crazy powerful shrimp, disillusioning sounds, and super slow motion impacts. It’s a pretty awesome episode.

Reacting to MrBeast

MrBeast is one of the most popular YouTubers today with 46 million subscribers. He’s also the most generous, having given away more than 2 million dollars in just two years. Not all of it is altruistic, but Fr. Patrick and I approve.

What do you think?

Heaven is a place in the clouds where everything is perfect. You get everything you can imagine and do anything you want. There’s no responsibility, no punishment, and no limits.

At least, that’s what Hollywood tells us.

In this week’s episode of Upon Friar Review, Fr. Patrick and I look at a few popular images of heaven to discuss what we think heaven is really like. Spoiler alert: Hollywood doesn’t get much right!

New Channel!

Folks… You don’t know what’s about to hit you.

Two months ago it was announced that Fr. Patrick Tuttle, OFM, my college campus minister, was being assigned to Macon, GA, 5 miles from where I live. The wheels in my head began to turn. Here’s an extroverted, holy, funny man, committed to the mission of Christ and completely without shame in front of a camera. How could I utilize this opportunity? How could we work together on something meaningful, something new?

What about a react-style channel?

And so began Upon Friar Review. Each Thursday, I wills how Fr. Pat videos from the internet and secular media, not to criticize or dismiss the world, but in an attempt to engage with it and, hopefully, call people from it to something deeper. Our hope is to reach people who would otherwise not watch a religious channel, providing them entertainment on a popular level… so as to give them some much needed theology.

If this is something you’d be interested in watching, I’d invite you to subscribe here, or to send this video to someone in need of a bit more levity in their lives!