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Advent 2018

2nd Week of Advent: Love

December 15, 2018: Advent Weekday

We prepare. God fulfills.  How are we doing this Advent? We are now halfway through. Continue to increase in love and knowledge of him who is to come. Are we full of anticipation and joy or anxiety and impatience? Tomorrow is the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, meaning Rejoice! The Lord is near! Help us to strive for that sense of joyful expectation, that awareness that the fulfillment of God’s plan for us is near. Let us hear the Word of God and spring into action like John the Baptist.  Prepare the way of the Lord!

3rd Week of Advent:  Joy (Gaudete)

As we move into the 2nd half of Advent, there is a sense of joyful expectation, an awareness that the fulfillment of God’s great plan for us is near, beginning with the lighting of the rose candle on our Advent wreath to the good news proclaimed by John the Baptist, calling for conversion of heart, affirming the Messiah is coming, salvation is near!  The week is filled with marvelous scripture of the genealogy of Jesus, miraculous conceptions and faith filled people—Joseph, Samson, Zechariah, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Samuel to name a few. It is time for joy-filled prayer and song.  We pray we may reach the joy of our salvation through unceasing celebration of the sacrifice of our worship, the Eucharist and that it may accomplish God’s saving work among us!


December 16, 2018: Gaudete Sunday

Gaudete comes from the Latin of the Entrance Antiphon of the day: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice! The Lord is near (Philippians  4: 4-5).  It is also found in the 2nd Reading today, so when lighting the rose candle on your Advent wreath talk about those things that bring joy in your lives and be grateful to the Lord our God who fulfills those blessings! Gaudete! And may the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!

Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Psalm: Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3: 10-18

 

December 17, 2018: Advent Weekday

Today we hear about Jacob, heir of Abraham and Isaac, blessing his sons.  Mostly we hear about the blessing of Judah, not the most exemplary of the sons, but through Jacob’s faith and Judah’s conversion of heart, it teaches us about the grace and mercy of God.  We also hear the genealogy of Jesus, affirming his rightful claim to the throne of David.  It gives us quite a history lesson important to understanding our faith even more fully. Notice how Matthew connects Jesus with some of the greatest male figures of Israel, as well as some noteworthy women. Through God’s grace and mercy Jesus has inherited all the qualities necessary to serve God with justice and peace. Let us pray for our world leaders and especially our church leaders to do the same!

Readings: Genesis 49: 2, 8-10; Psalm 72: 1-4, 7-8, 17; Matthew 1: 1-17

 

December 18, 2018: Advent Weekday

Joseph had quite a quandary learning of his betrothed, Mary, being with child.  Thank God for the angels in our lives to help steer us in the right direction, like Joseph had in a dream.  Thank God for his obedient faith to let go and let God! Let us pray to increase our faith and obedience, to have faith in God’s plan for us.

Readings: Jeremiah: 23: 5-8; Psalm 72: 1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Matthew 1:18-25

 

 Don’t forget to bring baby Jesus from your nativity at home to be blessed at all Sunday masses December 22-23!

 

December 19, 2018: Advent Weekday

Today we hear of two miraculous conceptions to older, thought to be barren couples. They bore two very important figures Samson, who was consecrated to God from the womb and began the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines, and John the Baptist, a prophetic figure, also consecrated to God for his entire life, who prepares us all for the coming Messiah. Perhaps we can identify with the parents of these figures in one way or another.  Menoah and his wife (Samson’s parents) accepted God’s plan without question. Samson failed to maintain his consecration to God and suffered the consequences. Zechariah (John, the Baptist’s father) was skeptical and struck dumb until John’s birth because of it, and John, the Baptist remained consecrated to God for his entire life as Samson should have been. God, help us to maintain and grow in our faith so we may know your plan for us and love and serve you as we should.

Readings: Judges 13: 2-7, 24-25; Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17; Luke 1: 5-25

 

December 20, 2018: Advent Weekday

Ahaz, known as the wicked King of Judah, refuses God’s invitation to ask for a sign of the salvation of Jerusalem.  Out of this comes one of the most famous prophecies in Isaiah: Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son and shall name him Immanuel (Isaiah 7: 14). It seems in this week of rejoicing, we have a lot of doubt used to instruct us to stand firm in the faith or we shall not stand at all (Isaiah 7: 9) and yet we also hear Luke’s gospel of God’s plan for Mary and her YES of faith. She knows the path of a disciple of Christ is one of great rejoicing. Why? Because there is nothing of concern that we cannot place in the hands of God so that we may dwell in his peace—a peace beyond human comprehension. Gaudete!

Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke 1: 26-38

  

Just a reminder:  Don’t forget to bring your baby Jesus from your nativity at home to blessed at all Sunday masses December 22-23.

  

December 21, 2018: Optional Memorial of St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church

St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597) was the first Dutchman to join the Jesuits. He is known as the 2nd apostle of Germany for his work restoring Catholicism after the Reformation, writing a German catechism, clarifying the teachings of Catholicism.  He then went on to establish a Jesuit college in Switzerland. He is also credited with the addition of Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners to the Hail Mary which appeared in the catechism for the first time in 1555.

Rejoice in praying the Hail Mary today.

Readings: Song of Songs 2: 8-14; Psalm 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Luke 1: 39-45

 

December 22, 2018: Advent Weekday

Today we hear of another miraculous conception to Hannah who after a long period of heartbreak and barrenness, pleaded for a child and dedicated the baby to be born (Samuel) to the temple. Her canticle of praise (1 Samuel 2: 1-10) is very similar to that of Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:26-38) Today let us pray these canticles of praise and exult in the Lord! Know that the Lord is near!

Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-28; Canticle 1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-8


 4th Week of Advent:  Peace

One more reminder:  Don’t forget to bring baby Jesus from your nativity at home to be blessed at all  Sunday masses December 22-23!


December 23, 2018: 4th Sunday of Advent—Peace

During these last days of Advent, let us hope and pray that our faith is firm so we may rejoice fully in the birth of Christ and be at peace in God’s love for us.  We light the last purple candle on the Advent wreath and with all candles lit, we know the light of the world is among us. You have brought your baby Jesus from home to mass to be blessed and now your home will be blessed with his presence—Emmanuel, God with us!

Readings: Micah 5: 1-4; Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-16,18-19; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke1:39-45

 

December 24, 2018: Advent Weekday

Today we hear Zechariah’s song of praise (Luke 1: 67-79) upon the birth of his son, John, the Baptist. Zechariah has been mute for several months due to his lack of faith, but upon the baby’s birth, his faith is restored and his joy returns. Zechariah’s song affirms God’s power and fidelity. Perhaps it is fitting we all pray that song today known as the benedictus as a blessing upon us all this Christmas!

Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16; Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29; Luke 1: 67-79

 

Merry Christmas!  Mass times are Christmas Vigil at 5PM (with the singing of carols by youth choir at 4:15 PM), and Midnight (with the singing of carols by adult choir at 11:15 PM), 8 & 10AM on Christmas.

O Come All Ye Faithful!