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Showing posts from December, 2014

Feast of the Holy Family, 2014

The first Sunday after Christmas Day is reserved for the Feast of the Holy Family.By Church standards this a relatively modern celebration, established in 1921, first celebrated the first Sunday after Epiphany, but later moved to first Sunday after Christmas in 1969.Coming as it does at this time of year, it crystallizes for us the importance of family life in our creation and formation.Jesus, as the Incarnation, was born into a family and raised by that family.Mary and Joseph may have had a sacred trust in parenting the Son of God, but it is also growing up in that ordinary family structure that brings Jesus closer to us.Our readings this week offer a number of alternatives, but all focus on the importance of family life.As it is most likely you will be hearing the first of all our selections, I will focus on these...
The Word for the Feast of the Holy Family Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 or Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3 Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 or Psalm 105:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 Colossians 3:12-21 or Colos…

4th Sunday of Advent, 2014

This 4th Sunday of Advent we focus on the Incarnation… God made manifest through the birth of Jesus.  Nothing captures this moment better than our Gospel, but as we will see, our other readings would suggest that this meeting between God and his people has been coming for some time…

The Word for the 4th Sunday of Advent 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27-29
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

To better understand our readings for this week, I think we should first look at our Gospel.  In a story that is unique to Luke’s Gospel, we here the of the angel Gabriel coming to Mary to announce God’s plan for the birth of his Son.  It’s not hard for us to imagine Mary’s amazement in this moment.  Not only is this humble girl from Nazareth (already likely anxious over her betrothal to Joseph) being approached by an angel, a messenger for the Lord, but the angel’s message is almost unbelievable:  God has chosen her to bear his Son.  Mary isn’t naive, however, and challenge…

3rd Sunday of Advent, 2014

The third Sunday of Advent marks the midpoint of the season… in Catholic terms, this is like “hump day”, where we happily see that the conclusion of our journey is within sight.  Referred to as Gaudete Sunday, it takes its name from the Latin word for rejoice.  We will hear this word several times throughout this Sunday's Mass in our prayers and our readings.  We light the rose colored candle on our Advent wreaths, rose being a mixture of Advent violet and Christmas white.  Not only is Christmas a joyous occasion to celebrate the birth of our Lord, but it reminds us that we are joyous (not fearful) of his return.

The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11
Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28

We open with a great announcement from Third Isaiah, that the anointed brings glad tidings to the poor.  If his words sound familiar, they should.  Not only are they reminiscent to the announcement made by the angels to the shepherd in the Nativity…

2nd Sunday of Advent, 2014

This is the clarion call we receive for this 2nd Sunday of Advent.  Preparation is indeed the message that’s in the air as we are bombarded with all sorts of advertising right now... to find the perfect gift, create the perfect meal, decorate the perfect home, all the while surrounded by the perfect sense of family.  Trouble is, when we seek this type of perfection, we often find ourselves disappointed.  Not only have we missed the point of the season, we’ve allowed the secular world to obfuscate our understanding of the Gospel message…

The Word for the 2nd Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

We open with one of the finest songs of forgiveness and triumph from the Prophet Isaiah.  There is an established pattern in all of our worship… that before we ask for something from God, we first must ask him for forgiveness for our sins.  We see this every time we celebrate the Mass as we begin with the Penitential Rite.  Preparation, in the true…