Advent Extraordinary Time

First Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - December 8th

3rd Sunday of Advent - December

12 December Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

4th Sunday of Advent - December

The Great O Antiphons:

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Sunday in Advent

Readings:

Isaiah 63:16-17, 19
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:33-37

1st Week of Advent Pictorial Meditation: click here>>>

Watch the Advent Meditation as a Flash Movie: click here>>>

 

 Watch For Him>>>>Listen

The new Church year begins with a plea for God’s visitation. “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” the prophet Isaiah cries in today’s First Reading.

In today’s Psalm, too, we hear the anguished voice of Israel, imploring God to look down from His heavenly throne - to save and shepherd His people.

Today’s readings are relatively brief. Their language and “message” are deceptively simple. But we should take note of the serious mood and penitential aspect of the Liturgy today - as the people of Israel recognize their sinfulness, their failures to keep God’s covenant, their inability to save themselves.

And in this Advent season, we should see our own lives in the experience of Israel. As we examine our consciences, can’t we, too, find that we often harden our hearts, refuse His rule, wander from His ways, withhold our love from Him?

God is faithful, Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle. He is our Father. He has hearkened to the cry of His children, coming down from heaven for Israel’s sake and for ours - to redeem us from our exile from God, to restore us to His love.

In Jesus, we have seen the Father (see John 14:8-9). The Father has let His face shine upon us. He is the good shepherd (see John 10:11-15) come to guide us to the heavenly kingdom. No matter how far we have strayed, He will give us new life if we turn to Him, if we call upon His holy name, if we pledge anew never again to withdraw from Him.

As Paul says today, He has given us every spiritual gift - especially the Eucharist and penance - to strengthen us as we await Christ’s final coming. He will keep us firm to the end - if we let Him.

So, in this season of repentance, we should heed the warning - repeated three times by our Lord in today’s Gospel - to be watchful, for we know not the hour when the Lord of the house will return.

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 


http://www.salvationhistory.com/images/main/blank.gif
Second Sunday in Advent

Readings:

Is 40:1-5.9-11. 
Ps 85(84):9ab-10.11-12.13-14. 
2 Peter 3:8-14.
Mk 1:1-8. 

2nd Week of Advent Pictorial Meditation: click here>>>

Watch the Advent Meditation as a Flash Movie: click here>>>

 

Listen to the Readings >>>>

Straighten the Path

Our God is coming. The time of exile - the long separation of humankind from God due to sin - is about to end. This is the good news proclaimed in today’s liturgy.

Isaiah in today’s First Reading promises Israel’s future release and return from captivity and exile. But as today’s Gospel shows, Israel’s historic deliverance was meant to herald an even greater saving act by God - the coming of Jesus to set Israel and all nations free from bondage to sin, to gather them up and carry them back to God.

God sent an angel before Israel to lead them in their exodus towards the promised land (see Exodus 23:20). And He promised to send a messenger of the covenant, Elijah, to purify the people and turn their hearts to the Father before the day of the Lord (see Malachi 3:1, 23-24).

John the Baptist quotes these, as well as Isaiah’s prophecy, to show that all of Israel’s history looks forward to the revelation of Jesus. In Jesus, God has filled in the valley that divided sinful humanity from himself. He has reached down from heaven and made His glory to dwell on earth, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

He has done all this, not for humanity in the abstract, but for each of us. The long history of salvation has led us to this Eucharist, in which our God again comes and our salvation is near. And each of us must hear in today’s readings a personal call. Here is your God, Isaiah says. He has been patient with you, Peter says in today’s Epistle.

Like Jerusalem’s inhabitants in the Gospel, we have to go out to Him, repenting our sins, all the laziness and self-indulgence that make our lives a spiritual wasteland. We have to straighten out our lives, so that everything we do leads us to Him.

Today, let us hear the beginning of the gospel and again commit ourselves to lives of holiness and devotion.

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Kingdom Come Listen>>>>


 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 8th - Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Readings:

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

Listen to the Readings>>>>

The Angel and Mary

In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, the angel Gabriel greets Mary in an unusual way: “Hail, favored one” (see Luke 1:28).
Kecharitomene, the Greek word translated as “favored one,” is very rare, used in only one other place in the New Testament. It comes from charis, the Greek word for “grace” and basically means “made full of grace” or “transformed by grace.”
This is how the word is used in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he describes how God “granted” His grace to all of us in Jesus (see Ephesians 1:6-7). This sheds light on what the angel means - Mary has been “transformed by God’s grace.”
Notice that the angel doesn’t mention Mary’s name. That’s odd, too. There’s no other angelic greeting like this in Scripture. It’s as if Mary’s name is “favored one” or “made full of grace.”
In Scripture, when God gives a person a new name, it reveals the person’s role in His saving plan. Think of Abraham - the father of all nations (see Genesis 17:5), or Peter, the Church’s “rock” (see Matthew 16:18). Mary is God’s favored one, transformed by God’s grace to be the sinless mother of His only-begotten Son.
That’s why the angel’s greeting is one of the biblical foundations for Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which we celebrate December 8. Listen closely to the Mass readings that day - you’ll hear the angel’s greeting, and Paul’s beautiful words about God’s transforming grace.

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Sunday of Advent

Readings:

Is 61:1-2a.10-11.
 Lk 1:46-48.49-50.53-54.
 1 Thess. 5:16-24.
 Jn 1:6-8.19-28. 

3rd Week of Advent Pictorial Meditation: click here>>>

Watch the Advent Meditation as a Flash Movie: click here>>>

 

Listen>>> 
The mysterious figure of John the Baptist, introduced in last week’s readings, comes into sharper focus today. Who he is, we see in today’s Gospel, is best understood by who he isn’t. 

He is not Elijah returned from the heavens (see 2 Kings 2:11), although like him he dresses in the prophet’s attire (see Mark 1:6; 2 Kings 1:8) and preaches repentance and judgment (see 1 Kings 18:212 Chronicles 21:12-15). 

Not Elijah in the flesh, John is nonetheless sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to fulfill his mission (see Luke 1:17Malachi 3:23-24). 

Neither is John the prophet Moses foretold, although he is a kinsman and speaks God’s word (see Deuteronomy 18:15-19John 6:14). Nor is John the Messiah, though he has been anointed by the Spirit since the womb (see Luke 1:15,44). 

John prepares the way for the Lord (see Isaiah 40:3). His baptism is symbolic, not sacramental. It is a sign given to stir our hearts to repentance. 

John shows us the One upon whom the Spirit remains (see John 1:32), the One who fulfills the promise we hear in today’s First Reading (see Luke 4:16-21). Jesus’ bath of rebirth and the Spirit opens a fountain that purifies Israel and gives to all a new heart and a new Spirit (seeZechariah 13:1-3Ezekiel 36:24-27Mark 1:8Titus 3:5). 

John comes to us in the Advent readings to show us the light, that we might believe in the One who comes at Christmas. As we sing in today’s Responsorial, the Mighty One has come to lift each of us up, to fill our hunger with bread from heaven (see John 6:3349-51).

And as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle, we should rejoice, give thanks, and pray without ceasing that God will make us perfectly holy in spirit, soul, and body - that we may be blameless when our Lord comes. 

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



12 December Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

Readings:

In the USA: Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast 

Numb. 24:2-7.15-17a.
 Ps 25(24):4bc-5ab.6-7bc.8-9
Mt 21:23-27. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Your God>>>>Listen

 

 

 

Advent 2011: Extraordinary Time

BY DR. SCOTT HAHN ON 11.28.1011 

This is no ordinary Advent.

The Holy Father (BenedictXVI) is treating this time as a moment of great historical significance. It’s the time of the new evangelization.

In recent months Pope Benedict has spoken and acted with great urgency about the matter. He established a dicastery in the Vatican to oversee new evangelistic efforts. He summoned a synod of bishops for 2012 to discuss the new evangelization. And he appointed U.S. Cardinal Donald Wuerl (a great friend of the St. Paul Center) to prepare and direct the discussions at the synod.

When the pope speaks about the New Evangelization, he speaks as a father to us, his children. But notice, now, how his tone is imploring. He’s not speaking primarily about missionary activity to unbaptized people. He’s begging Catholics to take up the re-evangelization of Christian countries that have lost their way, especially in Europe and the Americas.

The “advent” of this project actually goes back to 1975, when Pope Paul VI wrote his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, lamenting a diminishment of energy in the apostolic efforts of Catholics. Pope John Paul II sought to remedy the situation and in 1983, while visiting Haiti, announced a “new evangelization.” He identified its launch with the year 1992, the half-millennium anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. How serious was he about the project? Serious enough to pledge everything the Church has to its success: “I sense that the moment has come to commit all the Church’s energies to a new evangelization,” he said in his 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio. He even went so far as to compare the 1990s to an “advent” season of preparation before the turn of the millennium in the year 2000. Blessed John Paul foresaw a graced moment, a time when God would bless our renewed efforts to win (and re-win) the world for the Gospel.

And it has to begin with our neighborhoods, yours and mine. First of all, we need to live lives that are beacons of Christian charity. I teach at a Franciscan university, so I have many colleagues who like to say: “Preach the Gospel always. When necessary, use words.” And that’s true enough. But I suspect it’s going to be necessary for most of us to use words, much of the time. Very few people are so transparently holy that they radiate the Gospel. The rest of us need to work on our holiness, but we also need to prepare to witness with timely words—witness to Christ in the Word, Christ in the sacraments, Christ in the Church, Christ in history, Christ in his saints.

Pope Benedict’s activity nicely coincides with our own efforts, at the St. Paul Center, as we discern a plan for our second decade of apostolic work. I long ago lost count of the books we’ve produced, the web and video and audio resources, the many thousands of people who’ve attended our educational events.

Where is the energy coming from? I have to believe it’s been loosed by the Pontiffs, who enjoy the power of the keys, the authority of binding and loosing. And their word is binding on you and me.

If not for such grace called down from heaven, the task would be impossible. But we serve a mighty God, and we dare to call him Father.

We can accomplish the new evangelization with his help. I am utterly dependent on your help as well, and I thank you for all the support you’ve given us, in your prayer, in your donations, in your encouragement.

Let us spend the coming weeks preparing the way of the Lord at Christmas. What can we do to welcome friends and family back home to Church for the holiday?

BY DR. SCOTT HAHN ON 11.28.11 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forth Sunday of Advent

Readings:

2 Sam. 7:1-5.8b-12.14a.16.
 Ps 89(88):2-3.4-5.27.29.
 Rm 16:25-27.
 Lk 1:26-38. 
The Great O Antiphons: "O Adonai" 

4th Week of Advent Pictorial Meditation : click here>>>

Watch the Advent Meditation as a Flash Movie: click here>>>

 

The Mystery Kept Secret

>>>>Listen

What is announced to Mary in today’s Gospel is the revelation of all that the prophets had spoken. It is, as Paul declares in today’s Epistle, the mystery kept secret since before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:9; 3:3-9).

Mary is the virgin prophesied to bear a son of the house of David (see Isaiah 7:13-14). And nearly every word the angel speaks to her today evokes and echoes the long history of salvation recorded in the Bible.

Mary is hailed as the daughter Jerusalem, called to rejoice that her king, the Lord God, has come into her midst as a mighty savior (see Zephaniah 3:14-17).

The One whom Mary is to bear will be Son of “the Most High” - an ancient divine title first used to describe the God of the priest-king Melchizedek, who brought out bread and wine to bless Abraham at the dawn of salvation history (see Genesis 14:18-19).

He will fulfill the covenant God makes with His chosen one, David, in today’s First Reading. As we sing in today’s Psalm, He will reign forever as highest of the kings of the earth, and He will call God, “my Father.” As Daniel saw the Most High grant everlasting dominion to the Son of Man (see Daniel 4:14; 7:14), His kingdom will have no end.

He is to rule over the house of Jacob - the title God used in making His covenant with Israel at Sinai (see Exodus 19:3), and again used in promising that all nations would worship the God of Jacob (see Isaiah 2:1-5).

Jesus has been made known, Paul says today, to bring all nations to the obedience of faith. We are called with Mary today, to marvel at all that the Lord has done throughout the ages for our salvation. And we too, must respond to this annunciation with humble obedience - that His will be done, that our lives be lived according to His word.

The Angel and Mary

In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, the angel Gabriel greets Mary in an unusual way: “Hail, favored one” (see Luke 1:28).

Kecharitomene, the Greek word translated as “favored one,” is very rare, used in only one other place in the New Testament. It comes from charis, the Greek word for “grace” and basically means “made full of grace” or “transformed by grace.”

This is how the word is used in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he describes how God “granted” His grace to all of us in Jesus (see Ephesians 1:6-7). This sheds light on what the angel means - Mary has been “transformed by God’s grace.”

Notice that the angel doesn’t mention Mary’s name. That’s odd, too. There’s no other angelic greeting like this in Scripture. It’s as if Mary’s name is “favored one” or “made full of grace.”

In Scripture, when God gives a person a new name, it reveals the person’s role in His saving plan. Think of Abraham - the father of all nations (see Genesis 17:5), or Peter, the Church’s “rock” (see Matthew 16:18). Mary is God’s favored one, transformed by God’s grace to be the sinless mother of His only-begotten Son.

That’s why the angel’s greeting is one of the biblical foundations for Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which we celebrate December 8. Listen closely to the Mass readings that day - you’ll hear the angel’s greeting, and Paul’s beautiful words about God’s transforming grace.

 

The Great Antiphons:

The "Great 's"
The final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great  Antiphons of Advent on the evening of December 17. These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve. They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior.
The  Antiphons are intoned with special solemnity in monasteries at Vespers, before and after the Magnificat, Mary's prayer of praise and thanksgiving from the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55), which is sung every evening as the climax of this Hour of the Divine Office.
A vestige of the "Great 's" can be seen in verses of the familiar Advent hymn, " Come, O Come Emmanuel".
Families interested in the liturgy have discovered these gems of liturgical poetry and use them in their evening prayers. An Antiphon House similar to an Advent Calendar, can be made, with seven windows, each concealing an appropriate symbol for each Antiphon, and an eighth window hiding the Nativity scene. As with an Advent calendar, one window is opened each day.
The sublime meditation of the Great 's would be excellent for families with children who have outgrown the Jesse Tree or Advent calendar. In any case, they are beautiful additions to your family prayers in the days just before Christmas.
The Antiphons appear below in English translation, with scriptural sources and suggested symbols.


17 Dec

18 Dec

19 Dec

20 Dec

21 Dec

22 Dec

23 Dec

Sapientia 

Adonai 

Radix Jesse 

Clavis David

Oriens 

Rex Gentium

Emmanuel 

On the evening of December 17 the final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great "O Antiphons" of Advent. These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve. They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior.
The "O Antiphons" are intoned with special solemnity in monasteries at Vespers, before and after the Magnificat, Mary's prayer of praise and thanksgiving from the Gospel of Luke (2:42-55), which is sung every evening as the climax of this Hour of the Divine Office.
A vestige of the "Great Os" can be seen in verses of the familiar Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel".
Families interested in the liturgy have discovered these gems of liturgical poetry and use them in their evening prayers. An "O Antiphon House" -- similar to an Advent Calendar -- can be made, with seven windows, each concealing an appropriate symbol for the different "O Antiphons", and an eighth window hiding the Nativity scene. As with an Advent calendar, one window is opened each day.
The sublime meditation of the "Great Os" would be excellent for families with children who have outgrown the Jesse Tree or Advent calendar. In any case, they are beautiful additions to your family prayers in the days just before Christmas. And they form part of the classic Christmas Novena.
The "O Antiphons" appear below in English translation, with scriptural sources and suggested symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The " Antiphons"

Saturday, 17 December 2011
Readings of the day
Gn 49:2.8-10. / Ps 72(71):3-4ab.7-8.17. / Mt 1:1-17. 

Sapientia"

  WISDOM, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
Sirach 24:2; Wisdom 8:1. Symbols: oil lamp, open book.



Sunday, 18 December 2011
Readings of the day
2 Sam. 7:1-5.8b-12.14a.16. / Ps 89(88):2-3.4-5.27.29. / Rm 16:25-27. / Lk 1:26-38. 


Adonai" 

" LORD AND RULER of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come, and redeem us with outstretched arm.
Exodus 3:2, 20:1. Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Monday, 19 December 2011
Readings of the day
Judges 13:2-7.24-25a. / Ps 71(70):3-4a.5-6ab.16-17. / Lk 1:5-25. 

Radix Jesse" 
" ROOT OF JESSE, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.
Isaiah 11:1-3. Symbol: vine or plant with flower (especially a rose).



 

 

 

 

 

 



Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Readings of the day
Is 7:10-14. / Ps 24(23):1-2.3-4ab.5-6. / Lk 1:26-38. 
Clavis David" 

"KEY OF DAVID, and Scepter of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: Come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Isaiah 22:22. Symbols: key; broken chains.


 

 

 


 

 

 

 



Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Readings of the day
Song 2:8-14. / Ps 33(32):2-3.11-12.20-21. / Lk 1:39-45. 

" Oriens" 
DAWN OF THE EAST, brightness of the light eternal, and Sun of Justice: Come, and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Psalm 19:6-7. Symbol: rising sun.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Thursday, 22 December 2011
Readings of the day
1 Sam. 1:24-28. / 1 Sam. 2:1.4-5.6-7.8abcd. / Lk 1:46-56. 

Rex Gentium 

" KING OF THE GENTILES and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one: Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.
Psalm 2:7-8, Ephesians 2:14-20. Symbols, Crown, scepter.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 




Friday, 23 December 2011
Readings of the day
Malachi 3:1-4.23-24. / Ps 25(24):4bc-5ab.8-9.10.14. / Lk 1:57-66. 

Emmanuel" 

" EMMANUEL, God with us, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: Come to save us, O Lord our God.
Isaiah 7:14; 33:22. Symbols: tablets of stone, Chalice and Host.

 

 


About the Magnificat
The Magnificat [Latin: magnifies], also called the Canticle of Mary, is recorded in the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55). It is the Virgin Mary's joyous prayer in response to her cousin Elizabeth's greeting (Luke 1: 41-45). This great hymn forms part of the Church's prayer in the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours). When it is recited as part of the Divine Office, it is followed by the Gloria Patri ("Glory be"). The traditional sung Magnificat is Latin plainchant. One of the hymn's most glorious musical renditions is the version of the Magnificat by J.S. Bach.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the Magnificat as "the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church" [CCC 2619], and explains this prayer's significance:
Mary's prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the Incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father's plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ's conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, His Body. In the faith of His humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance He had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made "full of grace" responds by offering her whole being: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to Thy word". "Fiat": this is Christian prayer: to be wholly Gods' because He is wholly ours. [CCC 2617]
The Magnificat appears below both in English and in Latin.


My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Scripture text: Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition


Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.
Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.
Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.
Amen.