Christmas Day December 25

Feast of the Holy Family December 28

Epiphany of the Lord

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

The Great O Antiphons:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Day December 25, 2011


Readings:
Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98:1-6
Hebrews 1:1-6
John 1:1-5, 9-14

 In the New Beginning

The birth of Jesus marks a new creation, the start of a new heavens and a new earth (see Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13). That’s why the first words of today’s Gospel reprise the Bible’s first words - “In the beginning” (see Genesis 1:1).

Jesus is the Word that God spoke when He said, “Let there be,” and all things came to be (see Genesis 1:3, 26). The Wisdom through whom all things were made (see Proverbs 8:22-31; Wisdom 7:21-27), Jesus is also the mighty Word by whom God sustains all things.

The Word of God (see Revelation 19:13) has become flesh. This is the mystery we sing of in today’s Psalm - the revelation of mankind’s salvation in the sight of the nations.

The Word comes as God and king, we hear in today’s First Reading. Enthroned at God’s right hand (see Psalm 110:1), He is the royal Son who has recevied all the nations as His inheritance (see Psalm 2:8).

The Word comes, too, as a heavenly high priest, as we hear in today’s Epistle. Through His blood, He accomplished atonement and purification from sin (see Exodus 30:10; Hebrews 6:20; 10:3-7, 11-13).

And by this, He has made it possible for each of us to live as children of God, as “new creations” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).

In the beginning, God made men and women in His image (see Genesis 1:27). In the new creation, He brings that divine image to perfection in Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, and the firstborn from the dead (see Colossians 1:15,18).

Let us resolve this Christmas to give Jesus rule over our hearts, to ever more mold our hearts in the image of our Creator - that the Christ-child may be the firstborn of a worldwide family of God (see Colossians 3:10; Romans 8:29).

 

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Feast of the Holy Family, 2011

Readings:
Sirach 3:2-6,12-14
Psalm 128:1-5
Colossians 3:12-21
Luke 2:41-52

Our True Home Listen


Why did Jesus choose to become a baby born of a mother and father and to spend all but His last years living in an ordinary human family? In part, to reveal God’s plan to make all people live as one “holy family” in His Church (see 2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
In the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, God reveals our true home. We’re to live as His children, “chosen ones, holy and beloved,” as the First Reading puts it.

The family advice we hear in today’s readings - for mothers, fathers and children - is all solid and practical. Happy homes are the fruit of our faithfulness to the Lord, we sing in today’s Psalm. But the Liturgy is inviting us to see more, to see how, through our family obligations and relationships, our families become heralds of the family of God that He wants to create on earth.

Jesus shows us this in today’s Gospel. His obedience to His earthly parents flows directly from His obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. Joseph and Mary aren’t identified by name, but three times are called “his parents” and are referred to separately as his “mother” and “father.” The emphasis is all on their “familial” ties to Jesus. But these ties are emphasized only so that Jesus, in the first words He speaks in Luke’s Gospel, can point us beyond that earthly relationship to the Fatherhood of God.

In what Jesus calls “My Father’s house,” every family finds its true meaning and purpose (see Ephesians 3:15). The Temple we read about in the Gospel today is God’s house, His dwelling (see Luke 19:46). But it’s also an image of the family of God, the Church (see Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 3:3-6; 10:21).

In our families we’re to build up this household, this family, this living temple of God. Until He reveals His new dwelling among us, and says of every person: “I shall be his God and he will be My son” (see Revelation 21:3,7).

 

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

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epiphany of the Lord

Readings:
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-2,7-8, 10-13
Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

 

Listen to the Readings>>>>

Newborn King

day the child born on Christmas is revealed to be the long-awaited king of the Jews.

As the priests and scribes interpret the prophecies in today’s Gospel, he is the ruler expected from the line of King David, whose greatness is to reach to the ends of the earth (see Micah 5:1-3; 2 Samuel 5:2).

Jesus is found with His mother, as David’s son, Solomon, was enthroned alongside his Queen Mother (see 1 Kings 2:19). And the magi come to pay Him tribute, as once kings and queens came to Solomon (see 1 Kings 10:2,25).

His coming evokes promises that extend back to Israel’s beginnings.

Centuries before, an evil king seeking to destroy Moses and the Israelites had summoned Balaam, who came from the East with two servants. But Balaam refused to curse Israel, and instead prophesied that a star and royal staff would arise out of Israel and be exalted above all the nations (see Numbers 22:21; 23:7; 24:7,17).

This is the star the three magi follow. And like Balaam, they too, refuse to be tangled in an evil king’s scheme. Their pilgrimage is a sign - that the prophesies in today’s First Reading and Psalm are being fulfilled. They come from afar, guided by God’s light, bearing the wealth of nations, to praise Israel’s God.

We celebrate today our own entrance into the family of God, and the fulfillment of God’s plan that all nations be united with Israel as co-heirs to His Fatherly blessings, as Paul reveals in today’s Epistle.

We too, must be guided by the root of David, the bright morning star (see Revelation 22:16), and the light of the world (see Isaiah 42:6; John 8:12).

As the magi adored Him in the manger, let us renew our vow to serve Him, placing our gifts - our intentions and talents - on the altar in this Eucharist. We must offer to Him our very lives in thanksgiving. No lesser gift will suffice for this newborn King.

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

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord


Readings:
Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7 (or Acts 10:34-38 or Is 40:1-5, 9-11 or Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7)
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10 (or Ps 104:1-4, 24-25, 27-30)
Acts 10:34-38
Mark 1:7-11

 

The Anointing Listen>>>>

The Liturgy last week revealed the mystery of God’s plan - that in Jesus all peoples, symbolized by the Magi, have been made “co-heirs” to the blessings promised Israel. This week, we’re shown how we claim our inheritance.
Jesus doesn’t submit to John’s baptism as a sinner in need of purification. He humbles Himself to pass through Jordan’s waters in order to lead a new “exodus” - opening up the promised land of heaven so that all peoples can hear the words pronounced over Jesus today, words once reserved only for Israel and its king: that each of us is a beloved son or daughter of God (see Genesis 22:2; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7).
Jesus is the chosen servant Isaiah prophesies in today’s First Reading, anointed with the Spirit to make things right and just on earth. God puts His Spirit upon Jesus to make Him “a covenant of the people,” the liberator of the captives, the light to the nations. Jesus, today’s Second Reading tells us, is the One long expected in Israel, “anointed…with the Holy Spirit and power.”
The word Messiah means “one anointed” with God’s Spirit. King David was “the anointed of the God of Jacob” (see 2 Samuel 23:1-17; Psalm 18:51; 132:10,17). The prophets taught Israel to await a royal offshoot of David, upon whom the Spirit would rest (see Isaiah 11:1-2; Daniel 9:25).
That’s why people of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to John. But it isn’t John they’re looking for. God confirms with His own voice what the Angel earlier told Mary - Jesus is the Son of the Most High, come to claim the throne of David forever (see Luke 1:32-33).
In the Baptism that He brings, the voice of God will hover over the waters as fiery flame, as we sing in today’s Psalm. He has sanctified the waters, made them a passage-way to healing and freedom - a fountain of new birth and everlasting life.

 

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

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Your God>>>>Listen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.