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

Reflects on the First Sunday in Advent

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

Advent Readings:

Readings:

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:37-44 

 

 In a Dark Hour>>>>Listen

Jesus exaggerates in today’s Gospel when He claims not to know the day or the hour when He will come again.
He occasionally makes such overstatements to drive home a point we might otherwise miss (see Matthew 5:34; 23:9; Luke 14:26).
His point here is that the exact “hour” is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him - spiritually and morally - when He comes. For He will surely come, He tells us - like a thief in the night, like the flood in the time of Noah.
In today’s Epistle, Paul too compares the present age to a time of advancing darkness and night.
Though we sit in the darkness, overshadowed by death, we have seen arise the great light of our Lord who has come into our midst (see Matthew 4:16; John 1:9; 8:12). He is the true light, the life of the world. And His light continues to shine in His Church, the new Jerusalem promised by Isaiah in today’s First Reading.
In the Church, all nations stream to the God of Jacob, to worship and seek wisdom in the House of David. From the Church goes forth His word of instruction, the light of the Lord - that all might walk in His paths toward that eternal day when night will be no more (see Revelation 22:5).
By our Baptism we have been made children of the light and day (see Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-7). It is time we start living like it - throwing off the fruitless works of darkness, the desires of the flesh, and walking by the light of His grace.
The hour is late as we begin a new Advent. Let us begin again in this Eucharist.
As we sing in today’s Psalm, let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord. Let us give thanks to His name, keeping watch for His coming, knowing that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
The Gospel of ‘Fulfillment’
With the First Sunday in Advent we begin a new “cycle” (Cycle A) of the Church’s Liturgical Year. Sunday by Sunday for the next year we’ll be reading the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew’s Gospel is a prime example of what St. Augustine was talking about when he said: the New Testament is concealed in the Old and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.
You can’t read Matthew without having your ear tuned to the Old Testament. He quotes or alludes to the Old Testament an average of four or five times per chapter - or more than 100 times in his Gospel.
Matthew writes this way because he wants his fellow Israelites to see that their Old Covenant with God has been “fulfilled” in Jesus. Get used to words like “fulfill” and “fulfillment” - you’re going to hear them repeatedly in Matthew’s gospel.
On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, for instance, Matthew explains how Mary is found with child: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel” (see Matthew 1:22-23).
Again, on Palm Sunday, when He is arrested in the garden, Jesus says: “All this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled” (see Matthew 26:54,56).
The numerous “fulfillments” Matthew tells us about are intended to signal one thing - that in Jesus, God is finally delivering on the promises He made throughout salvation history.

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

 

 

 

Jesus exaggerates in today's Gospel when He claims not to know the day or the hour when He will come again.

He occasionally makes such overstatements to drive home a point we might otherwise miss (see Matthew 5:3423:9Luke 14:26).

His point here is that the exact "hour" is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him—spiritually and morally—when He comes. For He will surely come, He tells us—like a thief in the night, like the flood in the time of Noah.

In today's Epistle, Paul too compares the present age to a time of advancing darkness and night.

Though we sit in the darkness, overshadowed by death, we have seen arise the great light of our Lord who has come into our midst (see Matthew 4:16John 1:98:12). He is the true light, the life of the world. And His light continues to shine in His Church, the new Jerusalem promised by Isaiah in today's First Reading.

In the Church, all nations stream to the God of Jacob, to worship and seek wisdom in the House of David. From the Church goes forth His word of instruction, the light of the Lord—that all might walk in His paths toward that eternal day when night will be no more (see Revelation 22:5).

By our Baptism we have been made children of the light and day (see Ephesians 5:81 Thessalonians 5:5-7). It is time we start living like it—throwing off the fruitless works of darkness, the desires of the flesh, and walking by the light of His grace.

The hour is late as we begin a new Advent. Let us begin again in this Eucharist.

As we sing in today's Psalm, let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord. Let us give thanks to His name, keeping watch for His coming, knowing that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 

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

© St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Second Sunday in Advent- Kingdom Come

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

Advent Readings:

Readings:
Isaiah 11:1-10 
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Romans 15:4-9 
Matthew 3:1-12

 

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” John proclaims. And the Liturgy today paints us a vivid portrait of our new king and the shape of the kingdom He has come to bring.
The Lord whom John prepares the way for in today’s Gospel is the righteous king prophesied in today’s First Reading and Psalm. He is the king’s son, the son of David - a shoot from the root of Jesse, David’s father (see Ruth 4:17).
He will be the Messiah, anointed with the Holy Spirit (see 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:39; Psalm 2:2), endowed with the seven gifts of the Spirit - wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
He will rule with justice, saving the poor from the ruthless and wicked. His rule will be not only over Israel - but will extend from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth. He will be a light, a signal to all nations. And they will seek Him and pay Him homage.
In Him, all the tribes of the earth will find blessing. The covenant promise to Abraham (see Genesis 12:3), renewed in God’s oath to David (see Psalm 89:4,28), will be fulfilled in His dynasty. And His name will be blessed forever.
In Christ, God confirms His oath to Israel’s patriarchs, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. But no longer are God’s promises reserved solely for the children of Abraham. The Gentiles, too, will glorify God for His mercy. Once strangers, in Christ they will be included in “the covenants of promise” (see Ephesians 2:12).
John delivers this same message in the Gospel. Once God’s chosen people were hewn from the rock of Abraham (see Isaiah 51:1-2). Now, God will raise up living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5) - children of Abraham born not of flesh and blood but of the Spirit.
This is the meaning of the fiery baptism He brings - making us royal heirs of the kingdom of heaven, the Church.

 

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

 

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- Here is Your God

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

Advent Readings:

Here is Your God

Isaiah 35:1-6,10 
Psalm 146:6-10
James 5:7-10 
Matthew 11:2-11

Here is Your God

John questions Jesus from prison in today’s Gospel - for his disciples’ sake and for ours.
He knows that Jesus is doing “the works of the Messiah,” foretold in today’s First Reading and Psalm. But John wants his disciples - and us - to know that the Judge is at the gate, that in Jesus our God has come to save us.
The Liturgy of Advent takes us out into the desert to see and hear the marvelous works and words of God - the lame leaping like a stag, the dead raised, the good news preached to the poor (see Isaiah 29:18-20; 61:1-2).
The Liturgy does this to give us courage, to strengthen our feeble hands and make firm our weak knees. Our hearts can easily become frightened and weighed down by the hardships we face. We can lose patience in our sufferings as we await the coming of the Lord.
As James advises in today’s Epistle, we should take as our example the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Jesus also points us to a prophet - holding up John as a model. John knew that life was more than food, the body more than clothing. He sought the kingdom of God first, confident that God would provide (see Matthew 6:25-34). John did not complain. He did not lose faith. Even in chains in his prison cell, he was still sending his disciples - and us - to our Savior.
We come to Him again now in the Eucharist. Already He has caused the desert to bloom, the burning sands to become springs of living water. He has opened our ears to hear the words of the sacred book, freed our tongue to fill the air with songs of thanksgiving (see Isaiah 30:18).
Once bowed down, captives to sin and death, we have been ransomed and returned to His Kingdom, crowned with everlasting joy. Raised up we now stand before His altar to meet the One who is to come: “Here is your God.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forth Sunday of Advent-God Is With Us


The Great O Antiphons: "O Adonai" 

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

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

 

Advent Readings:

Isaiah 7:10-14 
Psalm 24:1-6
Romans 1:1-7 
Matthew 1:18-24

God Is With Us

The mystery kept secret for long ages, promised through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, is today revealed (see Romans 16:25-26).
This is the “Gospel of God” that Paul celebrates in today’s Epistle - the good news that “God is with us” in Jesus Christ. The sign promised to the House of David in today’s First Reading is given in today’s Gospel. In the virgin found with child, God himself has brought to Israel a savior from David’s royal line (see Acts 13:22-23).
Son of David according to the flesh, Jesus is the Son of God, born of the Spirit. He will be anointed with the Spirit (see Acts 10:38), and by the power of Spirit will be raised from the dead and established at God’s right hand in the heavens (see Acts 2:33-34; Ephesians 1:20-21).
He is the “King of Glory” we sing of in today’s Psalm. The earth in its fullness has been given to Him. And as God swore long ago to David, His Kingdom will have no end (see Psalm 89:4-5).
In Jesus Christ we have a new creation. Like the creation of the world, it is a work of the Spirit, a blessing from the Lord (see Genesis 1:2). In Him, we are saved from our sins, are called now “the beloved of God.”
All nations now are called to belong to Jesus Christ, to enter into the House of David and Kingdom of God, the Church. Together, through the obedience of faith, we have been made a new race - a royal people that seeks for the face of the God of Jacob.
He has made our hearts clean, made us worthy to enter His holy place, to stand in His presence and serve Him.
In the Eucharist, the everlasting covenant is renewed, the Advent promise of virgin with child - God with us - continues until the end of the age (see Matthew 28:20; Ezekiel 37:24-28).

 

 

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.