December 18, 2014

Dec. 18

December 18, 2014:  Thursday, 3rd week of Advent


  • 'Tree' pin:  God will raise up righteous shoot (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  fullness of peace shall flourish (psalm)
  • 'Crowns' tie:  I'll raise up a King (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin (between tie bar and tree but mostly covered by coat):  Gabriel (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Angel:  "child was conceived through the Holy Spirit" (gospel)
  • Purple suspenders:  Advent season
Listen

Pope Francis homily
God makes history, we make history; and when we fail, God sets history back on course, walking with us.  The Incarnation is a story that goes forward in time:  the Lord continues to save us in history, walking with us.  God chooses people to help us move forward, like Abraham, Moses, and Elijah.  For them there are bad, awkward, and bothersome times; he inconveniences these folks who just want to live in peace.  He puts us on roads we don’t want to walk.
Today's Gospel recounts a "bad moment" in salvation history, Joseph discovering his betrothed is pregnant.  He sees the village women gossiping.  He knows she's faithful but can't understand.  In difficult moments, those God chooses to make history must take the problems on their shoulders.  Joseph does, taking the blame to protect his bride.  God puts his chosen ones to the test and saves them:  "Lord, history didn't start with and won't end with me!  I put myself in your hands."  May the Lord help us understand the mystery of his walking with us, and may we walk forward with Jesus across history.
Read
Wordle: Readings 12-18-14
  • Jer 23:5-8  I'll raise up a righteous shoot to David, a king to govern wisely, “The Lord our justice.”  Judah shall be saved.
  • Ps 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19  "Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."  The king shall govern with justice, rescuing the poor.
  • Mt 1:18-25  Mary was found with child; Joseph decided to divorce her quietly.   Angel:  “Joseph, take Mary into your home; child was conceived through the Spirit and will save.”  She bore a son; he named him Jesus.
Reflect
  • Today's O Antiphon:  O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:  come to rescue us with your mighty power!
  • Creighton:  The readings promise future justice provided by God through an earthly king and ultimately God’s own presence.  Joseph was called to participate in the fulfillment of the coming of the promised Chosen One.  May my daily choices help bring about a world of justice.
  • Passionist:  Children enter the world utterly dependent, but, powerless as they are, they empower us to love and self-sacrifice.  Jesus' birth marks the entry of an innocent, dependent child into the world; through the scriptures we see the love and self-sacrifice surrounding him.  God did much with Joseph's humble and open heart.  In the Incarnation, God entered fully into the reality of our lives, and we came to know clearly the power of God's loving kindness.  Jesus is the heart of God in our world; through him we come to know God and ourselves.  The birth of Jesus is for the whole world.  May we be faithful witnesses spreading the message of his love.
  • DailyScripture.net:  God asked Mary through Gabriel for faith to accept an exception to the laws of nature, and she had to assume the risk of rejection by Joseph, her family, and her people.  Joseph believed the message.  Mary and Joseph are models of faith for us....