December 23, 2017

Dec. 23

December 23, 2017 / Saturday, 3rd week, Advent

How many more than a dozen connections with today can you find?
Legend at bottom
Listen
For 1st reading
    • Thus saith the Lord/But who may abide the day of His coming, from Messiah/ Handel:  traditional, "soulful"
For Psalm 25
For today's O Antiphon
For the gospel
    • What child is this?/ Dix:  about Jesus, but in today's gospel, people asked the same about John the Baptist
    • John/ Winter:  leadsheet and note
Advent
Read
    Animate
  • Mal 3:1-4, 23-24  I'm sending my messenger to prepare the way.  The Lord will come to the temple, but who will endure that day?  He, like the refiner’s fire, will purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer sacrifice pleasing to the Lord.  I'll send you Elijah to turn fathers' hearts to children and children's to fathers.
  • Ps 25:4-5ab, 8-10, 14  "Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand."  Teach me your paths.  God shows sinners the way, guides and teaches the humble, is friend to those who fear him.
  • Lk 1:57-66  Elizabeth bore a son; friends and family rejoiced.  She said he was to be named John; when Zechariah confirmed, his mouth was opened.  They said, “What will this child be?  God's hand was with him.”
Reflect
  • Today's O Antiphon:  O Emmanuel, King and Giver of Law:  come to save us, Lord our God!  Reflection
  • Creighton: Today's readings speak about prophets' coming.  The Lord says a messenger, Elijah, is coming to prepare the way, refine, and purify.  Then we hear of the birth of John, who prepares the way for the Lord with his baptism of repentance.  We're all called to be prophets.  Elizabeth lived a prophet's life, faithful to God, accepting God's gifts, speaking when needing to be heard (e.g. re the naming of John), supporting her cousin.  How are we called to be prophets today?  Who is or has been a prophet to us, bringing us a message from God?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The last words":  In the last words of the Old Testament, the Lord warns us that unless fathers and children turn their hearts to each other, he'll strike the land; the last words of the New Testament are, "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen!"  Jesus has saved us from doom.  May we give our lives to him....
    The Last Judgment/ Michelangelo
    (surprising to see just before Christmas, but
    in line with today's 1st reading)
  • Passionist Incredible things happened around the birth of John the Baptist:  the announcement to Zechariah in the Temple, which left him mute; Elizabeth's conception and birth at her age; the naming as John; Zechariah's tongue being loosed once he affirmed the name; the people seeing the Lord's hand and asking what John will be.  We see he fulfills of prophecy (“I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.” “I will send you Elijah... to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers…”) and prepares the Messiah's way.  What if we hoped we and our children became messengers of God’s love and help bring people together?  May we prepare the way for Jesus to enter more deeply into our hearts, may we open our hearts so others may see his love, and may we be messengers of reconciliation and peace.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "What will this child be?"  Elizabeth and Zechariah are firm in the face of family arguments about the naming of their son as John ('the Lord is gracious').  In the births of John the Baptist and Jesus God's grace breaks forth into a broken world.  Malachi foretold the return of Elijah to announce the Messiah's coming.  John fulfills Elijah's role; his miraculous birth shows God's favor in preparing his people for Jesus' coming.  When we trust the Lord, he fills us with the joy of the Spirit and renews our hope and gratitude....
Dress legend
  • 'Fire' pin:  He is like the refiner's fire (1st reading)
  • 'Cars on roads' tie:  Guide me in your truth; the Lord shows sinners the way, guides the humble... (psalm)
  • Gold-colored accessories:  The Lord will refine the sons of Levi like gold or silver (1st reading)
  • 'Tablet' pin:  Zechariah asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name” (gospel re tablet, O Antiphons re law)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  I'll send Elijah to turn fathers' and children's hearts to each other (1st reading); all who heard these things took them to heart (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Your redemption is at hand (psalm); "Surely the Lord's hand was with him” (gospel)
  • 'Visitation' pin:  Elizabeth (gospel)
  • 'Car with open mouth' pin:  Zechariah's mouth was opened (gospel)
  • Purple shirt:  Advent (season)
  • 'No-L' button:  Nativity novena (subseason)