December 31, 2013

December 31

December 31, 2013:  7th day of Christmas octave


  • 1 Jn 2:18-21  It is the last hour, and many antichrists have appeared, but you have God's anointing and knowledge of the truth.
    Wordle: Readings 12-31-13
  • Ps 96:1-2, 11-13  "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!"  Announce the Lord's salvation; he comes to rule the earth with justice.
  • Jn 1:1-18  In the beginning was the Word who was God.  Life and light came through him.  God sent John to testify to the light so all might believe.  The Word was in the world, but the world did not know or accept him.  But to those who did accept him he gave power to become God's children.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory.  From his fullness we all received; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  The only-begotten Son, God, has revealed God. 
Pope Francis
  • Vespers:  A sense of history permeates lives signed by faith in Christ.  To us time is a linear path to a conclusion.  A passing year is a step towards our goal:  a place of hope and happiness where we'll meet God, our hope and joy.  Collect the time we've lived and offer everything to the Lord.  Look toward the new year, grateful for what we've received, repentant for our failures, and resolving to work with God’s grace to better our lives and communities.
Preparing to preach deserves quality time for study, prayer, reflection, and creativity; dedicate the time even if you have to cut back elsewhere.  Trust in the Holy Spirit at work during the homily is active and creative, demanding that we offer ourselves as God's instruments.  A preacher who doesn't prepare is dishonest and irresponsible with the gifts he's been given.  (3.III, 145, pp. 114-115)
    • Creighton:  We look back as we continue to move ahead.  The Word was in the beginning, became flesh, is now, and will remain.
    •   To the Jews the “word of God” was active, creative, and dynamic; it was also equated with wisdom.  “While silence enveloped all, and night was half gone, your powerful word leapt from heaven into the land that was doomed, a warrior carrying the sword of your command” (Wis 18:14-16)  Jesus is God's wisdom and power.  We needed to be healed and raised up; we needed light, a savior, a liberator.  The Son of God worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart.

    • Owl pin:  Jesus, the Word, God's Wisdom (gospel)

    Dress your life!

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    December 30, 2013

    December 30

    December 30, 2013:  6th day in Christmas Octave 


    • 1 Jn 2:12-17  Children, your sins have been forgiven.  Fathers, you know Him.  Young men, God's word is in you, and you've conquered the Evil One.  Children, you know the Father.  If you love the world, the Father's love isn't in you; all in the world is not from the Father.  The world is passing away, but if you do God's will, you'll remain.
      Wordle: Readings 12-30-13
    • Ps 96:7-10  "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!" Praise and worship the Lord; God is king and governs with equity. 
    • Lk 2:36-40  Prophetess Anna, 84, worshiped night and day.  She thanked God and spoke about the child.  Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth; Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and God's favor.

    Pope Francis
    Words that set hearts on fire:  Dialogue enriches those who express love in words.  The homily is quasi-sacramental; lecturing or purely moralistic preaching detracts from its heart-to-heart communication.  Truth, beauty, and goodness should meet.  Homilies should communicate the beauty of God's images and encourage doing good, not deal with abstract truths.  Hearts growing in hope from joyful practice of love they've received will sense that Scripture is a gift before it is a demand. 
    In preaching, enlighten via synthesis and fan fervor; don't bore with detached ideas.  Join the loving hearts of the Lord and his people to strengthen the covenant and the bond of charity.  In the homily, believers allow God to speak.  The Lord and his people speak directly in other ways, but here the preacher serve as an instrument to express their feelings in so that afterwards, each may chose how to continue the conversation.  The word requires an intermediary to present it; what we preach is not ourselves but Christ as Lord.

    Our hearts must not just be on fire but also enlightened by revelation and the path of God’s word in the Church and history; that Christian identity, with the Father's baptismal embrace and Mary's embrace, makes us desire the embrace of the merciful Father who awaits us in glory.  Preachers help people feel they live in these embraces; the task is hard but beautiful.  (3.II, 142-144, pp. 112-114)
      • Creighton:  Picture 84-year-old Anna [="Favor"] announcing Jesus in the Temple.  God can use obscure people to announce great news. 
      •  Hope grows with prayer and perseverance. Anna had hope that God would fulfill his promises.  She's a model for us; without hope in God, age and  disappointments can make us cynical.  Her hope grew with age and fueled her zeal.  
      Attire (since psalm uses the word)
      Christmas pin and sweater (season)
      Dress your life!

      Please comment below

      December 29, 2013

      Holy Family

      December 29, 2013:  Holy Family

      • Sir 3:2-6, 12-14  God sets parents over their children.  Honor your parents:  atone for sins, preserve yourself, store up riches, have your prayers heard, and live long.  Take care of your father; your kindness won't be forgotten.
        Wordle: Readings 12-29-13
      • Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5  "Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways."  You'll eat the fruit of your handiwork; your wife shall be like a fruitful vine and your children like olive plants around your table.
      • Col 3:12-21 [quintessential "dress your life" reading]:  Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with and forgive one another.  Put on love, and let Christ's peace control you.  Teach one another, singing with gratitude to God.  Do everything in Jesus' name, giving God thanks through him.  Wives, be subordinate to your husbands; husbands, love your wives and don't provoke your children; children, obey your parents.
      • Mt 2:13-15, 19-23  Angel to Joseph:  “Flee to Egypt; Herod wants to destroy your child.”  They departed.  When Herod died, angel told Joseph: “Go to Israel; those who sought the child’s life are dead.”  They went, but when he heard Herod's son was ruling, he was afraid, departed for Galilee, and went to Nazareth.
      Pope Francis

      • Angelus:  Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived as refugees, with fear, uncertainty and difficulties; Jesus was part of such a family so we may feel God's loving closeness. Today's refugees face the same hardships, are unappreciated, and seek dignity.  Think of the rejected and exploited, and those marginalized in their own families, e.g. elderly treated as burdens.  The flight to Egypt shows God is there where we're in danger, suffering, or rejected—as well as in our dreams and hopes.  Build family peace, joy, love, reconciliation, and tenderness; use key words May I?, Thank you, and Sorry.  Pray for families and for the upcoming synod on the family.
      • Prayer to the Holy Family, for synod on family and for consistory; excerpts:  In you we contemplate true love; to you we turn.  May our families be places of communion and prayer, schools of the Gospel, and domestic Churches.  May families never experience violence, rejection, and division:  May all who have been hurt find healing.  May the Synod of Bishops make us mindful of the family's sacredness and beauty.
        • Creighton:  Jesus grew up in a family, shaped by his parents.  In family we learn to live together despite differences; we need compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and mutual forgiveness.  The Holy Family fled to a country, language, and customs they didn't know.  In tragedy we want to hold onto each other; family is about belonging and fidelity, not perfection.  Be faithful in daily life; it's all sacred.
        •  Joseph is a man of God, a man of obedience, service, prayer, God's word, faith, and action.  God has a plan for each of us and gives grace and guidance.  Am I willing to sacrifice my plans for God's?
        • Universalis:  St. Thomas Becket, Chancellor of England, Archbishop of Canterbury, convert, martyr.  The King appoints trusted Thomas to office, expecting loyalty.  When Thomas follows his conscience and upholds truth, the king feels betrayed and kills him.  (This applies both to Henry II / Thomas Becket and Henry VIII / Thomas More.)
        • "Vine" pin:  your wife will be like a fruitful vine (psalm)
        • "Hearts" suspenders:  put on love; love your wives; grateful hearts (2nd reading)
        • "Peace sign" tie bar:  let Christ's peace control you (2nd reading)
        • "Owl" tie pin:  teach each other in wisdom (2nd reading)
        • Piano tie pin:  sing spiritual songs (2nd reading)
        • Angel on suspenders:  angel speaking to Joseph (gospel)
        • "I love my dad" tie:  Holy Family

        Special blessings to and prayers for our Holy Family parish and school communities in Artesia, Glendale, South Pasadena, and Wilmington!

        Dress your life!

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        December 28, 2013

        Holy Innocents

        December 28, 2013:  Holy Innocents, Martyrs

        Wordle: Readings 12-28-13
        • 1 Jn 1:5—2:2  God is light; in him is no darkness.  If we walk in the light, we have fellowship...  If we acknowledge our sins, he will forgive and cleanse us.  Advocate Jesus Christ is expiation for our sins and the world's.
        • Ps 124:2-5, 7cd-8  "Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare."  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
        • Mt 2:13-18  Angel to Joseph:  “Flee to Egypt; Herod wants to destroy the child.”  They departed.  Herod, realizing the magi deceived him, ordered the massacre of all the boys two years old and under.
        Pope Francis
        A mother's conversation:  The Church is a mother, preaching as a mother speaks to her trusting children who know they're loved.  A good mother recognizes what God is doing in her children and listens to and learns from them.  Love guides mother and child in conversation; they teach, learn, are corrected, and grow.  In a homily, the Spirit inspires the preacher to hear God’s people and find the way to preach.  Christian preachers find living water in people's hearts and culture, helping them to know what to say and how.  As we like to be spoken to in our mother tongue, so too we hear better when spoken to in our “mother culture,”  a music that inspires encouragement, strength, and enthusiasm.  Preachers, encourage this maternal and ecclesial setting through your closeness, warmth, unpretentious manner, and joyful gestures; with it you'll bear fruit, even when giving tedious counsels.  Admire the resources Jesus used to dialogue, reveal his mystery, and attract people; he preached with joy, seeing beyond weaknesses and failings.  Preachers, communicate that joy.  (3.II, 139-141, pp. 110-112)
          • Creighton:  God protected Jesus by warning Joseph to flee.  Christmas lights point to Jesus and salvation.  I have an Advocate if I walk in the light.  
          •   Herod's massacre of children seemed useless and unjust.  Suffering in any form (illness, handicap, pain, abuse, poverty, injustice...) is a mystery, but God gives us joy, faith, and hope to bear it. 
          • Universalis:  The Holy Innocents are the children who slaughtered at Herod's orders so newborn Jesus, King of the Jews, would not survive.  They can stand for the many “unimportant” sacrificed because they “don’t matter.”  In God’s eyes, everyone matters.  Our suffering for God’s sake has value even if we have no say in it.  Remember too those who die in the womb...
          Children around tree:  Holy Innocents
          Christmas pin:  season
          Dress your life!

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          December 27, 2013

          St. John

          December 27, 2013:  St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

          Wordle: Readings 12-27-13Readings
          • 1 Jn 1:1-4  We proclaim the Word of life—what was from the beginning, that we've heard, seen, and touched—so you may have fellowship with the Father, Jesus Christ, and us.
          • Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12  "Rejoice in the Lord, you just!"  The Lord is king; the heavens proclaim his justice, and all see his glory.
          • Jn 20:1a, 2-8  Mary Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and [John]: “They've taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.”  Both ran to the tomb; John arrived first and saw the burial cloths, then Peter arrived and saw the cloths too.  John went in and believed.

          Pope Francis
          The homily's liturgical context:  The liturgical proclamation of God's word is a God/people dialogue proclaiming salvation and restating the demands of the covenant.  The homily is the supreme moment in that dialogue; it leads to sacramental communion.  The preacher must know the heart of his community.  The homily isn't entertainment; it needs to give life and meaning to the celebration.  It should be brief lest it upset the liturgy's balance and rhythm.  As part of the offering to God and a mediation of grace, it should guide the assembly and preacher to life-changing communion with Christ.  The Lord, not the preacher, must be the center of attention.  (3.II, 137-138, pp. 109-110)
            • Creighton:  All real disciples are “Beloved.”  Disciples' are to be beloved and to witness to God's tenderness made manifest in Jesus Christ.  Witness:  live and share what we've seen and heard, in attitudes, choices, and way of life.  Where have I encountered God's loving care, evidence of Resurrection?  Receive the Word-made-flesh.  
            •  John wrote as an eyewitness of the Word become flesh.  The greatest joy we can have is to encounter Christ and to know him personally as Savior and Lord.
            • Universalis:  St John the Evangelist, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” was involved in central events of Jesus’ life.

            Mele kalikimaka shirt #2:  Christmas pin

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            December 26, 2013

            St. Stephen

            December 26, 2013:  St. Stephen, Martyr

            Wordle: Readings 12-26-13

            • Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59  Many couldn't withstand Stephen's wisdom and stoned him.  “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
            • Mt 10:17-22  When they hand you over, don't worry; the Spirit will speak through you.   Endure and be saved.

            Pope Francis
            • Angelus:  We're close to the many who like St. Stephen are unjustly subjected to violence or whose freedom is restricted.  Use mistreatment as occasion to witness.  In martyrdom love overcomes violence. 
              • Creighton:  Amid Christmas joy we celebrate Stephen's martyrdom; not everyone welcomes Christ’s coming.  Translate Christ’s teaching into practices promoting justice even when we're opposed, as Bishop Kraeutler defends the poor and the environment despite violent opposition from landowners and corporations.
              •  Jesus' birth and passion are connected; to share his glory, we must take up our cross.  The Lord gives us grace to follow him and to bear it with hope.
              • Universalis:  St Stephen, deacon, first martyr preached, fed the poor, prayed for persecutors.
              "Mele kalikimaka" shirt (Santa not shown) and Christmas pin:  Christmas season
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              December 25, 2013

              Christmas Day

              December 25, 2013:  Christmas Day

              Wordle: Readings 12-25-13 midnight
              • Is 9:1-6  The people in darkness have seen a great light; they rejoice.  A son is born to us:  Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
              • Ps 96: 1-3, 11-13  "Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord."  Sing a new song of God's salvation; the Lord comes to rule with justice.
              • Ti 2:11-14  God's grace has appeared, saving, training us to live temperately, justly, and devoutly as we await the appearance of the glory of Christ.
              • Lk 2:1-14  Mary gave birth to a son.  An angel appeared to shepherds and said, “Fear not; I proclaim news of great joy for all:  a savior, Christ, and Lord has been born for you.  You'll find an infant in a manger.”  “Glory to God, and peace to those on whom God's favor rests.”

              Wordle: Readings 12-25-13 dawn
              • Is 62:11-12  God proclaims, your savior comes!  They shall be called the redeemed of the Lord.
              • Ps 97:1, 6, 11-12  "A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us."  Rejoice; the Lord is king.  Light dawns for the just.  Be glad in the Lord, and give thanks.
              • Ti 3:4-7  When God's love graciously appeared, he saved us through rebirth and renewal by the Spirit, poured out on us through Jesus Christ, so we might be justified and become heirs of eternal life.
              • Lk 2:15-20  Shepherds went to Bethlehem and found Mary, Joseph, and the infant.   They made known the angel's message, the hearers were amazed.  Mary reflected on this in her heart.  They returned, praising God.
              Pope Francis

              Urbi et Orbi:  The song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds unites heaven and earth, gives praise to heaven, and promises peace.  It's a song for everyone with hope, who care for others and seek to do their duty.

              Give glory to our merciful God!  I hope everyone will come to know God and feel his closeness, live in his presence, love him, and adore him.  May we give glory to God by our lives of love of him and our brothers and sisters.  True peace calls for daily commitment, starting from the grace God has given us in Jesus Christ.

              Our thoughts turn to the most vulnerable children, the elderly, battered women, the sick…  Prince of Peace, bring peace and harmony in Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Nigeria; Israel, Palestine, and Iraq; turn hearts from violence to dialogue.

              Lord of life, help all who are persecuted for your name, the displaced, refugees, migrants in search of a dignified life.  Touch all engaged in human trafficking, that they may realize the gravity of this crime.  Look upon the many children who are kidnapped, forced into military service, wounded, or killed in armed conflicts.  Look on our planet, exploited by greed.  Help and protect victims of disasters.

              Let us pause before the Child, allowing our hearts to be touched and warmed by God's tenderness; we need his caress.  Praise our God, full of love!  God of peace, help us to be peacemakers in our life, families, cities, nations, and world.

              Homily:  People who walk see a great light.  Walking brings to mind salvation history:  people on pilgrimage to the promised land, accompanied by the Lord!  But people have been faithful and unfaithful, obedient and rebellious, on pilgrimage and adrift.  We too have bright and dark moments.  If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light; if we're dominated by pride, then darkness falls.  Tonight God's grace has been revealed, making salvation possible for everyone.  The grace is Jesus, true man and true God, come to free us from darkness and grant us light.  The shepherds were the first to receive the news because they were among the last, the outcast, and they were awake, keeping watch, guarding their flocks.  Let's join the shepherds, to pause before the Child, thanking and praising God, sharing the joy of the Gospel:  God loves us so much that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness.  Our Father loves us, gives us Jesus to guide us to the promised land.  Jesus our peace brightens the darkness.

                • Creighton:  The Christmas story is familiar yet ever new; remember it all year.
                •  The first to hear the good news of the savior's birth were the humble.  Jesus chose humility and lowliness.  We needed a savior who could reconcile us with God.  The Word became flesh to show us God's love and mercy.  Today we celebrate present realities – Christ reigning in heaven and in our hearts – and past events – the birth and manifestation of the Messiah.  We thank God for saving us from sin and death by sending his son to give us pardon and life.  God wants to fill our hearts with joy.  Christmas joy is eternal; it's the joy of Jesus made present through the Spirit dwelling in us.

                Angel, thanks to Sue, guest dresser (gospel)
                Pin (see Dec. 17 for legend):  Christmas

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                December 24, 2013

                Christmas Eve

                December 24, 2013:  Tuesday, 4th week of Advent / Christmas Eve


                Morning:  Advent
                Wordle: Readings 12-24-13 AM
                • 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16  Lord to King David via Nathan:  “Should you build me a house?  I chose you, have been with you, and will make you famous.  My people will dwell safely.  I'll establish a House for you, raise up your heir, make his Kingdom firm, be father to him.  Your throne shall stand forever.”
                • Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  God's covenant with David will stand firm.
                • Lk 1:67-79  Zechariah prophesied:  “Blessed be God who came and freed his people, raising up a Savior from the House of David.  He promised to save, show mercy, remember his covenant, and free us to worship him.  You, John, will prepare the Lord's way, giving people knowledge of salvation by forgiveness.  In God's tender compassion, dawn shall shine on those in darkness and to guide us to the way of peace.”
                Evening:  Christmas vigil

                • Is 62:1-5  Nations shall behold your vindication and kings your glory.  You'll be a crown in the Lord's hand.  People will no longer call you “Forsaken” but rather “My Delight”; God will marry you and rejoice in you.

                Wordle: Readings 12-24-13 PM

                • Ps 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I'll maintain my covenant, my kindness, and your throne forever.  Blessed those who walk in your light; they rejoice and are exalted.

                • Acts 13:16-17, 22-25  Paul:  “God chose our ancestors, led them out of Egypt, raised up David as king, and from his descendants brought a savior, Jesus.  John heralded his coming:  ‘One is coming after me; I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals.’”
                • Mt 1:1-25  Genealogy of Jesus, son of David, son of Abraham:  14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the Babylonian exile, 14 from the exile to Christ.  Before Mary and Joseph lived together, Mary was found with child.  Joseph was about to divorce her, but angel appeared:  “Take Mary into your home; the child was conceived through the Spirit.  Name the child Jesus; he'll save his people.”  This fulfilled the prophecy, “The virgin shall bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, God-is-with-us.”  Joseph did as the angel commanded.
                Pope Francis
                The Homily:  Pastors, take preaching seriously; heed people's concerns.  We judge pastors' closeness and communication from it.  People consider homilies important; they can be an intense, happy, lifegiving encounters with God’s word.

                God wants to reach out and show power through preachers:  People came from everywhere to hear St. Paul, were amazed, and sensed he spoke with authority; God won over their hearts through his preaching.  Christ sent out the apostles to preach and by their words brought all nations to the Church.  (3.II, 135-136, pp. 107-108)
                  • Creighton:  God wants to be with us personally and invite us into his life.  God "pitched his tent" among us, became one of us in the humanness of Jesus, like us in all things, sharing everything, being with me as I am.
                  •  Zechariah saw redemption as near; the Messiah would establish peace, restoring our broken relationship with God.  The Spirit wants to show us God's love and care.  We're called to prepare the way leading to Christ. The Lord comes each day with his life-giving Word.  We celebrate God's gift of his only Son to redeem us.  Spirit, fill us with joy and boldness to proclaim the message of the Lord's visitation and redemption.
                  Music (not universally associated with Christmas :-)

                  • Castle pin:  House of David (1st reading), Joseph taking Mary into his home (gospel)
                  • "Angel" tie pin:  angel Gabriel (gospel)
                  • "Keyboard with dove" tie pin:  Jesus conceived by Holy Spirit
                  • Abacus tie pin:  14 × 3 generations (gospel)
                  • "Peace sign" tie bar:  the dawn shall guide us to the way of peace (gospel); Jesus, Prince of Peace
                  • "Christmas lights" tie:  Jesus, Light of the World
                  • "Love" sticker on suspenders (thanks, Lucy):  Love is born
                  • Pin (see Dec. 17 for legend):  Christmas!
                  Dress your life!

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                  December 23, 2013

                  December 23

                  December 23, 2013:  Monday, 4th week of Advent

                  • 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.
                    Wordle: Readings 12-23-13
                  • 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 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.”
                  Pope Francis
                  • Homily:  3rd coming of the Lord:  he visits each of us daily.  Our soul is waiting for the Lord.  Open your soul; be vigilant and expectant.  What difference does the Lord’s coming make in us?  Is there a place for God, or only for shopping and parties?  Is our soul open like Mary's?  The world ends with the Lord, Mary, and the Church, not us, so repeat, "O Wisdom , O Key of David, O King of the nations, come!  Come, Lord Jesus!" not, “Do not disturb!”  Receive the Lord and see his glory!
                  Culture, thought, and education:  Proclaim the Gospel to professional, scientific and academic circles:  a faith/reason/science encounter with new approaches and creative apologetics.  Science and reason can become evangelization tools, the Spirit's instruments of enlightenment and renewal, when used to proclaim the Gospel. 
                  It's not enough just to reach each person, or proclaim the Gospel to cultures; our theology must be in dialogue with science and experience.  Theologians, advance that dialogue as part of the Church’s saving mission, remembering that the Church and theology exist to evangelize; don't settle for desk-bound theology.

                  Universities and Catholic schools are outstanding environments for articulating and developing our evangelization of culture, even when hostility challenges us to be more creative.  (3.I, 132-134, pp. 106-107)
                    • Today's O Antiphon:  O EmmanuelKing and Giver of Law:  come to save us, Lord our God!
                    • Creighton:  We await and pray for the Lord's coming, but the Lord is at hand whenever we welcome him:  "Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in."  Let him come and transform us.
                    •  John means "the Lord is gracious"; God graciously fills us with the Spirit.  Is my life an offering to God?  
                    • John/ Winter (gospel) [leadsheet and related note]
                    • What child is this?/ Dix is about Jesus, but our presider today mentioned that in today's gospel, people asked that about John the Baptist [Thanks, Monsignor!]
                    • Please send music suggestions, especially for Christmas!  I welcome audio, video, sheet music, and lyrics links and will happily credit you.
                    • Tie with signs:  signs:  virgin shall bear a son (yesterday's 1st reading), Elizabeth with child (Friday's gospel)
                    • "Angel" tie pin:  angel Gabriel (yesterday's gospel), repeating with guest interpretation:  it looks (to me and at least one other) both like an angel and like a flying pig.  Someone quipped after Mass:  "a virgin bearing a son?  When pigs fly!"
                    • Purple shirt:  Advent (season)
                    • Purple and white in suspenders:  
                    • Christmas pin (see Tuesday for legend):  Nativity Novena (subseason)
                    Dress your life!

                    December 22, 2013

                    4th Sunday of Advent

                    December 22, 2013:  4th Sunday of Advent


                    • Is 7:10-14  Ahaz, ask for a sign / I won't test God / Lord will give sign:  virgin shall bear a son and name him Emmanuel.
                    • Ps 24:1-6  "Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory."  God founded the world, will reward the clean-hearted.
                      Wordle: Readings 12-22-13
                    • Rom 1:1-7  Paul, set apart for the gospel about our Lord Jesus Christ, descended from David but established as Son of God through resurrection.  We received the grace of apostleship through him.  You're called to belong to Christ.
                    • Mt 1:18-24  Mary was found with child.  Joseph decided to divorce her quietly to keep her from shame, but the angel said, “Take her into your home; the child was conceived through the Spirit.  Name him Jesus; he'll save his people.”  Joseph awoke and obeyed.
                    Pope Francis
                    • Angelus:  The homeless face difficulties like the Holy Family's.  Family and home go together; do everything you can to assure every family has a place to live.  Today's gospel shows Joseph’s greatness of soul; he listened and attended to God and messages from the heart.  Contemplate Mary who relied on the God's word and Joseph who believed in the Lord instead of listening to doubt and pride.
                    Charisms at the service of a communion which evangelizes:  The Spirit enriches the Church with charisms to renew and build up the Church. They're integrated into the body of the Church for the good of all.  New charisms need not overshadow other gifts and spiritualities.  It is in communion that charisms are seen to be authentic and fruitful. 
                    Differences can prove uncomfortable, but the Spirit can turn them into a means of evangelization.  The Spirit can bring unity from diversity.  When we aspire to diversity, we become self-enclosed and divisive; when we force unity ourselves, we impose uniformity instead.  (3.I, 130-131, pp. 104-106)
                      • Creighton:  Our lives are full of signs of beginnings.  When we love the poor, the child, the single mother, the gang member, and our enemies, we are signs God is with us.
                      •  Mary faced an enormous challenge and burden, but she believed and trusted God's promises.  Joseph is also a model of faith, serving God's plan of redemption.  Do I believe God's promises when facing problems?
                      • Please send me music suggestions, especially for the Christmas season!  I welcome links to audio, video, sheet music, and/or lyrics, and I'll give you credit.

                      • Tie with signs:  signs:  virgin shall bear a son (1st reading), Elizabeth with child (Friday's gospel)
                      • Angel tie pin:  Gabriel (gospel)
                      • "Keyboard with dove" tie pin:  Mary conceived Jesus through the Spirit  (gospel)
                      • Purple shirt and suspenders:  Advent (season)
                      • Christmas pin (see Tuesday for legend):  Nativity Novena (subseason)
                      Dress your life!

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