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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