December 20, 2014

Dec. 20

December 20, 2014:  Saturday, 3rd week of Advent

  • 'Sign' button:  Ahaz, ask for a sign.  The Lord will give you this one... (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Gabriel visits Mary (gospel)
  • 'Crowns' tie:  "Your son's kingdom will have no end" (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "Mary, the Spirit will come upon you" (gospel)
  • Purple shirt:  Advent season

  • Is 7:10-14  Lord/Ahaz:  "Ask for a sign." / "I won't test God." / "God will give you one:  Virgin shall bear son, Emmanuel..."
    'Key of David' from today's readings
  • Ps 24:1-4ab, 5-6  "Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory."  God founded the earth.  The clean-hearted may receive God's blessing.
  • Lk 1:26-38  Gabriel/Mary:  “The Lord is with you.  You'll bear a great son and name him Jesus.  He'll rule over the house of Jacob forever.” / “How, since I'm a virgin?” / “The Spirit, God's power.  The child will be called Son of God.  'Barren' Elizabeth has also conceived...” / “I'm the Lord's handmaid; let it be done.”
    • Today's O Antiphon (and alleluia verse):  O Key of David, opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom:  come and free the prisoners of darkness!:
    • Creighton:  These are also the readings for the Annunciation (March 25).  The emphasis is on God’s action, but in March we focus more on Mary's amazing “yes” and the hope manifest in her acceptance.  Jesus isn't a product of human evolution or development; his conception is God’s intervening to create something new.  God chose to take on our nature, to live in flesh, born to a peasant girl in a subjugated country.  Contrary to the heresy of docetism, Jesus was really human, not "God in disguise"; he experienced the grief, anger, frustration, uncertainty, and desolation we do, so we can imitate him.  The Incarnation continues in the Church, in which Jesus lives; pray to remain faithful to Christ who is her spirit.   Our responsibility to care for our planet and its resources also follows from the Incarnation.
      The Annunciation/ Welch
    • One Bread One Body:  Mary is a model disciple:  she did God's will, no matter what.  She welcomed and received the Spirit and ministered with the Spirit's power and gifts.  She gave her body to the Lord, regarding it as a temple of the Spirit, and lived a holy life.
    • Passionist:  Today's readings remind us that God always makes the first move:  the sign to Ahaz that "the virgin shall bear Emmanuel" and Gabriel's invitation to Mary to bear Jesus.  God makes the first move with us too, inviting us to welcome the birth of Jesus in us and to bring Christ into the world through our lives of faith and good works.  Mary shows us the way of trust and openness.
    •  King Ahaz had lost hope in God and refused to ask for a sign of favor.  We see the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy in the events leading up to the Incarnation; the new era of salvation begins with Jesus' miraculous conception in Mary.  Mary's true hearing of God's Word and prompt "yes" are models of faith for us all; she believed God's promises even when they seemed impossible.
    • Universalis:  Bl. Scubilion, in Brothers of Christian Instruction, “catechist of the slaves.”  St. Fachanan of Kilfenora.

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