December 19, 2016

Dec. 19

December 19, 2016:  Monday, 4th week, Advent

See 14 connections with today?
Legend below

    Pope Francis to young people
    The joy that comes from Jesus' coming is increased and multiplied when shared.  Receive Advent joy as you'd receive a gift, and bear witness to it in your family, school, parish, and everywhere.  Share it with your grandparents, and elderly people in general, and listen to them; they have the wisdom of life.
    Speak to your grandparents; ask them questions, and listen to them.  They have the memory of history, the experience of living; it's a great gift for you that will help your life journey.  Grandparents need to listen to you and understand your aspirations and hopes.
      Zechariah/ Robertson
    • Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a  Angel to Manoah's barren wife:  “You'll bear a son.  Be careful with him; he's consecrated to God. and will begin to deliver Israel.”  She bore a son and named him Samson; God's Spirit stirred him as he grew.
    • Ps 71:3-4a 5-6ab, 16-17  "My mouth shall be filled with your praise, and I will sing your glory!"  You're my rock, fortress, hope, trust, refuge, and strength; rescue me.
    • Lk 1:5-25  Zechariah and Elizabeth observed the commandments but had no child.  The angel Gabriel told him, “Your wife will bear you a son; name him John.  He'll be great in God's sight, filled with the Spirit, and will turn many to the Lord in the power of Elijah and prepare a people fit for the Lord.” / “How can I be sure?” / “God sent me to you.  Because you didn't believe me, you'll be speechless till all this happens.”  Elizabeth conceived.
    • Today's O Antiphon:  O Radix Jesse, Root of Jesse's stem, sign of God's love for all his people:  come to save us without delay!
          O Root of Jesse...
        • Creighton:  Today's readings are about preparations.  An angel tells Manoah’s wife, barren, that she'll have a baby boy who will do wonderful things, preparing the way for the deliverance of Israel.  Samson indeed prepared the way for those to come after him.  An angel came to Elizabeth, also barren, to tell her she'd also have a baby boy.  John's birth prepared for Jesus', and when he grew up, he turned many to the Lord.  John wasn't the savior but prepared the way for him.  Both stories tell of barren women who bear children who change the world.  Samson prepares the way for those who will deliver his people....
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Salvation is incarnate":  In today's readings, God breaks into human lives and begins to deliver us, through the conception of Samson and John the Baptist, who prepare the way for Jesus.  God doesn't drop salvation impersonally out of the sky; he sends it in human packages we can relate to and love.  God sent salvation over time, sending human forerunners who can warm our hearts and predispose us to love him when he comes.  God sends salvation through human love, parents' love, not rulers to be feared,  God uses intimate married love to prepare his way.  God's salvation is human, passionate, takes time, is as vulnerable as a baby, involves relationships, and welcomes life:  it's incarnate and personal....
        • Passionist:  Today's readings are about two families faithful to God but childless and feeling cursed, who prayed for the impossible.  In the 1st reading, God answers Manoah's wife's prayer with a son to save his people.  In the gospel, Zechariah and Elizabeth, also faithful to God, may have already given up on their dream to have children.  God grants them their greatest longing, a son, who will will have a special place in salvation history.  When we long for something, we become penitential:  curbing our food intake to lose weight, saving for a vacation, setting aside revenge to become peacemakers, making time to pray to be with God.  Longing makes penance meaningful....
        •  "Many will rejoice at his birth":  In today's readings, two barren couples conceive and bear sons:  Samson and John the Baptist, both called by God to bring hope and deliverance.  Zechariah was tuned to God’s voice.  The people perceived he had a special encounter with God when he returned speechless from the sanctuary.  God’s messenger told him they'd have a son with a great mission and made him speechless till the infant was dedicated to the Lord and named John.  God wants us to be still before him to hear his voice.  The angel tells Zechariah his son will be great in God's sight, a Nazarite, set apart for the Lord, Spirit-filled, even in the womb, and be sent to the people of God, in the spirit of Elijah, to turn people to God and one another.  'John' means "the Lord is gracious."  When God acts to save us, he fills us with his Spirit and quickens our faith.
        Dress legend
        • 'Eyeball' pin, 'clocks' suspenders:  Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, and advanced in years; John the Baptist will be great in the Lord's sight; Zechariah saw a vision (gospel)
        • 'Gambling' tie:  Zechariah was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary (gospel) 
        • 'Angel pin':  Angel appeared to Manoah's wife (1st reading); Gabriel appeared to Zechariah (gospel)
        • 'Dove' pin:  Spirit stirred Samson (1st reading); John will be filled with the Spirit (gospel)
        • 'Rock' tie pin:  You are my rock and fortress (psalm)
        • 'Hand' tie pin:  Rescue me from the hand of the wicked (psalm)
        • 'Heart' pin:  John will turn fathers' hearts toward their children (gospel)
          • 'Tree' pin:  O Root of Jesse's stem (O Antiphon)
          • Purple shirt:  Advent season
          • 'No-L' Christmas pin:  Nativity Novena AKA Advent II (subseason)

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