December 20, 2016

Dec. 20

December 20, 2016:  Tuesday, 4th week, Advent

Find 12 connections with today?
Legend below


    For gospel

      For Psalm 24
      'Key of David' from today's readings
    • Is 7:10-14  Lord/Ahaz:  "Ask for a sign." / "I won't test God." / "God will give you one:  a virgin shall bear a son, Emmanuel..."
    • 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!  Reflection (thanks, Sr. Kathleen!)
          No; not this kind of Fiat :-)
        • Creighton:  Mary was likely about 12 when Gabriel came to her.  Since he tried to comfort her, she was likely terrified.  She likely had only a sketchy idea of how women conceive and felt overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain about her future during the conversation.  But she showed faith and cooperated.  She was a child who accepted her situation, role, and risks, overwhelmed as she was; only later did she become a strong and suffering mother.  Despite her youth and anxiety, she accepted God’s will and went forward, accepting the grace and suffering of parenthood....
        • One Bread, One Body:  "O come, O come Immanuel":  Isaiah's prophecy of "Immanuel" doesn't merely mean that God is present but that God is incarnate.  God became human, Immanuel, Jesus, who lived, was crucified, rose, and was glorified.  Jesus is the Sign "deep as the nether world, or high as the sky," the Sign of contradiction for the downfall and rise of many.  When Mary accepted Immanuel, her life changed; she put herself in danger of divorce, even stoning as an adulteress. After she accepted him, she gave birth in a barn, had to flee to Egypt, and eventually stood at the foot of her Son's cross. Do you accept Immanuel and give him your life?
        • Passionist:  Isaiah, likely interpreting Ahaz's unwillingness to ask for a sign as lack of faith in God’s faithfulness, tells Ahaz the Lord himself will give a sign, a virgin bearing Emmanuel.  Today's gospel is about the fulfillment of that promise.  Mary, puzzled, asks how it can be, but doesn't let her incomplete understanding keep her from saying yes, trusting in God’s faithfulness to her.  Do I trust in God's faithfulness to me?  God is faithful even if I'm not so sure....
          The Annunciation/ Welch
        •  "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"  We pray, "Lord, show me a sign of your favor."  When King Ahaz was surrounded, God offered him a sign to reassure him, but he refused to ask for it.  God nevertheless gave it to him.  Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled and God's saving plan unfolds in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the Messiah's birth.  The new era of salvation begins when Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb.  Mary became the mother of the new Adam who would father a new humanity, fulfilling all God’s promises.  The angel repeats to Mary the promise made to David.  Mary knew she's hearing something that would take a miracle.  Her question is not out of or skepticism but wonderment!  She responds with faith and trust, believing God's promises even when they seemed impossible.  God gives us grace and expects us to respond the same way; when he commands, he gives the help, strength, and means to respond.  We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way.  May we believe in God's promises and yield to his grace.
          • Bl. Scubilion, Brother of Christian Instruction, “catechist of the slaves”
          • St. Fachanan of Kilfenora
        Dress legend
        • '[Kentucky] sign' button:  Ahaz, ask for a sign.  The Lord will give you this one... (1st reading)
        • 'Angel' pin:  Gabriel visits Mary (gospel)
        • 'Key' tie:  O Key of David (today's O Antiphon)
        • 'Alps' tie pin:  Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?...  (psalm)
        • 'Hands' pin:  ...He whose hands are sinless,... (psalm)
        • 'Heart' pin:  ...whose heart is pure (psalm)
        • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Your son's kingdom will have no end" (gospel); The Lord, King of Glory (psalm)
        • 'Mary' pin:  "Hail, Mary" (gospel)
        • 'Dove' pin:  "Mary, the Spirit will come upon you" (gospel)
        • Purple shirt:  Advent season
        • No-'L' button:  Christmas novena AKA Advent II (subseason)

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