December 20, 2017

Dec. 20

December 20, 2017 / Wednesday, 3rd week, Advent


For gospel

    For Psalm 24
Pope Francis General Audience
The elements of the Mass (introductory rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, concluding rites) form a single body, but each can touch and involves a dimension of our humanity.  The introductory rites ensure the faithful might form a community disposed to hear God's Word with faith and celebrate the Eucharist worthily.  The priests' and ministers' actions, especially the veneration of the altar, are significant but risk going unobserved; they express that the Mass is an encounter of love with Christ.
The Sign of the Cross signifies that every prayer moves in the space of the Trinity:  the love of the One, Triune God is its origin and end.  The greeting and response begin a symphony, where all participants recognize they're animated by the same Spirit, for the same purpose.  The dialogue between priest and people manifests the mystery of the Church gathered together.  In the penitential act, all consider their own sins and acknowledge themselves as sinners.  We must recognize our situations of death to be able to rise with him to life.
  • 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..."
    '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.”

  • Creighton:  Today’s readings contain two significant contrasts.  The first is between the gospel (a woman's answer to God's request) and past 1st readings (God's answer to the requests of Manoah's wife, Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth).  The second is Mary’s reaction to Gabriel’s announcement compared to that of Zechariah’s (when told of Elizabeth’s pregnancy):  how do I know?  Give me a sign.  Mary asks a question but doesn't ask for a sign.  God offers us signs in daily events and circumstances.  To recognize them we need a faith vision.  Events and circumstances are the same for believers and unbelievers, but faith helps us find meaning in them and respond in faith.
    No; not this kind of Fiat :-)
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Rejoice":  I weary God when I whine about my weariness, don't walk by faith, sin, refuse to forgive or repent, waste time, or act selfishly.  Sinners like Ahaz and Zechariah weary the Lord, but those with faith like Mary give the Lord reason to rejoice over them.
  • Passionist:  Today’s readings are about promise and fulfillment, fear and courage, cynicism and trust.  Christ's coming was no accident but the fulfillment of a promise.  The 1st reading is about Isaiah’s encounter with Judah King Ahaz.  He assures him of God’s care and tells him to ask for a sign of God’s favor.  When Ahaz begs off, Isaiah in disgust says the Lord will give you the sign of the virgin bearing a son.  Ahaz's fear and cynicism result in the destruction of his kingdom.  In the gospel, the angel tells Mary of God's plan for her.  Though she doesn't know how it could happen, her courage and trust leads her to consent.  Luke sees God's promise through Isaiah fulfilled in her “yes.”  God’s promises are best fulfilled in those open to him.  Lord, help us welcome you with trust whenever you come.
    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
  • 'Key' tie:  O Key of David (today's O Antiphon)
  • 'Sign' button:  Ahaz, ask for a sign.  The Lord will give you this one... (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  The Lord's are the earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it (psalm)
  • '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)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Gabriel visits Mary (gospel)
  • '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); see more at Winter PUNderland.

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