December 19, 2018

Dec. 19

December 19, 2018:  Wednesday, 3rd week, Advent

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below

For canticle
Pope Francis General Audience
While the world exchanges presents, what gifts and surprises would God want?  The first Christmas was full of surprises for Mary and Joseph:  the Angel’s announcement of Mary’s pregnancy, the Flight into Egypt, unexpected changes to their lives.  On Christmas night the biggest surprise arrived:  the Most High as a little baby.  At Christmas we celebrate the unprecedented things of God, the unprecedented God.
To "do Christmas," welcome heaven's surprises.  Help the needy, as Jesus came to help us in our neediness.  Trust in God even if you don't understand, as Mary did.  Do God's will like Joseph, even if it means changing your plans.  If we celebrate Christmas without focusing on Jesus, we lose an opportunity.  Don’t make Christmas worldly!  Make room for silence.  Say "Here I am" to God.  Be close to those who are alone.  Go out to meet Jesus.  Have a good Christmas, rich in Jesus' surprises!
    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.
    O Radix Jessee...
  • 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!
  • Creighton:  Today’s readings about Samson and John the Baptist recall the related themes of God speaking to us and silence.  Then, angels delivered good news; today, God still speaks to us, but we can't hear him unless we're attentive?  As Zechariah heard the message in the quiet sanctuary, we need to find quiet spaces to hear and reflect on God’s word.  As Zechariah went mute and couldn't share the message, many now choose to make themselves mute and don't proclaim their faith, though many easily share their political views and other things.  Find quiet time to listen to God, and be open to being a witness to others, helping those in need, and openly recognizing God’s role in your life.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Spirit-filled babies":  The Spirit filled Elizabeth and John the Baptist, stirred Samson as he grew, and rushed on young David.  Many of God's Spirit-filled army are removed through today's culture of death.  May we promote life, from conception through natural death.  Pray and work so the Spirit may move freely....
  • Passionist:  Today's readings show us two families faithful to God but who felt cursed because they were childless; they prayed for the impossible.  Manoah's [unnamed] wife prayed for a child, and God gave her son who was to save his people.  Faithful Zechariah and Elizabeth were elderly and childless, but God broke into their lives by giving them a son who would have a special place in salvation history.  When we long for something, we become penitential:  curbing our appetite to lose weight, cutting expenses to save for a vacation, setting aside anger to make peace, making time for prayer to be with God.  Longing gives meaning to penance.  May our Advent preparations be prayerful and wholehearted....
  •  "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
  • '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)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin: "My mouth shall be filled with your praise" (psalm)
  • 'Scales' brooch:  God, I will tell of your justice (psalm)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  God, you have taught me from my youth (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Rescue me from the hand of the wicked (psalm)
  • '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)
  • '?' tie pin:  "How shall I know this?" (gospel)
  • 'Heart' clip:  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/"High Advent" (subseason); today's Christmas luncheon

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