December 20, 2018

Dec. 20

December 20, 2018:  Thursday, 3rd week, Advent

See 17 connections with today?
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For gospel

The Annunciation is the most revolutionary moment in history.  History turns upside down.  Everything changes, from the root.  God lowers himself, enters history, and does so in his style:  a surprise.
Read
    'Key of David' from today's readings
    (Animate)
  • 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.”
Reflect

  • Msgr. Jim Halley homily video:  Give yourself to God's will even if you don't understand it.  Mary, Jesus' perfect disciple, pondered/struggled to discern God's will and did it even with doubt and without full understanding.
  • Today's O Antiphon:  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:  Isaiah tells Ahaz that God will show a sign:  the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and name him Emmanuel.  Luke recounts the annunciation.  If you see an angel, how can you trust it's an angel?  Mary’s faith is unwavering, even when she could have been stoned to death, and she's eager to please God and know everything will be OK.  Mary and Joseph were a force to be reckoned with, traveling far to comply with the census, delivering a baby in a stable.  When Mary said yes, she couldn’t have imagined the hardships ahead:  threats to her family, rearing a son not fully hers, watching him endure torture and death.  Her grace, humility, strength, and faith make her the perfect role model, especially for mothers.  She knew how to love and was so approachable.  "Mary, did you know?" asks the questions I often think about.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "On the tip of my tongue":   'Jesus' means "God saves."  Jesus is a Savior come to seek and save the lost.  "There is no salvation in anyone else...."  Jesus is "Emmanuel, 'God with us,'" who became flesh and lived among us and is with us "until the end."  Jesus is King and Ruler.  "God will give him the throne of David his father.  His reign will be without end."  Every knee must bow and every tongue proclaim Jesus Lord.  His name is so powerful that the world and the devil try to suppress it or substitute other names.  How often have you heard the name of Jesus spoken this week? How often have you spoken it?  Christmas is his birthday, and we're his heralds....

  • Passionist:  Today's readings ask how prepared we are and invite us to open our hearts to the saving coming of the Son of God.  Isaiah prophecies that God will save his people:  a virgin will bear a son and name him Emmanuel; in the gospel Gabriel invites Mary to be the Mother of the Son of God, and she accepts.  The Annunciation illustrates the attitude we need to be prepared.  Though Mary is puzzled and questioning, she assents; she so totally trusts that she can say yes to whatever God wants.  Are we ready to open our hearts to accept whatever God is asking of us?  Can we move beyond our fears and insecurities and trust God’s will for us?  Lord Jesus, come into my heart; help me to trust you and your loving presence.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "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)
  • 'OneLife LA sign' button:  Ahaz, ask for a sign.  The Lord will give you this one... (1st reading)
  • 'Bear' tie bar:  The virgin will conceive and 'bear' a son (1st reading); you'll 'bear' a son (gospel)
  • '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)
  • 'Prize' pin:  He shall receive a reward from God (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)
  • '?' tie pin:  "How can this be...?" (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "Mary, the Spirit will come upon you" (gospel)
  • Purple shirt:  Advent season
  • No-'L' button:  Departmental Christmas luncheon; Christmas novena AKA Advent II / "High Advent" (subseason); see more at Winter PUNderland.