December 24, 2018

Dec. 24 / Christmas Eve

December 24, 2018:  Monday, 4th week, Advent / Christmas Eve

See about 3 dozen connections with today?
Legend below
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  • 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16  Lord to David via Nathan:  “Should you build me a house?  I chose you, have been with you, and will make you famous.  My people will dwell safely.  I'll establish a House for you, raise up your heir, make his Kingdom firm, be father to him.  Your throne shall stand forever.”
  • Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  God's covenant with David will stand firm.
  • Lk 1:67-79  Zechariah prophesied:  “Blessed be God who came and freed his people, raising up a Savior from the House of David.  He promised to save, show mercy, remember his covenant, and free us to worship him.  You, John, will prepare the Lord's way, giving people knowledge of salvation by forgiveness.  In God's tender compassion, dawn shall shine on those in darkness and to guide us to the way of peace.”
Evening:  Christmas vigil

  • Is 62:1-5  Nations shall behold your vindication and kings your glory.  You'll be a crown in the Lord's hand.  People will no longer call you “Forsaken” but rather “My Delight”; God will marry you and rejoice in you.
  • Ps 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I'll maintain my covenant, my kindness, and your throne forever.  Blessed those who walk in your light; they rejoice and are exalted.
  • Acts 13:16-17, 22-25  Paul:  “God chose our ancestors, led them out of Egypt, raised up David as king, and from his descendants brought a savior, Jesus.  John heralded his coming:  ‘One is coming after me; I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals.’”
  • Mt 1:1-25  Genealogy of Jesus, son of David, son of Abraham:  14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the Babylonian exile, 14 from the exile to Christ.  Before Mary and Joseph lived together, Mary was found with child.  Joseph was about to divorce her, but angel appeared:  “Take Mary into your home; the child was conceived through the Spirit.  Name the child Jesus; he'll save his people.”  This fulfilled the prophecy, “The virgin shall bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, God-is-with-us.”  Joseph did as the angel commanded.
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Today’s readings take us to our forebears struggling to see God's promises take form.  We share with them their struggle to maintain faith and hope when fulfillment of God’s promises seems far off.  King David's comparison between his house and the Lord's disrupted his comfort.  God told him that God alone would bring about a great change, the way God wanted and in his time, through David's offspring.  God requires patience from us all.  After Zechariah's skeptical response to Gabriel earned him silence, he waited for months for his wife to bear a son in their old age.  During that time, Zechariah connected the dots:  he knew God was working but didn't know how his promises would be fulfilled.  Years would pass before his son starts to prepare the way for the Messiah, but he trusted God, finding faith and hope that God would fulfill his promises. We know God has fulfilled his promises through the revelation of his Son, but the fullness of his reign, including peace, requires us to wait, be patient, hope, and trust in God's goodness and mercy....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Make it snappy":  Zechariah couldn't speak for months, but when he repented, obeyed God, he "snapped out of it," and was filled with the Spirit."  The Church is full of Zechariahs:  good but in some ways spiritually deaf, mute, blind, or paralyzed; . something is holding them back from full life in the Spirit.  Today the Lord is giving the grace to "snap out of it."  People are waking spiritually, facing reality, repenting, and giving their lives to him.  Hearts are being opened to love Jesus, tongues loosed to witness. The Lord is freeing us to serve him devoutly and fearlessly."
  • Passionist:  In the New Testament Jesus is described as compassionate about 15 times!  The word used in the gospel, one of the most emotional in Scripture, σπλάγχνον ("tender mercy"), comes from one’s innermost organs like intestines, heart, lungs, liver....  Our Father feels very deeply about each of us!  In the incarnation of his Son God is humanly capable of being moved by our infirmities.  Ponder God's love for us in taking on our flesh. God can feel our hurt in a human heart, experience our rejection, pain,.and weakness, our sorrowful condition.  In this Baby see the miracle of God’s compassion, the closeness he shares with us. Society can't shut out the light and joy caused by the coming of God’s Son!
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Nothing is impossible with God":  When the Lord comes to redeem us, he fills us with his Spirit, the source of our joy and hope.  John the Baptist was born shortly before Mary delivered her son, Jesus. When John was circumcised, his father was "filled with the Spirit" and joy.  Inspired by the Spirit, he prophesied and sang a hymn for God's redemptive work.  He foresaw that David's dynasty would endure through the coming of the Messiah.  This King would establish peace and security.  The peace the Messiah restores our broken relationship with God.  The Spirit gave Zechariah a vision for his son as prophet and forerunner to prepare the way for the Messiah.  The Spirit wants to give us vision, joy, and confidence in the knowledge of God's mercy, protection, and care.  We too are called to prepare the way that leads to Christ.  Life is a journey; we either move towards the Lord or away.  The Lord comes to visit us each day with his Word and Spirit.  Those who hunger for the Lord won't be disappointed.  In sending the Messiah, God visited his people to redeem them.  Jesus was sent into the world to redeem sinners.  At Christmas we celebrate God's gift of sending his Son to redeem us.  May the Spirit inspire us and fill us with joy and boldness to proclaim the message of the Lord's visitation and redemption.
Dress legend
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  You'll be 'called' by a new name,... (vigil 1st reading)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  ...pronounced by the mouth of the Lord (vigil 1st reading); "my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness" (psalm)
  • 'Wood block' tie pin:  David:  "Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!" (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "I took you from the pasture and care of the flock" (1st reading)
  • 'Boundless mercy' button:  He promised to show mercy to our fathers (gospel)
  • 'Helm' tie pin:  You'll prepare the Lord's way (gospel)
  • 'Feet' pin:  The dawn shall break upon us to guide our feet into the way of peace" (gospel); I'm unworthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet (vigil 2nd reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  I won't be quiet till her victory shines like a torch (vigil 1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Your God shall rejoice in you (vigil 1st reading); blessed those who know the joyful shout (vigil psalm)
  • 'Bear' tie bar:  "Mary will 'bear' a son" (vigil gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  I'll raise up your heir and make his Kingdom firm (1st reading); God raised up David as king (vigil 2nd reading); kings in Jesus' genealogy (vigil gospel); you'll be a glorious crown... (vigil 1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...in the Lord's hand (vigil 1st reading); he'll free us from our enemies' hand (gospel); Paul motioned with his hand (vigil 2nd reading)
  • 'Heart' clip:  I have found David a man after my own heart (vigil 2nd reading)
  • 'Castle' pin:  House of David (1st reading); Joseph taking Mary into his home (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream (vigil gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  Zechariah, filled with the Spirit, prophesied (gospel); Mary was found with child through the Spirit (vigil gospel)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  14 × 3 generations (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  "My God, the rock" (psalm)
  • 'Mary' pin:  Mary in genealogy and birth story (vigil gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  the dawn shall guide us to the way of peace (gospel); Jesus, Prince of Peace
  • 'Christmas lights' tie:  Jesus, Light of the World
  • 'Cross with purple robes' pin:  Last day of Advent
  • 'Christmas trees' suspenders, button (legend):  Christmas!
  • Sandals (not shown):  John the Baptist:  I'm not worthy to unfasten the sandals of the one coming after me.’ (vigil 2nd reading)