December 30, 2019

Dec. 30

December 30, 2019:  Christmas Octave:  Day 6

See five connections with today?
Legend below

    Not this Anna
  • 1 Jn 2:12-17  Children, your sins have been forgiven.  Fathers, you know Him.  Young men, God's word is in you, and you've conquered the Evil One.  Children, you know the Father.  If you love the world, the Father's love isn't in you; all in the world is not from the Father.  The world is passing away, but if you do God's will, you'll remain.
  • Ps 96:7-10  "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!"  Praise and worship the Lord; God is king and governs with equity.
  • Lk 2:36-40  Prophetess Anna, 84, worshiped night and day.  She thanked God and spoke about the child.  Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth; Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and God's favor.
  • Creighton:  May we find the worship of God necessary as Anna did.... 
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Detachment":  The Father's love has no place in those who love the world.  Will you start 2020 attached to the world and detached from God or attached to God and detached from the world?
  • Passionist:  God gives us bronze, silver and gold:  Bronze makes me think of creation:  mountains, oceans, birds, butterflies, daffodils, roses, dogs, kittens, food, drink, air, water, sunsets, r....  God says, “Look at all the gifts; see how I love you.”  Silver makes me think of human life:  bodies, brains, ears, eyes, feet, hands, emotions, free will, hearts....  God gives us a rich variety of people:  family, friends, teachers, public servants....  God says, “Look at the wonder of life  and the people I placed in your life; see how I love you.”  The gold is Jesus:  “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son.”  Jesus comes and gives us his words, example, death, resurrection, faith, forgiveness, the sacraments, uniting himself with and giving meaning to our suffering, Mary, and hope for eternal life.  Our response is to give thanks.  At Mass we give ourselves, with Jesus, to the Father.  The Father receives our gift and gives us Jesus in Holy Communion.  This exchange of gifts makes every Mass like Christmas.  Smile, laugh, dance, sing, and rejoice:  “Emmanuel,” God is with us!
  •  "Anna recognized Christ's coming and thanked God":  Those who trust God won't be disappointed.  God has placed in his people a longing and hope for a Redeemer to bring us peace, joy, and justice.  God's plan of redemption unfolds in Jesus' Incarnation and birth before all ages, who became flesh to redeem us.  Luke records Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple 40 days after his birth for the Jewish ceremony for the "redemption of the firstborn" and ritual purification of the mother.  Anna, Spirit-filled prophet of 84, immediately recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah and heir to David's throne, thanked God, and spoke of him.  She dedicated her life to serving God through prayer and fasting.  Like Simeon and the Old Testament prophets, she was attentive to God and spoke under the Spirit's inspiration of God's saving plan.  Despite the loss of her husband and the trials of advancing age, she persevered in worship and trust.
Anna is a model of faith and hope to us all.  When we meet trials and setbacks, we can get discouraged, grow cynical, or despair, but disappointments can press us closer to God.  May we trust God and receive his grace, strength, hope, love, and joy.  God gives us hope for a home and happiness in his kingdom of justice, peace, and joy.  The Holy Spirit renews and strengthens our hope and enables us to persevere in the face of any challenge we face.  Lord, flood my heart with your peace, joy, and love; help me offer everything to you.  Give me all I need to love and serve you unreservedly....
Dress legend
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Say, The Lord is king (psalm)
  • 'Children' pin:  I write to you, children, because you know the Father. (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  All in the world... enticement for the eyes... is not from the Father. (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' pin:  Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom (gospel)
  • 'Mele Kalikimaka' shirt, NoëL pin:  Christmas season

December 29, 2019

Holy Family

December 29, 2019:  Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
And how do the socks fit in?

The Holy Family is made holy through a gift of God and also because of their free and responsible adherence to God's plan; they were open to God’s will.

Mary was amazingly docile to the Holy Spirit.  She was about to solidify her life plan through profound communion with her husband, but when she became aware of God's call to her, she unhesitatingly proclaimed herself ‘servant.’

The gospels don't report anything Joseph said, but his actions show his obedience.  When he found out Mary was pregnant, he was going to send her away secretly so she could be free to adhere to God's will.

Jesus is the Father's will; in Him there was not 'yes' and 'no, only 'yes.'    This manifested itself so often in his early life.  When his parents found him in the Temple, he said, “Didn't you know I had to be about my Father’s business?”  He said, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me.”   At Gethsemane he prayed, "Father, if this chalice can't be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done."

All these events realized "Sacrifice or offering you did not desire; then I said:  'Behold, I come to do your will.'"  This Family represents a choral response to the Father's will; each part helped the others discover and fulfill God’s plan.  Today may parents and children sustain each other in adhering to the Gospel, the foundation of the holiness in the family.

  • Sir 3:2-6, 12-14  God sets parents over their children.  Honor your parents:  atone for sins, preserve yourself, store up riches, have your prayers heard, and live long.  Take care of your father; your kindness won't be forgotten.
  • Ps 128:1-5  "Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways."  You'll eat the fruit of your handiwork; your wife shall be like a fruitful vine and your children like olive plants around your table.
Wordle: Readings 12-29-13
  • Col 3:12-21 [quintessential "dress your life" reading]:  Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with and forgive one another.  Put on love, and let Christ's peace control you.  Teach one another, singing with gratitude to God.  Do everything in Jesus' name, giving God thanks through him.  Wives, be subordinate to your husbands; husbands, love your wives and don't provoke your children; children, obey your parents.
  • Mt 2:13-15, 19-23  Angel to Joseph:  “Flee to Egypt; Herod wants to destroy your child.”  They departed.  When Herod died, angel told Joseph: “Go to Israel; those who sought the child’s life are dead.”  They went, but when he heard Herod's son was ruling, he was afraid, departed for Galilee, and went to Nazareth.
  • Creighton:  Consider the communication between God and Joseph.  If we're open, God communicates and moves us, maybe through song, others' words or actions, a feeling in our stomach...; for Joseph, it was an angel, and he trusted the message and acted.  Consider also the hardships Jesus, Mary, and Joseph endured:  travel during pregnancy, giving birth away from home, living in less than ideal conditions.  Now, they had to leave in haste because someone was looking to kill Jesus. Mary and Joseph endured their share of parental stress, but they were open to receiving strength from the Spirit. To be good parents, we must be open and available to the Spirit.  Matthew stresses the importance of family.  Today's gospel demonstrates that trust, love, and support (relational togetherness) are necessary.  Imagine what it was like for Mary and Joseph to have to move.....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Eternal family reunion":  Christmas is hard when a loved one has died recently, but we hope our families will unite in heaven, where, if God has his way, no one will be missing.  For our families to stay together in heaven, we must repent of sin and love the Lord with heart, soul, mind, and strength, be in right relationship with each other, honoring our parents and loving each other, pray as a family, and forgive family members.  If you're discouraged about the state of your family, be hopeful and confident the Lord loves each member and can change the hardest heart.
  • Passionist:  The 1st reading is about honoring one’s parents, and being considerate of them.  It can be hard to care for an aging parent; that's another reason to support each other.  The 2nd reading gives guidance about our immediate family and also exhorts us about how to relate to each other in community:  “Put on... compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another....  Put on love, and let Christ's peace control you.”  It's not easy, but we know Jesus repeatedly refers to forgiveness; may we treat each other as Jesus treats us.  The gospel, though it has to do with the Holy Family, has many parallels with what's going on today and teaches us how to relate not just to those we love but also to others.  The "flight to Egypt" circumstances touch many of today's "hot buttons."  Many see a parallel to Herod's slaughter of infant boys to today's abortions; others see in the plight of the Holy Family the plight of refugees and migrants.  Others are in danger because of poverty, malnutrition, inadequate medical care, or human trafficking.   We can become numb or even hostile because of our preconceptions or mistrust.  But why aren't we indifferent to the Holy Family's plight?  Because we know their story?  Each person is sacred and precious to God!  May we recognize others' sacredness and listen to their stories:  May our striving for holiness in our families be shown in “putting on” God's love for all....
  •  "An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream":  Joseph and Mary raised Jesus in the reverence and wisdom of the Lord.  Joseph is a man of God, praying, obedient, and willing to serve.  He recognized God's hand in the Incarnation.  He cares for his family diligently, setting aside his own plans when called.  God has a plan for each of us and gives us grace and guidance.  Do I trust him?  Will I  sacrifice my plans for his sake?
Dress legend
  • 'Money bag' tie pin:   Revere your mother; store up riches (1st reading) 
  • Tie with grapes and other fruit:  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine; you who walk in the Lord's ways shall eat the fruit of your handiwork (psalm)
  • 'Walker/runner' tie pin:  "Blessed those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways" (psalm); flee to Egypt (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Put on love; love your wives; love one another; grateful hearts; let Christ's peace control your hearts; if our hearts don't condemn us, we have confidence in God (2nd reading)
  • 'Love' suspenders sticker (oops; cropped out):  Put on love; love your wives (2nd reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Let Christ's peace control you (2nd reading)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  Teach each other... (2nd reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin: wisdom (2nd reading)
  • "Happy birthday, Jesus" pin:  Christmas season; do everything in Jesus' name (2nd reading)
  • Dressing today:  'Put on' compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (2nd reading)
  • 'Treble clef' tie pin:  Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (2nd reading)
  • Angel:  Angel speaking to Joseph (gospel)
  • 'Magnifying glass' tie pin:  Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him (gospel)
  • Socks with roses:  Joseph 'rose' (gospel :-)
  • White shirt:  Color of today's celebration
    Special blessings to and prayers for our Holy Family parish and school communities
    in Artesia, Glendale, South Pasadena, and Wilmington!

    December 26, 2019


    December 26, 2019:  St. Stephen, First Martyr

    See 18 connections with today?
    Legend below
    • Look it up/ Presley, Orrall:  country song with verse about how hard it is for us to forgive ("Jesus has [forgiveness] in store for you, but I don't...")  This Bailey/Lowe cover avoids the original's bad language.  lyrics+ (1st reading:  Stephen forgave his murderers)
    For Psalm 31
    The celebration of St. Stephen, stoned to death as he defend his faith, may seem out of place in the midst of Christmas joy, but it's actually in harmony with the meaning of Christmas.  In his martyrdom, love defeats violence; life defeats death.  In his hour of supreme witness, he pardoned his persecutors.

    This servant of the Gospel knew how to speak about Jesus in word and his life.  May we learn from him to fix our gaze on Jesus, faithful witness of the Father, and learn that the gaze of heaven is made of love and self-offering.  Stephen’s witness inspires us Christians for whom heaven is no longer far away.  Our Christian communities are called to become more missionary, to evangelize to those living in the margins where there's a strong thirst for hope and salvation.

    Today's feast invites us to remember the martyrs of yesterday and today, feel united with them, and ask them for grace to live and die with Jesus’ name in our hearts and lips.  May we live with our gaze on Jesus and become more like him each day.


    • Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59  Many couldn't withstand Stephen's wisdom; they stoned him.  “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
    • Mt 10:17-22  When they hand you over, don't worry; the Spirit will speak through you.  Endure and be saved.
    • Creighton:  Stephen wasn’t martyred the day after the nativity but a couple of years after the crucifixion; the feast day is from when his relics were found.  Stephen was a deacon, maybe the first; his preaching was from the Holy Spirit couldn't be refuted. “Don't worry about how to speak or what to say; ...the Spirit of your Father will speak through you.”  Those disputing him were furious because they couldn't withstand his wisdom.  They stoned him, calling his vision of Jesus at God's right hand blasphemy, but he forgave them and commended his spirit to the Lord.

    • Stephen’s dying charity has encouraged faith and charity around the world:  Wenceslaus went out on the feast of Stephen to deliver food and fuel; the song ends, “You who will now bless the poor will yourselves find blessing.”  Today, Boxing day in the UK and Wren Day in Europe, people give a gift to those who have served them during the year, and boys go house to house giving wren feathers for good luck....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "War on the world":   Why recall the brutal murder of Stephen at Christmas time?  The original purpose of Christmas was to challenge lifestyles by trying to ruin the pagans' festivities.  The Romans' sun-god festival was December 25 long before before 336, when Christians started to celebrate Christmas. Christians scheduled their celebrations to conflict with pagan festivities, making enemies by breaking up their parties and stepping on toes of business people who made money from pagan festivities. "All will hate you" on account of Jesus, "but whoever holds out till the end will escape death."
    • Passionist:  Mary and Joseph had to be wondering, perhaps anxiously, what to do now that they had a baby and the kings, shepherds, and angels had left.  As for them, what the birth means to us can only be unfolded one step, one event, one decision at a time.  Christmas only begins with Jesus' birth; we need to find it in our daily life.
    •  "Those who endure will be saved":  The Son of God took flesh to redeem us and give us new life as God's adopted children.  The way to glory in the kingdom is the cross.  To share in Jesus' glory, we must take up our cross and follow him.  Our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of him who died for us. The Lord gives us grace to follow him and bear our cross with courage and hope.
    • Universalis:  Stephen, first martyr, apostles-appointed deacon, organized food distribution to the poor, performed miracles, confounded Jews in debate, preached Christ to and prayed for persecutors; see also New Advent.
    Dress legend
    • 'Owl' tie pin:  Debaters couldn't withstand Stephen's wisdom (1st reading)
    • 'Car with mouth' pin:  They ground their teeth at Stephen (1st reading)
    • 'Feet' pin:  Witnesses laid their cloaks down at Saul's feet (1st reading)
    • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Stephen's martyrdom (1st reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  Stephen was filled with the Spirit (1st reading); when you're handed over, the Spirit will speak through you (gospel)
    • 'Stone/rock' tie pin:  they stoned Stephen (1st reading); be my rock of refuge (psalm)
    • 'Hands' pin:  Stephen saw the Son of Man at God's right hand (1st reading); into Your hands I commend my spirit (psalm); you'll be 'hand'ed over... as a witness (gospel)
    • 'Helm' tie pin:  You will lead and guide me (psalm)
    • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  I'll rejoice and be glad... (psalm)
    • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  ...because of your mercy (psalm)
    • 'Happy birthday, Jesus' and No-L pin (legend):  Christmas season
    • Tie with Christmas music:  Christmas time, plus tonight's sing-along Messiah at private home, complete with full orchestra (which I have to miss this year)

    December 25, 2019


    December 25, 2019:  Nativity of the Lord

    See 44 connections with today?
    Legend below

    From Handel's Messiah
      Christmas psalms
    For future Christmas season celebrations
    Pope Francis

    Christmas [Eve] Night homily:  God’s grace brings salvation to all and shines on our world tonight.  This grace is his love, that changes lives, renews history, liberates from evil, and fills hearts with peace and joy.  This love is revealed to us as Jesus:  the Most High made himself tiny, so that we might love him.  In a world where everything seems to be about giving in order to get, God came down freely; his love is non-negotiable.

    God continues to love us all, even the worst of us, because we're precious in his eyes.  His love is unconditional.  How often do we think God is good if we are but punishes us if we're bad?  But his love is patient and faithful, not fickle.  Grace and beauty are synonyms.  In the beauty of God’s love, we discover our beauty, for we're God's beloved, beautiful for what we are, not what we do.

    Contemplate the Child and be caught up in his tender love.  Ask, “Do I allow myself to be loved by God? Do I abandon myself to his love?”  Accepting grace means being ready to give thanks.  Draw near the tabernacle, the crèche, and say thank you.  Receive the gift that is Jesus, and become gift like Jesus, give meaning to life, and change the world.  Jesus didn't change history with words but by his life.  He didn't wait until we were good before loving us.  Similarly, we shouldn't wait for people to be good before we do good, for the Church to be perfect before we love her, for others to respect us before we serve them.  When we accept the gift of grace, we begin with ourselves.  At Jesus' birth, shepherds hurried to the stable with gifts, but there was one who was poor with nothing to give. Seeing that embarrassed empty-handed shepherd, Mary put Baby Jesus in his arms.

    Urbi et orbi message:  “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”  The light of Christ is greater than the darkness in human hearts, greater than the darkness in personal, family, and social relationships, greater than the darkness in economic, geopolitical and ecological conflicts.

    Lord, comfort the beloved Syrian people who see no end to the hostilities.   May governments and the international community find solutions that let them live together in peace and security, and end their sufferings.  Bring consolation to Iraq in its tensions and Yemen in its humanitarian crisis.  May the Babe bring hope to the American continent, where many nations are in upheaval.  May the beloved Venezuelan people receive the aid they need.

    May he bless those who promote justice and reconciliation and work to overcome the crises and poverty that offend the dignity of each person.  May the Redeemer bring light to Ukraine, which yearns for an enduring peace.  May the Son of God protect and sustain all forced to emigrate.  May the Redeemer console all who suffer because of violence, natural disasters, or disease.  May he comfort those persecuted for their faith, especially the kidnapped, and to victims of attacks.

    May Emmanuel bring light to all the suffering.  May he soften our hearts and make them channels of his love.  May he bring his smile, through our faces, to all children, to the abandoned, and those who suffer violence.  Through our hands may he clothe those with nothing to wear, give bread to the hungry, and heal the sick.  Through our friendship, may he draw close to the elderly and lonely, to migrants and the marginalized, and bring his tenderness to all and brighten the world's darkness.



    • Is 9:1-6  The people in darkness have seen a great light; they rejoice.  A son is born to us:  Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
    • Ps 96: 1-3, 11-13  "Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord."  Sing a new song of God's salvation; the Lord comes to rule with justice.
    • Ti 2:11-14  God's grace has appeared, saving, training us to live temperately, justly, and devoutly as we await the appearance of the glory of Christ.
    • Lk 2:1-14  Mary gave birth to a son.  An angel appeared to shepherds and said, “Fear not; I proclaim news of great joy for all:  a savior, Christ, and Lord has been born for you.  You'll find an infant in a manger.”  “Glory to God, and peace to those on whom God's favor rests.”

    • Is 62:11-12  God proclaims, your savior comes!  They shall be called the redeemed of the Lord.
    • Ps 97:1, 6, 11-12  "A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us."  Rejoice; the Lord is king.  Light dawns for the just.  Be glad in the Lord, and give thanks.
    • Ti 3:4-7  When God's love graciously appeared, he saved us through rebirth and renewal by the Spirit, poured out on us through Jesus Christ, so we might be justified and become heirs of eternal life.
    • Lk 2:15-20  Shepherds went to Bethlehem and found Mary, Joseph, and the infant.  They made known the angel's message, the hearers were amazed.  Mary reflected on this in her heart.  They returned, praising God.
    • Is 52:7-10  How beautiful those who bring glad tidings, announcing peace and salvation.  Sing out, for the Lord comforts and redeems his people.  All the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.
    • Ps 98:1-6  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  The Lord has revealed his salvation, justice, kindness, and faithfulness.  Sing praise!
    • Heb 1:1-6  Before, God spoke through the prophets; now he's spoken to us through the Son, heir of all, imprint of his being.  He's now at the Majesty's right hand, superior to angels.  Let all God's angels worship him.
    • Jn 1:1-18  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  All life came to be through him, and this life was the light of the human race, and darkness hasn't overcome it.  God sent John to testify to the light, so all might believe.  The true light came to what was his own.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  From his fullness we've received; while Moses gave the law, Jesus Christ brought grace and truth.  No one has seen God; the Son, at the Father’s side, revealed him.
    • Creighton:  Many call for putting Christ back in Christmas because Jesus' birth has been sentimentalized to the point that it's just a non-threatening story of an innocent baby drawing shepherds and angels to a stable to announce peace and goodwill.  But for others, the message of salvation is hidden behind packages under a tree and the Light is obscured by twinkling lights.  Do we sing the “new song” to announce the Lord's salvation?  How can that Baby rule the earth with justice?  Are we really prepared for God's saving grace?  What if we were confronted by a light so bright that we'd be struck by fear?  Can we grasp the good news that comes to all in the birth of Christ?  Can we grasp the power of light so bright that it illuminates God's justice, brings judgment and peace, illuminates the Lord's glory, what he can do for us, and what we can do in response?  Each child born into poverty can be the face of God.  The Baby comes to all forced to conform to unjust laws and migrate away from their homes.   The Light helps us see the face of God in all parents who struggle to provide safety and a future for their children.  That light strikes fear in us when we consider that what we've seen calls us to action.  May we be struck by great joy and inspired by hope as we gaze into the Light and share its peace with others....
      Birth of Christ mural/ Bjorgen
      (more Nativity art)
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Footprints":  Parents spend much time gazing at their babies.  Jesus took flesh and became a Baby so we may relate to him as we couldn't before.  As you contemplate Baby Jesus, reflect on his beautiful feet.  He traveled dusty roads to proclaim the Good News.  He let the penitent woman wash his feet so we'd know love overcomes a multitude of sins. He let his feet be pierced and nailed to a cross and bleed for our salvation; his feet pushed painfully upon the nails as he breathed to speak his last words.  Choose the better portion:  sit at his feet and listen.
    • Passionist"Softening of heart":  We may still be praying, “ransom captive Israel” as :  for the disparity of wealth grows deeper, and terrorism, violence, and political turmoil continue.  Throughout Advent we've pondered the paradox of wolf as lamb's guest, desert blooming with flowers, and crooked ways made straight.  Imagine insignificant Bethlehem in a violent Rome-dominated world, a young refugee couple giving birth in a stable, transforming the world, and a threatened monarch ordering a massacre of infants.  As often as we celebrate Christmas amid fear and insecurity, the root of Jesse, beacon of hope for all, calls us.  Today I pray for a softening of heart.  “I can be the change I want to see in the world” (Gandhi).
    •  The shepherds glorified God":  Jesus' birth fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah would descend from David and be born in Bethlehem.  The first to hear the news of the savior's birth were not the rulers and leaders but the humble ready to receive him. Just as God chose lowly shepherd David to become shepherd king, so Jesus chose lowliness and came as the shepherd king to lay down his life for us.  After the angels sang in the shepherds' presence, the shepherds adored the newborn king and sang.
    "Heaven and earth are united, for Christ is born!  God has come upon earth, and we've gone up to heaven. The invisible one is seen in the flesh.  Glorify him and cry, glory to God, and on earth peace!  I hear the angels:  glory to God whose pleasure it was that there be peace!  The Virgin is more spacious than the heavens.  Light has shone on those in darkness, exalting the lowly:  Glory to God!  Beholding Adam who was in God’s image but fell, Jesus came down, taking up his dwelling in a virgin womb, that he might refashion Adam fallen in corruption, and crying out, glory to your epiphany, my Savior and God!" (John the Monk, Hymn of the Nativity of the Lord)
    We needed a savior to reconcile us with God. The Word became flesh for us to show us God's love and mercy for us sinners.  We celebrate Jesus Christ our redeemer who reigns in heaven and in in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and we commemorate the birth of the newborn Messiah King. We praise God for how he saved us by sending his son.  God wants to fill us with joy and gratitude for the gift of his Son.  God freely assumed a human nature to save us.  Jesus came to release us from slavery to sin and open heaven's gates. The Spirit invites us to adore Jesus our King, our good shepherd, who guides and cares for us and gives us everlasting life and union with God.  Today heaven joins with all believers in a song of praise.  "To you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord."  Christmas joy isn't just for today or the season; it's forever.  It's the joy of Jesus given to us through the Spirit; no one can take it away, and no pain nor sorrow can diminish it....
    Dress legend
    • 'Blood drop,' 'fire' pins:  Every cloak rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for flames (night 1st reading)
    • 'Boundless mercy' button:  God's generous love appeared because of his mercy (dawn 2nd reading)
    • 'Alps,' 'feet' pins:  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings (day 1st reading)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  Your sentinels see the Lord before their eyes (day 1st reading)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  They name the child Prince of Peace (night 1st reading); how beautiful those announcing peace and saying... (day 1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  ...“Your God is King!” (day 1st reading, dawn psalm); Child confirms/sustains his kingdom (night 1st reading)
    • 'Olympics' tie pin:  All the ends of the earth will behold/have seen salvation... (day 1st reading, psalm); the Lord proclaims the Savior to the ends of the earth (dawn 1st reading); let the earth rejoice (night psalm)
    • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  You have brought them abundant joy (night 1st reading); let the plains and all in them be joyful (night psalm); let the earth rejoice (day psalm); I proclaim good news of great joy (night gospel); your sentinels shout for joy (day 1st reading);
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory (day psalm); the Son took his seat at God's right hand (day 2nd reading)
    • 'Prize' pin:  Here is his reward with him (dawn 1st reading)
    • 'Train' tie bar:  God's grace saved all and trains us to live temperately, justly, and devoutly (night 2nd reading)
    • 'Angel with trumpet,' 'horn' pins:  God's son is superior to the angels; let the angels worship him (day 2nd reading); angel appeared to shepherds (night gospel); sing to the Lord with trumpets and the sound of the horn... (day psalm); the angels went away from them to heaven (dawn gospel)
    • 'Christmas lights' tie:  Life, the light of the human race, came through the Word (day gospel); a light will shine on us (dawn psalm); the people have seen a great light (night 1st reading); the Lord's glory shone around the shepherds (night gospel)
    • 'Dove' pin:  He saved us through... renewal by the Spirit (dawn 2nd reading)
    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Shepherds:  "Let us go to Bethlehem..." (dawn gospel); shepherds were keeping watch over their flock (night gospel)
    • 'Mary,' 'heart' pins:  'They found Mary, Joseph, and the infant..."; "Mary kept these things, reflecting on them in her heart" (dawn gospel); gladness dawns for the upright of heart (dawn psalm)
    • 'Happy birthday, Jesus' pin:  Nativity of our Lord!
    • 'No-"L"' button:  Joyeux Noël!
    • 'Tree' pin:  Trees shall exult for the Lord comes (night psalm)
    • 'Abacus' tie pin:  Census (night gospel)
    • White shirt:  Liturgical color of Christmas