December 22, 2019

4th Sunday, Advent

December 22, 2019:  Fourth Sunday of Advent

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 24
      • Psalm 24:  Let the Lord enter/ Celoni:  sheet music, just updated; page also has my All Saints psalm setting (also just updated), very similar but quite different sounding because of the refrain
    Pope Francis

    Angelus:  The capacity of Joseph to listen to and trust in God gives us a model to uphold and imitate.  Joseph's attitude contains the entirety of Christian wisdom.  Of the three big characters in the Advent liturgy (with John the Baptist and Mary), Joseph is the most modest:  he doesn't preach or speak but does accomplish God’s will ; and he accomplishes that will in the meek and humble style of the beatitudes.  His poverty is typical of those aware of their dependence on God.

    Today’s gospel tells of an embarrassing situation.  Joseph and Mary, engaged, aren't yet living are engaged, but Mary is expecting a baby.  Joseph, naturally disturbed, doesn't react impulsively or punitively but seeks a solution respecting Mary's dignity and integrity.  Joseph, aware that if he repudiated her, she could have been killed, trusts Mary; he doesn’t understand but still seeks a solution.  The circumstance leads him to separate himself from Mary without causing scandal, but the angel tells him God doesn't will that resolution; he tells him the Lord is opening a new path of union, love, and happiness, and Joseph trusts God and takes Mary into his home.  His trust in God allowed him to accept a difficult, incomprehensible situation.

    Through faith, he understood the baby was not his son but God's, and he, Joseph, will be his guardian.  His example teaches us to lift our gaze, trust in God’s surprising logic, and be open to new horizons, to Christ and his Word.  May Mary  and Joseph help us listen to the coming Jesus and include nim in our plans and choices.  May Christmas be a fraternal time for everyone, of growth in faith and actions of solidarity toward those in need.

    At Santa Marta Dispensary:  Children are the promise of good things to come.  We must strive for peace.  War destroys and kills everything.  To defeat war, we need Love.  We must always look to the future with the Hope that comes from the Lord, and from the work we do to make the world better.

    Wordle: Readings 12-22-13
    • Is 7:10-14  Ahaz, ask for a sign / I won't test God / Lord will give sign:  virgin shall bear a son and name him Emmanuel.
    • Ps 24:1-6  "Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory."  God founded the world, will reward the clean-hearted.
    • Rom 1:1-7  Paul, set apart for the gospel about our Lord Jesus Christ, descended from David but established as Son of God through resurrection.  We received the grace of apostleship through him.  You're called to belong to Christ.
    • Mt 1:18-24  Mary was found with child.  Joseph decided to divorce her quietly to keep her from shame, but the angel said, “Take her into your home; the child was conceived through the Spirit.  Name him Jesus; he'll save his people.”  Joseph awoke and obeyed.
    • Today's O Antiphon:  O Adonai, Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:  come to rescue us with your mighty power!
    • Creighton:  Isaiah's prophecy of Emmanuel, to King Ahaz in the midst of threats of warfare, was hard to comprehend, and probably not what Ahaz wanted to hear, but it portends the security of God dwelling in the people's midst.  Paul writes as one joined to the risen Son of God, receiving apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith in God who raised Jesus from the dead and called us to holiness.  Joseph models the obedience of faith when he does as the angel commands, even if he didn't understand the angel's explanation or was afraid he was inadequate to assume his role in salvation history.  When in a crisis, we must act even if we can't connect the dots.  We're called to the obedience of faith, to make choices without fully understanding their significance, relying only on daily encounters with God in scriptures, the sacraments, and prayer.  We're given the privilege of participating in God's life, overcoming fear through love....
    • Passionist:  As we near the end of Advent, we're reminded we're part of God's plan.  Mary listened to the Lord, opened her heart, and said yes to God's plan for her, as must we.  Where was God in our Advent?...
    •  "He will save his people from their sins":  When apostate king Ahaz, heir to David's throne, was surrounded, God offered him a sign to reassure him God would keep his promise, but the king, despairing, refused to ask for it.  God nevertheless gave a sign that he'd give them a Savior to rule with peace and justice.  We too are called “in hope to believe against hope” that God will keep his promises.
    Asked to assume great responsibility and risk,  Mary faced a great challenge to her faith and to her family's.  They were asked to accept that a child would be born without a natural father.  Pregnancy outside wedlock was not tolerated; Joseph, her family, and her people could have all rejected her, but she still trusted in God's promises.  Joseph didn't want to embarrass or punish her, even though it seemed she'd been unfaithful.  He likely turned to prayer instead of judging rashly; God rewarded him with guidance, consolation, and assurance that God had called him to a mission requiring great faith, as Mary's husband, and he believed, took Mary as his wife, accepted the child.  Do I believe God's promises even when faced with problems?
    Dress legend

    • 'Signs' tie:  Signs:  A virgin shall bear a son (1st reading, gospel), 
    • 'Mary' pin:  Mary was found with child through the Spirit (gospel); behold, a virgin shall conceive (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory" (psalm)
    • 'Alps' tie pin:  Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?...  (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...One whose hands are sinless,...  (psalm)
    • 'Heart' pin:  ...whose heart is clean (psalm)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Grace and peace from our Father and the Lord Jesus (2nd reading)
    • Flesh-colored suspenders:  Jesus, descended from David according to the flesh (2nd reading)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  You're 'called' to belong to Christ (2nd reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  God established his Son according to the Spirit (2nd reading); Mary was found with child through the Spirit (gospel)
      • 'Angel' pin:  The angel appeared to Joseph, who did as commanded (gospel)
      • Blue shirt:  The Lord founded the world on the seas, established it on the rivers (psalm)
      • Purple robe on cross:  Advent season

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