In this e-weekly:
- Catholic Parents online (Catholic Website of the week-by the laptop computer)
- The Catholic Composer Who Gave Us More Than Music (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Some words that may help with hope (Helpful Hints for Life)
Sunday Readings and Reflection at the End
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Seasonal Stress and Gaudete Sunday
So how’s your Advent going? Mine is getting a little hairy. Besides seeing signs and sounds of Christmas everywhere, it seems that everyone wants to do everything before December 25!
When times get busier, then we must get serious with prayer. Those “10 minutes a day in the classroom of silence” we take in silent prayer might need to become 15 or 20 minutes. If the world and life is pulling more out of you, you need to receive more of God in you!
When the Bishop asked Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta to do more and more work, she and her Sisters would increase their prayer time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Mother Teresa didn’t die of stress, she lived each moment with God.
So as you continue through tomorrow and each day until the beginning of the Christmas Season, pray as soon as you get out of bed in the morning and take some extra time to pray throughout the day to God and Mary in your own words. Then take a deep breath and plunge into your work and activities with God!
This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, “Rejoice” Sunday. We are over half way to receiving our awaited Savior Jesus at Christmas. It can be a nice oasis in this time of year if one was able to make it that.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This Sunday Gaudete Sunday or the Third Second Sunday of Advent, the second week of the new Church liturgical year! The readings can be found at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121122.cfm
a) reached its height with King David
b) it will only occur at the end of time
c) Jesus Christ coming among us
d) no one person or thing is the full and definite Revelation
10. What is the value of private revelations? (CCC 67)
a) there is no value
b) valuable only to the easily confused
c) these are tricks of the devil trying to confuse devout believers
d) they may be helpful to individuals living out the Faith in particular times
The Transmission of Divine Revelation
11. Why and in what way is divine revelation transmitted?(CCC 74)
a) through Jesus Christ
b) the proclamation of the followers of Christ
c) Apostolic Tradition (teaching of the apostles and their successors) is essential
d) all of the above (Answers on back)
- the Third Sunday of Advent marking with subdued joy that we are over half way in our waiting for Christmas; Rose-colored vestments may be worn while the rose candle is lit on the Advent wreath (Gaudete comes from the opening of the Mass: Gaudete in Domino semper –“Rejoice in the Lord always”)
Laetare Sunday - the fourth Sunday of Lent marking that Lent is over half way completed; (Laetare – Latin meaning “Rejoice” comes from the opening of the Mass "Laetare Jerusalem" -- "Rejoice, O Jerusalem")
"My soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, "Gone is my glory,
and all that I had hoped for from the Lord."
The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord."
"See there's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your hugs still linger, and your loving whispers softly echo. It's the place where the best part of you will forever be a part of me." -Anonymous
Catholic Parents Online has as its mission "to build a network of faithful, dynamic, and informed parents, students, and alumni, committed to working with Catholic schools and other programs of education to ensure the authentic teaching and protection of the Catholic Faith." They recognize parents' role as the primary educators of their children. All in all this is an excellent site and Catholic parents will find it most useful and informative.
Donald DeMarco WorldDecember 6, 2022Antonín Leopold Dvořák was born on Sept. 8, 1841, in the village of Nelahozeves, near Prague. He was the first of 14 children and was baptized in the village church of St. Andrew. His Catholic faith remained strong throughout his life and was a continual inspiration for his music.
Few composers have a been so richly endowed with musical ability as Dvořák. He claimed that he studied “with the birds, flowers, trees, God and myself.” His music was recognized for its “heavenly naturalness.” The distinguished conductor, Hans Richter, referred to him as “a composer by the grace of God.”
Despite his impoverished circumstances (he did not own a piano until he married in 1873), Dvořák did receive some formal education in music. But his love for the lively folk music and simple church songs that marked his youth never left him. He won several prestigious prizes for his compositions and was championed by Johannes Brahms who was deeply impressed by them.
Dvořák’s fame began to spread, and in 1892 he was invited to serve as the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. He had come a long way from being a peasant who apprenticed as a butcher. The conservatory was founded by a wealthy philanthropist who wanted to make an advanced music education available to women and Blacks, an idea that was unusual for the times. Dvořák strongly supported the concept of African American and Native American music being the foundation for the growth of American music.
In 1893, the New York Philharmonic commissioned him to write his Ninth Symphony. Its first performance was met with tumultuous applause. This monumental work, also referred to as the “New World Symphony,” was immediately seized upon by conductors and orchestras throughout the world. It is interesting to note that Neil Armstrong took a recording of this symphony to the moon during the Apollo 11 Mission in 1969.
At the persuasion of his secretary, Dvořák, together with his entire family, spent the summer of 1893 in Spillville, Iowa — a largely Czech-speaking community of approximately 350 people, situated just below the southern border of Minnesota.
Dvořák’s summer in Spillville was both happy and musically productive. He went to daily Mass at St. Wenceslaus Church where he played the organ, much to the delight of the other churchgoers. In a letter he wrote to his friends back home, the celebrated composer expressed the joy he felt during his stay:
“I liked to be among these people and they all liked me as well, especially the elderly citizens, who were pleased when I played, ‘O God, we bow before Thee,’ or ‘A thousand times we greet Thee.’”Dvořák established a legacy in Spillville, where he provided a stimulus to music that has become an ongoing tradition. His name is remembered and revered.
His list of musical compositions is staggering: 13 operas, nine symphonies, five symphonic poems, 36 chamber works, 68 songs, choral works including Stabat Mater (which was inspired by the death of his daughter, Josefa, who died in infancy), Te Deum, his Mass in D Major, 10 biblical songs, two sets of Slavonic dances and many other works. Dvořák was hard on himself and burned several works that did not satisfy him. Few, if any, composers rival him in his natural feeling for melody, song and dance.
In addition to his musical gift to posterity, he also provides a personal example that should also be an inspiration: his unwavering Catholic faith in times of difficulty (his first three children died in infancy), his love and dedication to his wife and their nine children, his hard work, his love of nature and, despite his worldwide fame, his unfailing love for simplicity. (His favorite workplace, he tells us, was the kitchen, amid the domestic clatter of his large family.)
Antonin Dvořák died at 62 years of age in the year 1904. He left behind many unfinished works. The music he did finish, however, establishes him as one of the truly great composers in the Western tradition. But he has also bequeathed to the world an example of an extraordinary human being.
Fr. Umberto Mauro Marsich, an Italian Xavarian missionary priest, explained to ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language news partner, that the image is made of highly durable nylon fiber and is a gift from the Institute of Italian Culture and the Italian Embassy.
The sculpture is a “gift to the Archdiocese of Mexico so the blind can come here” and venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe, he said.
“They first read the entire description in Braille, the Nahuatl symbology of the image” on a panel to the side, “and then they come over and touch the image with their hands,” he explained.
Marsich, who holds a doctorate in moral theology and teaches at the Pontifical University of Mexico, played a key role in having the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the blind made and donated.
The idea came about in 2008 during an exposition of a painting of the Virgin de la Pera in Mexico which was brought to the country along with a much simpler bas-relief version.
The head of an association for the blind was in attendance at the exposition. When he touched the bas-relief image he said, “Why can't we do something similar with Our Lady of Guadalupe?”
Fr. Marsich, who was also there at the time, said he worked with two other Italians to have a bas-relief of Our Lady of Guadalupe made.
“My friend Faranda went back to Italy and looked for people to make donations” for the work of art, Marsich said.
The sculpture was produced in the city of Faenza, Italy, in 2009. It cost about $22,000 to make.
A few days after its completion, it was brought to Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, where Pope Benedict XVI blessed it. It was then transported to Mexico and placed in the Guadalupe Basilica on Dec. 9, 2009.
More than 100 visually-impaired people gathered on the day the statue was installed in the basilica. Marsich said he was touched by their emotion, as, “finally being able to touch her, [they] discovered the beauty of the message conveyed to them by the Nahuatl symbology, which is a very luminous symbology.”
“People were so obviously moved that they were weeping,” he recalled.
However, the image is not just to be contemplated by visually impaired people, he pointed out.
The priest stressed that everyone can express “in some way our affection, our love, our tenderness for Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe.”
Marsich hopes other bishops will be encouraged to ask for a replica of the image of the Virgin Mary for their dioceses, which he said would cost significantly less than the original.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Remains a 'teacher of the Gospel' Through Her ImageBy Courtney Grogan
Vatican City, Dec 12 (EWTN News/CNA)
Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe Wednesday, reflecting on how Mary continues to evangelize Latin America through her ubiquitous image.
As Our Lady of Guadalupe accompanied Saint Juan Diego on Tepeyac, she continues to encounter people through “an image or stamp, a candle or a medal, a rosary or a Hail Mary,” Pope Francis said in his homily Dec. 12 in St. Peter's Basilica.
Through her image, Mary “enters in a home, in a prison cell, in the ward of a hospital, in a nursing home, in a school, in a rehabilitation clinic to say: ‘Am I not here, that I am your mother?’” he continued in Spanish.
The pope’s homily centered on Mary as a “teacher of the Gospel” through her Magnificat.
“Mary teaches us that, in the art of mission and hope, so many words and programs are not necessary. Her method is very simple: she walked and sang,” Francis said.
In the school of Mary, he said, we “nourish our hearts” with the “multicultural wealth of Latin America, where we can “listen to that humble heart that beats in our villages” with “the sacredness of life.”
Here, the “sense of God and his transcendence,” as well as “respect for creation, the bonds of solidarity, and the joy of the art of living well” are preserved, he continued.
As her image traveled the continent, Our Lady of Guadalupe is “not only remembered as indigenous, Spanish, Hispanic or African-American. She is simply Latin American,” Francis said.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, appeared to St. Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City in 1531, during a time of conflict between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples.
Mary took the appearance of a pregnant native woman, wore clothing in the style of the indigenous community, and spoke to Juan Diego in a native language, Nahuatl.
She asked Juan Diego to appeal to the bishop to build a church on the site of the apparition, stating she wanted a place where she could reveal to the people the compassion of her son. Initially turned away by the bishop, Diego returned to site asking Our Lady for a sign to prove the authenticity of her message.
She instructed him to gather the Castilian roses that he found blooming on the hillside, despite the fact that it was winter, and present them to the Spanish bishop. Juan Diego filled his cloak – known as a tilma – with the flowers. When he presented them to the bishop, he found that an image of Our Lady was miraculously imprinted upon his tilma.
Nearly 500 years later, Diego’s tilma with the miraculous image is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and visited by millions of pilgrims each year.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a “mother of a fertile and generous land in which all, in one way or another, can find ourselves playing a leading role in the construction of the Holy Temple of the family of God,” Francis said.
By Elise Harris
“A true legacy of the Second Vatican Council is being fulfilled in the person and pontificate of Pope Francis,” Father Paulo Anto Pulikkan told EWTN News Dec. 11.
As someone who routinely calls for justice and care for those who are poor and marginalized, the Pope and his plea for “a poor Church for the poor” is a concrete fulfillment of what the bishops of the Second Vatican Council asked for, Fr. Pulikkan said.
The underprivileged “was the theme of the council, but this has been recently very clearly stressed by Francis.”
Fr. Pulikkan, director of the Chair for Christian studies at the University of Calicut in the Indian state of Kerala, was one of the speakers at a Dec. 9-11 conference in Rome on the protagonists of the Second Vatican Council as seen through the archives.
The conference was organized by the Pontifical Committee for Historic Sciences as well as the Pontifical Lateran University's Center for Research and Studies on the Second Vatican Council.
In his speech, titled “English speaking bishops on the Church in the modern world,” Fr. Pulikkan noted how the English-speaking council fathers, particularly those from Asia and the developing world, pushed for a greater inclusion of the poor in the council's final documents.
The council, he told EWTN News, “is the council for the poor,” which can be particularly seen in the pastoral constitution “Gaudium et Spes,” dedicated to the Church in the Modern World.
In the initial draft, “the concern for the poor was neglected,” he said noting that the same held true for the council's fourth session in 1965.
Despite the fact that the session took place right after the 1964 Eucharistic Congress in Bombay, which focused heavily on solidarity with the poor and was attended by many of the councils protagonists, concern for the poor was “totally neglected.”
“The situation of the farmers, the question of poverty, the question of our population, all these were neglected or not discussed at all properly in the draft,” he said, noting that the duty of rich nations to share and allow people to migrate with equal opportunity were rarely spoken about.
Fr. Pulikkan stressed that the poor “should be able to migrate, the agricultural farmers should be given opportunity to develop agriculture because normally it is a very disorganized profession,” and also pointed to other key themes such as fighting against racism and in favor of human dignity.
“These were the concerns of the Indian English speaking Bishops. Not only them, but all the English speaking Bishops from the English speaking world in the Council,” he said.
It was after hearing these voices that the draft Gadium et Spes was reworked to include the concerns of the poor, making for “a much more satisfactory” text in the council.
Pope Francis’ desire for a Church in the midst of her people is firm continuation of this legacy, he said, explaining that the Pope’s concern isn’t just limited to the Church, but extends to the entire world.
Other than his constant pleas in favor of the poor, another concrete sign of this is the concern he expressed for creation in his environmental encyclical “Laudato Si,” as well as his focus on inter-religious dialogue.
However, while much has already been done in this area, particularly under Pope Francis, Fr. Pulikkan said that there’s still a long way to go.
He emphasized that the Church “should not run away” from problems surrounding the poor and impoverished nations, but must instead “identify with the joys, hope, anguish and concerns of the people,” which is what Gaudium et Spes and the Second Vatican Council are all about.
“I think today it’s our duty to go forward and as Gaudium et Spes number 4 says ‘we have to scrutinize, we have to discern the signs of the times and interpret them like the Gospel.’”
Pope Francis, he said, “is doing simply that. He understands today’s situations and interprets them in light of the Gospel.”
St. Lucy an Example of Courage for All Who Face Disabilities, Pope says
Vatican City, Dec 13, (EWTN News/CNA) -- In an audience with people who are blind and visually impaired Pope Francis said that St. Lucy’s courage in facing martyrdom can teach them to live their disability without fear or isolation.
“Lucy suggests to us a value which for me seems very important also for you: courage,” the Pope told members of the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired on Dec. 13.
“She was a young woman, helpless, but confronted torture and violent death with great courage, a courage which came from the risen Christ, with whom she was united, and from the Holy Spirit, who lived within her.”
In his speech the pontiff recognized how his audience with the group fell on the feast day of St. Lucy, who lived in Italy during the third century and is the patroness of the blind and visually impaired.
Although this might not be well-known to all members of the group since it is a non-denominational association, the Pope explained that it has great significance for each of them, particularly in terms of human values.
Lucy was able to live in an exemplary way due to her faith in Christ, he noted, but recognized that the values she espoused can be shared by all.
One of the key values St. Lucy teaches is courage, he said, observing how “all of us need courage to face life's trials. In particular people who are blind and visually impaired have the need not to close themselves, not to take on an attitude of victimization.”
Rather, persons with such disabilities need “to open themselves to reality, to others, to society; to learn to know and appreciate the capacity the Lord has placed in each one, in all, without exception! But this requires courage, strength of spirit,” he said.
Pope Francis then emphasized the importance of community, noting how Lucy was not alone, but was a member of the universal Church of which Christ is the head and foundation.
In being an association, the group also has this same quality of community, the Bishop of Rome said, explaining that an association is more than a mere collection of individuals.
“Today there is a great need to live with joy and commitment the associative dimension, because in this historic moment its ‘in decline,’ it’s not strongly felt,” he noted, observing how the ability to form a group, to be in solidarity with others and to pool each other’s resources are all part of a group’s civil heritage.
People living with disadvantages or disabilities can, often through their own personal experience, show the world that human beings are not “monads,” the Pope said.
“We are not made to be isolated, but to relate, to complement one another, to help each other, to accompany, sustain and support each other,” he observed, noting that the presence of people with disabilities “causes everyone to make a community, indeed to be a community” despite our limitations.
“Because we are all capable, but we all have limits too!” the Roman Pontiff noted.
He then returned to the life of St. Lucy, saying that another key value she teaches is that life is made to be given.
Although she lived this value to the “extreme” through martyrdom, it is a universal quality, the Pope explained, noting that it is also the key to true happiness.
“Man is not fully realized in having or even doing; he is realized in loving, that is, in giving,” he said, and pointed out how the name “Lucy” means “light.” Each person becomes light to the extent in which they are a gift to others, the Pope noted, observing that “each person, in reality, is this – is a precious gift.”
The pontiff noted how living according to these values can create certain misunderstandings because they go against the times in a culture that places a heavy emphasis on individual rights.
“So there is still a need to fight, with the example and intercession of St. Lucy! I hope that you to do so with courage, and with the joy of doing it together!”
When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor's birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: "He must increase, but I must decrease." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #524
-Progress is made by lazy men looking for an easier way to do things.
-I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, “Well, that’s not going to happen.”
-Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?
-What if there were no hypothetical questions?
-For every action, there is a corresponding over-reaction.
-I’m a humble person, really. I’m actually much greater than I think I am.
-A celebrity is someone who works hard all his life to become known and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.
-I don’t have a solution, but I do admire the problem.
Kids Marry The Darnedest ThingsMy young son declared, “When I grow up, I’m going to marry you, Mommy.”
“You can’t marry your own mother,” said his older sister.
“Then I’ll marry you.”
“You can’t marry me either.”
He looked confused, so I explained, “You can’t marry someone in your own family.”
“You mean I have to marry a total stranger?!” he cried.
A woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.
"What denomination?" asked the clerk.
"Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this?" said the woman. "Well, give me 50 Catholic and 50 Baptist ones."
Wife : 'Do you want dinner?'
Husband: 'Sure! What are my choices?'
Wife: 'Yes or no.'
Girl: 'When we get married, I want to share all your worries, troubles and lighten your burden.'
Boy: 'It's very kind of you, darling, but I don't have any worries or troubles.'
Girl: 'Well that's because we aren't married yet.'
A newly married man asked his wife, 'Would you have married me if my father hadn't left me a fortune?'
'Honey,' the woman replied sweetly, 'I'd have married you, NO MATTER WHO LEFT YOU A FORTUNE!'
To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God". Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this "marvelous exchange":
O marvelous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #524
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Gaudete Sunday - Third Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 11th, 2022
The First Reading- Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10
The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.
The liturgy of Advent takes us out into the desert to see and hear the marvelous works and words of God—the lame leaping like a stag, the dead raised, the good news preached to the poor (see Isaiah 29:18–20; 61:1–2). The liturgy does this to give us courage, to strengthen our feeble hands and make firm our weak knees. Our hearts can easily become frightened and weighed down by the hardships we face. We can lose patience in our sufferings as we await the coming of the Lord.
Adults - Do you find comfort, courage and renewal in the Mass? Try to enter as fully into the Mass as you can this Advent season.
Teens - How can you enrich your experience of the Liturgy? Try reading the readings ahead of time and pay special attention to the footnotes in your bible (make sure it is a solid Catholic version,) and then see if the readings mean more to you as you hear them at Mass.
Kids - Take a few minutes before Mass to pray for those in need of prayer.
Responsorial- Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
R. Lord, come and save us.
The LORD God keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Lord, come and save us.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Lord, come and save us.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations.
R. Lord, come and save us.
-These are the works of the Messiah - of Christ the Lord. How do we act as Christ’s hands and feet in the world today?
The Second Reading- James 5:7-10
Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates. Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
James advises us in today’s Epistle that we should take as our example the prophets, so often persecuted and ridiculed, who spoke in the name of the Lord. Spend a few minutes this week looking at the virtue of patience and how you can cultivate it in your life.
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 11:2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" Jesus said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me." As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you. Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
John questions Jesus from prison in today’s Gospel—for his disciples’ sake and for ours. He knows that Jesus is doing “the works of the Messiah,” foretold in today’s First Reading and Psalm. But John wants his disciples—and us—to know that the Judge is at the gate, that in Jesus our God has come to save us. Jesus points to a prophet—holding up John as a model. John knew that life was more than food, the body more than clothing. He sought the kingdom of God first, confident that God would provide (see Matthew 6:25–34). John did not complain. He did not lose faith. Even in chains in his prison cell, he was still sending his disciples—and us—to our Savior. We come to Him again now in the Eucharist. Already He has caused the desert to bloom, the burning sands to become springs of living water. He has opened our ears to hear the words of the sacred book, freed our tongue to fill the air with songs of thanksgiving (see Isaiah 30:18). Once bowed down, captives to sin and death, we have been ransomed and returned to His Kingdom, crowned with everlasting joy. Raised up we now stand before His altar to meet the One who is to come: “Here is your God.”
Adults - How can we seek first the kingdom of God in our lives today? What can we learn from this reflection on John the Baptist?
Teens - Reflect before Mass on Who you are truly encountering and receiving in the Eucharist.
Kids - How did John prepare the way for Jesus?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - Can you still fail to see why Isaiah and the Baptist compare the hardships of the way of the world's Messiah-King to souls with a rough, crooked, and almost impassable road up steep hills and down precipitous valleys and through dangerous mountain passes? Do you wonder that these prophets of His coming insist so strongly that merely sentimental longings and routine prayers, however multiplied, cannot prepare us worthily for the entrance He must expect and the welcome He craves?
Pray very honestly, therefore, that you may begin to see the practical reasons for the Church's crying out in the desert world, and even into your own interior soul and heart:
"Prepare ye the way of the Lord: Make straight in the wilderness His paths; Every valley shall be exalted; Every mountain and hill shall be made low; And the crooked shall be made straight; And the rough ways plain" (Is. 40:3, 4). Then shall you see the salvation of God! - Excerpted from Our Way to the Father by Rev. Leo M. Krenz, S.J.
9. What is the full and definitive stage of God's Revelation? c) Jesus Christ coming among us
The full and definitive stage of God’s revelation is accomplished in his Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, the mediator and fullness of Revelation. He, being the only-begotten Son of God made man, is the perfect and definitive Word of the Father. In the sending of the Son and the gift of the Spirit, Revelation is now fully complete, although the faith of the Church must gradually grasp its full significance over the course of centuries. “In giving us his Son, his only and definitive Word, God spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word, and he has no more to say.” (Saint John of the Cross)
10. What is the value of private revelations?d) they may be helpful to individuals living out the Faith in particular times
While not belonging to the deposit of faith, private revelations may help a person to live the faith as long as they lead us to Christ. The Magisterium of the Church, which has the duty of evaluating such private revelations, cannot accept those which claim to surpass or correct that definitive Revelation which is Christ. The Transmission of Divine Revelation
11. Why and in what way is divine revelation transmitted?d) all of the above
God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), that is, of Jesus Christ. For this reason, Christ must be proclaimed to all according to his own command, “Go forth and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19). And this is brought about by Apostolic Tradition.