In this e-weekly:
- For Your Marriage - US Bishops website (Catholic Website of the week-by the laptop computer)
- Benedictine Nuns in Missouri Honor Christ the King with New Album (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Call Nursing Homes During This Time of Year; Reflection for Second Week of Advent (Helpful Hints for Life)
***Sunday Readings and Reflections at end of e-weekly***
Catholic Good News
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
The Second Coming
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13
During the weeks of Advent we prepare for Christ coming as the word made flesh beginning December 25. But we also prepare for His final coming at the end of time called His Second Coming, we prepare for this especially during the first two weeks of Advent.
While much is said about Christ’s Second Coming in the Holy Bible and elsewhere, the most important thing to remember is that when He comes, time and the world as we know it, ends. It does not mean Christ reigning on earth as we know it. The Second Coming means the end of time, the Final Judgment, Heaven or Hell forever. The Church puts it this way:
On Judgment Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #681)
Today and everyday of our lives, but especially during Advent, we give thanks for His first coming and prepare for His Second Coming!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This Sunday is the 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/120422.cfm
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 at end)
Second Coming (also called the Parousia)
- the glorious return and appearance of Christ Jesus as judge at the end of time
[At the second coming, Christ will judge the living and the dead. History and all creation will achieve their fulfillment. References to it are frequent in the New Testament, as the writers describe the ultimate triumph of Jesus and the establishment of his kingdom (I Thessalonians 4:15-17; Matthew 24:3-14; II Peter 1:16).]
And With Your Spirit
In the United States, we mark both the second week of Advent and our third week of our sixth year with a new English translation of the Roman Missal. Every day while traveling this week, I have found myself at a different parish fumbling with both the pages and the words on the page. Though excited and (seemingly) prepared for these changes, I have been jolted a bit by the communal experience of proclaiming two of the new responses.
Four times now in the liturgy, we respond to the priest with "And with your spirit." I've joked for years with my audiences how the response "And also with you" is so imbedded in us that we would start it reflexively from a dead sleep or in a crowded supermarket if provoked by, "The Lord be with you!" That is going to take a while to undo.
The second is the Communion response formed from the Scriptural response of the Roman Centurion to Our Lord: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." Beautiful.
I find both of these responses simply beautiful to hear and proclaim together in the English even with a familiarity with "Et cum spiritu tuo" and "Domine, non sum dignus..." from the Latin.
I do harbor a mild fear, I suppose, that these distinctive appeals to "spirit" and "soul" risk affirming, in some, that ever-present false dualism regarding our human personhood. One that claims an "either/or" separation instead of a "both/and" integration of our spiritual and bodily natures.
What these changes invite is a deeper participation in the true mystery of God, His Bride the Church, and our own likeness to Him. Paradoxes, tensions, and apparent contradictions are old friends to believers: fully God and fully Man; Unity and Trinity; faith and reason; body and soul. The list goes on.
Entertaining such a dualism during this season of Advent is ironic, of course, since this is when we prepare to encounter once more "the fact that the Word of God became flesh" and "the body entered theology...through the main door" (TOB 23:4). Amen. Alleluia!
Damon Owens is a speaker with the Theology of the Body Institute. Damon and his wife Melanie have been teaching and promoting Natural Family Planning (NFP) from Seton Hall University and throughout New Jersey since 1993. They serve as NFP Program Coordinators for the Archdiocese of Newark (N.J.), and are founders of the
New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association. Damon keeps a full speaking schedule at national conferences, marriage seminars, high schools, seminaries, and youth groups on the good news of sexuality, chastity, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family, and NFP. Damon currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Melanie, and their seven children.
The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has created a Website with suggestions preparing for Marriage, those who live in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and general information about it. Check it out. Couldn't your Marriage use some special time and attention?
PRUDENTLY INVITE THE COMMUNITY TO MIDNIGHT MASS (if you have Christmas Mass at Midnight)
Christmas is loved by all it seems. And having a Mass at Midnight, the first moment of the day we celebrate Jesus coming into the world can be an intriguing and door opening way to bring Christians together to pray.
It can bring Christians together to pray and welcome Jesus as one, as He prays we are. The time would not conflict with Worship at other places. The beauty and grace of that night would be shared with many.
Check with your Parish Priest for his thoughts and direction and permission. But one can put in invitation in the newspaper, share a spot on the radio, create yard signs with the church's picture, and other communication means. It might just touch some hearts in a special way!
The album was recorded over two days in September, and was released the following month.
The recording and sound engineering was done by William Crain of BRC Audio in Kansas City, the abbess said. “We did the editing and production, and Will brought it all together along with the mastering.”
Life in the community is marked by obedience, stability, and “continually turning” towards God. They have Mass daily according to the ancient use of the Roman rite, and chant the psalms eight times a day from the 1962 Monastic Office.
The nuns also support themselves by producing made-to-order vestments, as well as greeting cards.
Since the abbey’s last album release, its church has been built, as has a guest house for families and those wishing to make a silent retreat. The community’s foundress, Sr. Mary Wilhelmina, “went to her heavenly reward at 95 years old,” Mother Cecilia added. The abbess said Sr. Wilhelmina’s “life and the amazing circumstances of her death” were both “a grace beyond our imaginings.”
The community has been blessed with abundant vocations in recent years, Mother Cecilia said.
A group of eight sisters was sent to found a daughter house in southern Missouri, and “We now number 55 Sisters between the two houses, and young women continue to knock on our door,” she related.
The sisters at the daughter house “are living in a temporary residence, and one which does not lend itself to growth. So the construction of this monastery is imperative, as we have no more room here at the abbey either. We certainly do not want to turn away young women who are called to this life on account of no space!”
Carl Bunderson is managing editor of Catholic News Agency. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder and a BPhil from the Pontifical Lateran University.
Date: December 3
The “divine help,” she said, helped her notice that the shrimp she was supposed to cook were not deveined.
“If I had left them the way they gave them to me I would not have won,” said Sister Lorayne Caroline Tinti, a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Resurrection. She prepared shrimp stroganoff and tiramisu for the episode of MasterChef Brasil. Sister Tinti is now scheduled to compete in the show’s 2020 final contest, at the end of December.
“Many people mentioned how calm I was throughout the episode, and I tell them it was because I was praying for Our Lord to help me get through it. That gave me confidence,” Sister Tinti told Catholic New Service.
Sister Tinti said she learned to cook early, with members of her family.
“My mother, aunt and grandmother always cooked so I learned from them. My father also was interested in the preparation of food,” she told CNS.
Her culinary skills, she noted, improved while living in the order’s mission house in the state of Minas Gerais.
“We had a bakery there which the sisters ran, so I learned about making pastries and bread,” she added.
While looking at her social media, Sister Tinti came across a call for participants for MasterChef Brasil and decided to register.
“I needed authorization and, at first, the mother superior was not very keen on me leaving the convent to go on TV, but the sisters here convinced her,” she said with a chuckle.
Asked what motivated her to sign up for the contest, Sister Tinti said the show gave her a chance to talk about the social projects that the sisters do with the elderly and children, and to encourage young people into looking to religious life as an option.
“After the show we had many lay persons call up asking how they could help our projects, and a few young people wanting to know more about religious life in general,” she said.
But it was not only laypeople who reached out to Sister Tinti after the cooking challenge: “I received calls congratulating me for my participation from many religious, including two bishops.”
Asked about her favorite food to prepare, Sister Tinti was quick to say eggplant.
“It is so versatile, you can fry it, you can bake it, you can grill it,” she said.
Those who eat her meals, however, say she excels in pastries and deserts.
“Whenever there is a celebration, it is always ‘let Sister Lorayne bake the cake,'” she said as she laughed.
Sister Tinti says she does not know what the organizers will ask her to cook for the finals, but she is certain of two things: She will once again ask for divine help and will pray while cooking.
When he announced to his parishioners in November 2015 that he had to leave for “personal reasons,” one parishioner took notice: his friend U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Chris Moore.
Moore and his wife, Heidi, met Father Callan in 2014 at Camp Humphreys. The Moores and Father Callan would share meals together and socialize after Mass, particularly at Knights of Columbus council meetings — both men were members of Bishop John J. Kaising Council 14223 on the base. Father Callan was a spiritual guide as the Moores welcomed two children into their growing family.
“He was a support during our time in Korea because my wife was new to Catholicism,” said Moore, currently stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, while his two children and his wife live in Arizona. “Father Dennis was there to guide us and strengthen us in our relationship and help us to get to where we are today.”
When Father Callan returned to the U.S., his hepatologist in Chicago told him that he was lucky to have survived the trip from South Korea. His only chance of survival was a liver transplant.
Members of family were tested to see if they could donate, but no one was compatible. By the end of December 2016, Father Callan’s health began free-falling.
He began arranging his funeral.
“I decided I did not want to go on this (donor) list,” Father Callan said. “I figured, I’m a priest and I would accept whatever the Lord had in mind for me and I did not want to take the opportunity away from another to receive a liver.”
Throughout the process, Father Callan and the Moores kept in touch. When Father Callan told the Moores that every option seemed exhausted, they offered to be tested to see if one of them was a compatible donor.
Father Callan was completely shocked at the Moores’ offer. Especially because it would not be easy for Chris to donate, due to Army regulations regarding organ donations.
It turned out that navigating these regulations was worth it. Chris was a match.
In May 2017, Moore and Father Callan went in for surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“We said our ‘goodbyes’ and I told (the Moores), ‘I’ll see you on the other side,'” Father Callan said. “The next morning I woke up and I said, ‘I feel 100% better already.'”
Father Callan was in surgery for 10 hours and received more than two-and-a-half pounds of his brother Knight’s liver. Moore noticed the immediate health differences in his friend when he visited him the day following the surgery.
“We call each other brothers now because we share something in common, our livers,” Moore said with a smile. “We share a special bond and he’s able to do what he does, continue to be able to do what he wants to do which is minister to people.”
The brotherhood between Father Callan and Moore is shown in “Everyday Heroes,” a video series produced by the Knights of Columbus. The series showcases ordinary men acting in extraordinary ways, who are strengthened by their Catholic faith and membership in the Knights of Columbus.
“One of the things that I felt very strongly about is that the brotherhood among the members of the Knights of Columbus is important because men need a lot of support in the faith,” Father Callan said.
Father Callan and the Moores attended the Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage — an international event co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus along with the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services to bring healing to military personnel and their families at the Marian shrine in France.
When reflecting on this period in his life, Father Callan sees God’s providence.
“What we have to realize is that God is present with us,” Father Callan said. “God is leading us, guiding us through the many, many things, many trials that we face. God is always present, caring and loving for us in ways that we don’t necessarily understand.”
Father Callan remains close with the Moores, visiting them at their home in Arizona.
But when apart, the brother Knights still contact each other to talk.
“For me, simply being with Chris or talking with him inspires me and encourages me,” Father Callan said. “We are brother Knights in every sense of the word.”
To see more Everyday Heroes videos go to kofc.org/heroes
By Perry West
Detroit, Mich., Dec 6, 2018 / 02:54 am (EWTN News/CNA)
“This is the way that we are responding to the invitation to share the Gospel with others. This is part of the transformation of being a mission-oriented diocese,” Edmundo Reyes, the archdiocese’s communication director, told EWTN News.
The campaign is called “Part of the Family.” Its goal is to create a welcoming environment at Mass and encourage evangelization among the parishioners through virtual tools.
Reyes said these efforts are an extension of the pastoral letter “Unleash the Gospel” released at Pentecost last year. The letter followed several years of preparation, including a year of prayer in 2014 and a synod meeting in 2016.
He said the campaign includes three parts: evangelization training, videos, and a newly published website, specifically focused on Christmas Mass times.
“Our hope is that, with these combined efforts, people that attend Mass once a year or are there for the first time, they experience what we are calling radical hospitality,” he said.
“We target at Christmas knowing there are people who come there for the first time or they haven’t been with us for a while,” he said. “One of the things is we want to be unusually gracious and hospitable for people that come to our churches.”
The first component of the campaign was a day-long evangelization event that included discussions, training, and resource material. More than 800 people from over 120 parishes in the archdiocese attended.
According to the Detroit Catholic, one of the speakers broke down the Gospel into four essential parts. Fr. John Riccardo, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth, said the Gospel’s message is on the goodness of God found in his creation, sin and its repercussions, God’s response to sin, and mankind’s response to God.
Hospitality was another major focus of the event, which was held Nov. 16. Regular Mass-goers were presented with simple steps to make people feel welcome, like greeting strangers and sitting in the middle of the pews to allow room on the outsides.
The second element of the campaign is a series of Christmas videos, focusing on the universal Catholic family and God’s incarnation, Reyes said.
“We are all part of the same family, and it’s hard to imagine, but we are celebrating God becoming part of our family. So let’s do it together,” says the narrator in the video. “This Christmas, we are thankful that you are one of us, a Catholic, part of the family.”
The first video was released on Saturday, Reyes said, and it has already received roughly 30,000 views. He said more videos will be released weekly.
In addition, paid ads will be run on spotify, youtube, and social media, inviting people to attend Christmas Mass and bring their friends and family. The ads will use geoparameters to reach people in areas near churches in the archdiocese.
The third aspect of the campaign, Reyes said, is a new website, massfinder.org, to help people navigate Christmas Mass times in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He said the website is accessible, giving people an easy way to discover Mass times and invite friends and family.
“If we want to be truly hospitable, the first encounter the people have with us is going to be trying to find out what time Christmas Mass happens.”
The website includes “share buttons” for people to send links of a specific Mass time via social media, email, or text. When it is shared, the user has access to a virtual reminder of that Mass and a map to the parish.
Especially during this season of giving, Reyes said, the most important gift that can be given is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of the Father.
“This is a time we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, God becoming part of the family. And that's the theme - Part of the Family. We want make sure that people feel welcome and invited in the celebration of Jesus' birth.”
“We should think about so much hidden holiness there is in the Church; Christians who remain in Jesus,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse for his Dec. 4 Daily Mass.
While there are there are some Christians who put on appearances, many others are true saints, he said, noting that they are not necessarily “canonized saints, but saints (who) put the love of Jesus into practice.”
The Pope centered his reflections on the day's first reading from the prophet Isaiah, who speaks of the importance of founding oneself on the rock of the Lord, and foretells the destruction of the high and “lofty” cities, who will be trampled by the poor and needy.
When it comes to being a true Christian, the Pope said, we should not be “Christians in appearance,” whose make-up comes off as soon as the rain begins.
“So many 'apparent Christians,' collapse at the first temptation (because) there is no substance there,” so it's not enough to simply belong to a Catholic family, an association or to be a benefactor if we don’t follow God’s will.
However, there are also many who do follow God’s will and put his love into practice every day, Pope Francis noted, pointing to those who are considered small but who offer their daily suffering to the Lord.
“Let us consider the sick who offer their sufferings for the Church, for others. Let us consider so many of the elderly who are alone, who pray and make offerings,” he said, also recognizing the many families who work hard to raise children and who don’t “strut about,” but bear their problems with hope.
These people are “the saints of daily life,” the Pope said. He also lauded the witness of the many parish priests who carry out their work with love, and without being seen.
Priests who work hard catechizing children, caring for the elderly and the sick, and preparing couples for marriage do the same thing every day, he said, but never get bored “because their foundation is the rock. It is Jesus, it this that gives holiness to the Church, it is this that gives hope!”
Even these hidden saints are still sinners, because we all are, he observed, saying that when a good Christian sometimes falls and commits a grave sin but is penitent and asks forgiveness, it is a good thing.
“Not confuse sin with virtue,” the Pope said, explaining that it’s good to “know well where virtue is, and where sin is, (but) these (people) are founded on rock, and the rock is Christ.”
The proud and the vain are those who have built their house on sand, the Pope said, noting that as the prophet Isaiah said in the first reading, they will be “demolished” while the poor and those who consider themselves nothing in the sight of God will triumph.
He concluded his reflections by encouraging all present to use the time of Advent, in which we prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas, to place our foundation on the Lord, who is our rock and our hope.
“We are all sinners, we are weak, but if we place our hope in Him we can go forward. And this is the joy of a Christian: knowing that in Him there is hope, there is pardon, there is peace (and) there is joy.
-My dog is an awesome fashion adviser. Every time I ask him what I look like in my clothes, he says “WOW!”
-Dentist: "You need a crown." Patient: "Finally someone who understands me"
-Isn’t it odd the way everyone automatically assumes that the goo in soap dispensers is always soap? I like to fill mine with mustard, just to teach people a lesson in trust.
-The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
-Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give their vacuum one more chance? -Only in America… do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
Confessions of a Store Santa
While I was working as a store Santa, a boy asked me for an electric train set. “If you get your train,” I told him, “your dad is going to want to play with it too. Is that all right?”
The boy became very quiet. So, moving the conversation along, I asked, “What else would you like Santa to bring you?”
He promptly replied, “Another train.”
A 4-year-old boy was asked to return thanks before a big dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one. Then he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes, even the Cool Whip.
Then he paused, and everyone waited--and waited. After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, "If I thank God for the broccoli, won't he know that I'm lying?"
I Don't Want to Go
Thanksgiving day was approaching and the family had received a Thanksgiving card with a painting of a pilgrim family on their way to church.
Grandma showed the card to her small grandchildren, observing: "The Pilgrim children liked to go to church with their mothers and fathers."
"Oh yeah?" her young grandson replied, "So why is their dad carrying that rifle?"
The Sunday School Teacher asks, "Now, Johnny, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"
"No sir," little Johnny replies, I don't have to. My mom is a good cook."
Sign on a church bulletin board: "Merry Christmas to our Christian friends. Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. And to our atheist friends, good luck.
“St. Chromatius reminds us that Advent is a time of prayer, in which we must enter into contact with God. God knows us, He knows me, He knows each of us. He loves me, He does not abandon me. Thus trustingly, let us proceed into the liturgical time that has just begun."
-Pope Benedict XVI
These prayers, faithful translations of the Latin Collects, or opening prayers, may be said every evening when the Advent wreath is lit.
Stir up your power, O Lord, and come, that by your protection we may be rescued from the dangers that beset us through our sins; and be a Redeemer to deliver us; Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
[In English-speaking countries, this Sunday was called "Stirrup Sunday", because the "stir-up" of the Collect was the signal to begin to "stir-up" the fruits for the baking of Christmas cakes and puddings.]
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the paths of your Only-begotten Son: that we may worthily serve you with hearts purified by His coming: Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
We beseech you to listen to our prayers, O Lord, and by the grace of your coming enlighten our darkened minds: You who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
[On the third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, the Church can no longer contain her joyful longing for the coming of the Savior. We light the rose candle and rejoice that our redemption is so close at hand. Gaudete comes from the Latin Antiphon, which begins, "Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.." [Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice...]. On this day, rose-colored vestments may be worn, and flowers may decorate the church. ]
Pour forth your power, O Lord, and come: Assist us by that mighty power, so that by your grace and merciful kindness we may swiftly receive the salvation that our sins impede: Who live and reign with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Second Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 4, 2022
The First Reading- Isaiah 11:1-10
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
“The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” John the Baptist proclaims in the Gospel. The Liturgy today paints us a vivid portrait of our new king and the shape of the kingdom He has come to bring. The Lord whom John prepares the way for in today’s Gospel is the righteous king prophesied in today’s First Reading and Psalm. He is the king’s son, the son of David—a shoot from the root of Jesse, David’s father (see Ruth 4:17). He will be the Messiah, anointed with the Holy Spirit (see 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:39; Psalm 2:2), endowed with the seven gifts of the Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. He will rule with justice, saving the poor from the ruthless and wicked. His rule will be not only over Israel—but will extend from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth. He will be a light, a signal to all nations. And they will seek Him and pay Him homage. In Him, all the tribes of the earth will find blessing. The covenant promise to Abraham (see Genesis 12:3), renewed in God’s oath to David (see Psalm 89:4,28), will be fulfilled in His dynasty. And His name will be blessed forever.
Adults - Jesus is our heavenly king. How does this make Him different from an earthly king?
Teens - Which of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit do you see most at work in your life?
Kids - How is Jesus our light?
Responsorial- Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
R.Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
he shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
-The Lord is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. How do mercy and justice work together?
The Second Reading- Romans 15:4-9
Brothers and sisters: Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name.
In Christ, God confirms His oath to Israel’s patriarchs, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. But no longer are God’s promises reserved solely for the children of Abraham. The Gentiles, too, will glorify God for His mercy. Once strangers, in Christ they will be included in “the covenants of promise” (see Ephesians 2:12).
Meditate this week on the fact that you are a treasured member of God’s family.
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
John delivers the same message as Paul in the Gospel. Once God’s chosen people were hewn from the rock of Abraham (see Isaiah 51:1–2). Now, God will raise up living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5)—children of Abraham born not of flesh and blood but of the Spirit. This is the meaning of the fiery baptism He brings—making us royal heirs of the kingdom of heaven, the Church.
Adults - We, as Christians, are children of Abraham. If you are not familiar with the story of salvation history, do a little research on it this week.
Teens - What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit?
Kids - What does it mean to be a child of God?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - In the time of the Roman Empire, rulers rode from city to city for the purpose of official visitations. Their appearance, called epiphany or parousia, was a great event, one preceded by months of preparation. Something analogous takes place in the Jerusalem of our souls. From a high watchtower we see the Lord coming afar off. Suddenly John the Baptist appears; he hurries into the city to announce the King's approach. God condescends to manifest Himself to us in grace; but He demands the proper reception. (What is my reception for Jesus Christ? -Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace by Pius Parsch
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.