January 1 - Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Mother of God

December 30th, 2018

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First Reading  Nm 6:22-27
The Priestly Blessing of Moses

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
May the nations be glad and exult

 

Second Reading  Galatians 4:4-7
God sent his Son when the fullness of time comes.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 2:16-21

 

 

Today as we begin a New Year, the Church honours Mary with a sublime title: Mother of God. The greatness of her motherhood is not primarily built on blood relationship. There is a spiritual meaning for her motherhood. St. Augustine rightly says “Prium concepit in mente quam corpore” which means “Mary conceived Jesus first in her mind and later in her body”. This means that Mary was filled with Jesus even spiritually. And as we begin this New Year let us ask God to help us to do the same: to conceive Jesus in our minds, to be filled with Jesus.

 

December 30 - The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year C

December 27th, 2018

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First Reading  1 Samuel 1:20-22,24-28
Hannah dedicates her son, Samuel, to the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 84:2-3,5-6,9-10
Those who dwell in the Lord's house are happy.

Second Reading  1 John 3:1-2,21-24
We are God's children now.

Gospel Reading
Luke 2:41-52

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. This feast is part of the Christmas season, and we should place today's Gospel in the context of what Luke's Gospel tells us about the birth of Jesus. Luke has been answering the question “Who is Jesus?” through his stories of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus. Today's Gospel reading continues this theme. It has no parallel in the other Gospels and is the conclusion of Luke's Infancy Narrative.

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are presented in this Gospel as a faithful Jewish family. They are participating in the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, an event shared each year with family and friends. When Jesus is found, Luke describes him as seated in the Temple in the midst of the Jewish teachers. Although he is young, Jesus seems not to need teaching about his Jewish tradition. In his dialogue with these learned teachers, Jesus astounds them with his insight and understanding. Jesus is a child of Israel. His Father is God.

December 25 - The Nativity of the Lord

December 23rd, 2018

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First Reading  Isaiah 9:1-6
To those in darkness, a child will be born who will have dominion over the earth.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 96:1-2,2-3,11-12,13
Sing a new song to the Lord.

Second Reading  Titus 2:11-14
God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.

Gospel Reading
Luke 2:1-14

On this day, the Feast of Christmas, we are given the details of Christ's birth as found in the Gospel of Luke. Here we learn about the census that brings Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus is born. We also hear about the angel's announcement of this good news to the shepherds. In these details, we find two of Luke's particular concerns: (1) to locate the coming of Christ in the wider framework of salvation history as good news for all people, Gentiles and Jews, and (2) to show the Lord's favor upon the poor and lowly.

In Luke's Gospel, Jesus is born as one of the poor. Laid in a manger in a stable, because there was no room at the inn, he comes into the world through obscure and surprising means. Yet, as the angel proclaims this good news to the shepherds, this infant is announced as the Messiah and Lord. In the song of the angels, all are invited to give glory to God for this miraculous birth, in which God comes to share our humanity

 

 

December 23 - Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C

December 22nd, 2018

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Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19
A prayer for God's salvation

Second Reading
Hebrews 10:5-10
Through his obedience to God's will, Christ consecrated all.

Gospel Reading
Luke 1:39-45

Our Gospel reading recalls Mary's actions after the announcement of Jesus' birth by the angel Gabriel. Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, her cousin, who is also with child. Elizabeth greets Mary with full recognition of the roles that they and their unborn children will play in God's plan for salvation. If we were to continue to read the verses that follow in Luke's Gospel, we would hear Mary respond to Elizabeth's greeting with her song of praise, the Magnificat. Both women recall and echo God's history of showing favor upon the people of Israel.

 

December 16 - Third Sunday of Advent Year C

December 14th, 2018

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First Reading  Zephaniah 3:14-18a
A savior is promised to Israel.

Responsorial Psalm  Isaiah 12:2-3,4,5-6
A song of praise to God our savior

Second Reading  Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice always because the Lord is near.

Gospel Reading
Luke 3:10-18

This Sunday's Gospel continues last week's focus on John the Baptist and his role in preparing the way for Christ. Recall that last week's reading described John's appearance in the desert and established his connection with the prophetic tradition of Israel. If we were to read Luke's Gospel continuously, we would learn about John the Baptist challenging the crowds who came to him and calling upon them to show evidence of their repentance. John tells his listeners that they cannot rely on their lineage as Israelites because children of Abraham can be raised up from stones. Repentance, rather, must be observable in one's actions. Here, Luke is continuing to set up two important themes of his Gospel message: the Christian faith is expressed in one's actions, and the call to salvation is extended to everyone, Jews and Gentiles.

December 9 - Second Sunday of Advent Year C

December 6th, 2018

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First Reading  Baruch 5:1-9 
Jerusalem shall see the splendor of God's glory.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 126:1-2,2-3,4-5,6
A song of praise for God's great deeds

Second Reading  Philippians 1:4-6,8-11
Paul prays for the Philippians.

Gospel Reading
Luke 3:1-6

This week and next, our Gospel readings invite us to consider John the Baptist and his relationship to Jesus. John the Baptist appears in the tradition of the great prophets, preaching repentance and reform to the people of Israel. To affirm this, Luke quotes at length from the prophet Isaiah. John baptizes for repentance and for forgiveness of sins, preparing the way for God's salvation.

 

December 2 - First Sunday of Advent Year C

December 1st, 2018

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First Reading  Jeremiah 33:14-16                           
The Lord will fulfill his promises to Israel and Judah.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 25:4-5,8-9,10,14
The Lord will teach us his paths.

Second Reading  1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2
Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be holy and to please God.

Gospel Reading
Luke 21:25-28,34-36
Jesus teaches his disciples to be vigilant so that they will be ready when the Son of Man comes in glory.

In this new liturgical year that begins this week, the Gospel of Luke will be the primary Gospel proclaimed (Lectionary Cycle C). This week we hear Jesus speak to his disciples about the need for vigilance and prayer as they wait for the coming of the Son of Man in glory. This passage marks the conclusion of a lengthy dialogue in which Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, warns about the persecution and tribulations to follow, and identifies the signs that will signal the coming of the Son of Man in glory

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