December 17-22, 2018

Late Advent Weekday
Genesis 49:2,8-10  +  Matthew 1:1-17
December 17, 2018

…Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.

“Late Advent Weekday” is the term that describes the last eight days of Advent, beginning on December 17.  The Sacred Liturgy—from the Divine Office to Holy Mass—shifts slightly in tone as the Church’s preparation for the Messiah intensifies. Continue reading

The Third Sunday of Advent [C]

The Third Sunday of Advent [C]
Zeph 3:14-18  +  Phil 4:4-7  +  Lk 3:10-18
December 16, 2018

“Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.”

“[T]he people were filled with expectation,” but what exactly were they expecting?

Every December as my sisters, brother and I were growing up, a large part of our joy came from the presents that would appear under our Christmas tree throughout the course of the month.  Naturally, most of the Christmas presents were delivered by Saint Nicholas in the earliest hours of December 25th.  But a fair number simply appeared throughout the course of December, remaining wrapped until Christmas morning. Continue reading

December 10-15, 2018

Monday of the Second Week of Advent
Isaiah 35:1-10  +  Luke 5:17-26
December 10, 2018

Our God will come to save us!

The refrain to today’s Responsorial is from the First Reading, from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.  It’s rare for the Church, in selecting Scriptural texts for Holy Mass, to weave a verse from the First Reading within the proclamation of the Responsorial Psalm.  “Our God will come to save us!”  Continue reading

The Second Sunday of Advent [C]

The Second Sunday of Advent [C]
Bar 5:1-9  +  Phil 1:4-6,8-11  +  Lk 3:1-6
December 9, 2018

“A voice of one crying out in the desert….”

Are you afraid of the dark?  God wants you to enter into a dark place during this season of Advent.  That’s what the practice of penance and the Sacrament of Confession are about:  putting aside your usual self-denial, and entering into the dark places in your conscience.  In those places, you hide your knowledge of the sins you have done, and the good you have failed to do.  In that darkness, Christ can appear as light, if you are willing to allow Him entrance. Continue reading

The Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Genesis 3:9-15,20  +  Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12  +  Luke 1:26-38
December 8, 2018

“Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you.”

Like the Assumption, our celebration of Mary’s Immaculate Conception tells us something very important about our common humanity:  that is, humanity as man was meant to bear it “in the beginning”.  Our belief that Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without Original Sin tells us as Catholics that Mary is exactly the type of human being God meant each of us to be.  In the words of St. Paul, “God chose us in him[,] before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love.” Continue reading

December 3-7, 2018

St. Francis Xavier, Priest
Isaiah 2:1-5  +  Matthew 8:5-11
December 3, 2018

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Psalm 122 describes the image of “the house of the Lord”.  In this Old Testament passage, “the house of the Lord” refers not to Heaven, but to the sacred, earthly city of Jerusalem.  The passage also mentions that Jerusalem sits atop a mountain.  This mountain is not on the scale of the Rockies or Himalayas, yet it’s a mountain as considered by the ancient peoples of the Holy Land. Continue reading