Archive for December 15, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent

Posted: December 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

What Do We Do?: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday of Advent

Readings:

Zephaniah 3:14–18
Isaiah 12:2–6
Philippians 4:4–7
Luke 3:10–18

The people in today’s Gospel are “filled with expectation.” They believe John the Baptist might be the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. Three times we hear their question: “What then should we do?”
The Messiah’s coming requires every man and woman to choose—to “repent” or not. That’s John’s message and it will be Jesus’ too (see Luke 3:3; 5:32; 24:47).
“Repentance” translates a Greek word, metanoia (literally, “change of mind”). In the Scriptures, repentance is presented as a two-fold “turning”—away from sin (see Ezekiel 3:19; 18:30) and toward God (see Sirach 17:20–21; Hosea 6:1).
This “turning” is more than attitude adjustment. It means a radical life change. It requires “good fruits as evidence of your repentance” (see Luke 3:8). That’s why John tells the crowds, soldiers, and tax collectors they must prove their faith through works of charity, honesty, and social justice.
In today’s liturgy, each of us is being called to stand in that crowd and hear the “good news” of John’s call to repentance. We should examine our lives, asking from our hearts as they did: “What should we do?” Our repentance should spring not from our fear of coming wrath (see Luke 3:7–9), but from a joyful sense of the nearness of our saving God.
This theme resounds through today’s readings: “Rejoice! . . . The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all,” we hear in today’s Epistle. In today’s Psalm, we hear again the call to be joyful, unafraid at the Lord’s coming among us.
In today’s First Reading, we hear echoes of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary. The prophet’s words are very close to the angel’s greeting (compare Luke 1:28–31). Mary is the Daughter Zion—the favored one of God, told not to fear but to rejoice that the Lord is with her, “a mighty Savior.”
She is the cause of our joy. For in her draws near the Messiah, as John had promised: “One mightier than I is coming.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

How well have we prepared ourselves and others for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ this Advent? Is there joy in our hearts?

Nothing is more precious then souls who have turned back to the Lord our God. Conversion taken place from deep within. Such is the desire of our Lord that we are one united in Him. Happy are we who dwell in His presence!

Emmanuel…

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 48:1-4,9-12
The prophet Elijah will come again

The prophet Elijah arose like a fire,his word flaring like a torch.
It was he who brought famine on the people, and who decimated them in his zeal.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens, he also, three times, brought down fire.
How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah! Has anyone reason to boast as you have?
Taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob,
Happy shall they be who see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love.

Gospel

Matthew 17:10-13
Elijah has come already and they did not recognise him

As they came down from the mountain the disciples put this question to Jesus, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True;’ he replied ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognise him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands.’ The disciples understood then that he had been speaking of John the Baptist.