Isaiah 40:1-11; Matthew 18:12-14
Comforting embrace by Koro Arandia
Today’s readings from Isaiah tell us to Look Up, Look Ahead, Believe and Have Hope. The voice in the desert of our lives is crying out “Prepare the way of the Lord,” and promises that although “All flesh is grass” and we change and eventually die, the Word of the Lord is eternal. As the Psalm sings, the Lord “comes with power” and he rules us “with his constancy.” In both the selection from Isaiah and the Gospel from Matthew, we have the image of God as our nurturing, loving Shepherd, protecting and saving us.
Genesis 3:9-15.20; Ephesian 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast teaches us that Mary herself was conceived in her mother’s womb without sin. Immunity from original sin was granted to Mary by God to pave the way for her to be the mother of Jesus.
Luke’s gospel describes Mary’s encounter with angel Gabriel when she received the news that she would be a mother. I can imagine that Mary’s response and reaction to Gabriel’s words were much like mine as I listened to the words of my father. Mary too must have been swept into an intensely emotional world of questions, chaos, joy and fear. What could those words mean? What would it be like if she said yes? What was God asking?
Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12
The voice of prophecy had been silent for four hundred years. John the Baptist spoke with such fire that people believed God had now broken the long silence. Even many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were convinced, or at least willing to consider it. We are more aware of the Pharisees - they get such a bad press in the New Testament. It must have taken an immense force to lift their heads from their study of the Torah, the Law. The Torah was God's definitive word, according to their belief. But here they were, listening for a new word from God.
Dear sisters and brothers in the Union,
we are very happy to present to you in this newsletter a synthesis of the life of Ven. Pauline-Marie Jaricot, prepared by Fr. Jan Kupka SAC, along with other news from the UAC.
1. VENERABLE PAULINE-MARIE JARICOT (1799-1862):
The 150th anniversary of the death of Pauline-Marie Jaricot, the founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, was celebrated in 2012. The relationship of Saint Vincent Pallotti to Pauline Jaricot reveals the wide vision of these two protagonists of the needs of the Church and their total dedication to bringing to fruition the works inspired by God.
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
By David Leiberg
Advent -- "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Waiting. And "Blessed are all who wait for the Lord." Today's readings tell us that we are blessed in this blessed season. So why do I slide off into feeling rushed and pressed and lonely and frantic?
All the advertisements and mailings and invitations and recipes and decorations can say "Hurry! Go and do! Spend and spend more!" and worse, "You haven't done enough," and worst, "Unless you get this and that, unless you go further and do more, you won't be right. You won't be loved." What terrible messages from the well-meant trappings of a blessed season!
Isaiah 29:17-24; Matthew 9:27-31
Healing of the man born blind, Germany, c. 980-993
“Do you believe that I can do this?” Matthew 9
This is the central question of our Christian lives. To be a follower of Jesus, to accept what he offers us, and to accept our mission to make a difference by loving and announcing the Gospel, all take faith in him. This kind of faith is personal, not intellectual. I can know all about faith, all about who Jesus is, and pass every exam on it all, and still not be his follower. Personal faith means I believe in him. I believe he is who he says he is. I believe what he promises. I believe he has power over sin and death - over my sin and death - even over my blindness.
The Union of Superiors General held its 82nd General Assembly in the Salesianum in Rome from 27 to 29 November. The story of three experiences provided the basis for reflections and encounters focusing on the challenges of leadership in the light of the Magisterium and following the example given by Pope Francis. The Holy Father chose to meet with the Superiors for three hours, rather than the short encounter envisaged: no address was prepared in advance, but instead a long, colloquial and fraternal discussion took place, composed of questions and answers.
The first group of questions related to the identity and mission of consecrated life. A radical approach is required of all Christians, the Pope stated, but religious persons are called upon to follow the Lord in a special way: “They are men and woman who can awaken the world. Consecrated life is prophecy. God asks us to fly the nest and to be sent to the frontiers of the world, avoiding the temptation to 'domesticate' them. This is the most concrete way of imitating the Lord”.
- Thursday of the First Week of Advent
- Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
- Tuesday of the First Week of Advent
- Superior General for Advent 2013
- Apostolic Exhortation EVANGELII GAUDIUM
- Monday of the First Week of Advent
- First Sunday of Advent - Year A
- The joy of the Gospel
- Union of the Catholic Apostolate - Rome