About Today

Advent Wreath, Fourth Sunday By 3268zauber [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Fourth Sunday in the Season of Advent

Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-24

A reflection on today’s Sacred Scriptures:

Today’s readings on this Fourth (and last) Sunday of Advent describe how God very dramatically and lovingly intervenes in human history when “there is no way out.”

In the first reading, God directly invites King Ahaz to ask for a sign that God would protect the southern kingdom of Judah from enemies that threaten to destroy it. Now, a wise leader would eagerly grasp at the opportunity. Not Ahaz, who in his pride has already decided on his own political solution! Isaiah decides to give him God’s sign anyway, saying, “The virgin shall conceive a child and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” Ahaz was not interested in God’s help. He foolishly trusted his own wisdom. As a result, the whole nation was defeated and sent into exile in Babylon.

The Gospel tells us of another man faced with a grave dilemma who did listen to God. Joseph, already bound by a solemn betrothal ceremony to take Mary as his wife, discovers to his dismay that she is with child. He can only suppose that she has been unfaithful to him, and is now subject to very severe laws that could result in her death if he exposes her. He takes the compassionate way out. He will divorce her quietly, exposing himself, not her, to shame. God intervenes through a dream in which an angel tells him the whole story. The angel tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, for her child has God Himself as the Father! With incredible trust and humility, Joseph obediently agrees to the plan. What a contrast between this just man and crafty Ahaz!

At Christmas, God is asking of us what He asked of Mary and Joseph–complete trust in His plans. He wants each of us to help Him save His world again! He richly rewards those who say “Yes!” and accept His plans for their lives. It’s even more incredible that Jesus the God-man, in turn, entrusted His life to Joseph and Mary. Again, God entrusts the success of His plans to those who can love enough and sacrifice their plans for His own.

Advent has been all about getting ready to agree to let Joseph and Mary use our hearts for a manger. From there, Jesus can help our poor country and our poor world to rebuild His kingdom. He needs our witness, our courage in speaking His truth, and sharing His love. He so wants us to be part of a much larger Advent, when all those prophecies we heard read in the last few weeks will be brought to fulfillment. If we can only give a simple, unqualified “yes” as Mary and Joseph did, some amazing things may happen through us in the world we live in.[1][2]

[1] Scripture for Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word
[2] Text of About today from The Journey a Catholic perspective of life’s journey

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Invitatory

https://media.blubrry.com/divineoffice/traffic.libsyn.com/divineoffice/lent-ip-mon.psalm67.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:00 — 2.0MB)Ribbon Placement: Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II: Antiphon: 1043 Psalm: 1298 Christian Prayer: Antiphon: 687 Psalm: 820 Lord, open my lips. — And my mouth will proclaim your praise. Ant. Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts. Psalm… Enter Prayer

About Today

Saint Andrew Dung Lac, stained glass window, Saint Paul Catholic Church (Westerville, Ohio) By Nheyob (cropped by Rabanus Flavus) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

November 24

Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

Memorial

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his Companions are known as the Vietnam martyrs. These 117 saints were chosen from among the approximately 130,000 Christians killed during the Vietnamese persecutions between 1625 and 1886. Despite over 50 decrees banning the Christian faith, the Church has grown to almost 6 million Catholics in Vietnam. Along with St. Andrew Dung-Lac, a diocesan priest, his companions included 11 Spanish missionaries, 10 French missionaries, and 96 Vietnamese priests and laity. [1]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Vatican News Services, “The Church in Vietnam fertilized by the Blood of Martyrs,” June 19, 1988.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Invitatory

https://media.blubrry.com/divineoffice/traffic.libsyn.com/divineoffice/divine-ip-0915-lady-of-sorrows.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:19 — 3.6MB)Lord, open my lips. — And my mouth will proclaim your praise. Ant. Let us adore Christ, the Savior of the world, who called his mother to share in his passion. Psalm 95 Come, let us sing to the Lord and shout with joy to… Enter Prayer

About Today

The Annunciation by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Annunciation of the Lord

Solemnity

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word’” (Luke 1:38).[1]

Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. In Luke’s Gospel, we read about the Angel Gabriel visiting Mary and announcing she would bear the Son of the Most High. The Annunciation reminds us that God is active in the world. We see him entering into human history and inviting his creation, like Mary, to help establish lasting peace. In Mary, we see the truest example of a whole-hearted, humble response to this invitation.[2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version, “Luke, The Gospel According to.”
[2] John Paul II, Homily, March 25, 2000.
[3] Benedict XVI, Address, May 14, 2009.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for November 28