The words of today’s Alleluia versicle from Isaiah captures well the joy-filled spirit of The Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. Particularly the words glad tidings signal the joyful anticipation of CHRISTMAS and its imminent arrival. The first reading declares that God sends forth “glad tidings” and “As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all nations.”
On this Second Sunday of our Advent journey, perhaps Isaiah’s words differently translated might speak to us more effectively. A voice cries out in the desert “how could this have happened here?” PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD!
These are some of the gospel themes for the Sundays of Advent. Advent is a time of cleaning the house of our mortal souls, tidying up our spiritual lives so that the Son of Justice may enter, and so that nothing might distract us from the obvious—”Jesus IS the reason for the season!”
Children of the Light The scriptures this Sunday talk to us of faithfulness and responsibility, and of being children of the light. In the Book of Proverbs “a worthy wife” …
This Sunday the Church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, called “the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world.” Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.
We have officially entered the Fall season of ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS, a good time to think back on the wonderful proclamation coming out of the Second Vatican Council called: THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO HOLINESS. Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity [holiness]; by this holiness, as such, a more human manner of living is promoted in this earthly society.
In this Sunday’s Gospel passage from Matthew, Jesus enunciates to his hearers “The Two Greatest Commandments”—LOVE OF GOD AND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR. A few years ago one of our parishioners shared that this gospel passage reminded her of a 97-year-old neighbor lady who had expressed missing her previous level of involvement and social life, wishing that she could do more. Lo and behold soon after, the same parishioner and her husband received an invitation to come over and meet the new neighbors who had moved in on the other side of the lady’s house. Liking the new neighbors very much, she just thought it would be great to introduce them, so she got “all dressed up” and hosted a little gathering that brought old timers and new together. I ask you, do you think God was smiling about this or what? If 97 is still a very acceptable age to set a good example about how to live the two greatest commandments, what must God be expecting of us who have “a few more rows to hoe before we sell the farm?”
If I may paraphrase from the Gospel of Matthew today, Repay to Civil Government what belongs to Civil Government, and repay to God what belongs to God. Actually, nothing really belongs …
In Jesus’ parable of “The King Who Gave a Wedding Feast for his Son,” of course he is speaking of the wedding—the marriage—of Jesus, his own Son, to his bride, the Church. Some of the Chosen People chose not to believe and not to be part of this marriage; others did and they eventually became known as Christians.
Best, I think, to begin with the words of St. Paul this Sunday:
…whatever is true…honorable… just…pure…lovely…gracious, if there is any excellence…anything worthy of praise, think about these things.