Is 48:17-19; Mt 11:16-19
Life today often seems like a brief interlude between rushing and waiting. We rush to airports and wait; we go shopping and wait in lines; we rush between classes to eat lunch and wait in lines; we even wait in line to receive communion! Yet we wait because we know we will catch the plane, get the gift, or have lunch. Our expectations are ultimately fulfilled. That is the reward for our waiting. The essence of waiting is in the hope fulfilled and that is the central theme of advent: a faithful God fulfills his promise to an expectant people.
VISIT OF THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIO AT LEADERSHIP TRAINING CENTRE FOR THE LAITY – ARUSHA - DECEMBER 3rd, 2018
On 3rd December, 2018, we were honored by the visit of His Grace, Marek Solczynski, the Apostolic Nuncio of Tanzania. He was accompanied by His Grace Isaac Amani, the Archbishop of Arusha Archdiocese, Prosper Lyimo, the Auxiliary Bishop, Fr. Simon Tengesi, the Vicar General, Fr. Juvenalis Wengaa, the Secretary General and five Priests, leaders of the Deaneries.
Isaiah 41:13-20; Matthew 11:11-15
Jesus tells us “Whoever has ears ought to hear” (Mt 11:15) at the end of the Gospel today. So what are we hearing? Are we even listening?
Today I hear Jesus saying that John the Baptist is the greatest person born of woman, but even the least of the Kingdom is greater than he. (Mt 11:11-12) John the Baptist testified to the imminence of the kingdom of God. Jesus is telling him, his disciples, the people in the crowd around him and, most of all, us that the kingdom is here and now and we are all called to work for the kingdom. Yet Jesus says that the kingdom suffers violence and that the violent are taking it by force” (Mt 11:12). So what are we to do?
▪ On the 33rd Sunday of the Ordinary Time in the liturgical year, the Church celebrated the World Day of the Poor. Pope Francis with great passion for the poor presided over the Holy Eucharist at St. Peter’s Basilica in which participated about 6,000 of homeless and poor people from Rome and surrounding areas. During his homily, Pope Francis urged all men and women of good will to ask for the grace “to hear the cry of all those tossed by the waves of life; the cry of the unborn, the starving children, young people more used to the explosion of bombs than happy shouts of the playgrounds, the elderly cast off and abandoned to themselves, the cry of all those forced to flee from their home lands for an uncertain future”. He invited bishops, priests, religious men and women to allow themselves to be evangelized by the poor whom they serve, and in this way to discover the beauty of the Gospel.
Is 40:25-31; Mt 11:28-30
To get the whole picture of what Jesus means today in His invitation to us, we need to consider how oxen are yoked together in Palestine. Two animals, not one, pull a very heavy load together. When Jesus invites us, “Shoulder My yoke and learn from me…,” He, therefore, is not giving His yoke to us. Jesus is sharing His yoke with us. Who says that Jesus is passing His burden to us? Who says that Jesus wants us to carry His burden for Him? Who says that Jesus commands us to pull the load alone? Whoever says so is gravely mistaken.
That our joy be full ...
1 John 1:4
The time has come when God once again wants to immerse us in the grace of Advent. Our first call is to ask for the grace of experiencing this time according to His will. Let this year's Advent allow us to look with joy into our hearts and enlighten them with longing for an encounter with Christ.
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.
Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 5:17-26
I see today’s first reading from Isaiah as an invitation, one that encompasses all of life, really, but is offered to us in a particularly meaningful way here in Advent. The reading uses language of “return,” so to me this is an invitation to come home, to return to where God desires us to be.
Where is this? It’s a place of wholeness, where our afflictions are healed. It is a place where life and energy and beauty abound. It is a place of harmony and unity, where the causes of fear and mistrust are removed. This is where our invitation calls us.
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Baptism of Repentence for the Forgiveness of Sins
All of us carry in ourselves a repugnance for injustice, and we are distressed when we personally witness or suffer divisions that wound. We long for justice where it is denied, and union of hearts and minds where there is painful division. The longing is deep. It is a holy desire. What makes it holy is that, for us, the longing pertains not just to ourselves but to all who suffer injustice and division. This puts us in global solidarity with one another and God, who desires justice and unity for all, and who sends us His Son to bring this about.
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.