For one month I have been living - temporarily - in the community of the Pallottine Sisters in Munich with our sisters. Here our mission procurator Sr. Ingrid Schuler with her small, aging community is active every year at the Advent bazaar in favor of our various missions. In the Benedictine parish of St. Bonifaz, the Pallottine Sisters have been working for many years in the Mission Committee, where there is a network of sisters and other committed collaborators.
The O Antiphons, also known as The great Os are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also used as the Alleluia verses on the same days in the post-1970 form of the Catholic Mass. They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the vocative particle "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture.
According to Fr. William P. Saunders, "The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known. Boethius (480–524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time [the sixth century]. At the Benedictine Fleury Abbey, these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the O Antiphons was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, "Keep your O" and "The Great O Antiphons" were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the O Antiphons have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church."
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God,
you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care:
Come and show your people the way to salvation.
Donald Jackson, artist and scribe
Matthew Frontispiece: The Genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:1-17)
Isaiah 45:6c-8, 18, 21c-25
Psalms 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
“For thus says the LORD, the creator of the heavens, who is God, the designer and maker of the earth, who established it, not creating it to be a waste, but designing it to be lived in: I am the Lord, and there is no other”(Is 45:18).
In Advent we seek a heightened sensitivity to God’s presence in our lives. Our primarily invitation from God is to a heightened awareness of Jesus Christ -- the Word of God sent by the Father to be our savior. The responsorial psalm presents this dimension eloquently: “Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior” (Is 48:8). And so we ask ourselves: How is God inviting us to open our hearts further to allow the Father to “rain down” our savior?
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13
Psalms 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23
For the hopeless, and even for the hopeful, the Bible is a means to know and experience hope. Story after story tells of men and women who were despairing and in the end, God came through to save. Zephaniah shares that even for the most corrupt city or people, we still have reason to expect that God will intervene.
By Fr. Mark-Mary
Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a; Psalm 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9; Matthew 21:23-27
Voltaire once wrote that we should judge people more by their questions than their answers. Some people ask questions because they do not want to know the answers. In today’s Gospel this is certainly an accurate picture of the questioners of Jesus.
The context of this story is critical. Jesus has just entered Jerusalem in triumph, riding a donkey and being hailed by the crowds. Jesus went to the temple and overturned the tables of the merchants and money changers and claimed that sacred ground back for God. Clearly the very presence of Jesus challenged the authority of the chief priests and elders. The elders did not really want to know the answer to the question about the source of Jesus’s authority as they were bound by their own envy and anger and insecurities. They were motivated by their political concerns for keeping influence and power, their lack of perception about the motivation of John the Baptist and Jesus, and their hostility. At the root of their actions was their unbelief.
O Come Divine Messiah: Priest A Cappella Choir!
Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28
A Reason to Rejoice
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." So begins the Gospel of John with a stunning discourse on the Word. We could very loosely call it a history of the Word who becomes flesh.
Alone in the Time of Covid by Fr Gerry Sembrano
John the Baptist by Michael D. O’Brien
Sir 48:1-4, 9-11; Mt 17:9a, 10-13
Today’s readings continue to suggest the importance of preparation. Matthew’s Gospel recalls John the Baptist who gave his life preaching the good news of Jesus and our need to repent of our sins and prepare ourselves to receive Jesus’ presence, love, and forgiveness. Sirach holds up Elijah as the great prophet who calls us to repentance, healing, and restoration.
BEST OF THE BEST CATHOLIC MUSIC OF 2020 LATEST TANZANIA
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.
Stay Awake - Advent Reflections in the Light of Fratelli Tutti
By Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald
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?
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.
By C. Reinhard
Music: E. Schneider