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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 12-04-16, Second Sunday of Advent ^ | 12-04-16 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/03/2016 6:58:49 PM PST by Salvation

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1 posted on 12/03/2016 6:58:49 PM PST by Salvation
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KEYWORDS: advent; catholic; mt3; prayer; saints;

2 posted on 12/03/2016 7:01:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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3 posted on 12/03/2016 7:02:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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5 posted on 12/03/2016 7:15:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Isaiah 11:1-10

The New Descendant of David

[1] There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
[2] And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
[3] And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
[4] but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
[5] Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist,
and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
[6] The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the lion and the failing together,
and a little child shall lead them.
[7] The cow and the bear shall feed;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
[8] The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adders den.
[9] They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

The Return of the Exiles

[10] In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples;
him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious.


11:1-9. This passage, which is regarded as the third Immanuel oracle, has
two parts to it. The first (vv.1-5) announces that the shoot will spring from the
stump of Jesse (David’s father) at some future date. The second (vv. 6-9) de-
scribes the good things associated with his reign, using imagery to do with
messianic peace: creation will be restored to its state of original justice.

The first part is a formal announcement of the accession of a new king in the
line of David — humble, because he comes from a tree that has been pruned
yet has all the vitality of a tender shoot. It refers to a future king (”there shall
come ...”) and not the reigning monarch. The new king will be endowed with
exceptional qualities that equip him to rule, thanks to the Holy Spirit who will
descend upon him. The divine Spirit is an inner strength, a gift that God gives
to key figures in salvation history to enable them to accomplish a difficult and
dangerous mission — Moses (cf. Num 11:17), the judges (cf. 3:10; 6:34) and
David (1 Sam 16:13). The new descendant of David will rule over the people
not in a heavy-handed way like the kings of the time, but with a charismatic
dynamism that comes from God. Six gifts of the Spirit are mentioned, in pairs
— wisdom and understanding, referring to the skill and prudence that ensure
that he will judge rightly; counsel and fortitude, the characteristics of an astute
strategist like David; knowledge and the fear of the Lord, which have to do with
the religious sphere, for the king must not forget that he is God’s representa-

The second part describes very beautifully the messianic peace that will flower
with this new “shoot”. It paints a panorama of the harmony that reigned at the
dawn of creation, only to be broken by sin. Even among wild beasts violence
will disappear. No longer will man in his pride desire to be “like God, knowing
good and evil” (Gen 3:5); instead he will be filled with the divine gift of the
“knowledge of the Lord” (v. 9). The “child”, mentioned twice (vv. 6, 8), is not
directly connected with the child-king of the oracle found in 9:6 or with the Im-
manuel (7:14); however, in the mind of the prophet they must have had many
points of contact, given the reference to the child having a leadership role (v.

The image of the “shoot” from the royal line who will bring peace has been in-
terpreted in Christian tradition as finding fulfillment in Jesus Christ. St Thomas
Aquinas read this passage as referring to Christ, who brought about the restor-
ation of mankind; he points out: “First, the birth of Christ the ‘restorer’, is spo-
ken of (v. 1); then, his holiness (vv. 2-9) and his dignity (v. 10) are described”
(”Expositio Super lsaiam”, 11). And Bl. John Paul II comments: “Alluding to
the coming of a mysterious personage, which the New Testament revelation
will identify with Jesus, Isaiah connects his person and mission with a parti-
cular action of the Spirit of God — the Spirit of the Lord.

“These are the words of the prophet: ‘There shall come forth a shoot from the
stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And “the Spirit of
the Lord shall rest upon him,” the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spi-
rit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And
his delight shall be the fear of the Lord’ (Is 11:1-3). This text is important for
the whole pneumatology of the Old Testament, because it constitutes a kind
of bridge between the ancient biblical concept of ‘spirit’, understood primarily
as a ‘charismatic breath of wind’, and the ‘Spirit’ as a person and as a gift, a
gift for the person. The Messiah of the lineage of David (’from the stump of
Jesse’) is precisely that person upon whom the Spirit of the Lord ‘shall rest.’
It is obvious that in this case one cannot yet speak of a revelation of the Pa-
raclete. However, with this veiled reference to the figure of the future Messiah
there begins, so to speak, the path towards the full revelation of the Holy Spi-
rit in the unity of the Trinitarian mystery, a mystery which will finally be mani-
fested in the New Covenant” (”Dominum Et Vivificantem”, 15).

A Christian reading of these words finds in them a reference to the action of
the Holy Spirit in souls; the “spirits” that repose in the Messiah; are stable
“gifts” through which the Holy Spirit acts. There are six of these gifts, accor-
ding to the Hebrew text (which the New Vulgate and the RSV follow). The
Greek translation of the Septuagint and the Vulgate divide the gift of fear into
two — piety and fear of the Lord. That is why catechesis and theology speak
of there being seven gifts: “The seven ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, un-
derstanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. They
belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David (cf. Is 11:1-2). They complete
and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful do-
cile in readily obeying divine inspirations” (”Catechism of the Catholic Church”,

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

6 posted on 12/03/2016 7:16:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 15:4-9

The Example of Christ (Continuation)

[4] For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that
by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have
hope. [5] May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in
such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, [6] that together
you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[7] Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory
of God. [8] For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show
God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, [9]
and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles, and sing to thy name”.


4. The excellence of Scripture and its sacred character derive from the fact that
God is its author. This means that there is a consistency and unity running right
through Sacred Scripture, a coherence which integrates both Testaments, Old
and New: the Old Testament contains — prophetically and by way of prefigure-
ment — what happens in the New; and in the New the prophecy and prefigure-
ment of the Old are fulfilled. Since Scripture is the word of God, it is of the high-
est order: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be
complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16). This strength and authori-
ty of Scripture is useful not only for instruction in the faith but also for enlivening
our hope and consoling us in every kind of trial, interior and exterior: the exam-
ples which we find in Scripture encourage us to be patient and also spur us on
to fight. By reflecting on those examples we become convinced that if God asks
sacrifice of “his own”, he does so because he has a greater reward in store for

These truths led the Second Vatican Council to teach that in “the sacred books
the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with
them. And such is the force and power of the word of God that it can serve the
Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for
their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life” (”Dei
Verbum”, 21).

8-13. “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you.
Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, be-
hold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us” (Acts 13:46-
47): this is what Paul and Barnabas said to Jews who opposed their preaching.
Christ himself said that he had been sent only to seek out the lost sheep of the
house of Israel, and that was the scope of the Apostles’ first mission (cf. Mt 15:
24; 10:5). However, God’s plans never discriminated in favor of the Jews: they,
once converted, were to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. After the Resur-
rection, Jesus sent his disciples to all nations (cf. Mt 28:18ff). Those who pro-
claimed the Gospel were Jews who had accepted Christ, and they addressed
their preaching first to Jews and then to Gentiles.

This present passage refers to the fulfillment of God’s designs through Christ.
By becoming man God made good his promises to the Jews, keeping faith with
them. By the entry of the Gentiles into the Church his mercy towards all men
is revealed, for his blessings are thereby extended to those who do not belong
to Israel according to the flesh. Our Lord explained this very graphically in the
parable of the two sons (Mt 21:28-32). He first calls the older son (the Gentiles),
who refuses to obey him and afterwards repents and accepts his father’s invita-
tion and goes to work in the vineyard. The younger son (most of the Jewish peo-
ple), on the other hand, seems to be ready to do his father’s bidding but in fact
does not. Many Jews were so hard of heart that not even the repentance and
conversion of the Gentiles moved them to repent.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

7 posted on 12/03/2016 7:17:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 3:1-12

The Preaching of John the Baptist

[1] ln those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
[2] “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [3] For this is he who was
spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the
wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

[4] Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his
waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. [5] Then went out to him Jeru-
salem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, [6] and they were bap-
tized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

[7] But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for bap-
tism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the
wrath to come? [8] Bear fruit that befits repentance, [9] and do not presume to
say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able
from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. [10] Even now the axe is
laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is
cut down and thrown into the fire.

[11] “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is
mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and with fire. [12] His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will
clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he
will burn with unquenchable fire.”


1. The expression “in those days” does not specify the exact time of the event
in question. It is sometimes used merely as an opening phrase to mark the be-
ginning of a new episode. In this case, in fact, it can be calculated that some
twenty-five years have elapsed since the Holy Family’s return from Egypt. This
is only an estimate, because the exact date of their return has not been esta-

On the date of the start of John the Baptist’s preaching, see Luke 3:1-3. The
word “wilderness” has a wider meaning here than we give it today. It does not
refer to a sandy or rocky desert, but rather to arid regions, low in vegetation.

2. “Repent”: Christ’s redeeming work ushers in a new era in the Kingdom of
God. This brings such advance in salvation history, that what is required from
now on is a radical change in man’s behavior towards God. The coming of the
Kingdom means that God has intervened in a special way to save mankind,
but it also implies that we must be open to God’s grace and reform our ways.
Christ’s life on earth compels people to take a stand — either for God or against
him (”He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with
me scatters”: Lk 11:23). Given man’s sinful state after original sin, the newly-
arrived Kingdom requires that all men repent of their past life. To put it another
way, they have to stop going away from God and instead try to get closer to
him. Since sin hinders this conversion, it is impossible to turn back to God
without performing acts of penance. Conversion is not simply a question of ma-
king a good resolution to mend our ways; we have to fulfill that resolution, even
if we find it difficult. Penance grows only where there is humility — and everyone
should admit sincerely that he is a sinner (cf. 1 Jn 1 :8-10). Obedience also
goes hand in hand with penance; everyone ought to obey God and keep his
commandments (cf. 1 Jn 2:3-6).

The literal translation of the Greek is “Repent”. But precisely because the very
essence of conversion consists in doing penance, as we have said, the New
Vulgate has “paenitentiam agite” (”do penance”). This translation conveys the
deeper meaning of the text.

Man’s whole life, in fact, consists in constantly correcting his behavior, and
therefore implies a continual doing of penance. This turning back to God was
preached continually by the prophets in the Old Testament. Now, however, with
the coming of Christ, this penance and turning to God are absolutely essential.
That Christ took on our sins and suffered for us does not excuse us from ma-
king a true conversion; on the contrary, it demands it of us (cf. Col 1:24).

“Kingdom of heaven”: this expression is identical to “Kingdom of God”. The
former is the one most used by St Matthew, and is more in line with the Jewish
turn of phrase. Out of reverence, the Jews avoided pronouncing the name God
and substituted other words for it, as in this case. “Kingdom of God” or “King-
dom of heaven” was a concept used already in the Old Testament and in reli-
gious circles at the time of Christ. But it occurs particularly frequently in Jesus’

The phrase “Kingdom of God” can refer in a general way to God’s dominion over
creatures; but normally, as in this text, it refers to God’s sovereign and merciful
involvement in the life of his people. Man’s rebellion and sin broke the order ori-
ginally established in creation. To re-establish it, God’s intervention was needed
again; this consisted in the redeeming work of Christ, Messiah and Son of God.
It was preceded by a series of preliminary stages in salvation history throughout
the Old Testament.

Consequently, the Kingdom of God, announced as imminent by John the Bap-
tist, is brought into being by Jesus. However, this is an entirely spiritual one
and does not have the nationalistic dimension expected by Jesus’ contempora-
ries. He comes to save his people and all mankind from the slavery of sin, from
death and from the devil, thereby opening up the way of salvation.

In the period between the first and second comings of Christ, this Kingdom of
God (or Kingdom of heaven) is, in fact, the Church. The Church makes Christ
(and therefore also God) present among all peoples and calls them to eternal
salvation. The Kingdom of God will be brought to completion only at the end of
this world, that is, when our Lord comes to judge the living and the dead at the
end of time. Then God will reign over the blessed in a perfect way.

In the passage we are considering, John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testa-
ment prophets, preaches the imminence of the Kingdom of God, ushered in by
the coming of the Messiah.

3. By quoting Isaiah 40:3, St Matthew makes it clear that St John the Baptist
has a mission as a prophet. This mission has two purposes — first, to prepare
the people to receive the Kingdom of God; second, to testify before the people
that Jesus is the Messiah who is bringing that Kingdom.

4. The Gospel gives a brief outline of the extremely austere life of St John the
Baptist. His style of life is in line with that of certain Old Testament prophets
and is particularly reminiscent of Elijah (cf. 2 Kings 1:8; 2:8-13ff.). The kind of
food and dress described are of the most rudimentary for the region in question.
The locust was a kind of grasshopper; the wild honey probably refers to sub-
stances excreted by certain local shrubs rather than to bees’ honey. In view of
the imminent coming of the Messiah, John underlines, with his example, the at-
titude of penance preceding great religious festivals (similarly, in its Advent litur-
gy the Church puts John before us as a model and invites us to practise mortifi-
cation and penance). In this way, the point made in the previous verse (concer-
ning John’s view of his mission as precursor of Christ) is fulfilled. A Christian’s
entire life is a preparation for his meeting with Christ. Consequently, mortifica-
tion and penance play a significant part in his life.

6. John’s baptism did not have the power to cleanse the soul from sin as Chris-
tian Baptism does. The latter is a sacrament, a sign, which produces the grace
it signifies. Concerning the value of John’s baptism, see the note on Mt 3:11.

7. St John reproaches the Pharisees and Sadducees for their attitude towards
him. His preaching and baptism are not simply one more purification rite. Ra-
ther, they demand a true interior conversion of the soul, as a necessary predis-
position to reach the grace of faith in Jesus. In the light of this explanation, we
can understand why the prophetic words of St John the Baptist were so hard-
hitting; as it turned out, most of these people did not accept Jesus as the Mes-

“Pharisees”: these constituted the most important religious group in Jesus’
time. They kept the Law of Moses rigorously and also the oral traditions which
had built up around it. They gave as much importance to these latter, indeed, as
to the Law itself. They strongly opposed the influence of Greek paganism and to-
tally rejected the homage paid to the Roman emperor. Among them there were
men of great spiritual eminence and sincere piety; but there were many others
who exaggerated pharisaical religiosity to the extreme of fanaticism, pride and
hypocrisy. It was this perversion of the true Israelite religion that John the Bap-
tist (and later our Lord) castigated.

“Sadducees”: the Sadducees constituted a smaller religious group than the Pha-
risees, but they included many influential people, most of them from the main
priestly families. They accepted the written Law, but, unlike the Pharisees, they
rejected oral tradition. They also rejected certain important truths, such as the
resurrection of the dead.

On the political front, they went along easily with the terms dictated by the Ro-
mans, and they acquiesced in the introduction of pagan customs into the coun-
try .Their opposition to Christ was even more pronounced than that of the Pha-

9-10. St John the Baptist’s listeners believe their salvation is assured because
they are descendants of Abraham according to the flesh. But St John “ warns
them that to pass God’s judgment it is not enough to belong to the chosen peo-
ple; they must also yield the good fruit of a holy life. If they fail to do this, they
will be thrown into the fire, that is, into hell, the eternal punishment, because
they did not do penance for their sins. See the note on Mt 25:46.

11. St John the Baptist did not limit himself to preaching penance and repen-
tance; he encouraged people to receive his baptism. This baptism was a way
of interiorly preparing them and helping them to realize that the coming of Christ
was imminent. By his words of encouragement and by their humble recognition
of their sins, they were prepared to receive Christ’s grace through Baptism with
fire and the Holy Spirit. To put it another way, John’s baptism did not produce
justification, whereas Christian Baptism is the sacrament of initiation which for-
gives sin and bestows sanctifying grace. The effectiveness of the sacrament of
Christian Baptism is expressed in Catholic teaching when it says that the sac-
rament gives grace “ex opere operato”. This means that grace is given by virtue
of Christ who acts through the sacrament, and not by virtue of the merits of ei-
ther the minister or the recipient of the sacrament. “When Peter baptizes, it is
Christ who baptizes [...]. When Judas baptizes, it is Christ who baptizes” (St
Augustine, “ln loann. Evang.”, 6).

The word “fire” points in a metaphorical way to the effectiveness of the Holy Spi-
rit’s action in totally wiping out sins. It also shows the life-giving power of grace
in the person baptized.

Foremost among the personal qualities of St John the Baptist is his remarkable
humility; he resolutely rejects the temptation of accepting the dignity of Messiah
which the crowds apparently wanted to bestow on him. Carrying the sandals of
one’s master was a job for the lowest of servants.

12. Verses 10 and 12 refer to judgment by the Messiah. This judgment has two
parts: the first occurs throughout each man’s life and ends in the Particular Judg-
ment immediately after death; the second occurs at the time of the Last Judg-
ment. Christ is the judge in both instances. Let us remember the words of St Pe-
ter in Acts 10:42: “And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify
that he [Jesus] is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.”
The judgment will give to each person the reward or punishment merited by his
good or bad actions.

It is worth noting that the word “chaff’ does not refer only to bad deeds; it refers
also to useless ones, for example, lives lacking in service to God and men. God
will judge us, therefore, for our omissions and our lost opportunities.

“Don’t let your life be barren. Be useful. Make yourself felt. Shine forth with the
torch of your faith and your love. With your apostolic life, wipe out the trail of filth
and slime left by the unclean sowers of hatred. And set aflame all the ways of
the earth with the fire of Christ that you bear in your heart” (St. J. Escriva, “The
Way”, 1).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

8 posted on 12/03/2016 7:18:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

First reading Isaiah 11:1-10 ©
A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse,
a scion thrusts from his roots:
on him the spirit of the Lord rests,
a spirit of wisdom and insight,
a spirit of counsel and power,
a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)
He does not judge by appearances,
he gives no verdict on hearsay,
but judges the wretched with integrity,
and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless,
his sentences bring death to the wicked.
Integrity is the loincloth round his waist,
faithfulness the belt about his hips.
The wolf lives with the lamb,
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion feed together,
with a little boy to lead them.
The cow and the bear make friends,
their young lie down together.
The lion eats straw like the ox.
The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;
into the viper’s lair
the young child puts his hand.
They do no hurt, no harm,
on all my holy mountain,
for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters swell the sea.
That day, the root of Jesse
shall stand as a signal to the peoples.
It will be sought out by the nations
and its home will be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 71(72):1-2,7-8,12-13,17 ©
In his days justice shall flourish, and peace till the moon fails.
O God, give your judgement to the king,
  to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
  and your poor in right judgement.
In his days justice shall flourish, and peace till the moon fails.
In his days justice shall flourish
  and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
  from the Great River to earth’s bounds.
In his days justice shall flourish, and peace till the moon fails.
For he shall save the poor when they cry
  and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
  and save the lives of the poor.
In his days justice shall flourish, and peace till the moon fails.
May his name be blessed for ever
  and endure like the sun.
Every tribe shall be blessed in him,
  all nations bless his name.
In his days justice shall flourish, and peace till the moon fails.

Second reading Romans 15:4-9 ©
Everything that was written long ago in the scriptures was meant to teach us something about hope from the examples scripture gives of how people who did not give up were helped by God. And may he who helps us when we refuse to give up, help you all to be tolerant with each other, following the example of Christ Jesus, so that united in mind and voice you may give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  It can only be to God’s glory, then, for you to treat each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated you. The reason Christ became the servant of circumcised Jews was not only so that God could faithfully carry out the promises made to the patriarchs, it was also to get the pagans to give glory to God for his mercy, as scripture says in one place: For this I shall praise you among the pagans and sing to your name.

Gospel Acclamation Lk3:4,6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

Gospel Matthew 3:1-12 ©
In due course John the Baptist appeared; he preached in the wilderness of Judaea and this was his message: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ This was the man the prophet Isaiah spoke of when he said:
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
This man John wore a garment made of camel-hair with a leather belt round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judaea and the whole Jordan district made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. But when he saw a number of Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers, who warned you to fly from the retribution that is coming? But if you are repentant, produce the appropriate fruit, and do not presume to tell yourselves, “We have Abraham for our father,” because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones. Even now the axe is laid to the roots of the trees, so that any tree which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire. I baptise you in water for repentance, but the one who follows me is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to carry his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand; he will clear his threshing-floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’

9 posted on 12/03/2016 7:21:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pray for Pope Francis.

10 posted on 12/03/2016 7:24:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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It's time to kneel down and pray for our nation (Sacramental Marriage)
11 posted on 12/03/2016 7:24:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 12/03/2016 7:25:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 12/03/2016 7:26:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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7 Powerful Ways to Pray for Christians Suffering in the Middle East
14 posted on 12/03/2016 7:26:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray the Rosary!

Is This Bishop Right about the Rosary Conquering Boko Haram? [Catholic Caucus]
Why Boko Haram and ISIS Target Women
Report reveals scale of Boko Haram violence inflicted on Nigerian Catholics
Military evacuating girls, women rescued from Boko Haram
Echos of Lepanto Nigerian bishop says rosary will bring down Boko Harm
After vision of Christ, Nigerian bishop says rosary will bring down Boko Haram (Catholic Caucus)
Nigerian Bishop Says Christ Showed Him How to Beat Islamic Terror Group

15 posted on 12/03/2016 7:27:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

16 posted on 12/03/2016 7:29:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

6. Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

The Mysteries of the Rosary By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary. The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.

The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]

17 posted on 12/03/2016 7:29:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Michael the Archangel


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

18 posted on 12/03/2016 7:30:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"

PLEASE JOIN US - Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have. Please forward this to your praying friends.

19 posted on 12/03/2016 7:30:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior and hers, was preserved from all stain of original sin. This age-old belief of the Church was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.

Mary was in need of redemption and she was indeed redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner of Mary's redemption, however, was unique. Instead of being freed from original sin after having contracted it, she was preserved from contracting it. This was a most fitting favor for the Mother of the Redeemer.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”  The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.  By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.


This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God, 
that we, Thy servants,  may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:  and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,  be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. 
Through Christ, our Lord. 



Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s ... The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

20 posted on 12/03/2016 7:31:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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