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  • Gospel: Luke 3:1-6
    1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiber'i-us Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturae'a and Trachoni'tis, and Lysa'ni-as tetrarch of Abile'ne, 2 in the high-priesthood of Annas and Ca'iaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechari'ah in the wilderness; 3 and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSunday, December 9, 2018
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 126:1-6
    1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb! 5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy! 6 He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSunday, December 9, 2018
  • Second Reading: Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
    4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSunday, December 9, 2018
  • First Reading: Baruch 5:1-9
    1 Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God. 2 Put on the robe of the righteousness from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting. 3 For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven. 4 For your name will for ever be called by God, "Peace of righteousness and glory of godliness." 5 Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height and look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east, at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them. 6 For they went forth from you on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne. 7 For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low and the valleys filled up, to make level ground, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God. 8 The woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God's command. 9 For God will lead Israel with joy, in the light of his glory, with the mercy and righteousness that come from him. [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSunday, December 9, 2018
  • St. Juan Diego
    On Dec. 9, Roman Catholics celebrate St. Juan Diego, the indigenous Mexican Catholic convert whose encounter with the Virgin Mary began the Church's devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.In 1474, 50 years before receiving the name Juan Diego at his baptism, a boy named Cuauhtlatoatzin -- “singing eagle� -- was born in the Anahuac Valley of present-day Mexico. Though raised according to the Aztec pagan religion and culture, he showed an unusual and mystical sense of life even before hearing the Gospel from Franciscan missionaries.In 1524, Cuauhtlatoatzin and his wife converted and entered the Catholic Church. The farmer now known as Juan Diego was committed to his faith, often walking long distances to receive religious instruction. In 1531, he would be the recipient of a world-changing miracle.On Dec. 9, Juan Diego was hurrying to Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. But the woman he was heading to church to celebrate, came to him instead.In the native Aztec dialect, the radiant woman announced herself as the “ever-perfect holy Mary, who has the honor to be the mother of the true God.�“I am your compassionate Mother, yours and that of all the people that live together in this land,� she continued, “and also of all the other various lineages of men.�She asked Juan Diego to make a request of the local bishop. “I want very much that they build my sacred little house here� -- a house dedicated to her son Jesus Christ, on the site of a former pagan temple, that would “show him� to all Mexicans and “exalt him� throughout the world.She was asking a great deal of a native farmer. Not surprisingly, his bold request met with skepticism from Bishop Juan de Zumárraga. But Juan Diego said he would produce proof of the apparition, after he finished tending to his uncle whose death seemed imminent.Making his way to church on Dec. 12, to summon a priest for his uncle, Juan Diego again encountered the Blessed Virgin. She promised to cure his uncle and give him a sign to display for the bishop. On the hill where they had first met he would find roses and other flowers, though it was winter.Doing as she asked, he found the flowers and brought them back to her. The Virgin Mary then placed the flowers inside his tilma, the traditional garment he had been wearing. She told him not to unwrap the tilma containing the flowers, until he had reached the bishop.When he did, Bishop Zumárraga had his own encounter with Our Lady of Guadalupe – through the image of her that he found miraculously imprinted on the flower-filled tilma. The Mexico City basilica that now houses the tilma has become, by some estimates, the world's most-visited Catholic shrine.The miracle that brought the Gospel to millions of Mexicans also served to deepen Juan Diego's own spiritual life. For many years after the experience, he lived a solitary life of prayer and work in a hermitage near the church where the [...]
    Source: Saint of the DaySunday, December 9, 2018
  • First Reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20
    9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 And he said, "I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." 11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" 12 The man said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate." 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSaturday, December 8, 2018
  • Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
    26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" 35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible." 38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSaturday, December 8, 2018
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 98:1-4
    1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. 2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSaturday, December 8, 2018
  • Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 11 In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. [...]
    Source: Daily GospelSaturday, December 8, 2018
  • Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
    "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." (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854)In 1854, Pope Pius IX's solemn declaration, "Ineffabilis Deus," clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. Mary was granted this extraordinary privilege because of Her unique role in history as the Mother of God. That is, She received the gift of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception.Even though Mary is unique in all humanity for being born without sin, She is held up by the Church as a model for all humanity in Her holiness and Her purity, in Her willingness to accept the Plan of God for Her.Every person is called to recognize and respond to God’s call, to their own vocation, in order to carry out God’s plan for their life and fulfill the mission prepared for them since before the beginning of time.Mary’s “Let it be done to me according to Thy Word,� in response of the Angel Gabriel’s greeting is the response required of all Christians to God’s Plan. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a time to celebrate the great joy of God’s gift to humanity in Mary, and to recognize with greater clarity, the truth that each and every human being has been created by God to fulfill a particular mission that he and only he can fulfill.“The word of the Lord came to me thus: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you." (Jeremiah 1:5-6) [...]
    Source: Saint of the DaySaturday, December 8, 2018
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