All in a dream

Today’s gospel is the traditional reading for the 4th Sunday of Advent (year A) but here in Year C, it is placed to tell part of the story that just precedes the birth of Christ. These familiar episodes set the stage for one of the Bible’s best-known passages, the story of Christmas. This reading aligns well with the readings of the seven days of Advent that immediately precede Christmas. Not only do the readings for the daily Masses just before Christmas include the beginnings of the Gospel infancy narratives (Matthew 1 on Dec. 17-18; Luke 1 on Dec. 19-24), but we again get to hear the traditional “O Antiphons,” at Mass. It all begins to answer the question of Advent: who is coming? The reading contribute to the larger answer: Jesus Christ, son of Mary, adopted son of Joseph, son of David, named Jesus, the one who will save his people from their sins, and Emmanuel…God with us. Continue reading

Striving for Righteousness

Today, our “O Antiphon,” our expression of desire and longing is this:

O Adonai, O Lord of the House of Israel
Giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai
Come to rescue us with your mighty power

In its own way, if Sunday December 26 2021 is Holy Family Sunday, then perhaps this weekend is “Holy Couples Weekend.” Our gospel for tomorrow is about Mary, a mother’s story, as we see her set out to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Today our gospel is the Father’s story – the narrative of the angel’s message to Joseph as he ponders what to do now that he knows Mary “was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph…since he was a righteous man, [was] unwilling to expose her to shame, [and so] decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.” (Mt 1:18-20) It was not the way he hoped to start their life together. Continue reading