01Dec Mass Readings, December 2015

December 2015 Mass Readings

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1st December. Tuesday of the 1st Week of Advent

2nd December. Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent

3rd December. Thursday of the 1st Week of Advent

4th December. Friday of the 1st Week of Advent

5th December. Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

6th December. Second Sunday of Advent

7th December. Monday of the 2nd Week of Advent

8th December. Feast of the Immaculate Conception

9th December. Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Advent

10th December. Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent

11th December. Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

12th December. Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent

13th December. Third Sunday of Advent

14th December. Monday of the 3rd Week of Advent

15th December. Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent

16th December. Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Advent

17th December. Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent

18th December. Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent

19th December. Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent

20th December. Fourth Sunday of Advent

21st December. Monday of the 4th Week of Advent

22nd December. Tuesday of the 4th Week of Advent

23rd December. Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent

24th December. Christmas Eve

25th December. The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

26th December. Saint Stephen, the First Martyr

27th December. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

28th December. The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

29th December. 5th Day in the Octave of Christmas

30th December. 6th Day in the Octave of Christmas

31st December. 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas


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1st December. Tuesday in Week 1 of Advent

1st Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10

In the Messianic age “they will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain”

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

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; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Gospel: Luke 10:21-24

The humble of heart, will know God as Jesus does

At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Isaiah announced the work of the Spirit and Jesus rejoiced in it. This Spirit seems fragile and tender. If we judge from these two passages of Isaiah and Luke, the Spirit leads to a scene of paradise where the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. Such seeming fairy-tales are hidden from the learned and the clever, and revealed to the merest children.


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2nd December. Wednesday in Advent Week 1

1st Reading: Isaiah 25:6-10

“God will wipe away the tears from all faces.”– a Messianic vision of the final age.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.

Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, Look, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.

Gospel: Matthew 15:29-37

Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes, so that all eat their fill.

After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.


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3rd December. Thursday in Week 1 of Advent

Saint Francis Xavier, priest.

Francisco (1506-1552) the youngest son of Juan de Jasso, counsellor to King John of Navarre, is named from his birthplace, Javier in Navarre, Spain. He studied in Paris with Ignatius of Loyola and with him co-founded the Society of Jesus, as one of the seven who took Jesuit vows in Montmartre (Paris) in 1534. From 1540 until his death 12 years later, he led an energetic mission into Asia, mainly in India and Ceylon, but also visiting Japan, Borneo, and other islands. It was his goal to one day bring the message of Christ to China, but he died prematurely in Portuguese Malacca and was buried in Goa, aged 46.

1st Reading: Isaiah 26:1-6

A hymn of confidence in the Lord God .”our everlasting rock.”

On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; he sets up victory like walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace–in peace because they trust in you.

Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height; the lofty city he lays low. He lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.

Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount: A wise man builds his house on rock.

.”Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. . .

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell–and great was its fall!”


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4th December. Friday in Week 1 of Advent

Saint John Damascene, doctor of the Church.

John of Damascus (675-749) was a Syrian monk and priest, born in Damascus, who died in Mar Saba monastery, near Jerusalem. A polymath whose studies included law, theology, philosophy and music, before being ordained he served as administrator to the Muslim caliph of Damascus. A gifted preacher who was called Chrysorrhoas, (.”ouring out gold.”or .”loquent one.” he also wrote treatises and composed hymns promoting the Christian faith. This .”ast of the Fathers.”of the Eastern church is best known for his strong defense of icons against the iconoclast movement.

1st Reading: Isaiah 29:17-24

A promise of good times, when deaf shall hear and blind shall see

Shall not Lebanon in a very little while become a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?

On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll,

and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.

The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,

and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

For the tyrant shall be no more, and the scoffer shall cease to be;

all those alert to do evil shall be cut off —

those who cause person to lose a lawsuit, who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate, and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no longer shall his face grow pale.

For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst,

they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,

and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,

and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Gospel: Matthew 9:27-31

Cure of two blind men, when Jesus says: .”according to your faith let it be done to you.”

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “according to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.


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5th December. Saturday in Week 1 of Advent

1st Reading: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26

Future days of blessed enlightenment, when the people turn aside from idolatry.

Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.

And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “this is the way; walk in it.”

Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, “away with you!”

He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork.

On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water–on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Gospel: Matthew 9:35–10:1; 6-8

Jesus sends his apostles to spread the gospelto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.

He told them, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and as you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.


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6th December. 2nd Sunday of Advent

Saint Nicholas, bishop, is not celebrated this year.) Nicholas (Nikolaos, 270-343) was bishop of Myra in Lycia, southern Turkey. Because of many miracles attributed to him, he was known as a Thaumaturgos (wonderworker). He was famous for secret gift-giving, and so became the model for Santa Claus, a contraction of .”aint Nicholas.” In 1087, some of the saint’s relics were taken to Bari, southern Italy; since then he is also known as Nicholas of Bari..

1st Reading: Baruch 5:1-9

God will level out a highway to enable the exiles return to their homeland.

The Lord says this:

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,

and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God;

put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting;

for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven. For God will give you evermore the name,

“Righteous Peace, Godly Glory.”

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;

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. For they went out 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. 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. The woods and every fragrant tree

have shaded Israel at God’s command. For God will lead Israel with joy,

in the light of his glory,

with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.

2nd Reading: Philippians 1:3-6, 8-11

A call for unity, perseverance and clear witness to Christ and the Gospel.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

We are urged to prepare a way for God, through sincere repentance

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.

He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the desert:

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled,

and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight,

and the rough ways made smooth;

and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”


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7th December. Monday in Week 2 of Advent

They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the ransomed exiles shall return to Zion

The desert and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the desert, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Gospel: Luke 5:17-26

Jesus heals the paralysed man, showing that he has authority to forgive sins.

One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you. ” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the one who was paralyzed – “I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home. ” Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”


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8th December. The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady

1st Reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20

God puts enmity between the serpent and the woman, between its offspring and hers

But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “here are you?.”He said, ” heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “ho told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?.”The man said, “he woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

2nd Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

The saving grace of God applies in a special way to our Blessed Mother.

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, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him, in love.

He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.

With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

The annunciation, when Mary said her total Yes to God.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel as sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; the refore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, you relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.


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9th December. Wednesday in Week 2 of Advent

1st Reading: Isaiah 40:25-31

Encouragement for the weary people, from God, who strengthens the powerless.

To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God.” Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus assures us that his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


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10th December. Thursday in Week 2 of Advent

1st Reading: Isaiah 41:13-20

The Lord says to his dispirited people, “o not fear, for I will help you.”

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “o not fear, for I will help you.” Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you insect Israel! I will help you, says the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Now, I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff. You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. Then you shall rejoice in the Lord; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the desert a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the desert the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Gospel: Matthew 11:7-15

The greatness of the Baptist, but the least in the kingdom is greater than he.

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: .”hat did you go out into the desert to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!”


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11th December. Friday in Week 2 of Advent

Saint Damasus, pope.

Damasus (305-384), from Egitania, Portugal, was bishop of Rome from 366 to 384. He had earlier served as deacon at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls, and became pope following the death of Pope Liberius. He was a strong opponent of Arianism and presided over the Council of Rome (382), which fixed the canon of Scripture. He encouraged Saint Jerome in his Vulgate translation of the Bible, and did much to encourage the veneration of the Christian martyrs, creating access to their tombs in the Catacombs of Rome and marking them with inscriptions, many composed by himself.

1st Reading: Isaiah 48:17-19

If you heeded my commandments, your name would last forever

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me.

Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus blames his generation who listened neither to John the Baptist nor to himself.

Jesus said to his disciples, “To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”


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12th December. Saturday in Week 2 of Advent

Our Lady of Guadalupe.

La Virgen de Guadalupe is a title of the Virgin Mary associated with an apparition of her in 1531, at Tepeyac hill, near Mexico City. Juan Diego hear the apparition asking that a church be built in her honour at that site. When Diego told his story to the archbishop, he was told to return to hill and ask the Lady to prove her identity. The first sign was the healing of Juan’s uncle. The best-known sign was the imprinting on Juan Diego’s cloak of the famous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

1st Reading: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11

Lyrical praise of the great Elijah, a prophet whose word burned like a torch.

Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire,

and his word burned like a torch. He brought a famine upon them,

and by his zeal he made them few in number. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens,

and also three times brought down fire. How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!

Whose glory is equal to yours?

You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire,

in a chariot with horses of fire. At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined

to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,

to turn the hearts of parents to their children,

and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Happy are those who saw you

and were adorned with your love!

For we also shall surely live.

Gospel: Matthew 17:10-13

John the Baptist was the Elijah the fore-runner of the Messiah

As they were coming down the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.


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13th December. 3rd Sunday of Advent

Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, not celebrated this year.) Lucia of Syracuse (283–304) was a Sicilian Christian, martyred during the Diocletian persecution. According to her “Acta.” she consecrated her virginity to God, turned down proposal of marriage to a pagan and gave away her dowry to the poor. On being denounced as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse, she was condemned to be sexually violated in a brothel and was finally executed by the sword.

1st Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18

Jerusalem rejoices because salvation is near and God himself will protect his people

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!

Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,

he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;

you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear,

O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst,

a warrior who gives victory;

he will rejoice over you with gladness,

he will renew you in his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing

as on a day of festival.

2nd Reading: Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord, be free of anxiety and live in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Gospel: Luke 3:10-18

John the Baptist urges various groups of people to works of justice and charity

And the crowds asked John, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John , whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.


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14th December. Monday in Week 3 of Advent

1st Reading: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17

Balaam predicts the glorious future, the Age of the Messiah

Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, and he uttered his oracle, saying: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is clear, the oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, but with eyes uncovered: how fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! Like palm-groves that stretch far away, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters. Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall have abundant water, his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.

So he uttered his oracle, saying: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is clear, the oracle of one who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, but with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near — a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the borderlands of Moab, and the territory of all the Shethites.”

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27

When the Jewish leaders challenge his authority, Jesus points to John’s spiritual authority.

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”


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15th December. Tuesday in Week 3 of Advent

1st Reading: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13

The people’s future conversion: the humble shall seek refuge in the Lord.

Ah, soiled, defiled, oppressing city! It has listened to no voice; it has accepted no correction. It has not trusted in the Lord; it has not drawn near to its God. At that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord.

From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, my scattered ones, shall bring my offering. On that day you shall not be put to shame because of all the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.

For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord – the remnant of Israel; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. Then they will pasture and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid.

Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32

Parable about two sons: one refuses but obeys; one agrees but disobeys.

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.


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16th December. Wednesday in Week 3 of Advent

1st Reading: Isaiah 45:6-8

The living God, creator of all. “I am the Lord, and there is no other. “

They shall know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is no one besides me.

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed. In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.

Gospel: Luke 7:18-23

Jesus points to his healing ministry showing him as “the one who is to come”

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?'” Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”


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17th December. Thursday in Week 3 of Advent

1st Reading: Genesis 49:2, 8-10

The dying Jacob predicts future glory for the tribe of Judah.

Jacob called his sons and said to them:

.”Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob;

listen to Israel your father. Judah, your brothers shall praise you;

your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp;

from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion,

like a lioness — who dares rouse him up?

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until tribute comes to him;

and the obedience of the peoples is his.”

Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17

The schematic genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

After the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.


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18th December. Friday in Week 3 of Advent

1st Reading: Jeremiah 23:5-8

A righteous Branch will arise from David’s descendants, to rule with wisdom and justice.

“The days are surely coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

“Therefore, the days are surely coming,” says the Lord, “when it shall no longer be said, “as the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” Then they shall live in their own land.”

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

Joseph is told of the virginal conception of Jesus, who .”ill save his people from their sins.”

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.


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19th December. Saturday in Week 3 of Advent

1st Reading: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25

Manoah’s wife yearns for a son. Samson will be dedicated to God to the day of his death.

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Then the woman came and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name; but he said to me, ‘You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.'”

The woman bore a son, and named him Samson. The boy grew, and the Lord blessed him. The spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Gospel: Luke 1:5-25

Glorious things are predicted of John, the long-awaited son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah said to the angel, “how will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years?” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, “this is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”


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20th December. 4th Sunday of Advent

1st Reading: Micah 5:2-5

Salvation would come from insignificant Bethlehem – to unite the nation under God

The Lord says this: But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth, and he shall be the one of peace.

2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10

Only Christ, our supreme High Priest, can effect reconciliation between us and God

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel: Luke 1:39-44

Elizabeth recognises the unique child that Mary carries within her

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.


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21st December. Monday in Week 4 of Advent

1st Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-14

Lyrical love-poetry from king Solomon, about the beloved who is coming.

The voice of my beloved!

Look, he comes,

leaping upon the mountains,

bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall,

gazing in at the windows,

looking through the lattice.

My beloved speaks and says to me:

“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;

for now the winter is past,

the rain is over an gone. The flowers appear on the earth;

the time of singing has come,

and the voice of the turtledove

is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs,

and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,

in the covert of the cliff,

let me see your face,

let me hear your voice;

for your voice is sweet,

and your face is lovely.”

Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

The mutual encouragement of Mary and Elizabeth’s faith at the Visitation.

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”


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22nd December. Tuesday in Week 4 of Advent

1st Reading: 1 Samuel 1:24-28

Samuel’s mother, Hannah, dedicates her young son to a life of service to God.

When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” She left him there for the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 1:46-56

Mary’s hymn of praise and thanksgiving, the Magnificat.

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,

for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


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23rd December. Wednesday in Week 4 of Advent

1st Reading: Malachiah 3:1-4, 4,4-6

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight — indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Look, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.

Gospel: Luke 1:57-66

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.


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24th December (Thursday). Christmas Eve

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16

Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: “Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.

And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that thfey may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.”

Gospel: Luke 1:67-79

Zechariah prophecies the future achievements of his son, John the Baptist..

Then John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.

He has raised up a mighty saviour for us

in the house of his servant David,

as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

that we would be saved from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us.

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,

and has remembered his holy covenant,

the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us

that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,

might serve him without fear,

in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

to give knowledge of salvation to his people

by the forgiveness of their sins.

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,

to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”


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25th December. The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

Mass during the Day

Theme: We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in our world, though he was with God the Father before all ages. His birth opens up for us a glorious new identity, as children of God.

1st Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10

The joy of the faithful watchmen, when they see the Lord coming to save his people.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.

Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

2nd Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6

The son of Mary is the eternal Son of the Father, the one through whom all things were made.

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Gospel: John 1:1-18

John describes in sublime terms the eternal nature of the Word who became flesh for us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John . He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known


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26th December. (Saturdy)

Saint Stephen, the First Martyr

1st Reading: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59

The martyrdom of the deacon, Stephen, according to Luke.

Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together, threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.

The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22

Jesus warns his apostles about their possible martyrdom.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”


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27th December. (Sunday)

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

1st Reading: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

A practical application of the fourth commandment, to honour our parents when they are old.

For the Lord honours a father above his children,

and he confirms a mother’s right over her children. Those who honor their father atone for sins,

and those who respect their mother are like those who lay up treasure. Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children,

and when they pray they will be heard. Those who respect their father will have long life,

and those who honor their mother obey the Lord;

My child, help your father in his old age,

and do not grieve him as long as he lives;

even if his mind fails, be patient with him;

because you have all your faculties do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,

and will be credited to you against your sins

2nd Reading: Colossians 3:12-21

The kindness there should be among Christians, and especially within the family.

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart.

Gospel: Luke 2:41-52

The finding of Jesus in the Temple

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.


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28th December. The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

1st Reading: 1 John 1:5-2:2

Those who walk in darkness, and those who walk in the light.

Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18

Attempting to kill the newborn Messiah, Herod orders a massacre of children.

When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,

sobbing and loud lamentation;

Rachel weeping for her children,

and she would not be consoled,

since they were no more.


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29th December. 5th Day in the Octave of Christmas

Saint Thomas a Becket.

Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) from Cheapside in London, was appointed first as chancellor and then archbishop (1162) by order of his friend, King Henry II. As archbishop he sided with the pope on the respective authority of church and state and was slain in his own cathedral of Canterbury in 1170, for defying Henry’s desire to govern the church by royal decree.

1st Reading: 1 John 2:3-11

The link between love and walking in the light of God.

Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Gospel: Luke 2:22-35

Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple; Simeon gives praise to God

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Lord, now let your servant go in peace,

for your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation

which you prepared in the sight of all people,

a light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”


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30th December. (Wednesday)

6th Day in the Octave of Christmas

1st Reading: 1 John 2:12-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world.

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.

Gospel: Luke 2:36-40

The prophetic widow, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, proclaims the destiny of the child Jesus.

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.


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31st December.Thursday. Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

Saint Sylvester, pope.

Sylvester (250?-325) was born in Rome and served as a priest under pope Marcellinus before the persecutions of Diocletian. He saw the triumph of Constantine in the year 312 and succeeded Melchiades as bishop of Rome in 314. Later that year, he sent four legates to represent him at the church council held at Arles, France. Because of old age, he was unable to attend the Council of Nice in 325 but sent his legates, who headed the list of its signatories, preceding the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch. Saint Sylvester was pope for just over twenty years and was buried on 31st December, 325, in the Catacomb of Priscilla. In German-speaking countries his name is popularly given to New Year’s Eve.

1st Reading: 1 John 2:18-21

A Christian community in crisis, yet still trusting in the Holy Spirit.

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth.

Gospel: John:1-18

The magnificent prologue of Saint John’s Gospel.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out “this was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'” From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.



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