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Showing posts from November, 2019

The Second Sunday of Advent, 8 December 2019

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The Second Sunday of Advent, 8 December 2019
Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 Romans 15:4-13 St. Matthew 3:1-12


Background: The Jesse Tree
In this passage from Isaiah (11:1But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom, there grew during the medieval period an illustration of the “stump of Jesse” and a sprouting tree which showed the genealogy of Jesus. The earliest examples of this tree date from the 11th century, seen primarily in illustrations but also in stained glass and sculpture as well. It underscored the connections of Jesus to the lineage of David and the Davidic kingship. Christian theology would talk about Jesus as prophet, priest, and king. The various depictions taught this genealogy and theology to the thousands who observed the artwork in cathedrals, parish churches, and other public sites. It rooted the nativity of our Lord in the Salvation History of the Hebrew Scriptures. mind is Maranatha.
First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10

The First Sunday of Advent, 1 December 2019

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The First Sunday of Advent, 1 December 2019
Isaiah 2:1-5 Psalm 122 Romans 13:11-14 St. Matthew 24:36-44


Background: Advent absent Christmas
It is a battle that has been long lost, at least at a cultural level. When we were in Munich in October, we saw emerging Advent Calendars, but also saw glimmers of Christmas decorations even in Catholic Vienna. Society has taken what was once the purview of the Church and has made its own, turning it into something different. That is why I think it is necessary for us to observe an Advent absent Christmas. We need an Advent of waiting – a Pauline kind of waiting, active in good deeds and actions. There is a temptation in this season to equate Christmas giving with giving, but be not fooled – it is consumerism plan and simple. The work of the season is to work for the coming of the Kingdom of God. If we keep that agenda in mind, then the readings of the lectionary will have a different meaning and impact. The prayer we need to keep in mind is Maranatha.
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