Readings for Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
Eccles (Sir) 48:1-4, 9-11. Ps 79:2-3, 15-16, 18-19, R/ v 4. Mt 17:10-13. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings
Saints and Advent
Optional memorial today of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas.
Optional memorial today of Saint Finnian, bishop. He studied in Idrone (Co Carlow) and later in Wales. On his return he settled in Clonard, Co Meath around 520,where he established a famous school. His pupils, among whom were Canice, Colum Cille and Brendan, were the initiators of the great monastic expansion in Ireland. He died in 549 and is remembered as the tutor of the saints of Ireland.
Audio: Advent Thought for the Day
Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for the Day on a different theme. Today’s Thought for the Day is a piece by Father Donal Neary SJ which is read by Katie Crosby from the Catholic Communications Office. In this piece Katie reflects on how Christmas can bring out the best in us and how at this time of year we find ourselves challenged to awaken to issues of justice and dignity. Click below to listen to the audio.
The Words of Pope Francis
Pope Francis – Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)
Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love. She is the handmaid of the Father who sings his praises. She is the friend who is ever concerned that wine not be lacking in our lives. She is the woman whose heart was pierced by a sword and who understands all our pain. As mother of all, she is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice. She is the missionary who draws near to us and accompanies us throughout life, opening our hearts to faith by her maternal love. As a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles and she constantly surrounds us with God’s love. Through her many titles, often linked to her shrines, Mary shares the history of each people which has received the Gospel and she becomes a part of their historic identity. Many Christian parents ask that their children be baptized in a Marian shrine, as a sign of their faith in her motherhood which brings forth new children for God. There, in these many shrines, we can see how Mary brings together her children who with great effort come as pilgrims to see her and to be seen by her. Here they find strength from God to bear the weariness and the suffering in their lives. As she did with Juan Diego, Mary offers them maternal comfort and love, and whispers in their ear: “Let your heart not be troubled… Am I not here, who am your Mother?” – Evangelii Gaudium, 286
Pope Francis on Twitter
Parents, can you “waste time” with your children? It is one of the most important things that you can do each day. – @Pontifex.
Come Lord Jesus, child of the earth, child of God. Come into our world of joy and sorrow. Stay with us always, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Advent Prayer Intentions
We pray four our Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the month of December:
- Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
- Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.
Video: A Blessing of the Crib in the Home
A Blessing of the Crib in the home from the Council for Marriage and the Family. Click here to watch this blessing.
Christmas Crib Prayer
Filled with wonder at the nearness of our God in
Mary’s newborn child, may we now offer him our
praise, worship and thanksgiving and give him
the love and loyalty of our hearts. Amen.
Source: The Veritas Book of Blessing Prayers
Don’t forget to think ethical gifts if you are doing some Christmas shopping today or to think of local families who might need assistance in putting their family meal together for this Christmas. There are lots of services out there that need our help this year like Saint Vincent De Paul, the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin, Crosscare to name just a couple. Diocesan and parish websites are a good source of information on local initiatives such as parish food banks.
You can also find information on Trócaire’s range of ethical gifts on their website www.trocaire.org
Creator of the Stars at Night performed by Ely Cathedral Choir. Click here to listen to this piece.