Day 19: Thursday 17 December 2015

Readings for Thursday 17 December 2015 (Third Week of Advent) 
Gn 49:2, 8-10. Ps 71:1-4, 7-8, 17, R/ cf. v 7. Mt 1:1-17.

‘When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviour’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming’ (CCC, 524). ‘Wisdom of the Most High, teach us the way of truth.’


The “O” Antiphons – O Sapientia (O Wisdom)



The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23, with December 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.

The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the O Antiphons was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, Keep your O and The Great O Antiphons were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the O Antiphons have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church.

The importance of O Antiphons is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.

Today we focus on the first of the seven O Antiphons – O Sapientia (O Wisdom). 


O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,

attingens a fine usque ad finem,

fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:

veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.


O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,

reaching from one end to the other,

mightily and sweetly ordering all things:

Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Click here to listen to O Sapientia 

advent music with candle

Advent Thought for the Day 

Advent Thought for the Day image 2

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 from Monsignor Jim Cassin from the Education Council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. In this piece Monsignor Jim reflects on the life of John the Baptist and the Advent feeling of being out in the wilderness waiting for God.

Happy Birthday Pope Francis 

June 2013 with cross

Today is Pope Francis’ birthday so we say:

Breithlá Shona Duit, a Phápa

Tanti auguri Papa Francesco

Happy birthday Pope Francis

The words of Pope Francis 

The text of Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Prayer for Peace on 1 January 2016 has been released. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for next year’s message is: “Overcome indifference and win peace”. The message is divided into eight chapters as follows:

  1. God is not indifferent, God cares about mankind, God does not abandon us;
  2. Maintaining our reasons for hope;
  3. Kinds of indifference;
  4. Peace threatened by global indifference;
  5. From indifference to mercy: the conversion of hearts;
  6. Building a culture of solidarity and mercy to overcome indifference;
  7. Peace: the fruit of a culture of solidarity, mercy and compassion; and,
  8. Peace in the sign of the Jubilee of Mercy.
The message was presented in the Holy See Press Office by a panel composed of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Flaminia Giovanelli and Vittorio V. Alberti, respectively under-secretary and official of the same dicastery.
In a period in which there is a widespread attitude of indifference, Cardinal Turkson began by explaining, the Pope considers in depth this “globalization of indifference” which, starting with indifference to God, is extended to human beings and all creation. “Human beings consider themselves self-sufficient and believe they owe nothing to anyone other than themselves, granting themselves rights without assuming duties.”
“After showing that peace is threatened by indifference at all levels, the message,” he noted, “offers a biblical and theological reflection, which enables us to understand the need to overcome indifference to open up to compassion, mercy, commitment and, therefore, to solidarity. This latter is defined as a moral virtue and an attitude that those with responsibility in education and formation, such as families, educators and trainers, and those who work in relation to means of social communication, are required to cultivate.”
The document, Cardinal Turkson pointed out, reaffirms the confidence in the capacity of human beings to conquer evil with good, and indicates the many praiseworthy forms of solidarity present in society in favor of victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters, the poor and migrants.
It concludes, he said, with an appeal from the Holy Father to every person, in the spirit of the Jubilee of Mercy, to assume a concrete commitment to help improve the situation in which he or she lives: in the family, the neighbourhood, or the workplace. “Therefore, it is not only indifference at the centre of the 2016 Message, but also man’s capacity, with the grace of God, to overcome evil and to combat resignation and indifference.”
Click here to read the full text of the message.

Pope Francis on Twitter

“War destroys, kills, impoverishes. Lord, give us your peace!” – @Pontifex.

Advent Prayer Intentions
1. For all who are suffering from the effects of war:
that God will give them strength and calm their fear.


2. For a spirit of hope this Advent Season;
that we may grow in our abiding trust that God is always with us
and will never abandon us.

Prayer of Hospitality 

Hospitality Family Prayer Book

Click here to listen to the beautiful Gaudete – Introitus Dominica Tertia Adventus.


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