Readings for Monday 21 December 2015 (Fourth Week of Advent)
Song 2:8-14 or Zeph 3:14-18. Ps 32:2-3, 11-12, 20-21, R/ vv 1, 3. Lk 1:39-45. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.
Elizabeth is honoured by a visit from the mother of her Lord, and the child leaps for joy. Our Advent joy arises from Christ’s coming among us. ‘Emmanuel, our king and our law-giver, come and save us, Lord our God.’
The “O” Antiphons – O Oriens (O Rising Sun)
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.
Today we focus on the fifth of the seven O Antiphons – O Oriens.
Latin: O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.
English: O dawn of the east, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Click here to listen to O Oriens.
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 prayer for the child in the womb.
Click here to listen to the prayer.
The Words of Pope Francis
Pope Francis – Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)
Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid. A mere glance at the Scriptures is enough to make us see how our gracious Father wants to hear the cry of the poor: “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them… so I will send you…” (Ex 3:7-8, 10). We also see how he is concerned for their needs: “When the Israelites cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up for them a deliverer” (Jg 3:15). If we, who are God’s means of hearing the poor, turn deaf ears to this plea, we oppose the Father’s will and his plan; that poor person “might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt” (Dt 15:9). A lack of solidarity towards his or her needs will directly affect our relationship with God: “For if in bitterness of soul he calls down a curse upon you, his Creator will hear his prayer” (Sir 4:6). The old question always returns: “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods, and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” (1 Jn 3:17). Let us recall also how bluntly the apostle James speaks of the cry of the oppressed: “The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts” (5:4).- Evangelii Gaudium, 187.
Pope Francis on Twitter
Tweet 1: “The Church is called to draw near to every person, beginning with the poorest and those who suffer.”
Tweet 2: “Don’t be afraid to go to the Sacrament of Confession, where you will meet Jesus who forgives you.”
Follow Pope Francis on Twitter @Pontifex.
Advent Prayer Intentions
1. For all who are experiencing a crisis in their lives;
that they may know God’s comforting presence this day
and be strengthened by God’s spirit.
2. We pray for those who are feeling lonely at this time of year,
those who mourn and those who are far from family and friends.
A Blessing of the Crib in the Home
Click here for a short blessing of the crib in the home.
The Coming of Our God. Click here to listen to this Advent hymn.