Jesus brings very salvation of God Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hensley   
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015
Second Sunday of Advent

Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126:1-6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Luke 3:1-6

In the Gospel reading, John addresses the central theme of his preaching in quoting the prophet Isaiah, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled . . . The winding roads shall be made straight . . . and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

His words seem to echo those of the prophet Baruch in the Old Testament reading for this week. The prophets are saying, "Look out world, God is about to do something new, and it's for you. In fact, it will be the very salvation of God!"

When we think of Jesus coming into the world, which is what we're supposed to be doing during Advent, it can get to be pretty abstract. But my own family's experience was that when Jesus came into my father's world and my father, at age 16, accepted him as his savior, it all became very concrete.

My dad told stories of what his life was like as a child growing up in his home. It was very different from my own childhood experience.

His father would stay out all night, gambling and carousing, arriving home at dawn. One story had my grandmother chasing my grandfather around the kitchen with a butcher knife, intending to do him harm. Fortunately she didn't, but not for lack of trying.

The church where my father came to know the Lord is also where he met my mother in a Sunday school class. The rest, as they say, is history. My father became an elder and a deacon in his Presbyterian church, and as a child I almost never missed a Sunday service.

My father would understand the words of Paul quoted in the reading from Philippians: "And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception."

But if Jesus had not come into our world, had he not brought the very salvation of God, the words never would have been written, and a degree of love the world never before had known would not have come to us to shape us in his person, the very substance of love and mercy.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: December 2015 Print E-mail
December Universal Intention

Experiencing God's mercy. That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.

December Evangelization Intention

Families. That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2015.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 14
Ascension Thursday
Saturday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Sunday, Nov. 1
All Saints
Tuesday, Dec.8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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