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THE LORD HAS VISITED HIS PEOPLE

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2 Sam. 7:1-5,8-12,14,16 & Lk. 1:67-79

Does the proclamation of the Gospel fill you with joy and hope? When the Lord comes to redeem us He will fill us with His Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and hope in the promises of God.

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WHY WE SHOULD JOIN THE CELEBRATIONS

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More than any other time of the year, the Christmas season is an occasion for parties … for families, schools, clubs and offices, to mention only a few. I think this is good but not all of these parties, nor the people at them, reflect the true meaning of Christmas. Nevertheless, it is good to know that Our Lord’s birth is the inspiration of more festivities than any other event in history.

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GOD EXALTS THE LOWLY

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1 Sam. 1:24-28 & Lk. 1:46-56

In today’s first reading we see how grateful Hannah is to God for Samuel’s birth. She offers a sacrifice in thanksgiving.

Almost everyone young and old remembers and loves the story of Cinderella. She was the young woman who had to cook, clean and scrub while her stepsisters had a good time. But in the end she was the one chosen to marry the Prince. We enjoy this story because we are happy to see the proud cast down and the humble lifted. We like to support the underdog.

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JOHN WAS A LAMP BUT JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

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Is. 56: 1-3, 6-8 & Jn. 5:33-36

The Prophet Isaiah has welcome words for those who do not belong to the Jewish race. He tells them that God rejects no one so long as that person will accept Him. “Foreigners who have attached themselves to the Lord to serve Him and to love His name and be His servants” He will make joyful in His house of prayer. Their sacrifices will be accepted.

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THE HARDEST PRAYER TO PRAY

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Is. 7:10-14 & Lk. 1:26-38

Through Isaiah we have that wonderful prophecy of Mary and the coming of our Messiah, “The Maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.”

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SILENCE IS GOLDEN

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Judges 13:2-7,24-25 & Lk. 1:5-25

The birth of Samson, like John the Baptist’s, was announced by an angel.

Zechariah and Elizabeth knew the sorrow of being childless. In the society in which they lived, children were regarded as a blessing and a sign of God’s favour. Failure to produce children was seen as a curse. This belief was wrong. Why should God curse such devout people as Zechariah and Elizabeth? Zechariah was a priest who served in the temple and both he and his wife lived holy lives.

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JOSEPH'S LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR MARY

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Jer, 23:5-8 & Mt. 1:18-25

Jeremiah is prophesying that we will have a king, a righteous shoot of David, who will reign and govern us wisely. Jesus Christ is the Messiah-King who not only guides us in our lives, but also gives us the means of achieving real unity.

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A NEW INTEREST IN GENEALOGY

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 49:2, 8-10 & Mt. 1:1-17

Many people are interested in tracing their roots and learning something of their ancestry. Most of us would like to know where we came from and what factors conspired to make us who we are.

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LISTEN TO THE PROPHETS

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Ecclesiasticus 48: 1-4, 9-11 & Mt. 17: 10-13

In these weeks of Advent we hear a great deal about the prophets. The whole of Old Testament history was leading towards Christ's coming, and it is the prophets who tried to prepare His people to receive Him. Some like Isaiah, consoled the people with a vision of future happiness and peace. Others, like Elijah, exhorted them to repent and change their ways. In today’s first reading, we see how Elijah's preaching was like a torch, his words burning like fire into the consciences of his listeners.

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NEVER SAY NO TO GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Is. 48:17-19. & Mt. 11:16-19.

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