Sunday, December 16, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent 2018

Today is GAUDETE SUNDAY, Sunday of Rejoicing for Emmanuel will come.
"Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you oh Israel."

Jesse Tree Story: ISAIAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: HOT EMBER

Scripture: "Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen to what our God teaches, you people of Gomorrah. 'What are your endless sacrifices to me?' says Yahweh. 'I am sick of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of calves. I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come and present yourselves before me, who has asked you to trample through my courts? Bring no more futile cereal offerings, the smoke from them fills me with disgust. New Moons, Sabbaths, assemblies -- I cannot endure solemnity combined with guilt. Your New Moons and your meetings I utterly detest; to me they are a burden I am tired of bearing. When you stretch out your hands I turn my eyes away. You may multiply your prayers, I shall not be listening. Your hands are covered in blood, wash, make yourselves clean. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease doing evil. Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow. Come, let us talk this over,' says Yahweh 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead -- for Yahweh's mouth has spoken.' "
Isaiah 1:10-20

CommentaryThe prophet Isaiah is called to holiness, but he is afraid he is not worthy of revealing the living God.  Isaiah sees angels around the throne of the Lord and one of them takes a hot ember from a fire with tongs and touches it against his lips, enabling him to go forth and deliver God’s Word.

Readings of the Day:
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Second Saturday of Advent 2018

Jesse Tree Story: DAVID
Jesse Tree Symbol: STAR OF DAVID

Scripture: " But the Spirit of the Lord withdrew from Saul, and a wicked spirit from the Lord disturbed him. And the servants of Saul said to him: “Behold, an evil spirit from
God disturbs you. May our lord order, and your servants, who are before you, will seek a man skillful in playing a stringed instrument, so that when the evil spirit from the
Lord assails you, he may play with his hand, and you may bear it more easily.” And Saul said to his servants, “Then provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him
to me.” And one of the servants, responding, said: “Behold, I have seen the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, a skillful player, and very strong and robust, a man fit for war, and prudent in words, a handsome man. And the Lord is with him.” Therefore, Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, “Send to me your son David, who is in the pastures.” And so, Jesse took a donkey laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid from one of the goats, and he sent them, by the hand of his son David, to Saul. And David went to Saul, and stood before him. And he loved him exceedingly, and he made him his armor bearer.
And Saul sent to Jesse, saying: “Let David remain before my 
sight. For he has found favor in my eyes.” And so, whenever  the evil spirit from the Lord assailed Saul, David took up his stringed instrument, and he struck it with his hand, and Saul was refreshed and uplifted. For the evil spirit withdrew from him."
1 Samuel 16:14-23

Commentary: David, the king and prophet, descended from the royal line of Christ. In David's psalms, he foretold many things about the coming of the Savior. 

Readings for the Day:
Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80
Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

Friday, December 14, 2018

Second Friday of Advent 2018

~Today is also the Feast of St. John of the Cross. A link has been added about this saint.~

Jesse Tree Story: SAMUEL

Scripture: "He then asked Jesse, 'Are these all the sons you have?' Jesse replied, 'There is still one left, the youngest; he is looking after the sheep.' Samuel then said to Jesse, 'Send for him, for we shall not sit down to eat until he arrives. Jesse had him sent for; he had ruddy cheeks, with fine eyes and an attractive appearance. Yahweh said, 'Get up and anoint him: he is the one!' At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and annointed him, surrounded by his brothers; and the spirit of Yahweh seized on David from that day onwards. Samuel, for his part, set off and went to Ramah."
1 Samuel 16:11-13

Commentary: God sent his prophet Samuel to David, a young shepherd boy, to anoint him as the new King of Israel.

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 48: 17-19
Psalm 1
Matthew 11:16-19

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Second Thursday of Advent 2018

~Today is also the Feast of St. Lucy. A link has been added about this saint.~

Jesse Tree Story: JESSE

Scripture: "And a rod will go forth from the root of Jesse, and a 
flower will ascend from his root."
Isaiah 11:1

Commentary: The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Savior
would be born from the root of Jesse and that he would sit
upon the throne of David.

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalm 145
Matthew 11:11-15

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Second Wednesday of Advent 2018

~Today is also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A link has been added about this Feast Day.~

Jesse Tree Story: JOSHUA
Jesse Tree Symbol: TRUMPET

ScriptureAnd after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, it happened that the Lord spoke to Joshua, the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, and he said to him: “Moses, my servant, has died. Rise up, and cross this Jordan, you and all the people with you, into the land which I will give to the sons of Israel. I will deliver to you every place that the step of your foot will tread upon, just as I said to Moses. From the desert and from Lebanon, even to the great river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, as far as the great sea opposite the setting of the sun, shall be your border. No one will be able to resist you during all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so will I be with you. I will not leave you, nor will I forsake you. Be strengthened and be steadfast. For you shall divide by lot, to this people, the land about which I swore to their fathers that I would deliver it to them. Therefore, be strengthened and be very steadfast, so that you may observe and accomplish the entire law, which Moses, my servant, instructed to you. You may not turn aside from it to the right, nor to the left. So may you understand all that you should do. The book of this law shall not depart from your mouth. Instead, you shall meditate upon it, day and night, so that you may observe and do all the things that are written in it. Then you shall direct your way and understand it. Behold, I am instructing you. Be strengthened, and be steadfast. Do not dread, and do not fear. For the Lord your God is with you in all things, wherever you may go. And Joshua instructed the leaders of the people, saying: “Cross through the midst of the camp, and command the people, and say: ‘Prepare your food supplies. For after the third day, you shall cross the Jordan, and you shall enter so as to possess the land, which the Lord your God will give to you.’ ”

 Now Jericho was closed as well as fortified, out of fear of the sons of Israel, and no one dared to depart or to enter. And the Lord said to Joshua: “Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and all the strong men. Have all the warriors circle the city once each day; you shall do so for six days. Then, on the seventh day, the priests shall take the seven trumpets, which are used on the jubilee, and they shall precede the ark of the covenant. And you shall circle the city seven times, and the priests shall sound the trumpets. And when the voice of the trumpet sounds longer and with interruptions, and it increases in your ears, then all the people shall cry out together with a very great shout, and the walls of the city shall fall to the foundation, and they shall enter it, each from a place opposite where they are standing.” Then Joshua, the son of Nun, called the priests, and he said to them, “Take the ark of the covenant, and let seven other priests take the seven trumpets of the jubilee, and advance before the ark of the Lord.” He also said to the people, “Go, and circle the city, armed, preceding the ark of the Lord.” And when Joshua had finished his words, and the seven priests sounded the seven trumpets before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and all the armed soldiers went ahead, the remainder of the common people followed the ark, and the sound of the trumpets grew louder everywhere. But Joshua had instructed the people, saying, “You shall not cry out, nor shall your voice be heard, and no word at all shall proceed from your mouth, until the day arrives on which I will say to you, ‘Cry out, and shout.’ " Thus, the ark of the Lord circled the city once each day, and returning to the camp, it remained there. And so, with Joshua, arising in the night, the priests took the ark of the Lord, and seven of them took the seven trumpets, which are used in the jubilee, and they preceded the ark of the Lord, walking and sounding the trumpets. And the armed men went before them, and the remainder of the common people followed the ark, and they were blaring the trumpets. And they circled the city on the second day, once, and they returned to the camp. They did so for six days. Then, on the seventh day, rising at first light, they circled the city, just as had been ordered, seven times. And at the seventh circling, when the priests sounded the trumpets, Joshua said to all of Israel: “Shout! For the Lord has delivered the city to you. And let this city be anathema, with all the things that are within it, before the Lord. May only Rahab the harlot live, with all who are with her in the house. For she hid the messengers whom we sent. But you must be careful that you do not touch any of those things, as you have been instructed, for then you would be guilty of transgression, and all the camp of Israel would be under sin and would be troubled. But whatever gold and silver there will be, and vessels of brass or of iron, let these be consecrated to the Lord and be stored in his treasuries.” Therefore, with all the people shouting, and the trumpets blaring, after the voice and the sound increased in the ears of the multitude, the walls promptly fell to ruin. And each one climbed up at the place which was opposite where he was. And they seized the city.
Joshua 1:1-11, 6:1-20

According to God's instructions to Joshua, the walls around the besieged city of Jericho crumble at the sound of the ram horn trumpets blown by holy men. The spoils were left for the Israelites.

Readings for the Day:
Zachariah 2:14-17
Judith 13
Luke 1:26-38

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Second Tuesday of Advent 2018

Jesse Tree Story: MT. SINAI

Scripture: "Then God spoke all these words. He said, 'I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you lives as slaves. You shall have no other gods to rival me. You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in Heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God and I punish a parent's fault in the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren among those who hate me; but I act with faithful love towards thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals not the alien living with you. For in dix days Yahweh made the heavens, earth and sea and all that these contain, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why Yahweh has blessed the Sabbath day and made it sacred. Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false witness against your neighbor. You shall not set you heart on your neighbor's house. You shall not set you heart on your neighbor's spouse, or servant, man or woman, or ox, or donkey, or any of your neighbor's possessions.' Seeing the thunder pealing, the lightening flashing, the trumpet blasting and the mountain smoking, the people were all terrified and kept their distance."
Exodus 20:1-18

Commentary: God delivered the commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai and Moses brought the resulting tablets back to him people…the Law for the people. .

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96
Matthew 18:12-24

Monday, December 10, 2018

Second Monday of Advent 2018

Jesse Tree Story: MOSES
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE BURNING BUSH

Scripture: "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him. If any man will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it."
Deuteronomy 18:18-19

CommentaryGod said to Moses: "I will raise up for them a
prophet like you from among their kinsmen.
And I will put my word in his mouth." 

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 85
Luke 5: 17-26