Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent 2017

Jesse Tree Story: JOSEPH

Scripture: One day, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem, Israel said to Joseph, "Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem. Get ready; I will send you to them." "I am ready," Joseph answered. "Go then," he replied; "see if all is well with your brothers and the flocks, and bring back word." So he sent him off from the valley of Hebron. When Joseph reached Shechem, a man met him as he was wandering about in the fields. "What are you looking for?" the man asked him. "I am looking for my brothers," he answered. "Could you please tell me where they are tending the flocks?" The man told him, "They have moved on from here; in fact, I heard them say, 'Let us go on to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan. They noticed him from a distance, and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another: "Here comes that master dreamer! Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here; we could say that a wild beast devoured him. We shall then see what comes of his dreams." When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from their hands, saying: "We must not take his life. Instead of shedding blood," he continued, "just throw him into that cistern there in the desert; but don't kill him outright." His purpose was to rescue him from their hands and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came up to them, they stripped him of the long tunic he had on; then they took him and threw him into the cistern, which was empty and dry. They then sat down to their meal. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, balm and resin to be taken down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers: "What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood? Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites, instead of doing away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh." His brothers agreed. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. Some Midianite traders passed by, and they pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and took him to Egypt. When Reuben went back to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not in it, he tore his clothes, and returning to his brothers, he exclaimed: "The boy is gone! And I--where can I turn?" They took Joseph's tunic, and after slaughtering a goat, dipped the tunic in its blood. Then they sent someone to bring the long tunic to their father, with the message: "We found this. See whether it is your son's tunic or not." He recognized it and exclaimed: "My son's tunic! A wild beast has devoured him! Joseph has been torn to pieces!" Then Jacob rent his clothes, put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned his son many days.
Genesis 37:12-34

Commentary: Joseph, another son of Jacob, prefigures Christ. He was betrayed by his brothers, imprisoned unjustly and saved Egypt from death by starvation. He never lost faith and was exulted by God. 

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm 85
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Saturday, December 9, 2017

First Saturday of Advent 2017

~Today is also the Memorial for St. Juan Diego. A link had been added about this saint.~

Jesse Tree Story: JUDAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE CROWN & SCEPTER

Scripture: "The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs, while tribute is
brought to him, and he receives the people's homage."
Genesis 49:10

Commentary: When Jacob gave the birth right to his
fourth son, Judah, he proclaimed: "The scepter shall
not depart from Judah nor the staff from between his
feet until he comes to whom it belongs."

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Psalm 147
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5A, 6-8

Thursday, December 7, 2017

First Friday of Advent 2017

~Today is also the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Please refer to the link for more information about this important feast day.~

Jesse Tree Story: JACOB
Jesse Tree Symbol: A LADDER

Scripture: "Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God's messengers were going up and down on it. And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: "I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing."
Genesis 28:12-14

Commentary: God renewed his promise to Isaac's son, Jacob, through a dream in which he saw angels ascending and descending a ladder which reached from heaven to earth.

Readings of the Day:
Genesis 3:9-15,20
Psalm 98
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

First Thursday of Advent 2017

Jesse Tree Story: ISAAC

Scripture: "I will bless you and make your descendants
as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the
seashore; your descendants will take possession of the
gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the
nations of the earth will find blessing, because you
obeyed my command.” Genesis 22:17-18

Commentary: Since God saved Isaac from the
sacrificial altar, he was able to carry on God's
promise to Abraham.

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

First Wednesday of Advent 2017

~Today is also the Feast of St. Nicholas. Please click on the link to the right for more information on this saint.~

Jesse Tress Story: ABRAHAM
Jesse Tree Symbol: A RAM

Scripture: " I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command."
Genesis 22:17-18

Commentary: When Abraham was about to sacrifice his own son, God gave him a ram to offer instead. He then promised Abraham that the entire world would be blessed by one of his descendants--Christ. 

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 25:6-10
Psalm 23
Matthew 15:29-37

Monday, December 4, 2017

First Tuesday of Advent 2017

Jesse Tree Story: NOAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE ARK

Scripture: "'Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves shall he
be to his brothers.' He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the
God of Shem! Let Canaan be his slave. May God expand
Japeth, and may he dwell among the tents of Shem; and
let Canaan be his slave!'"
 Genesis 9:25-27

Commentary: The Ark represents the promise of salvation given by God through Noah. It also symbolizes the Church by which we travel tempestuous waters of life.

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72
Luke 10: 21-24

First Monday of Advent 2017

Jesse Tree Story: Abel
Jesse Tree Symbol: A Lamb

Scripture: "Yahweh asked Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?'
'I do not k now,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's guardian?'
'What have you done?' Yahweh asked. 'Listen!
Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground.
Now be cursed and banned from the ground that has
opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood at your hands.'"
Genesis 4:9-11
Commentary: God chose certain persons to foreshadow
something related to Christ or to His Kingdom.
Just as the blood of Abel cried out to God,
so Christ's blood calls for forgiveness and grace.
Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm  122
Matthew 8:5-11