Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday of the Octave of Christmas

Today is also the Feast of St. Sylvester.
A link has been added tracing the history of this saint.

"On the seventh day of true love gave to me...
seven swans a swimming..."

Symbolism: The seven swans a swimming
refers to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Wisdom, Understanding, Courage,
Wonder & Awe, Right Judgement,
Knowledge and Reverence

Scripture: "And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him:
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel
and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety."
Isaiah 11:2

Readings for the Day:
1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96
John 1:1-18

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday of the Octave of Christmas

"On the sixth day of Christmas...
my true love gave to me...
six geese a laying..."

Symbolism: The six geese a laying symbolizes
the six days of creation.

Scripture: "And God saw everything that he had made. And they were very good. And it became evening and morning, the sixth day. And so the heavens and the earth were completed, with all their adornment. And on the seventh day, God fulfilled his work, which he had made. And on the seventh day he rested from all his work, which he had accomplished."
Genesis 1:31 and 2:1-2

Readings for the Day:
1 John 2:12-17
Psalm 96
Luke 2:36-40

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday of the Octave of Christmas

Today is also the Feast of the Holy Family.
A link has been added about this Special Feast.

"On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me.....
five gold rings......"

Symbolism: The five gold rings is symbolic of the Pentateuch or Torah....
the first five books of the Bible.
(Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy)

Scripture: "And they read from the book of the law of God, distinctly and plainly, so as to be understood. And when it was read, they did understand."
Nehemiah 8:8

Readings for the Day:
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Psalm 128
Colossians 3:12-21
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday of the Octave of Christmas

Today is also the Feast of the Slaughter of the Innocents.
A link has been added with the history of this feast.
Two more links have been added. One with information
about the Slaughter of the Innocents and another with the
Coventry Carol, a Christmas song
about the Slaughter of the Innocents.

"On the fourth day of Christmas....
My true love gave to me.......
Four calling birds........"

Symbolism: The Four Calling Birds stand for
the Four Gospel Writers...
Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

Scripture: "And he said to them:
“Go forth to the whole world and
preach the Gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15

Readings of the Day:
1 John 1:5-22
Psalm 124
Matthew 2:13-18

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday of the Octave of Christmas

Today is also a Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist.
A link has been added giving the history of this saint.

"On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
three French Hens...."

Symbolism: The three French Hens are symbols for the Three Things that Last: Faith, Hope & Love.

Scripture: "But for now, these three continue: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13

Readings for the Day:
1 John 1:1-4
Psalm 97
John 20:1a, 2-8

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday of the Octave of Christmas

26 December 2013

Today is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
A link has been added about the life of this first martyred saint.

Today, being St. Stephen's Day, is the day on which the song GOOD KING WENCESLAUS was to have taken place. King Wenceslaus was a kind, Christian king who was martyred, as well. A link has been added about his life and another link has been added where you may hear the carol about this caring saint.

"On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.....
Two Turtle Doves..."

Symbolism: TWO TURTLE DOVES stands for the two different sections of the Bible....the OLD TESTAMENT and the NEW TESTAMENT.

Scripture: "And Moses returned from the mountain, carrying the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, written on both sides, and accomplished by the work of God. Also, the writing of God was engraved on the tablets."
Exodus 32:15-16

Readings of the Day:
Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Psalm 31
Matthew 10:17-22

Christmas Day 2013

Merry Christmas!
(The readings for the day are listed below.)
Today begins the Church's celebration of the 12 Days of the Christmas Season...the 12 days until the celebration of the Epiphany.

Centuries ago, the song THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, was used as a way for Christians to share their faith with their children. Each symbol represented an aspect of the faith. To the right are links explaining the historical grounds for this tradition. We will use the words of the song on this site as our way to share in the celebration of the Birth of our Savior. (If you click on the link for the OLQHS Religious Interactive File on our webpage, you can download printable ornaments for the 12 days of Christmas with the meanings on the back.)

"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree."

Symbol: The Partridge in a Pear Tree is the sacrificed Savior, Jesus Christ, on the "tree" of the Cross.

Scripture: "And they arrived at the place which is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink, mixed with gall. And when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it. Then, after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots, in order to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying: “They divided my garments among them, and over my vestment they cast lots.” And sitting down, they observed him. And they set his accusation above his head, written as: THIS IS JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS. Then two robbers were crucified with him: one on the right and one on the left. But those passing by blasphemed him, shaking their heads, and saying: “Ah, so you would destroy the temple of God and in three days rebuild it! Save your own self. If you are the Son of God, descend from the cross.” And similarly, the leaders of the priests, with the scribes and the elders, mocking him, said: “He saved others; he cannot save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him descend now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; so now, let God free him, if he wills him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” Then, the robbers who were crucified with him also reproached him with the very same thing. Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over the entire earth, even until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Then certain ones who were standing and listening there said, “This man calls upon Elijah.” And one of them, running quickly, took a sponge and filled it with vinegar, and he set it on a reed and he gave it to him to drink. Yet truly, the others said, “Wait. Let us see whether Elijah will come to free him.” Then Jesus, crying out again with a loud voice, gave up his life. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn into two parts, from top to bottom. And the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split apart. And the tombs were opened. And many bodies of the saints, which had been sleeping, arose. And going out from the tombs, after his resurrection, they went into the holy city, and they appeared to many. Now the centurion and those who were with him, guarding Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were very fearful, saying: “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
Matthew 27:33-54

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98
Hebrews 1:1-6
John 1:1-18

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fourth Tuesday of Advent ~ Christmas Eve

~As a note, the Religious Interactive Page will continue throughout the Christmas Season.
We wish you all a very blessed Christmas!~

Jesse Tree Story: JESUS
Jesse Tree Symbol: CHI-RO

Scripture: "And it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, so that the whole world would be enrolled. This was the first enrollment; it was made by the ruler of Syria, Quirinius. And all went to be declared, each one to his own city. Then Joseph also ascended from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, Then it happened that, while they were there, the days were completed, so that she would give birth. And she brought forth her firstborn son. And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. And there were shepherds in the same region, being vigilant and keeping watch in the night over their flock. And behold, an Angel of the Lord stood near them, and the brightness of God shone around them, and they were struck with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: “Do not be afraid. For, behold, I proclaim to you a great joy, which will be for all the people. For today a Savior has been born for you in the city of David: he is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the celestial army, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.” And it happened that, when the Angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us cross over to Bethlehem and see this word, which has happened, which the Lord has revealed to us.” And they went quickly. And they found Mary and Joseph; and the infant was lying in a manger. Then, upon seeing this, they understood the word that had been spoken to them about this boy. And all who heard it were amazed by this, and by those things which were told to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told to them."
Luke 2:1-20

Commentary: "For Unto Us a Child is Born..." Gloria in Eccelsius Deo!

Readings for the Day:
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89
Luke 1:67-79

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Advent

     O Come, Desire of Nations, Bind
     In one the hearts of all mankind
     Bid every strife and quarrel cease
     And fill the world with Heaven's peace.

Jesse Tree Story: MARY
Jesse Tree Symbol: A WHITE LILY

Scripture: "Then, in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God, to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary. And upon entering, the Angel said to her: “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” And when she had heard this, she was disturbed by his words, and she considered what kind of greeting this might be. And the Angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God. Behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and you shall bear a son, and you shall call his name: JESUS. He will be great, and he will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. And he will reign in the house of Jacob for eternity. And his kingdom shall have no end.” Then Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, since I do not know man?”
And in response, the Angel said to her: “The Holy Spirit will pass over you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. And because of this also, the Holy One who will be born of you shall be called the Son of God. And behold, your cousin Elizabeth has herself also conceived a son, in her old age. And this is the sixth month for her who is called barren. For no word will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” And the Angel departed from her."

Luke 1:26-38

Mary was the temple God prepared for his Son, more beautiful than Solomon's magnificent temple in Jerusalem.  She was the woman whose seed, Christ, would crush the serpent's head, as God had promised. 
The symbol is the lily, a sign of purity.
Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-24

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Third Saturday of Advent

     O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high
     And cheer us by thy drawing nigh
     Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
     And death's dark shadow put to flight

Jesse Tree Story: JOSEPH

Scripture: "Then Joseph, her husband, since he was just and was not willing to hand her over, preferred to send her away secretly. But while thinking over these things, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to accept Mary as your wife. For what has been formed in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall give birth to a son. And you shall call his name JESUS. For he shall accomplish the salvation of his people from their sins.” Now all this occurred in order to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in her womb, and she shall give birth to a son. And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means: God is with us.” Then Joseph, arising from sleep, did just as the Angel of the Lord had instructed him, and he accepted her as his wife.”
Matthew :19-24

Commentary: Through the story of Joseph, we learn to trust in God's Will. Although Joseph could have quietly divorced Mary, he chose instead to stand firm by her side, will God's help....even if he did not understand God's Will.

Readings of the Day:
Song of Songs 2:8-14
Psalm 33
Luke 1:39-45

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Third Friday of Advent

     O Come Thou Key Of David, Come
     And Open Wide Our Heavenly Home
     Make Safe the Way That Leads On High
     That We No More Have Cause to Sigh

Jesse Tree Story: JOHN THE BAPTIST
Jesse Tree Symbol: SCALLOPED SHELL

Scripture: "Then, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being procurator of Judea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, under the high priests Annas and Caiaphas: the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. And he went into the entire region of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, just as it has been written in the book of the sermons of the prophet Isaiah: “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. And what is crooked shall be made straight. And the rough paths shall be made into level ways. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Therefore, he said to the crowd that went out in order to be baptized by him: “You progeny of vipers! Who told you to flee from the approaching wrath? So then, produce fruits worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God has the power to raise up sons to Abraham from these stones. For even now the axe has been placed at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not produce good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire.” And the crowed was questioning him, saying, “What then should we do?” But in response, he said to them: “Whoever has two coats, let him give to those who do not have. And whoever has food, let him act similarly.” Now the tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” But he said to them, “You should do nothing more than what has been appointed to you.” Then the soldiers also questioned him, saying, “And what should we do?” And he said to them: “You should strike no one, and you should not make false accusations. And be content with your pay.” Now all were thinking about John in their hearts, and the people were supposing that perhaps he might be the Christ. John responded by saying to everyone: “Indeed, I baptize you with water. But there will arrive one stronger than me, the laces of whose shoes I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit, and with fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. And he will purify his threshing floor. And he will gather the wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Indeed, he also proclaimed many other things, exhorting the people. But Herod the tetrarch, when he was corrected by him concerning Herodias, his brother’s wife, and concerning all the evils that Herod had done, added this also, above all else: that he confined John to prison."
Luke 3:1-20

Commentary: As we continue to wait in our Advent, we are reminded to repent from sin. John plays a part in the prophecies of Isaiah. He was the "voice crying out in the wilderness." Listen...

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Luke 1:26-38

Third Thursday of Advent

     O Come, thou Rod of Jesse's Stem,
     From every foe deliver them
     That trust Thy mighty power to save
     And give them victory o'er the grave.

Jesse Tree Story: MICAH

Scripture: "And you, Bethlehem Ephrata, are a little one
among the thousands of Judah. From you will go forth
he who shall be the ruler in Israel, and his landing place
has been set from the beginning, from the days of eternity."
Micah 5:2

Commentary: The prophet Micah told us where Christ would be born.  "And you Bethlehem out of you shall He come forth unto me, that is to be the ruler in Israel." 

Readings of the Day:
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71
Luke 1:5-25

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Third Wednesday of Advent

The O ANTIPHON for today is the SACRED LORD:
     "O Come, o Come Thou Lord of Might,
      Who to thy tribes on Sinai's height,
      In ancient times didst give the law,
      In cloud, and majesty, and awe."

Jesse Tree Story: DANIEL
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE HOUR GLASS

Scripture: "And while I was still speaking and praying and
confessing my sins, and the sins of my people, Israel, and
offering my prayers in the sight of my God, on behalf of the
holy mountain of my God, as I was still speaking in prayer,
behold, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at
the beginning, flying swiftly, touched me at the time of the
evening sacrifice. And he instructed me, and he spoke to me
and said, “Now, Daniel, I have come forth to teach you and
to help you understand. At the beginning of your prayers,
the message came forth, yet I have come to explain it to you
because you are a man who is seeking. Therefore, you must
pay close attention to the message and understand the vision.
Seventy weeks of years are concentrated on your people and
on your holy city, so that transgression shall be finished, and
sin shall reach an end, and iniquity shall be wiped away, and
so that everlasting justice shall be brought in, and vision and
prophecy shall be fulfilled, and the Saint of saints shall be
anointed. Therefore, know and take heed: from the going forth
of the word to build up Jerusalem again, until the Christ leader,
there will be seven weeks of years, and sixty-two weeks of years;
and the wide path will be built again, and the walls, in a time of
anguish. And after sixty-two weeks of years, the Christ leader
will be slain. And the people who have denied him will not be
his. And the people, when their leader arrives, will destroy the
city and the sanctuary. And its end will be devastation, and,
after the end of the war, the desolation will be set up. But he
will confirm a covenant with many for one week of years;
and for half of the week of years, victim and sacrifice will
nearly cease; but there will be in the temple the abomination
of desolation. And the desolation will continue even to the
consummation and the end.”
Daniel 9:20-27

Commentary: Daniel was told in a vision the exact time when the Redeemer of the world would come. "From the going forth to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks." 

Readings of the Day:
Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-25

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Third Thursday of Advent

~Today we begin praying the O ANTIPHONS, scripturally based responses prayed during the week before Christmas. The O ANTIPHONS can be prayed as the Alleluia verse, as a hymn and/or before the Magnificat during Evening Prayer. These antiphons are most commonly found in the verses of the hymn O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL. Please refer to the link to the right for more information about the O ANTIPHONS.~

The O ANTIPHON for today is WISDOM:
    "O come, thou WISDOM from on high,
     Who orders all things mightily.
     To us the path of knowledge show,
     And teach us in her ways to go."

Jesse Tree Story: JUDITH
Jesse Tree Symbol: A CROSS & SPEAR

Scripture: "And so, when she heard that Uzziah had promised
that he would hand over the city with the passing of five days,
she sent to the elders Chabris and Charmis. And they came to
her, and she said to them: “What is this word, by which Uzziah
has consented to hand over the city to the Assyrians, if within
five days no help arrives for us? And who are you to test the Lord?
This is not a word that will provoke mercy, but rather one that
may excite wrath and enkindle fury. You have set a time limit
for the mercy of the Lord, and you have established a day for him,
according to your choice. But, since the Lord is patient, let us
be repentant about this same matter, and let us beg his indulgence
with many tears. For God will not threaten like man, nor will he
be inflamed to anger like a son of man. And, for this reason,
let us humble our souls before him, and, continuing to serve
him in a spirit of humility, let us speak to the Lord with tears,
so that he may act according to his will in his mercy toward us.
So then, just as our heart is disturbed by their arrogance, so also
may we glory in our humility.For we have not followed the
sins of our fathers, who abandoned their God in order to worship
strange gods. Because of this crime, they were given over to
their enemies: to the sword, and to pillaging, and to confusion.
But we know no other God except him. Let us wait with
humility for his consolation, and the Lord our God will
requite our blood by the afflictions of our enemies, and
he will humble all the nations that will rise up against us,
and he will cause them to be without honor.
And now, brothers, because you are the elders among

the people of God, and their very soul hangs upon you,
rescue their hearts by your eloquence, so that they may
remember that our fathers were tested in order to prove
whether or not they truly worshiped their God.
They are obliged to remember how our father Abraham

was tested, and being proved by many tribulations, he was
made the friend of God. So Isaac, so Jacob, so Moses, and
all that have pleased God, passed through many tribulations,
remaining faithful. But those who did not accept the trials
with the fear of the Lord, and who brought forward their
impatience and the disgrace of their murmuring against the Lord,
were exterminated by the exterminator, and they perished by

serpents. And as for us, therefore, let us not revenge ourselves
for these things that we suffer. But, in considering these same
sufferings to be less than our sins deserve, let us believe that
the scourges of the Lord, by which we are corrected like
servants, have occurred for our improvement and not
for our destruction.”
Judith 8:9-27

Commentary: Judith killed the leader of the Assyrian army with a sword and saved the Israelite nation. She prefigured Mary whose "Fiat" brought salvation to all mankind. 

Readings for the Day:
Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:1-17

Monday, December 16, 2013

Third Monday of Advent

Jesse Tree Story: JONAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE WHALE

Scripture: "The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The abyss has walled me in. The ocean has covered my head."
Jonah 2:6

"For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Matthew 12:40

Commentary: Jesus used the story of Jonah, who was swallowed by a
whale and miraculously disgorged upon the shore on the third day,
to point out his own burial and resurrection. 

Readings of the Day:
Nehemiah 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalm 25
Matthew 21:23-27

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Third Sunday of Advent

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

Jesse Tree Story: EZEKIEL
Jesse Tree Symbol: A BROKEN CHAIN

Scripture: "And you shall say to them: Thus says the
Lord God: Behold, I will take up the sons of Israel,
from the midst of the nations to which they have gone,
and I will gather them together on every side, and I will
lead them onto their own soil. And I will make them
one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and
one king will be ruler over all. And they will no longer
be two nations, nor will they be divided any more into
two kingdoms. And they will no longer be defiled by
their idols, and by their abominations, and by all their
iniquities. And I will save them, out of all the settlements
in which they have sinned, and I will cleanse them. And
they will be my people, and I will be their God. And my
servant David shall be the king over them, and they shall
have one shepherd. They shall walk in my judgments, and
they shall keep my commandments, and they shall do them.
And they shall live upon the land that I gave to my servant

Jacob, in which your fathers lived. And they shall live upon it,
they and their sons, and the sons of their sons, even for all time.
And David, my servant, shall be their leader, in perpetuity.
And I will strike a covenant of peace with them. This will

be an everlasting covenant for them. And I will establish them,
and multiply them. And I will set my sanctuary in their midst,
unceasingly. And my tabernacle shall be among them. And I
will be their God, and they will be my people. And the Gentiles
shall know that I am the Lord, the Sanctifier of Israel, when my
sanctuary will be in their midst, forever.”
Ezekiel 37:21-28

Commentary: The prophet Ezekiel told the Israelites that their
captivity would be broken and salvation would come to them one day.

Readings of the Day:
Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
Psalms 146
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Second Saturday of Advent

~Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and Doctor of the Church. Please refer to the link to the right for more information about this saint.~

Jesse Tree Story: JEREMIAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE CROSS

Scripture: "For this city has been a cause of fury and indignation to me, from the day when they built it, until this day, in which it will be taken away from my sight, because of all the wickedness of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah, which they have done, provoking me to wrath, they and their kings, their leaders and their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. And though I taught them and instructed them, rising at first light, they were not willing to listen, so that they would receive discipline. And they have placed their idols in the house where my name is invoked, so that they defiled it."
Jeremiah 31:31-34

Commentary: Jeremiah's life resembled the life of Jesus in his mission and suffering.

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

Friday, December 13, 2013

Second Friday of Advent

~Today is the Feast Day of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr. Please refer to the link on the right side bar for more information on this saint.~

Jesse Tree Story: ISAIAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: A RAIN CLOUD

Scripture: "Send down dew from above, O heavens, and let the clouds rain down upon the just! Let the earth open and spring forth a savior! And let justice rise up at once! I, the Lord, have created him."
Isaiah 45:8

Commentary: He foretold Christ's birth, life, mission and sufferings, death and resurrection. Once he prayed: "Let the clouds rain down on the Just. Let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior." 

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Second Thursday of Advent

~Today is also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Please refer to the link at the right for more information about this Feast.~

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:
Zechariah 2:14-17
Judith 13:18-19
Luke 1:26-38

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Second Wednesday of Advent

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 40:25-30
Psalm 103
Matthew 11:28-30

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Second Tuesday of Advent

Jesse Tree Symbol: MANNA

Scripture: And they set out from Elim. And the entire multitude of the sons of Israel arrived at the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month, after they departed from the land of Egypt. And the entire congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them: “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat around bowls of meat and ate bread until filled. Why have you led us away,
into this desert, so that you might kill the entire multitude with famine?” Then the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, I will rain down bread from heaven for you. Let the people go out and collect what is sufficient for each day, so that I may test them, as to whether or not they will walk in my law. But on the sixth day, let them prepare what they use for carrying, and let there be double what they were accustomed to collect on a single day.”
And Moses and Aaron said to the sons of Israel:
“In the evening, you will know that the Lord has led you away from the land of Egypt. And in the morning, you will see the glory of the Lord. For he has heard your murmuring against the Lord. But as for us, truly what are we, that you would whisper against us?” And Moses said: “In the evening, the Lord will give you flesh to eat, and in the morning, bread in fullness. For he has heard your murmurings that you have murmured against him. For what are we? Your murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord.” Moses also said to Aaron: “Say to the whole  congregation of the sons of Israel, ‘Approach before the Lord. For he has heard your murmuring.’ ”And when Aaron spoke to the entire assembly of the sons of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. And behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “I have heard the murmuring of the sons of Israel.

Say to them: ‘In the evening, you will eat flesh, and in the morning, you will be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”Therefore, it happened in the evening: quails, rising up, covered the camp. Likewise, in the morning, a dew lay all around the camp. And when it had covered the face of the earth, it appeared, in the wilderness, small and as if crushed with a pestle, similar to hoar-frost on the ground.
When the sons of Israel had seen it, they said one to
another: “Manhu?” which means “What is this?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them: “This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is the word that the Lord has instructed. Let
each one collect as much of it as is sufficient to eat. One omer for each head. According to the number of your souls which live in a tent, so will you take of it.” And the sons of Israel did so. And they collected: some more, others less. And they measured by the measure of an omer. He who collected more, did not have too much; nor did he who prepared less, find too little. But each one gathered according to what they were able to eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it behind until morning.” And they did not listen to him, but they left some of it behind until morning, and it began to swarm
with worms, and it putrefied. And Moses became angry against them. Then each one collected, in the morning, as much as would be sufficient to eat. And after the sun became
hot, it melted. But on the sixth day, they collected a double portion, that is, two omers for each man. Then all the leaders among the multitude came, and they discoursed with Moses. And he said to them: “This is what the Lord has spoken: Tomorrow, the rest day of the Sabbath, has been sanctified to the Lord. Whatever would be done, do it now. And
whatever would be cooked, cook it now. Then anything that will have been left over, store it until morning.” And they did just as Moses had instructed, and it did notputrefy, nor were there any worms found in it. And Moses said: “Eat it today, because it is the Sabbath of the Lord. Today it will not be found in the field. Gather for six days. But on the seventh day, it is the Sabbath of the Lord, for which reason it will not be found.”
And the seventh day arrived. And some of the people,
going out to collect it, did not find it. Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will you be unwilling to keep my commandments and my law? See how the Lord has given you the Sabbath, and, because of this, on the sixth day he distributes to you a double portion. Let each one remain with
his own, and let no one go forth from his place on the seventh day.” And the people kept the Sabbath on the seventh day. And the house of Israel called its name ‘Manna.’  It was like white coriander seed, and its taste was like wheat flour with honey. Then Moses said: “This is the word that the Lord has instructed: Fill an omer of it, and let it be kept for future generations hereafter, so that they may know the bread, with which I nourished you in the wilderness, when you had been led away from the land of Egypt.” And Moses said to Aaron, “Take one vessel, and put manna into it, as much as an omer is able to hold.
And store it in the sight of the Lord, to keep for your generations, just as the Lord instructed Moses.” And so, Aaron placed it in the tabernacle, in reserve. Now the sons of Israel ate manna for forty years, until they arrived in a habitable land. With this food they were nourished, even until they touched the borders of the land of Canaan. Now an omer is a tenth part of an ephah.
Exodus 16:1-36

Commentary: The manna which the Jews ate in the desert for forty years was a symbol of Christ, the true Bread which descended from heaven.

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96
Matthew 18:12-14

Monday, December 9, 2013

Second Monday of Advent

~Today in the United States is the observed Feast of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. Please refer to the link at the right for more information on this Feast.~

Jesse Tree Story: MOSES

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

Commentary: God 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:
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1: 26-38

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Second Sunday of Advent

~Normally, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is on December 8, but because that date falls on a Sunday this year, the Feast will be celebrated on December 9.
Please click on the link to the right to learn more about this Feast Day. ~

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 11:1-10
Psalm 72
Romans 15:4-9
Matthew 3:1-12

Friday, December 6, 2013

First Saturday of Advent

~Today is also the Memorial for St. Ambrose, doctor of the Church. Please refer to the link at the right for more information on 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:
Is 30:19-21, 23-26
Psalm 147
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5A,

First Friday of Advent

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

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:
Isaiah 29: 17-24
Psalm 27
Matthew 9:27-31

Thursday, December 5, 2013

First Thursday of Advent

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 3, 2013

First Wednesday of Advent

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

First Tuesday of Advent

~Today is also the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier. Please refer to the link to the right for more information about this saint.~

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

Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Monday of Advent

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 4:2-6
Psalm  122
Matthew 8:5-11

First Sunday of Advent

Jesse Tree Story: ADAM & EVE
Jesse Tree Symbol: AN EATEN APPLE

Scripture: "I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel."
Genesis 3:15

Commentary: The first promise of the coming of the Redeemer, Christ, was made to Adam and Eve in Paradise after they disobeyed God.

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:37-44

Advent 2013


Every Advent, Christmas, Lent & Easter, we come together to walk the journey of the seasons as a school. In this YEAR OF FAITH, please join us on our journey as we discover the deeper meaning of the Liturgical Seasons.

During Advent, we will be building a JESSE TREE. Every day, this site will post a Jesse Tree Symbol that goes with a story from Scripture. There will also be a short commentary about the symbol and scripture. The Liturgical Readings for the Day will also be notated, along with any special Feast Days or traditions. Feel free to use the links at the right of the page to navigate to sites, where you can access the Readings for the Day and other information.

We hope that you and your family have a FAITH-FILLED Advent Season.

The Jesse Tree

"O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign for all people, standing before the silence of kings, to whom the gentiles offer their prayers.  Come and deliver us."

The Jesse Tree helps us to remember that Advent is a time of waiting for the coming of the Savior.  It is a symbol of life and growth and is expressed through the ancestry of an individual.  The image is not unusual to us since we also speak about our family tree or our roots.

Jesse, whom the tree is named after, was the father of King David.  The tree reminds us of all the people who waited for the coming of the Savior.  We decorate the tree with symbols that remind us of some of the people who waited for the coming of the Savior--the patriarchs and matriarchs (our fathers and mothers in faith), the prophets, and the parents of the Lord.

If you would like to have your own Jesse Tree for your family in your home, please refer to links posted on the sidebar for assistance.