Monday, December 31, 2018

Seventh Day is the Octave of Christmas 2018

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

Symbolism: The seven swans a swimming
refers to the Seven 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

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday of the Octave of Christmas 2018 - HOLY FAMILY

Today is also the Feast of the Holy Family.
A link has been added tracing the history of this feast.

"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:
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 (1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28)
Psalm 128
Colossians 3:12-21
Luke 2:41-52

Friday, December 28, 2018

Saturday of the Octave of Christmas 2018

Today is also the Memorial for St. Thomas Becket.
A link has been added about this saint.

"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:
1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96
Luke 2:22-35

Friday of the Octave of Christmas 2018

Today is the Ordinary Feast of the Holy Innocents.
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 1:5-2:2
Psalm 124
Matthew 2:13-18

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Thursday of the Octave of Christmas 2018

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Second Day of the Octave of Christmas 2018

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 WENCESLAS was to have taken place. King Wenceslas 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


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

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

~A special video link has been added for Christmas Eve showing the Real Meaning of Christmas. Please take a moment to enjoy this video.~

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

Fourth Monday of Advent 2018

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2018

~The O ANTIPHON for today is....
     O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law;
     Come to save us, Lord our God!
     Come to save us, Lord our God!

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:
Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalm 25
Luke 1:57-66

Third Saturday of Advent 2018

O Antiphon: O Come, Desire of Nations

     O come, Desire of nations, bind
     In one the hearts of all mankind
     Bid Thou our sad divisions cease
     And be Thyself our King of Peace

Jesse Tree Story:  ELIZABETH
Jesse Tree Symbol:  MOTHER & CHILD

Scripture:  "And in those days, Mary, rising up, traveled quickly
into the hill country, to a city of Judah. And she entered into the
house of Zechariah, and she greeted Elizabeth.
And it happened that, as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary,

the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the
Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of
your womb. And how does this concern me, so that the mother
of my Lord would come to me? For behold, as the voice of your
greeting came to my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
And blessed are you who believed, for the things that were spoken
to you by the Lord shall be accomplished.” And Mary said: “
My soul magnifies the Lord. And my spirit leaps for joy in God
my Savior. For he has looked with favor on the humility of his
handmaid. For behold, from this time, all generations shall call me blessed.
For he who is great has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation to generations for those who fear him.
He has accomplished powerful deeds with his arm. He has scattered the

arrogant in the intentions of their heart. He has deposed the powerful
from their seat, and he has exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry
with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has taken up his servant Israel, mindful of his mercy,
just as he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham and to his

offspring forever.” Then Mary stayed with her for about three months.
And she returned to her own house."
Luke 1:39-56

Commentary:  Elizabeth is one of the first persons to experience the Joy of Christ. As she feels her child, John, leap in her womb, she knows that her Savior is about to be born.

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

Third Friday of Advent 2018

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

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 for the Day:
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71
Luke  1:5-35

Third Thursday of Advent 2018

~The O ANTIPHON for today is O COME, KEY OF DAVID~
     "O Come, thou Key of David, come
      And open wide our heavenly home
      Make safe the way hat leads on high
     And close the path of misery. REFRAIN.."

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 for the Day:
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71
Luke  1:5-35

Third Thursday of Advent 2018

~The O ANTIPHON for today is O COME, KEY OF DAVID~
     "O Come, thou Key of David, come
      And open wide our heavenly home
      Make safe the way hat leads on high
     And close the path of misery. REFRAIN.."

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

CommentaryDaniel 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

Third Wednesday of Advent

O Antiphon-  O Root of Jesse
"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." REFRAIN.

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:
Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalm 25
Matthew 21:23-27

Monday, December 17, 2018

Third Tuesday of Advent 2018

O Antiphon: O come, O come thou Lord of might, Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height, in ancient times dids't give the law in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain.

Jesse Tree Story:  HABAKKUK
Jesse Tree Symbol:  STONE WATCHTOWER

Scripture:  "The burden that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
How long, O Lord, shall I cry out, and you will not heed? Shall I shout to you while suffering violence, and you will not save?Why have you revealed to me iniquity and hardship, to see plunder and injustice opposite me? And there has been judgment, but the opposition is more powerful.Because of this, the law has been torn apart, and judgment does not persevere to its conclusion. For the impious prevail against the just. Because of this, a perverse judgment is issued. Gaze among the nations, and see. Admire, and be astounded. For a work has been done in your days, which no one will believe when it is told. For behold, I will raise up the Chaldean, a bitter and swift people, marching across the width of the earth, to possess tabernacles not their own. It is dreadful and terrible. From themselves, judgment and their burden will issue. Their horses are more nimble than leopards and swifter than wolves in the evening; their horsemen will spread out. And then their horsemen will approach from far away; they will fly like the eagle, hurrying to devour. They will all approach towards the prey; their face is like a burning wind. And they will gather captives together like sand. And concerning kings, he will triumph, and sovereign rulers will be his laughingstock, and he will laugh over every fortress, and he will transport a rampart and seize it.Then his spirit will be altered, and he will cross over and fall. Such is his strength from his god. Have you not existed from the beginning, Lord my God, my holy one, and so we shall not die? Lord, you have stationed him for judgment, and you have establish that his strength will be swept away.Your eyes are pure, you do not behold evil, and you cannot look towards iniquity. Why do you look upon the agents of iniquity, and remain silent, while the impious is devouring one who is more just than himself? And you will make men like the fish of the sea and like the creeping things that have no ruler. He lifted up everything with his hook. He drew them in with his dragnet, and gathered them into his netting. Over this, he will rejoice and exult.
For this reason, he will offer victims to his dragnet, and he will sacrifice to his netting. For through them, his portion has been made fat, and his meals elite.
Because of this, therefore, he expands his dragnet and will not be lenient in continually putting to death the peoples.
I will stand firm during my watch, and fix my position over the fortification. And I will observe carefully, to see what might be said to me and what I might respond to my opponent."
Habakkuk 1:1-2:1

"I heard, and my stomach became troubled. My lips trembled at the voice. Let decay enter into my bones and gush forth from within me. Then I may rest in the day of tribulation, so that I may ascend to our people well-prepared. For the fig tree will not flower, and there will be no bud on the vines. The labor of the olive tree will be misleading, and the farmland will produce no food. The sheep will be cut off from the sheepfold, and there will be no herd at the manger. But I will rejoice in the Lord; and I will exult in God my Savior. The Lord God is my strength. And he will set my feet like those of the stag. And he, the victor, will lead me beyond my high places while singing psalms."
Habakkuk 3:16-19

Commentary:  The prophet Habakkuk stood upon the watch tower and waited for the Anointed One, revealing to God’s people that the Lord would end violence and wickedness.We wait and we watch for the day when Jesus will come again in righteousness.

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

Third Monday of Advent 2018

~Today, we also begin the O ANTIPHONS during the LITURGY OF THE HOURS. This is a way to intensely prepare for the approaching CHRISTMAS SEASON. There will be a different "O ANTIPHON" posted each day until Christmas.

O Antiphon: O COME, O WISDOM from on high who orders all things mightily, to us the path of knowledge show and teach us in her ways to go.
Response: Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.

Jesse Tree Story: JEREMIAH
Jesse Tree Symbol: VEIL OF TEARS

Scripture: "The word of Yahweh came to me, saying: 'Before I formed you int he womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations.' I then said: 'Ah, Lord Yahweh; you see, I do not know how to speak: I am only a child!' But Yahweh replied, 'Do not say, I am only a child, for you must go to all tp whom I send you and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of confronting them, for I am with you to rescue you, Yahweh declares.' Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and touched my mouth, and Yahweh said to me: "There! I have put my words into your mouth. Look, today I have set you over the nations and kingdoms, to uproot and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."
Jeremiah 1:4-10

Commentary: Jeremiah's life resembled the life of Jesus in his mission and suffering.  The Lord speaks to Jeremiah while he is in exile, describing his grief as an endless fountain of tears because his people have turned to worshiping idols.

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

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

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Second Sunday of Advent 2018

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

First Saturday of Advent 2018

~Today is also the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. A link has been added about this feast.~

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

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 sceptre 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

Friday, December 7, 2018

First Friday of Advent 2018

~Today is also the Memorial of St. Ambrose. A link has been added 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 6, 2018

First Thursday of Advent 2018

~Today is also the Memorial for St. Nicholas. A link has been added about this saint.~

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

First Wednesday of Advent 2018

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

First Tuesday of Advent 2018

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

Monday, December 3, 2018

First Tuesday of Advent 2018

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

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

First Monday of Advent 2018

Jesse Tree Story: ADAM & EVE
Jesse Tree Symbol: THE 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:
Jeremiah 33: 14-16
Psalm 25
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36



Every Advent, Christmas, Lent & Easter, we come together to walk the journey of the seasons as a school community. We invite you and your family to join us on our journey as we discover a 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.