Sunday, December 21, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, December 21, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” 4But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in? It was I who took you from the pasture andfrom the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. 10 I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, 11since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. 12 And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; yourthrone shall stand firm forever.’”

P S A L M - Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
R: For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
1 [2] The promises of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. 2 [3] For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. (R) 3 [4] “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: 4 [5] forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations. 26 [27] He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’ 28 [29] Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm.” (R)

SECOND READING - Romans 16:25-27
25 Brothers and sisters: To him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages 26 but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.
Luke 1:26-38
26 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” 35 And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37 for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.



The story of the Annunciation has always been depicted through centuries of Christian art as a moment of joy, not only for Mary but for all of humanity. The birth of the promised Savior is near!

         Pope Francis, in one of his homilies, said, “A long-faced Christian is not a good witness.” This is a simple yet powerful reminder for us. Joy is the most basic form of evangelization. How can we be an everyday evangelizer?

         First, be joyful. Show to the world that to live the faith is joyful and liberating. Nothing turns off the modern man more than a joyless and stoic Christian. Show to the world the joy that comes from having a relationship with God. Radiate that peace and be a balm of freshness to everyone you meet. Be affirmative of others. Be a positive presence in your community.

         Secondly, love others more often — the kind of love that warms the hearts of people, especially those we typically ignore. Smile at the store clerk who processes your purchase. Thank sincerely the waitress who takes your orders.

         Thirdly, know your faith. You cannot give what you do not have. You cannot defend what you do not know. First Peter 3:15admonishes us, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” In a country where 85 percent are baptized and professed Catholics, it’s easy to just coast along and be swept by the collective tide of worshipers. If someone stops you on the road and asks you “for a defense for the hope that is in you,” are you up to the challenge?

         Fourthly, share the faith. At no time in the history of the world is sharing the faith more easy. With the advancement of technology, sharing the faith is literally just a click of the button away. Stop posting nonsense in your Facebook accounts, or at least lessen it. Share inspiring and educational materials on the faith. Share your own thoughts and reflections and not only what you are having for dinnerFr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do your daily encounters with people leave a lasting impression of joy and peace in them?

O Mary, you who were given utmost joy by receiving Jesus in your womb, lead me to Jesus that I may in turn lead others to Him, too. Amen.

St. Peter Canisius, priest and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

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