Thứ Sáu, 16 tháng 12, 2016

Saturday of the Third Week in Advent

Saturday of the Third Week in Advent
Lectionary: 193

Reading 1GN 49:2, 8-10
Jacob called his sons and said to them:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion’s whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
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.”
Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17
R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment. 
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. 
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar. 
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab. 
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab. 
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth. 
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. 
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph. 
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah. 
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. 
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok. 
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar. 
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. 
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.

Meditation: The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David"
Do you know who your ancestors were, where they came from, and what they passed on from their generation to the next? Genealogies are very important. They give us our roots and help us to understand our heritage. Matthew's genealogy of Jesus traces his lineage from Abraham, the father of God's chosen people, through the line of David, King of Israel. Jesus the Messiah is the direct descent of Abraham and David, and the rightful heir to David's throne. God in his mercy fulfilled his promises to Abraham and to David that he would send a Savior and a King to rule over the house of Israel and to deliver them from their enemies.
The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's promises 
When Jacob blessed his sons he foretold that Judah would receive the promise of royalty which we see fulfilled in David (Genesis 49:10). We can also see in this blessing a foreshadowing of God's fulfillment in raising up his anointed King, Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's promises. He is the hope not only for the people of the Old Covenant but for all nations as well. He is the Savior of the world who redeems us from slavery to sin and Satan and makes us citizens of the kingdom of God. In him we receive adoption into a royal priesthood and holy nation as sons and daughters of the living God (see 1 Peter 1:9). Do you recognize your spiritual genealogy and do you accept God as your Father and Jesus as the sovereign King and Lord of your life?
"Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Messiah and Savior of the world, the hope of Israel and the hope of the nations. Be the ruler of my heart and the king of my home. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your wise rule and care."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersJudah who received the promise of royalty foreshadows the Christ the King, by Rufinus (340-410 AD)
"This can be referred to the historical Judah as well as to those kings who were his descendants (Genesis 49:8-10). They broke the back of their enemies by administering the kingdom of that people. But this can also be fittingly referred to Christ, who is praised with good reason by his brothers, that is, by the apostles whom he himself called brothers in the Gospel. And his enemies, on whose back is his hand, appear to be those whom the Father promised to place under his feet by saying, 'Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet' (Psalm 110:1). They are enemies as long as they are unbelieving and unfaithful, and for that reason they are struck on the back. But after their conversion they become brothers and praise the One who, by summoning them to the adoption of the Father, has made them his coheirs and brothers. It is said correctly that the back of the enemies is struck by Christ. All those who worshiped the idols turned their back to God, as the Lord, through the prophet, accused them by saying, 'They turned their backs to me, and not their faces' (Jeremiah 2:27). Therefore he strikes their back so that after being converted they may turn their back to the idols and raise their forehead to God and may accomplish what is written here: 'Your father's sons shall bow down before you.' In fact, they adore him when they have become sons of the Father and have received the spirit of adoption in which they cry out, 'Abba, Father' (Romans 8:15-16)." No one calls Jesus Christ Lord except those who are in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). (excerpt from THE BLESSINGS OF THE PATRIARCHS 1.5)
[Rufinus of Aquileia (340-410) was a friend of the Bible scholar Jerome, and, like Jerome, he departed from Italy to live in the East. For many years he lived in monasteries in Egypt and in Palestine, acquiring the learning of the Eastern churches. Towards the end of his life he returned to Italy and occupied himself in translating works of the earlier Greek Fathers into Latin.]

Advent Weekday

(Genesis 49:2, 8-10; Psalm 72)

KEY VERSE: "Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah" (v 16).
TO KNOW: Matthew may have written his gospel around 85 CE to a predominately Jewish-Christian community in Syria. In the opening words of his gospel, Matthew used three titles for Jesus: “the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham," to show that Jesus was the realization of the Old Testament Messianic hopes. Matthew traced Jesus' lineage from the glorious days of the monarchy under King David and his son Solomon to the agonizing days of the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonia captivity. Jesus is the anointed one, the Messiah (Christ). He is the messianic king, the "Son of David," fulfilling the promise that his kingdom would be everlasting (2 Sm 7:16). He is the faithful "Son of Abraham" fulfilling the promises that all nations would be blessed through him (Gn 12:3). In addition, the virginal birth showed that Jesus was the "Son of God." There were some surprises in Jesus' family tree. Except for Mary, the other women mentioned were all non-Jews (Tamar, Rehab, Ruth and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah). Jesus' genealogy revealed that he came for the salvation of all people regardless of race, nationality or gender.
TO LOVE: Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing me to belong to your family.
TO SERVE: Is my family in a relationship with Jesus Christ? What can I do to help them?

O ANTIPHONS, December 17-23

The O Antiphons refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil. The importance of O Antiphons is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Sacred Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Flower of Jesse's Stem), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Radiant Dawn), O Rex Gentium (O King of all the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah. The "O Antiphons" were first used by the Church in the 8th and 9th centuries. In these "O Antiphons" the Church expresses her longing for the coming of the Messiah. The Advent hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is based on the "O Antiphons."

O WISDOM, Saturday, December 17

Today's O Antiphon is "O Sapientia"  (O Wisdom). We are drawn into the Old Testament's wisdom literature. Wisdom is a divine attribute. The divine Wisdom is personified. Wisdom is the beloved daughter who was before Creation, Wisdom is the breath of God's power, Wisdom is the shining of God's transforming glory. (See Wisdom 8:1.)

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.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Sat 17th. Genesis 49:2, 8-10. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for everPs 71(72):1-4, 7-8, 17. Matthew 1:1-17.

'Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.'

The very first verse of Matthew proclaims his faith for all who will hear, namely that Jesus is the Christ.
The same Jesus who we will come to know as Son of God is here announced as the son of David, and thus a child of Jewish royal lineage – a king in the making, though not of the sort that was expected. Furthermore, Jesus is the son of Abraham, the embodied fulfilment of the covenant that God would always accompany His people.
The genealogy stresses the importance of family in passing on the precious gift of life, and each generation's important part in the larger story. This genealogy sets the stage of the entire Gospel proclamation of Jesus the Messiah's Good News for all generations.


St. Jose Manyanet y Vives was born on January 7, 1883 in Catalonia, Spain. At the age of five, José’s mother dedicated him to the Virgin Mary, and later entered the seminary while still a youth. He was ordained in 1859 and served as the secretary of the bishop of Urgell, the seminary librarian, and the chancery administrator before responding to the call to found two religious congregations.

He founded the Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family in 1864, and the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 10 years later, both dedicated to the education and protection of the Christian family, as well as education and parish ministry.

He also founded several schools and centers, encouraged devotion to the Holy Family, and wrote many books on issues surrounding the family and spiritual guidance. Also, in the cultural ambit he worked for the construction of the Servant of God Antonio Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Temple of the Holy Family in Barcelona, Spain.

He suffered from physical illnesses all his life, particularly due to two open wounds in his sides for the last 16 years of his life. He died on December 17, 1901 in Spain, and was canonized May 16, 2004 by Pope John Paul II.

Lectio Divina: 
 Saturday, December 17, 2016
3rd Week of Advent

1)      Opening prayer
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son came among us as one of us,
a human being among other people,
simple, accessible,
yet your human face
and the measure of what a human person is.
Lord, make us discover ourselves in his mirror:
that we are born to be free,
to be unselfish, available, committed.
Free us from our selfishness,
our cowardice and attitudes of conformism,
that we may become a bit
what you want us to be, like your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

2) Gospel Reading – Matthew 1, 1-17
Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham: Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse; and Jesse fathered King David.
David fathered Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife, Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa, Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah, Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah, Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah; and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers. Then the deportation to Babylon took place. After the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor, Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud, Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob; and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.

3) Reflection
• The genealogy defines the identity of Jesus. He is the “Son of David and the son of Abraham” (Mt 1, 1; cf 1, 17). Son of David, is the response to the expectation of the Jews (2 Sam 7, 12-16). Son of Abraham, is a source of blessings for all nations (Gn 12, 13). Both Jews and Pagans see their hope realized in Jesus.
• In the patriarchal society of the Jews, the genealogies indicated only names of men. It is surprising that Matthew indicates also the names of five women among the ancestors of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba (the wife of Uriah) and Mary. Why does Matthew choose precisely, these four women as companions of Mary? No queen, no matriarch, none of the fighting women of the Exodus: Why? This is the question which the Gospel of Matthew leaves for us to answer.
• In the life of the four women, companions of Mary, there is something abnormal. The four of them are foreigners, they conceived their sons outside the normal canons and do not respond to the requirements of the Laws of purity of the time of Jesus. Tamar, a Canaanite, widow, she disguised herself as a prostitute to oblige the Patriarch Judah to be faithful to the law, to do his duty and give her a son (Gn 28, 1-30). Rahab, a Canaanite from Jericho, was a prostitute who helped the Israelites enter into the Promised Land (Jos 2, 1-21). Ruth, a Moabite, widow, poor, chose to remain with Naomi and to adhere to the People of God (Rt 1, 16-18). She took the initiative to imitate Tamar and to go and spend the night beside the pile of barley, together with Boaz, obliging him to observe the Law and to give her a son. From the relation between the two, Obed was born, the ancestor of King David (Rt 3, 1-15; 4, 13-17). Bathsheba, a Hittite, the wife of Uriah, was seduced, violated and she conceived and became pregnant from King David, who in addition to this ordered that the husband of the woman be killed (2 Sam 11, 1-27). The way of acting of these four women did not correspond to the traditional norms. In the meantime these were the initiatives, which were not really conventional, which gave continuity to the lineage of Jesus and led all the people to the salvation of God. All this makes us think and challenges us when we attribute too much value to the rigidity of the norms.
• The calculation of 3 X 14 generations (Mt 1, 17) has a symbolical significance. Three is the number of the divinity. Fourteen is the double of seven. Seven is the perfect number. By means of this symbolism Matthew expresses the conviction of the first Christians according to which Jesus appears in the time established by God. With his coming history reaches its plenitude, its fullness.

4) Personal questions
• Which is the message which you discover in the genealogy of Jesus? Have you found a response which Matthew leaves for us to answer?
• The companions of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, are very different from what we imagined them. Which is the conclusion which you can draw regarding your devotion to the Blessed Virgin?

5) Concluding Prayer
May his name be blessed for ever,
and endure in the sight of the sun.
In him shall be blessed every race in the world,
and all nations call him blessed. (Ps 72, 17)