Theme: Family life is experiencing a crisis of stability, partly caused by economic hardship, but often by other factors like lack of generosity, or too much insistence on getting one’s own way. Today’s feast invites us to meditate on our own contribution to family life. In the homespun maxims of Ben Sirach, we read how…
Theme Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in our world, though he was with God the Father before all ages. His birth opens up for us a glorious new identity, as children of God. On this major feast, the Scriptures promote a spirit of joy, of our giftedness in having as our Saviour…
Ml 3:1ff. God’s messenger will bring about a conversion of hearts, before the great and terrible day of the Lord.
Luke 1:57ff. Amazement, joy and hopefulness at the birth of John the Baptist.
1 Samuel 1:24ff. Samuel’s mother, Hannah, dedicates her young son to a life of service to God.
Luke 1:46ff. Mary’s hymn of praise and thanksgiving, the Magnificat.
So 2:8ff. Lyrical love-poetry from the Song of Songs, about the beloved who is coming.
Luke 1:39ff. The mutual encouragement of Mary and Elizabeth: sharing of faith at the Visitation.
Isaiah 7:10ff. King Ahaz refuses to ask a sign of the Lord; then Isaiah promises a child to be called Immanuel.
Luke 1:26ff. The angelic annunciation to Mary, the highly-favoured one: she will conceive of the Spirit, and give birth to Jesus.
Theme: What God does for us is greater than what we do for God; and yet he is pleased by our desire to serve him through good works. Like King David, or our Blessed Lady, we each can have a place in God’s plan to build his Temple, to establish his kingdom of love in…
Judges 13:2ff. Manoah’s wife learns of the miraculous conception of Samson, who will be dedicated to God to the day of his death.
Luke 1:5ff. Glorious things are predicted of John, the long-awaited son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
Jeremiah 23:5ff. A righteous Branch will be raised up from David’s descendants, to rule with wisdom and justice.
Matthew 1:18ff. Joseph is told of the miraculous, virginal conception of Jesus, who “will save his people from their sins. “
Genesis 49:2ff. The dying Jacob predicts future glory for the tribe of Judah, among all of his twelve sons. This is fulfilled when the Messiah is born “of the tribe of Judah.”
Mt 1:1ff. The apparent, popular and schematically structured genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Isaiah 54:1ff. The future reversal, when the abandoned will find God’s special favour;for “the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer. ”
Luke 7:24ff. Jesus praises John the Baptist as “a prophet, yes, and more than a prophet. “
Isaiah 45:6ff. A glorious portrayal of the true, living God, creator of all. “I am the Lord, and there is no other. ”
Luke 7:18ff. In reply to John’s question ‘Are you the one who is to come?’ Jesus points to his healing ministry, in confirmation.
Zephaniah 3:1ff. A prophet’s hopeful vision of his people’s future conversion: the humble shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
Matthew 21:28ff. The short parable about two sons: one refuses but then obeys; the other agrees but disobeys.
Numbers 24:2ff. Balaam’s oracle about the glorious future, when a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter from Israel.
Matthew 21:23ff. When the Jewish leaders demand proof of his authority, Jesus points to John’s non-hierarchical authority.
Theme: Society finds it so hard to tolerate dissent that those who step out of line are often harshly treated and even risk their lives. At great risk, John the Baptist spoke out for justice, against the corrupt authorities of his day. Only by doing so could he prepare his people for the coming of…
Sirach 48:1ff. Lyrical praise of the great Elijah, a prophet whose word burned like a torch.
Matthew 17:9ff. John the Baptist was the “Elijah” – the fore-runner, before the Messiah’s arrival.
If you heeded my commandments, your name would last forever
Matthew 11:16ff. Jesus criticises the people of his generation, who listened neither to John the Baptist nor to himself.
Isaiah 41:13ff. The Lord says to his dispirited people, “Do not fear, for I will help you. ”
Matthew 11:11ff. The greatness of John the Baptist, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Gen 3:9-20. After their sin, our First Parents tried to move the blame on to each other, and to the serpent. God puts enmity between the serpent and the woman, between its offspring and hers. Eph 1:3ff. An enthusiastic hymn to the saving grace of God, which the church sees applied in a special way…
Isaiah 40:1ff. “Comfort ye my people!” – the beginning of Second Isaiah, on the promised return of the exiles from Babylon.
Matthew 18:12ff. The shepherd rejoices to find the lost sheep.