Love, peace, hope and rejoicing

Three out of the four emotions, actions, verbs, meanings attributed to the candles of the Advent wreath are ones which we certainly strive for during our earthly lives, but always fall short of fulfilling—those three being love, peace and hope—those are all Divine gifts that our Lord and Savior provides to us and for us. Rejoicing, now that’s something we can and should do continually when we think about the grace and mercy shown to us by our heavenly Father….for more, click on the title above.

Proclamations of God’s love

John the Baptist bearing witness by Annibale Carracci, c1600

Today is the Sunday in the Church Year that is especially set aside so that the members of Christ’s Body would be called to prepare the way of the Lord in their hearts, minds, and lives. That preparation the Holy Spirit works, as the faithful, you we pray, participate as fully as possible in that which is going on the Lord’s Service to us. I said, “as fully as possible,” because as humans still wrestling with sin—in the world and in ourselves—we do become distracted…
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Why are they rejoicing?

As we consider the two readings for today, it is clear that both of the people who originally uttered these songs are rejoicing. Our first reading is attributed to Hannah, the second to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptizer. Directly after the evening sermon, we will sing the Magnificat. This is yet another song of praise, first sung by Mary.
So, in the texts we have three Biblical figures, Hannah, Mary and Zechariah, singing songs to God and rejoicing.
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A history of forgiveness

John the Baptist by David Matsui,

While the prophets of old were directing people to look forward to the Messiah, John was pointing them to the actual Messiah who had come, the Lord Jesus Christ. John was baptizing people into the forgiveness of sins, preparing them for the more excellent and real Baptism into the death of Jesus Christ. It is our baptism into Christ that will save and bring regeneration. This is why our catechumens learn to call it, along with St. Paul, “a washing of regeneration and renewal.”…
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Zion’s salvation comes

Eventually Zion was meant to refer to all of God’s people and we still do that today. So, when the Bible uses the term Zion, which it does a lot, it’s not so much about geography or a specific hill. It’s using it as a reference to the people of God….
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Our God is a God of Hope

Second Coming of Christ by an unknown artist

What is the “hope” that is in you? If your definition of hope goes something like this: “Wouldn’t it be nice, if…., or, “If only…” That’s NOT what the Scriptures mean by hope.
In today’s reading St. Paul called our God a “God of hope.” A God who fills His people with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit they may abound in hope. That’s not so they would abound in “wouldn’t it be nice,” or, “if only…”
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Ad te Domine Levavi: To You, I will lift up

Today we begin our 2022 Advent series. It is one that is being centered upon the Church’s more historic Introit Psalms. Those were long ago appointed for each of the four Sundays, and following weeks, of the Advent season. Each of those Sundays have received their names from Latin translations of the Introit appointed for each specific Advent week: Ad te levavi; Populus Zion; Gaudete; and Rorate coeli. Those names were derived from the first Latin language verse of the Introit given to the Church for hearing during each Advent week….For more, click on the title above

The triumphal advent of the King of peace

Entry into Jerusalem by Sadao Watanabe

Today, the confessing Church throughout the world celebrates the Triumphal Advent of the King of Peace. Jesus is that King. We declare that for He is the One Who was heralded almost 2,000 years ago by crowds both following and leading His procession into Jerusalem.
That, and more, we have heard again from today’s readings. That is because this is the day that begins a new Church Year of our Lord. For centuries, its Gospel reading has been heard each year on this day. Yet, it is not the only time we hear today’s text in the Lord’s Services.
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