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Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2004

"A" Readings: Isa. 7:10-14 • Rom. 1:1-7 • Matt. 1:18-24

• Advent Homily: "Mary and Joseph Prepare for Christmas" by Rev. Jeffrey Lawrence | The early missionaries in Mexico started the custom of bringing a great number of beautiful flowers to the crib of Christ. One Christmas, the road leading to the village church was filled with hundreds of men, women and children, each carrying magnificent flowers as a token of love for the newborn Babe in the manger. ...

• Advent Reflection: "Holy Mary and the Death of Sin" by Carl E. Olson | The final words of the Hail Mary are filled with comfort, but also with a reminder of our mortality and the inevitable end to our earthly lives: "Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen." ...

"Fulton Sheen on Advent and the Christmas Mystery" | Through the Year with Fulton Sheen is Sheen at his best--the master storyteller, preacher, and faithful servant of Christ--with a word of encouragement, counsel, and direction for each day of the year. With characteristic insight and eloquence, he penetrates to the heart of the Christian life with practical reflections on love, holiness, spiritual power, miracles, and Christ-like living. ...

"Advent with Jean Daniélou" by Carl E. Olson | Fr. Jean Daniélou's The Advent of Salvation, originally published simply as Advent in 1950, may be the best $3.00 purchase I've ever made. The out-of-print book is a classic work on the meaning of Advent. Here are a few of Daniélou's thoughts about this wonderful but often overlooked season. ...

"The Advent Wreath", an excerpt from Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in the Domestic Church by by Peter & Catherine Fournier | Every season of Advent is a new reminder of the promise of eternity. (CCC 1020 - 1029) Thus, Advent wreaths are made of evergreens to symbolize God's "everlastingness" and our immortality. (Purple is the liturgical color for Advent, green in the wreath symbolizes hope and new life.) Four candles--three purple or violet that represent penance, sorrow, and longing expectation and one rose or pink that represents the hope and coming joy--are used to represent the four weeks of Advent. ...

Selected Ignatius Press books and music for Advent and Christmas. Books for the entire family, including Fiona French's beautifully illustrated Bethlehem, books by theologian John Saward, and classic Catholic Christmas carols. ...

Pages for previous weeks of Advent:

- First week of Advent
- Second week of Advent
- Third week of Advent


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