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Third Sunday of Advent, December 12, 2004

"A" Readings: Isa. 35:1-6, 10 • James 5:7-10 • Matt. 11:2-11

• Advent Homily: John the Baptist as Our Advent Guide by Rev. Jeffrey Lawrence | Today, we meet St. John the Baptist in his prison cell. The ancient Jewish historian, Josephus, writes that the Baptist was locked up in a place called Machaerus, King Herod's fortress on the dreary and isolated hills east of the Dead Sea. ...

• Advent Reflection: "The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin" by Carl E. Olson | God has a mother and she was chosen before the beginning of time. This is an amazing belief, one that is sometimes mocked and often misunderstood, and misrepresented, sometimes even by Catholics. Yet this truth is at the heart of Advent and Christmas - as well as at the heart of the entire Christian Faith. ...

"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. ...

"Food for St. Lucy’s Feast", an excerpt from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz | St. Lucy’s Day marks a moment of festivity in Advent. In Sweden in particular, her feast is celebrated with customs hundreds of years old. The eldest daughter of a household, wearing a white dress with a crimson sash, and a whortleberry or lingonberry crown, set with lighted candles, wakes the members of the family, and serves them special buns or a cake and coffee. ...

"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. ...

The page for the first week of Advent is here. The second week can be found here.


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