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Second Sunday of Advent, December 5, 2004

"A" Readings: Isa. 11:1-10 • Rom. 15:4-9 • Matt 3:1-12

• Advent Homily: "Repent your Sins; the Kingdom Is Coming " by Rev. Jeffrey Lawrence | The Scriptures teach that when we repent and cast away our sins, we make ourselves "a new heart and a new spirit" (Ezek. 18:31). God will refresh us (Acts: 3:19), because "He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness" (Joel 2:13). ...

• Advent Reflection: "The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin" by Carl E. Olson | "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!" Uttered by the heavenly messenger, Gabriel, to a Jewish maiden (Lk 1:28), these words, of course, make up the first phrase of the Hail Mary. The second phrase of that great prayer come from an earthly creature, Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, who exclaims: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Lk 1:42). St. Bede remarks that this is fitting since the two remarks show that Mary "should be honored by angels and by men and why she should indeed be revered above all other women." ...

"Fulton Sheen on Advent & Eternity" | 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. These daily selections for the second week of Advent provide a fresh perspective on what it means to be a follower of Christ, on the challenge of serving God and the blessings of living a grace-filled life. ...

"Inedible Dough Christmas Ornaments", an excerpt from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz | Cookie Christmas ornaments are pretty, but as we all know, those that taste good disappear mysteriously from the tree. Try having your children make ornaments each year out of inedible dough, to save. You can also make sets of ornaments, such as a creche scene. Or try a Noah's ark. These figures make nice presents for children to give as gifts to godparents, favorite relatives, and friends. ...

"St. Nicholas and Nicholas recipes", an excerpt from Cooking with the Saints: An Illustrated Treasury of Authentic Recipes, Old and Modern by Ernst Schuegraf | Nicholas lived in the fourth century and was bishop of Myra, now in southwestern Turkey. Nothing else is of historic certainty, although his veneration in the East can be traced to the sixth century. ...

"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.

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