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					2011 Dec 1 Thu: Advent Weekday
Is 26: 1-6

Ps 118: 1 and 8-9. 19-21. 25-27a

Mt 7: 21. 24-27

21
  ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does
the will of my Father in heaven. 24 ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will
be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and
beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26And everyone who hears
these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on
sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—
and great was its fall!’

Reflection:

“I am a very religious person… I say my prayers… I am in the Parish Choir dressed in my finest singing
exquisitely… I go for novenas, retreats, prayer-meetings, etc. without fail… Yet I don’t see the Lord
working in my life.” Today we are asked: “What is your foundation?” Is my life securely built on sincere /
genuine trust, faith, and hope or am I trying to find my pleasure otherwise?




2011 Dec 2 Fri: Dedication of Springfield in Illinois Cathedral (2009) F
Readings from Common of Dedication of a Church

Matt 9:27-31
27
  As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of
David!’ 28When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you
believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ 29Then he touched their eyes and said,
‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ 30And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered
them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ 31But they went away and spread the news about him throughout
that district.

Reflection:

It is fashionable to be a visionary. To have a vision-statement, a specific plan of goal-achievement, etc.
However we could be blind to the actual realities of life and set ourselves unrealistic targets. Only when
I cry out “have pity on me, restore my vision,” will the Lord enlighten me and grant me new vision, new
sight!
2011 Dec 3 Sat: Francis Xavier, p, ms M
Is 30: 19-21. 23-26

Ps 147: 1-2. 3-4. 5-6

Mt 9: 35 – 10: 1. 5a. 6-8
35
   Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the
good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 10Then Jesus summoned his
twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every
disease and every sickness. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere
among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house
of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8Cure the sick,
raise the dead, cleanse the lepers,* cast out demons. You received without payment; give without
payment.

Reflection:

From a cradle in Spain to a casket on the shores of China, Francis Xavier lived passionately consumed by
the intensity to bring Christ and His message.

Does my life give witness to the values of Christ? Am I consumed with passion for the truth, justice,
equality and peace? How do I live “for the greater glory of God?”




2011 Dec 4 SUN: SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Is 40: 1-5. 9-11

Ps 85: 9-10. 11-12. 13-14 (8)

2 Pt 3: 8-14

Mk 1: 1-8
1
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2
  As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
 who will prepare your way;
3
 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
 “Prepare the way of the Lord,
 make his paths straight” ’,
4
 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness
of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out
to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.6Now John was clothed with
camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed,
‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the
thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with*water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

9
 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just
as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a
dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well
pleased.’

12
     And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness for forty
days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

14
  Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying,
‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’*

16
  As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the
lake—for they were fishermen.17And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for
people.’ 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Reflection:

These are days of icons, heroes and idols; many confusing voices, noises and sounds. To tune oneself to
the right voice, to listen, understand and follow the right icon is problematic. John the Baptist invites us
to discern, reflect, and prepare. “Make ready a path for the Lord to travel into your hearts.”
2011 Dec 5 Mon: Advent Weekday
Is 35: 1-10

Ps 85: 9ab and 10. 11-12. 13-14

Lk 5: 17-26
17
  One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come
from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to
heal. 18Just then some men came, carrying a paralysed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in
and lay him before Jesus; 19but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on
the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of
Jesus. 20When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend,* your sins are forgiven you.’ 21Then the scribes and the
Pharisees began to question, ‘Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God
alone?’ 22When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, ‘Why do you raise such questions
in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you”, or to say, “Stand up and
walk”? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said
to the one who was paralysed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your
home.’ 25Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home,
glorifying God.26Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying,
‘We have seen strange things today.’

Reflection:

Human society is battling newer or developed viruses, diseases and illnesses. Cures abound, doctors are
in plenty and there is efficient medical treatment available. Yet we are not at peace. We are not healthy.
The market is flooded with varieties of health foods, products and cures. The imagery of the rejoicing
desert invites us to place our trust in “the King who is coming to set us free.”




2011 Dec 6 Tue: Advent Weekday/ Nicholas, bp
Is 40: 1-11

Ps 96: 1-2. 3 and 10ac. 11-12. 13

Mt 18: 12-14
12
  What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not
leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it,
truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not
the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
Reflection:

“God is not present in my life.” “There is no God working in my life.” These refrains are becoming
common. Why does God allow me to suffer, why does He not do something about it? It is very difficult
for us to grasp the love of God, His tender mercies and His Divine wisdom. Even though we go away
from Him, He is constantly seeking us, searching for us. Let’s lean on Him for He says:”I am the Good
Shepherd.”




2011 Dec 7 Wed: Ambrose, bp, dr M
Is 40: 25-31

Ps 103: 1-2. 3-4. 8 and 10

Mt 11: 28-30
28
  ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my
yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Reflection:
Isaiah 40:25-31; Matthew 11:28-30Our frenzied preparation for the holidays, for the festivities which
will follow later this month, tend to obliterate the ’why’ of things.

We are busy, fagged out, fatigued to find time for either ourselves or God. But He continues to beckon
us: “Come to Me.”




2011 Dec 8 Thu: IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
MARY S. Holy Day of Obligation.
Gn 3: 9-15. 20

Ps 98: 1. 2-3ab. 3cd-4

Eph 1: 3-6. 11-12

Lk 1: 26-38
26
  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin
engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he
came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by
his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid,
Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you will name him Jesus.32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord
God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a
virgin?’ 35The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now,
your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who
was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the
servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection:


Pure, whole, unblemished, sinless, virgin, spotless… these words seem to be old-fashioned, outdated for
many of the so-called new-generation! Mary is an example of these very qualities. She reminds us that
our fragile, weak, imperfect lives can be made whole by the wonderful touch of God’s grace, when we
say with her: “Your will be done, not mine.”




2011 Dec 9 Fri: Advent Weekday/ Juan Diego, h
Is 48: 17-19

Ps 1: 1-2. 3. 4 and 6

Mt 11: 16-19
16
   ‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to
one another,
17
  “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
 we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
18
  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; 19the Son of Man came
eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and
sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’

Reflection:
It is always about me. I have to be the cynosure of all eyes. If I don’t get or receive something which I
have set my heart on, I get angry, my temper flares and I throw tantrums. I don’t like anyone else telling
me how to live. I am easy to please as long as I have things my way. The Lord detests this fickleness. The
Prince of peace comes to teach us the ways of God.
2011 Dec 10 Sat: Advent Weekday
Sir 48: 1-4. 9-11

Ps 80: 2ac and 3b. 15-16. 18-19

Mt 17: 9a. 10-13
9
 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after
the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’ 10And the disciples asked him, ‘Why, then, do the
scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ 11He replied, ‘Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all
things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him
whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.’ 13Then the disciples
understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

Reflection:

The Lord longs to enter into communion with us. In our human folly, with our busy-body selves we are
blinded to this event. My cares, my jobs, my assignments, my work, my achievements – my plate is
already full with so much to accomplish. God does not fit into the scheme of things. Let us make place
for God in our lives for as Tagore says: “He comes, he comes, he ever comes.”




2011 Dec 11 SUN: THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Is 61: 1-2a. 10-11

Lk 1: 46-48. 49-50. 53-54

1 Thes 5: 16-24

Jn 1: 6-8. 19-28
6
 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so
that all might believe through him.8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the
light. 19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to
ask him, ‘Who are you?’ 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ 21And
they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered,
‘No.’ 22Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you
say about yourself?’ 23He said,
‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
“Make straight the way of the Lord” ’,
as the prophet Isaiah said.

24
  Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptizing if you are
neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ 26John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among
you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the
thong of his sandal.’ 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Reflection:

To be or not to be, to do or not to do, which is right, how to be better? These are questions which we
battle with daily. I am sad, depressed, lonely, bored, “I am a loser!” What should I do? Please help me.
Pray, study and then, act. “Rejoice… for the God of Peace will make you perfect!”




2011 Dec 12 Mon: Our Lady of Guadalupe F
Readings from Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mat 21:23-27
23
  When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was
teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this
authority?’ 24Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will
also tell you by what authority I do these things.25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it
of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why
then did you not believe him?” 26But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all
regard John as a prophet.’ 27So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither
will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Reflection:


People bait us, use us and subject us to their evil ways and plans. We, too, sometimes indulge in these
games of deceit and scheming. Jesus refuses to be trapped in the evils of this earthly journey. Perhaps
we give in and at other times we force others to submit. What are some of the hypocritical excuses I
concoct to keep God from invading my space? “Make known Your paths to me, guide me in Your truth.”
2011 Dec 13 Tue: Lucy, v, mt M
Zep 3: 1-2. 9-13

Ps 34: 2-3. 6-7. 17-18. 19 and 23

Mt 21: 28-32
28
   ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in
the vineyard today.” 29He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The
father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not
go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly
I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of
you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the
tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change
your minds and believe him.

Reflection:
We are often forgetful, revengeful, arrogant and rebellious. We want to do as we wish to do. But at
other times we are loving, generous, caring, sharing and responsibly good. The smallest good deed is
greater than the greatest good intention. Where do I fit in? The best way to prepare ourselves for
Christmas is to begin by living right according to the will of God.




2011 Dec 14 Wed: John of the Cross, p, dr M
Is 45: 6c-8. 18. 21c-25

Ps 85: 9ab and 10. 11-12. 13-14

Lk 7: 18b-23

18
  The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19and
sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ 20When
the men had come to him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is
to come, or are we to wait for another?”’ 21Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues,
and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John
what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the
deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23And blessed is anyone who
takes no offence at me.’
Reflection:

Fame, glory, honour, prestige, status and success are the norm. If I don’t possess these, I am nothing.
Justice, peace, equality, harmony, compassion, and forgiveness are all right, but not absolutely
necessary for my happiness. This is not what the Christ promises. His values are so radically different
from the worldly-wise. Where do I stand? What is the purpose of my life? “Let the clouds rain down the
Just One.”




2011 Dec 15 Thu: Advent Weekday
Is 54: 1-10

Ps 30: 2 and 4. 5-6. 11-12a and 13b

Lk 7: 24-30
24
   When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go
out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What then did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal
palaces. 26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is
the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
 who will prepare your way before you.”
28
  I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of
God is greater than he.’ 29(And all the people who heard this, including the tax-collectors, acknowledged
the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism.30But by refusing to be baptized
by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)

Reflection:

Prophets, Guides, Spiritual masters, Gurus, Saints and mentors. Perhaps I have been unfortunate. No
one has given me the counsel I need. I am also wary of these people. Jesus the ‘Christ’ praises John the
Baptist as the greatest. Who is my guide, my refuge, my spiritual counsellor? Pray for a guide. When the
student is ready, the teacher will appear! “I send my messenger…”




2011 Dec 16 Fri: Advent Weekday
Is 56: 1-3a. 6-8
Ps 67: 2-3. 5. 7-8

Jn 5: 33-36
33
 You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept such human testimony,
but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were
willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the
Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father
has sent me.

Reflection:

Do my words, deeds, and thoughts ever testify that I am a follower of Christ? Can I be proud that I am
like a lamp that shines brightly, spreading the message of hope? Does my life in any way resemble / give
witness to Christ? Let’s pray that we may be like “the lamp, set aflame and burning bright.”




2011 Dec 17 Sat: Advent Weekday (O Sapientia)
Gn 49: 2. 8-10

Ps 72: 1-2. 3-4ab. 7-8. 17

Mt 1: 1-17


1
An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his
brothers, 3and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and
Hezron the father of Aram, 4and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon,
and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of
Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and
Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat,
and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9and Uzziah the father of Jotham,
and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11and Josiah the father of Jechoniah
and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12
   And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of
Zerubbabel, 13and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the
father of Azor, 14and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of
Eliud, 15and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of
Jacob, 16and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the
Messiah.

17
  So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the
deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah,
fourteen generations.

Reflectiion:

“I don’t know and I don’t care what my family roots are. I can do without it.” “History is so boring, so
yuck… who’s gonna study those dates and years?” Knowledge of one’s background, one’s history is
always useful. It tells us who we are, from where we have come so that we can prepare to go ahead.
Today I will try to gather some information on my family background and “walk in the paths of
knowledge.”




2011 Dec 18 SUN: FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (O Adonai)
2 Sm 7: 1-5. 8b-12. 14a. 16

Ps 89: 2-3. 4-5. 27. 29 (2a)

Rom 16: 25-27

Lk 1: 26-38
26
  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin
engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he
came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by
his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid,
Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you will name him Jesus.32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord
God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a
virgin?’ 35The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now,
your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who
was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the
servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
Reflection:


“I am just a girl.” “I am just a boy.” “I am hardly 16.” “I am young; no one listens to me, my feelings, my
hopes.” I like gadgets, hanging out with my friends, chatting, roaming. God says: “I see your potential; I
know your capabilities; believe in yourself.” Let’s learn from Mary’s humility and openness saying: “Let it
be done to me according to Your Word.”




2011 Dec 19 Mon: Advent Weekday (O Radix Jesse)
Jgs 13: 2-7. 24-25a

Ps 71: 3-4a. 5-6ab. 16-17

Lk 1: 5-25
5
  In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly
order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6Both of them were
righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the
Lord. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

8
    Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot,
according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10Now
at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there
appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When
Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be
afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will
name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great
in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled
with the Holy Spirit. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.17With the spirit
and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the
disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’18Zechariah
said to the angel, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in
years.’ 19The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak
to you and to bring you this good news. 20But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be
fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.’

21
  Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the
sanctuary. 22When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a
vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23When his time of
service was ended, he went to his home.

24
  After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She
said, 25‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the
disgrace I have endured among my people.’

Reflection:

Some things are unbelievably fantastic to be true. How is my life positioned? Do I believe that I have a
unique purpose in being born? There is a Divine plan for me, which I need to discover. Give thanks to
God; begin to live the life God wants you to live “to prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed.”




2011 Dec 20 Tue: Advent Weekday (O Clavis David)
Is 7: 10-14

Ps 24: 1-2. 3-4ab. 5-6

Lk 1: 26-38
26
  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin
engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he
came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by
his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid,
Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you will name him Jesus.32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord
God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a
virgin?’ 35The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you; therefore the child to be born* will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now,
your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who
was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the
servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
Reflection:
Currying favour or “maska-lagana” is an old art-form which we have tried at varied times, in different
ways. Some are masters at it; ;others are compelled to do it in order to be up-scaled. But this doesn’t
work with God. Finding favour with God is extremely difficult, because He sees through us. Let us imitate
the virtues of Mary who “found favour with God” and thus allow God to be born in our hearts.
2011 Dec 21 Wed: Advent Weekday (O Oriens)/ Peter Canisius, p, dr
Sg 2: 8-14 or Zep 3: 14-18a

Ps 33: 2-3. 11-12. 20-21

Lk 1: 39-45
39
  In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she
entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child
leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed
are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that
the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my
womb leapt for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was
spoken to her by the Lord.’

Reflection:

“No one understands me; I can’t approach anyone; I have no friends.” Is this you? Then the Comforter /
Wonderful Counsellor is coming. Just as Mary comforted her cousin and assisted her cousin Elizabeth, so
too the Lord wishes to comfort you. “Soon the Lord will come… Emmanuel… God with us.”




2011 Dec 22 Thu: Advent Weekday (O Rex Gentium)
1 Sm 1: 24-28

1 Sm 2: 1. 4-5. 6-7. 8abcd

Lk 1: 46-56
46
     And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
47
   and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48
 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49
 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50
  His mercy is for those who fear him
 from generation to generation.
51
  He has shown strength with his arm;
 he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52
  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
 and lifted up the lowly;
53
  he has filled the hungry with good things,
 and sent the rich away empty.
54
  He has helped his servant Israel,
 in remembrance of his mercy,
55
  according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

56
     And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.

Reflection:

Sometimes we feel a presence in our lives which we can’t describe. A strong push, a gentle
shove, a rough pull or perhaps a windy shake. Prayer is sometimes a profound experience when
the Spirit moves our hearts. The Magnificat is a profound experience-prayer that exults, glorifies,
praises! For the good, the joys, the many events in your life praise God, “my heart rejoices in
You, my God.”




2011 Dec 23 Fri: Advent Weekday (O Emmanuel)/ John of Kanty, p
Mal 3: 1-4. 23-24

Ps 25: 4-5ab. 8-9. 10 and 14

Lk 1: 57-66
57
     Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.58Her neighbours and relatives
heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59
     On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after
his father. 60But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ 61They said to her, ‘None of your relatives
has this name.’ 62Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give
him. 63He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were
amazed. 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising
God. 65Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire
hill country of Judea. 66All who heard them pondered them and said, ‘What then will this child become?’
For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Reflection:

What’s in a name? Well everything is! Name means recognition. It is so important. Names are precious.
That’s why we have so many names to debate about and choose from. Every parent decides the name
of his/her child much before the child comes. Pet names, certificates names, real name, local name,
substitute name… so many. What does your name mean? What does it say about your person? “Come
Emmanuel.”




2011 Dec 24 Sat: Advent Weekday
2 Sm 7: 1-5. 8b-12. 14a. 16

Ps 89: 2-3. 4-5. 27 and 29

Lk 1: 67-79
67
   Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
68
  ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
 for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them.
69
  He has raised up a mighty saviour* for us
 in the house of his servant David,
70
  as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71
    that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
72
  Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
 and has remembered his holy covenant,
73
  the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
 to grant us 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
76
  And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
 for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77
  to give knowledge of salvation to his people
 by the forgiveness of their sins.
78
  By the tender mercy of our God,
 the dawn from on high will break upon us,
79
  to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
 to guide our feet into the way of peace.’
Reflection:
2011 Dec 25 SUN: THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD S
Vigil: Is 62: 1-5

Ps 89: 4-5. 16-17. 27. 29 (2a)

Acts 13: 16-17. 22-25

Mt 1: 1-25. Midnight: Is 9: 1-6

Ps 96: 1-2. 2-3. 11-12. 13

Ti 2: 11-14

Lk 2: 1-14. Dawn: Is 62: 11-12

Ps 97: 1. 6. 11-12

Ti 3: 4-7

Lk 2: 15-20. Day: Is 52: 7-10

Ps 98: 1. 2-3. 3-4. 5-6 (3c)

Heb 1: 1-6

Jn 1: 1-18
1
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the
beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into
being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6
  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so
that all might believe through him.8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The
true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world
came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his
own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power
to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of
man, but of God.

14
  And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s
only son, full of grace and truth.15(John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He
who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’)16From his fullness we have all
received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through
Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who
has made him known.

Reflection:

Ever had a ‘time stood still’ experience? Yes, the first time you ever set eyes on a pretty/handsome
gal/guy? Or the first time you beheld something really spectacular. Yes. That’s how I guess it must’ve
been for Joseph and Mary. God in the form of a human child – weak, fragile, so very tiny… Oh My God!
Yeah, that’s what Christmas is about. It’s about God becoming like me so that I can become like Him!!
“Jesus Christ!”




2011 Dec 26 Mon: Stephen, protomartyr F
Acts 6: 8-10; 7: 54-59

Ps 31: 3cd-4. 6 and 8ab. 16bc and 17

Mt 10: 17-22
17
  Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18and you will
be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19When
they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are
to say will be given to you at that time; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father
speaking through you. 21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise
against parents and have them put to death.

Reflection:

People are scheming, deceitful, cunning. Oftentimes I, too, am like this. Will I stand up for my
convictions, principles and values or do I throw in the towel? Stephen is a stark contrast, perhaps, to my
lifestyle. Can it be said of me: “filled with faith, with the Holy Spirit,” and is “full of fortitude”?
2011 Dec 27 Tue: John, ap, ev F
1 Jn 1: 1-4

Ps 97: 1-2. 5-6. 11-12

Jn 20: 1a and 2-8
20
  Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw
that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other
disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and
we do not know where they have laid him.’ 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards
the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb
first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then
Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and
the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by
itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.

Reflection:

Beloved of the Lord, John the Evangelist has left his testimony in the fourth gospel. Can I be called the
‘beloved of the Lord?’ What do I need to do to come closer to Christ and follow him truthfully? Do I have
the ability to drink the cup of suffering, pain, trial, and yet be like John who “saw and believed?”




2011 Dec 28 Wed: Holy Innocents, mts F
1 Jn 1: 5 – 2: 2

Ps 124: 2-3. 4-5. 7b-8

Mt 2: 13-18
13
  Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take
the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search
for the child, to destroy him.’ 14Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to
Egypt, 15and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the
Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’

16
     When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed
all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that
he had learned from the wise men. 17Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet
Jeremiah:
18
  ‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
 wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

Reflection:

Abortion and infanticide are two deadly diseases which are rampant in our own days. Poor, innocent,
fragile lives are sacrificed for selfish pursuits and gains. What contribution can I make to stop this
nonsensical violent annihilation of the innocents? Do the wailing and cries of the innocent unborn move
me to action? Will this slaughter continue amidst my pleasurable pastimes? “Let the children come to
Me.”




2011 Dec 29 Thu: Christmas Weekday/ Thomas Becket, bp, mt
1 Jn 2: 3-11

Ps 96: 1-2a. 2b-3. 5b-6

Lk 2: 22-35
22
  When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to
Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall
be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law
of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

25
     Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout,
looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to
him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by
the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him
what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29
 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
30
  for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31
    which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32
  a light for revelation to the Gentiles
 and for glory to your people Israel.’
33
  And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then
Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of
many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be
revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

Reflection:

Accomplishments, achievements… what do I hope to achieve before I die? Conquer the world, become
an actor, be a saint? The choice is mine. The only question to ask: can I go away having lived a good life,
a satisfying life, a happy life? Will I be content that I lived and followed the Christ who came to teach me
“to live in the light.”




2011 Dec 30 Fri: HOLY FAMILY F
Gn 15: 1-6; 21: 1-3 or Sir 3: 2-6. 12-14

Ps 105: 1-2. 3-4. 5-6. 8-9 (7a. 8a)

Heb 11: 8. 11-12. 17-19 or Col 3: 12-21

Lk 2: 22-40


22
  When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to
Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall
be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law
of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

25
     Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout,
looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to
him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by
the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him
what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29
 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant* in peace,
according to your word;
30
   for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31
   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32
   a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’
33
  And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then
Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of
many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be
revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

36
  There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age,
having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-
four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that
moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for
the redemption of Jerusalem.

39
 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their
own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God
was upon him.

Reflection:

It is difficult to see many ‘holy families’ today. There is hardly time to meet each other. Mom is at work,
Dad is away, my sis is with her beau, and yes, I’ve got so many things on hand. Families are slowly
degenerating. Some of us are ‘shift-families’ just like our work timings! Do I find value in caring, sharing,
loving and living as one happy family? Can my family be called the “domestic church”?




2011 Dec 31 Sat: Christmas Weekday/ Sylvester I, pp
1 Jn 2: 18-21

Ps 96: 1-2. 11-12. 13

Jn 1: 1-18

1
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the
beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into
being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6
  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so
that all might believe through him.8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The
true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world
came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his
own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power
to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of
man, but of God.

14
  And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s
only son, full of grace and truth.15(John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He
who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’)16From his fullness we have all
received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through
Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son,* who is close to the Father’s heart, who
has made him known.

Reflection:

Infinity, Limitless Wisdom, Creator comes into Creation to give it a new lease of life. He breathes
newness into all things. He invites us to be born anew, to throw away the old, embrace the new. Have I
recognized the significance of my life? What is one thing I would change about myself from the year
that’s passing by? and “Be empowered to live as a child of God.”

				
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