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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-13-12, M, St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-13--12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/12/2012 9:15:55 PM PST by Salvation

December 13, 2012

 

Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

 

Reading 1 Is 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, "Fear not,
I will help you."
Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O maggot Israel;
I will help you, says the LORD;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and double-edged,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off
and the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab

R. (8) The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let them make known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.

Gospel Mt 11:11-15

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; catholic; prayer; saints
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 12/12/2012 9:16:04 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 12/12/2012 9:22:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

3 posted on 12/12/2012 9:23:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 41:13-20

God’s special love for his people (continued)


[13] For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I will help you.”

[14] Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I will help you, says the Lord;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
[15] Behold, I will make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
[16] You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the Lord;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

[17] When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
[18] I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
[19] I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together;
[20] that men may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

41:8-20. The reason why God raises up this new deliverer, Cyrus, is his tender
love for his people, who are still suffering the humiliation of exile. This first oracle
of the “Book of Consolation” uses expressions that reveal unsuspected tender-
ness on the Lord’s part: “my servant” is a technical expression describing some-
one chosen for an important mission, as we shall see later in the songs of the
Servant. Here is applies to the entire people, Israel, and not to an individual. The
words “fear not” (vv. 10, 13, 14) call them to trust in the Lord even though the si-
tuation seems hopeless; the same words occur elsewhere in the Bible, addres-
sed to people picked for a dangerous mission – for example, Jacob (Gen 46:3)
or Joshua (Josh 1:9; 8:1; etc.) in the Old Testament, and the Blessed Virgin Ma-
ry, the Mother of Jesus (Lk 1:30) in the New. Other significant titles used here
are “offspring of Abraham, my friend” (v. 8), reminding them of their noble origin,
and “you worm Jacob”, a reference to the sorry state in which the exiles find
themselves.

Even more significant than the names used to describe Israel are the actions
that God takes and the titles given him. These actions are always positive: “to
take from the ends of the earth”, “to call” (v. 9), “to strengthen”, “to help”, “to up-
hold” (v. 10). The titles are titles of affection: “your God” (vv. 10, 13), “your Lord”
and, above all, “your Redeemer” (v. 14), an expression that appears no less than
fourteen times in this part of the book. A redeemer (”goel” in Hebrew) was a per-
son’s next-of-kin, whose duty it was to ensure that family rights were not abused
— whether in respect of property, good name or even life itself (cf. the note on Job
19:25).

God’s special love for Israel, his people, so beautifully expressed by the prophet,
should also be the basis of the hope felt by members of the new people of God:
“Our Lord keeps close watch over the footsteps and progress of his children; that
is, those who have love in their souls walk in his sight, and he stretches out his
hand to steady them in times of difficulty. For that is what Isaiah says: ‘I am your
God, who takes you by the hand and tells you: Do not be afraid, I will help you.’
As well as taking heart from this conviction, we should also have a deep trust in
God and in his help: if we do not spurn the grace he gives us, he will complete
the good work of salvation that he has begun (St Francis de Sales, “Treatise on
the Love of God”, 3, 4).

The last section gives a graphic description of the restoration of Israel, using the
simile of a wilderness that is turned into fertile, leafy terrain (cf. 44:3; 51:3).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 12/12/2012 9:24:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 11:11-15

The Mission of John the Baptist. Jesus’ Reply


(Jesus spoke to the crowds,) [11] “Truly, I say to you, among those born of
women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is
least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. [12] From the days of John
the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and men
of violence take it by force. [13] For all the prophets and the law prophesied
until John; [14] and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
[15] He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

******************************************************************************************
Commentary:

11. With John the Old Testament is brought to a close and we are on the
threshold of the New. The Precursor had the honor of ushering Christ in, ma-
king Him known to men. God had assigned him the exalted mission of prepa-
ring His contemporaries to hear the Gospel. The Baptist’s faithfulness is recog-
nized and proclaimed by Jesus. The praise he received is a reward for his humi-
lity: John, realizing what his role was, had said, “He must increase, but I must
decrease” (John 3:30). St. John the Baptist was the greatest in the sense that
he had received a mission unique and incomparable in the context of the Old
Testament. However, in the Kingdom of Heaven (the New Testament) inaugura-
ted by Christ, the divine gift of grace makes the least of those who faithfully re-
ceive it greater than the greatest in the earlier dispensation. Once the work of
our redemption is accomplished, God’s grace will also be extended to the just
of the Old Alliance. Thus, the greatness of John the Baptist, the Precursor and
the last of the prophets, will be enhanced by the dignity of being made a son
of God.

12. “The Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence”: once John the Baptist an-
nounces that the Christ is already come, the powers of Hell redouble their des-
perate assault, which continues right through the lifetime of the Church (cf.
Ephesians 6:12). The situation described here seems to be this: the leaders
of the Jewish people, and their blind followers, were waiting for the Kingdom of
God the way people wait for a rightful legacy to come their way; but while they
rest on the laurels of the rights and rewards they think their race entitles them
to, others, the men of violence (literally, attackers) are taking it, as it were, by
force, by fighting the enemies of the soul — the world, the flesh and the devil.

“This violence is not directed against others. It is a violence used to fight your
own weaknesses and miseries, a fortitude, which prevents you from camou-
flaging your own infidelities, a boldness to own up to the faith ev