Sandpiper: Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst

News December 2018 – Pages 18 & 19 BLESSED ARE YOU December 23 Fourth Sunday of Advent M ary was chosen to be the mother of Christ, and so became the mother of Christians everywhere. Filled with the Holy Spirit and understanding that nothing is impossible for God, she set off to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, to share her joy and wonder. Gospel Luke 1:39-45 A fter the angel Gabriel had appeared to Mary, she set off at once to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth saw Mary coming, she ran to welcome her, and the baby insider her leapt for joy at the sound of Mary’s greeting. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to Mary, “Of all women you are the most blessed; and blessed is the child you will have because you believe in the power of God, and he has chosen you to be the mother of our saviour.” Discussion W hen Gabriel appeared to Mary, he told her that Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, were expecting a baby. Mary was surprised by this news because both Elizabeth and her husband were quite old and had never been able to have children. But Mary knew that nothing was impossible for God! After the angel’s visit, Mary immediately set off to visit Elizabeth. Mary’s first thoughts were for her cousin, and being generous and kind, she was always ready to help in whatever way she could. When Elizabeth and Mary met, Elizabeth was filled with understanding by the Holy Spirit; she, too, knew that nothing is impossible for God. Elizabeth also became aware that God had chosen Mary to be the mother of his son. What do you think Mary and Elizabeth would have talked about together? They probably talked about the good news the angel brought them, and marvelled together at the power of God. Both of them were expecting their first child, and probably shared their feelings of excitement and joy as they waited for them to be born. Elizabeth and Mary knew that they had been chosen by God and that their children would be blessed by God in a very special way. Prayer L et us thank Mary for becoming the mother of Jesus and for sharing her son with the world as we say together: Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. December 2 First Sunday of Advent Gospel LK 21:25-28, 34-36 J esus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” December 9 Second Sunday of Advent Gospel LK 3:1-6 I n the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” December 16 Third Sunday of Advent Gospel LK 3:10-18 T he crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptised and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practise extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptising you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people. December 30 Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Gospel LK 2:41-52 E ach year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favour before God and man. Gospel Readings for December “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) e l e l e k g o n i t v i e s l e c d g g a e e p e r s o n w d l r u o b h g i e n i k l g g d a r l i s n i a l k a a c e t e e n s o r c o o e o g p g t n e m d n a mm o c i n e v i r e n g n v n o e n o y r e v e p g g g h e l p i n g g Neighbour Love God Caring Listening Talking Commandment Person Everyone Helping Everlasting Welcome

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