Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent (4 December 2022)

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:1-12 – NRSV).

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Gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent (11 December 2022)

We cannot think of John the Baptist without thinking of Jesus. And we cannot think of Jesus, God’s being-in-the-flesh, without thinking of John the Baptist.
Together with his preaching, John’s very existence calls us to recognize the dignity of being a person. “No one has arisen greater than John the Baptist yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he”. I think it is fair to say that, as the messenger of God’s being-in-the-flesh, John also declares the dignity of all being-in-the-flesh.

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Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (18 December 2022)

In today’s Gospel – Matthew 1:18-24 – we have one of the best known of the biblical stories. It has been acted out in countless nativity plays over the generations. It must also be one of the most frequent scenes depicted in art. Is it fair to say that, typically, in these theatrical and artistic representations, the cute wins out over the harsh and the romantic over the dangerous? Let us see if we can go “inside” this event rather than view it from a safe distance.

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Gospel for Christmas Day (25 December 2022)

Christmas evokes many different reactions and responses. There are those who would happily dispense with it. Others welcome it for commercial reasons. Still others dread it for family reasons. Some love it for the holidays it brings. And so it goes. Listen within: What does your faith tell you? In this Feast we celebrate the most momentous event in the history of the cosmos: “The Word became flesh”! The Divine is united in love with the human, the eternal with the temporal, the infinite with the finite. Utterly incomprehensible, but true. I cannot prove it or even begin to explain it, but I believe it.

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Gospel for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) (15 January 2023)

In John’s Gospel, “seeing” is closely linked with “believing”. The Greek verb pisteuō – “believe” – in various forms, appears more than 100 times in John’s Gospel. It is always as a verb. “Seeing”, “believing” and “witnessing” together are constitutive elements of discipleship. All are embodied in John the Baptist.

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Gospel for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) (22 January 2023)

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

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Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) (29 January 2023)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

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