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Sunday Reflection for December 21, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Advent
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Sunday Summary

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 David frets that God is practically homeless. Yet it is God who establishes David’s house.
Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29 “Forever” is a God word. Only the Eternal can offer what is everlasting.
Romans 16:25-27 Revelation unfolds in time and prophecy before it is made fully manifest.
Luke 1:26-38 Incarnation starts here: in a town, to a woman, with a conversation.

4th Sunday of Advent

Exploring the Word
Conversations worth having
Religion in general has the reputation of being airy-fairy and abstract, at least to those outside its household of believers. But the Christian story is nothing if not concrete, earthy, and tangible. Luke’s gospel makes that claim with elegant precision. In the time of Caesar Augustus, during a census conducted under governor Quirinius, in a Galilean town of no importance called Nazareth, a woman has a conversation on God’s initiative that changes everything. So begins the celestial mystery of the Incarnation: in a town, to a woman, with a conversation. Nothing could be more specific. ...
Read More of this and future Reflections
Weekday Homily Reflection for December 21, 2014
World news in light of the Good News
for Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Preaching the News
» The tide turns on U.S.-Cuban relations – The house and kingdom of David will endure forever, likewise his throne will stand firm forever, the Lord promises in this Sunday’s first reading. The U.S. embargo and diplomatic isolation of Cuba, in force for more than half a century . . . More...
» Fracking fraught with risks, report concludes – Mary was at first “greatly troubled at what was said” by the angel Gabriel, we hear in this Sunday’s gospel account of the Annunciation. Troubled by the potential health risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration . . . More...
» Israel pressured to end occupation – In the reading from 2 Samuel this Sunday, the Lord promises the people of Israel a secure place where they may dwell “without further disturbance.” The history of strife and territorial disputes between modern-day Israel . . . More...
» “Dreamer” immigrants pass the driver’s test – “You have found favor with God,” the angel Gabriel assures Mary in Luke’s gospel this Sunday. Young immigrants spared from deportation in 2012 by way of President Obama’s Dream Act initiative have found favor with the Supreme Court . . . More...
Quote of the Week
"Pax franciscana" signed today between the Vatican and US women religious with #sistersreport Report of Vatican visitation of US nuns

—A tweet from Massimo Faggioli, a church historian at the University of St. Thomas

Fact of the Week
The U.S. economy added a seasonally adjusted 321,000 new jobs in November. Job creation is on track for the best year since 1999.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Pastoral Trends
Participation is more than a laughing matter
A rabbi, minister, and a priest went into bar . . . we know a joke is going to follow, don’t we? We even get ready to laugh a little and reset our tension and stress a bit. That is what both good ecumenism and interfaith dialogue are also about. It can only happen when we know and are comfortable in our identity as Catholics . . .  Read more...