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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.

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4th Sunday of Advent
 
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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 18, 2014
World news in light of the Good News
for Sunday, December 14, 2014

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Preaching the News
» Senate report condemns C.I.A. interrogation program – This Sunday’s second reading from the Letter to the Thessalonians admonishes us to “refrain from every kind of evil.” In similar fashion, Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein, outgoing chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday released a lengthy executive summary . . . More...
» Car-sharing service faces uber-challenge – John the Baptist is asked by priests and Levites to explain himself in this Sunday’s gospel: “Who are you . . . What do you have to say for yourself?” The car-sharing service Uber . . . More...
» Grieving widow forgives failed U.S. raid – In this Sunday’s first reading, Isaiah is empowered by the Spirit to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to prisoners. The widow of a South African teacher killed in Yemen during a failed U.S.-led raid to release an American held with him said she holds no bitterness . . . More...
» Swiss dismissed as chief of papal guard – The psalmist this Sunday is pleased to be a servant of the Lord and hopes to be looked to with favor. Apparently the current commander of the Swiss Guard, charged to protect the pope, has fallen out of favor with Pope Francis. The Vatican quietly announced the dismissal of Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig . . . More...
Quote of the Week

“If police officers wear body cameras, 50 percent of their complaints will go away overnight.”

—Steve Ward, CEO of body camera manufacturer Vievu, commenting in a study that claims body cameras help law enforcement

Source: Fusion.net

Fact of the Week
Students who went on field trips to see live theater later tested as being more tolerant and better able to read the emotions of others than those who only read the play in class.

Source: The Atlantic and Educationnext.org

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...