Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sunday Gospel Reflection: January 1, 2012

Luke 2:16-21
Christmas is over. Guests are gone. Our homes and routines are (more or less) back to normal. In this first Sunday after Christmas we are invited to do what Mary did the first week after the birth of Jesus: slow down and adore the Lord.

Two reflections on this feast that we celebrate today: Mary, Mother of God:

1. Naming Mary the Mother of God means that Jesus is the Son of God. The incarnation (God becoming man) means that God dwells with us . At the Council of Ephesus in the 4th Century the raging debate was trying to answer the question: how can Jesus be both God and Man. Some were saying that Jesus was not really God but the Council disagreed and declared that Jesus was consubstantial (of the same substance) of the Father. By declaring that Mary is the Mother of God they were making a radical theological statement: He was not just some prophet or good person, Jesus was truly God. He took on our human nature and came to be with us. Why did God do this? St. Athanasius says that “God became man so that man might become like God”. Because Jesus took on our nature He opened up for us a path to Heaven that was not there before. As a result the whole world is charged with God’s presence (like static electricity) through which we can encounter God and bring about the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

-Where do I see God’s presence around me? Within me?
-Does believing that God became man change how I see or interact with the world?

2. Do what Mary did--Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. These words from today’s Gospel offer us a powerful image: Mary at age 13 ponders shepherds, magi, prophesies and the newborn child that she is holding who is the Son of God. Mary needed time to reflect on the wonder and mysteries of God that had taken place. After celebrating the birth of Jesus (and beginning a new year) we too need to set aside (concretely!) time to allow our hearts and minds the time to wonder at the work of God in our lives and to reflect on what we are to do and (more importantly) who we are to be as a result.

-Am I the kind of person I want to be? That I was created to be?
-Do I believe that God has a plan for me? Am I really trying to listen to what God might be telling me?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Shepherds Dance

A visual representation of the joy of the lowly shepherds who witnessed Jesus lying in a manger.  Be sure to watch to the end to witness the appearance of the Christ child, and the shepherds' reaction.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (10)

This phrase is uttered by a Roman centurion (Matt. 8:8) who approaches Jesus and asks Him to heal his servant. The centurion, a sinful man who was outside of the Jewish Covenant, knows that he is not worthy for Jesus to come under his roof to heal his servant but has great confidence in the power of Jesus. Jesus replies, ‘In no one in Israel have I found such faith.’ We too are unworthy for Jesus to enter under our ‘roof’ but pray that we may have similarly heroic faith as we pray with the centurion.  When we ask that our “soul” might be healed, we are recognizing that this healing must take place not in our ego (“I”), but in the very core of our being.

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (9)

The new people’s acclamations after the consecration will be introduced by the priest saying simply, “The Mystery of Faith,” recognizing in declarative fashion the Eucharist now present on the altar.  Through the consecration, the bread and wine and the community have all been transformed; this transformation will be completed by the second half of the Eucharistic Prayer.  However, at this moment in the Mass, we are all standing before a miracle, and we acknowledge it as the central Mystery of our Faith.  The three new acclamations are all grounded more deeply in Scripture, and all more directly address Christ made present in the Eucharist, and our relationship with him.  

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Holy Night

You’ve seen ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures:  so many images come to mind!  But on this Holy Night, O Holy Night, what changed?  Is there a ‘before’ and an ‘after’?  How did Jesus’ coming alter our world, alter our very selves?  The French Cantique de Noël, translated as the hymn O Holy Night, begins to answer that question.

The ‘before’ picture?  Sin and error, weariness, chains and enslavement, oppression.  And the ‘after’ picture?  A thrill of hope…. A new and glorious morn… Love and peace and joy…  And, perhaps most importantly, the soul felt its worth.  When does a soul feel its worth?  When it is found.  When it is seen.  When it is chosen. When it is remembered.  When it is favored.  When it is forgiven.  When it is set free of chains, liberated to celebrate God’s love, a love that confers dignity and justice.  We are all chosen; we are all loved, loved by the God who took our sins to the cross for love of us.  This is indeed a holy night, a night to rejoice in the Savior who chooses us, each of us, and enfolds us in his boundless love.

Listen, and really hear, this lovely rendition of O Holy Night, sung by a beautiful voice some parishioners may recognize:  Elaine Dempsey, of Big Wide Grin, used to sing in the Sunday 5:30pm choir at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Her Christmas music is available on the CD Big Wide Holiday Grin.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (8)

The changes to the priest’s parts in the Mass are numerous, but a few may stand out for those of us in the pews, particularly in the new forms of the Eucharistic Prayers.  Again, the new language of the Mass, by its very unfamiliarity, offers us a great opportunity to reflect more deeply on the meaning of the words we are now hearing for the first time.

Three changes stand out.  The new language of the epiclesis reads, “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall…”  This beautiful image of dewfall is a poetic echo of the manna in the desert, which came down from heaven each day with the morning’s dew.  It thus reminds us that the Eucharist is our new manna, our bread from heaven.  It also echoes Isaiah 45:8:  "Let justice descend, you heavens, like dew from above..."

Also, rather than refer to “the cup of my blood,” the Eucharistic Prayer now uses the word “chalice.”  This word distinguishes a cup that is used for a sacred purpose as opposed to just any other cup, setting it apart from other vessels.

The change from “for you and for all” to “poured out for you and for many” is a more accurate translation of what Jesus says at the Last Supper (Matt. 26:28). The phrase ‘for the many’, used by Isaiah in the Old Testament, is not a word that implies a limit to God’s gift of salvation; rather, it expresses a sense of abundance and plentitude.  It also reminds us that although Jesus offers salvation to all of us, it is up to us to receive it.

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Prayer - The Angelus

For centuries, Catholics have prayed the Angelus as a devotion in honor of the Incarnation of Jesus.  The prayer echoes the story of Mary’s Fiat, her consent to become the mother of the Messiah.  Traditionally, the Angelus – a series of Gospel verses punctuated with the Hail Mary (words below) – was said three times daily when the church bells were rung, once in the morning, once at noon, and once in the evening.  Individuals can pray the entire prayer alone, though if the Angelus is prayed by a group, a leader alternates with the assembly. 

In recalling the Incarnation of the Son of God, God made flesh, we pray that we may be led “though his passion and cross to the glory of his resurrection.”  You may recognize Jean-François Millet’s famous painting titled “The Angelus,” which depicts two peasants stopping their work in the fields to meditate on the beauty of the Incarnation, and Mary’s role in that event.  They bow their heads at the words, "And the Word was made flesh..."

The Prayer:

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary…

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary…

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary…

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V. Let us pray.
R. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (7)

The website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tells us that, “The word ‘hosts’ refers to a great gathering or multitude, and speaks here of God’s command over the heavenly host of angelic armies.”  In the New Testament, “hosts” refers to all those who gather around the throne, who have lived obedient to God, and been transformed by God.  Through this transformation, they have experienced the fullness of God’s love.  We have therefore set aside the expression, “God of power and might” so that the focus can shift to all those God has gathered in his love. 

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Donkey's Dream

Barbara Berger talks about writing The Donkey's Dream, the story of a donkey who wakes from unusual burdens to find he has carried Mary to the stable where Jesus was born:

"The idea for The Donkey’s Dream came to me in visual images one day, during a meditation. Each image was carried on a small gray donkey’s back, and later I recognized them as symbols of the great archtypal Mother. Though they were all in use before Christianity, these beautiful symbols were given to Mary by the Church. The idea of a donkey carrying the sacred feminine in the form of these images, just as he carried Mary to Bethlehem, seemed a true inspiration to me. It was a gift, dropping gently into my lap.
Doing the art for this book gave me a chance to paint my love not only for the Christmas story itself, and the feminine symbols in this vision of the story, but for stained glass windows, illuminated books, and the art of great painters like Fra Angelico, whose work had deeply moved me when I studied art in Italy. I did not try to copy any works in particular, only to suffuse my book with the flavor."

Picture credit

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 18th: Sunday Gospel Reflection

Luke 1: 26-38

One of the challenges of faith is to recognize God's plan for us and to remain open to God's will and God's actions in our world. Filled with God's grace, Mary models for us the kind of faith that is needed to cooperate in God's plan of salvation. Like Mary, we are given the awesome opportunity to cooperate in God's saving plan. On this final Sunday of Advent, our Gospel invites us to consider how our preparations for Christmas have made us more aware of God's grace working in our lives.

Gather together your family and talk about what you have been doing as a family to prepare for Christmas. How have these preparations helped you to better celebrate the central mystery of Christmas, the Incarnation? Our Gospel today talks about how Mary was prepared for her role in Christ's birth. Read today's Gospel, Luke 1:26-38. Consider the question:

-What enabled Mary to say yes to God?
-Which of your Advent activities have made you more aware of God's grace in your life?

Conclude in prayer together that God's grace will enable your family to be more faithful and obedient to God. 

(reflection from

Friday, December 16, 2011

Should you build me a house to dwell in?

“Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you.”  In this week’s gospel, the angel Gabriel greets Mary with words that point to Mary’s already-existing relationship with God, a relationship that allows her to respond positively to the angel’s announcement that God will be dwelling in her through the working of the Holy Spirit.  Mary, like Abraham before her, knows that "nothing will be impossible for God."

Like Mary, we too must be ready to allow God to be born in us, to dwell in us.  Incarnation is God’s action, God’s entrance into our lives, the Revelation that makes all previous revelations make sense.  God’s desire to dwell in us reveals the depth of God’s love for us.  God promised David an eternal relationship:  Should you build me a house to dwell in?... I have been with you wherever you went.  We come to know the truth of this relationship, this in-dwelling, when we open our hearts to God, as Mary did.  The Lord is with you, with us, dwelling in each of us, in intimate relationship, faithful to the promise, forever.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (6)

The word “consubstantial,” which now appears in the Creed, is a mouthful, and while it means essentially the same thing as “one in Being with the Father,” its inclusion gives us a great opportunity to stop and think about what that section of the prayer really means.  The expression “consubstantial” refers to the essence, or essential qualities, shared by the Father and the Son – not physical qualities, but qualities beyond the ken of human senses. 

This idea also helps to explain the expression, “born of the Father before all ages” earlier in the Creed.  Jesus’ life did not begin with his human birth in Bethlehem; he is of the Father, proceeds from the Father, and has always existed; he is the one through whom God made all; he shares the divine nature of God.

On the other hand, we now say that, “by the Holy Spirit” Jesus “was incarnate of the Virgin Mary.”  This helps to remind us of Jesus’ fully human nature as well.  Mary conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit and thus provided Jesus with his existence in the flesh, in-carne; she is the vehicle through which he is made human, or takes on humanity, from the moment of conception.  The word ‘incarnate’ is a direct translation of the Latin.

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

4min Advent Video Reflection!

A short, reflective video from Fr. Paul Kollman C.S.C. at the University of Notre Dame

Last Night's Gift Wrapping Party For 2 Marin Tutoring Centers!

Check out pictures of our families gift wrapping items collected for the Manzanita Child Development Program in Marin City and the Canal Family Support Program in the Canal neighborhood in San Rafael! 

Thanks to Carlos and Lauren from the Canal Family Support Program for talking with us about how poverty and language difficulties affect young people's ability to succeed in the classroom.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (5)

We are not accustomed to starting the Creed with “I believe.”  However, since it was written in the 300’s A.D., the word for beginning the creed has always been Credo (I believe) not Creemos (we believe).  We have always used the word “I” in the baptismal creed (“Do you reject Satan?” “I do.”) as well as in the Apostles’ Creed.  This change therefore aligns all three creeds together.

Moreover, just as a couple says ‘I love you’ instead of ‘we love each other’, when we profess our faith in God and His Church we do so as individual believers gathered as a community.  To say, “I believe” is to speak from the fullness of our person, adding our individual piece, giving witness to our own belief, and fitting it together with those of others so that we can be community (rather than presuming community).  We have to come together to claim this common identity whereby we are all parts of one body.

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Waiting...

Check out this video of the Kids Marshmallow Experiment! 

How are you spending Advent? Waiting anxiously or waiting in joyful hope?

Advent: Waiting in Joyful Hope

Sometimes it seems as though we spend our lives waiting. Daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, worrying over a medical test, preparing for the birth of grandchild, our days are filled with anticipation and anxiety over what the future holds.

As Catholic Christians, we too spend our lives waiting. But we are waiting for something much bigger than a trip, bigger even than retirement or a wedding: We are waiting for the return of Jesus in glory. Advent heightens this sense of waiting, because it marks not only our anticipation of Jesus' final coming, but also our remembrance of his arrival into our world more than 2,000 years ago.

Overwhelmed by the demands of the season, we can wait for Jesus in a state of anxiety, or cynicism, or harried indifference toward the miracle that is upon us. Or we can take our cue from the prayer we hear every Sunday and "wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." Welcoming Jesus into our homes and our hearts, full of hope and joy, prepares us to properly celebrate Jesus' birth and anticipate his return.

The stories of Advent help us strike the right note for our wait: the prophecies of Isaiah and John the Baptist, full of their own stern hope; the pregnancies of Mary and Elizabeth, each as joyous as it is unexpected; the miracles, cures and other signs pointing the way to the Savior. Use these reflections to immerse yourself in the season, and find your own hope and joy along the wait.

Faith Leads To Joy!

Watch 2 Minutes of Wisdom With James Martin based on his new book Between Heaven and Mirth!

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent called Gaudate Sunday which means, rejoicing Sunday. We are reminded that the time is drawing near for Jesus' coming and that we should wait with joyful hope! Faith in God should make us a people of Joy!

Do something good for yourself today! 
Watch 2 Minutes of Wisdom With James Martin based on his new book Between Heaven and Mirth!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 11th, 2011: Sunday Gospel Reflection

John 1:6-8, 19-28
This is the question people asked John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. He must have seemed strange indeed: he ate insects, wore itchy clothes made out of camel’s hair, lived in the desert, and preached for people to be baptized with water for the forgiveness of their sins! Some people thought he was crazy, others thought he was the Son of God, but John tells the people that he is the voice of one crying out in the desert, 'make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said." And that “there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie." John knew who he was. He was not God but was called by God to prepare the way for Jesus.

Who are you? What is your identity? What are you here for?

Singer Natasha Bedingfield answered this question in the lyrics of her 2004 single “Unwritten”, singing: I am unwritten; sometimes my tries are outside the lines. I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned…

Bedingfield believed that we are in total control of our destiny and that we can create ourselves to be whatever we want to be. In many ways this is true: we can change our looks, clothes, activities, interests, professions, etc. Yet these things do not define us. We are a human being not a human doing! Though we can change many things about what we do we cannot change our core identity. Who are you?

St. Augustine answered this question by praying “you have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”.  For St. Augustine (who lived in the 4th century) our identity is found by resting in God. Christians believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God. No matter what we do or what we say we will always be the beloved of God, made in His image. What we can change is our likeness to God. Through our thoughts, words and actions we can either grow to resemble God more and more or we can look less and less like Him.

In today’s first reading Isaiah prays that “the spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me”. We have been chosen by God, blessed and are now anointed, sent into the world. In the second reading, a letter from St. Paul, he reminds the Christian community of their own identity as God’s beloved daughters and sons by telling them to “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” We are made to celebrate God’s love that is within us and to share that with the world.

Who are we? We are the beloved daughters and sons of God made in His image and likeness. As a result we are anointed and sent forth to be a people of love and joy!

This third Sunday in Advent is called Gaudate Sunday, which means Rejoice! Sunday. We are only two weeks away from the coming of Jesus at Christmas and we remind ourselves of the joy that is coming! We are reminded not to lose hope in these dark days but to stay awake and prepare the way of the Lord who is infinite joy!

*Photo Credit 1, 2, and 3

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holy is His Name

This week, in place of the psalm, we hear and respond to the Canticle of Mary, those verses from the first chapter of Luke’s gospel in which Mary proclaims how God is working in her life.  Weaving together quotes from the Old Testament, the Canticle of Mary gives voice to the spirit rejoicing in her as she opens herself to an awareness of the salvation that will come about because of her “Yes” to God.  Mary embraces the relationship God is offering her, and is filled with fear of the Lord (awe) as well as jubilation:  My soul rejoices in my God, she prays, as do we, in response to the verses of the Canticle.  May our spirits, too, proclaim the goodness of the Lord, recognizing the good things he has done for us.

Take a few minutes to listen to John Michael Talbot’s beautiful rendition of this 'psalm' in “Holy is His Name,” and make this prayer your own.  How are you willing to allow God to work through you?  Does the knowledge that God is working in you make your soul rejoice?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Words (Re)new Meaning (4)

The new language of the Gloria heightens the poetic experience of this foundational hymn of our Church by echoing various Scripture passages.  When we say, “and on earth peace to people of good will,” we remember the angels heralding the glad tidings of Jesus’ birth, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  The reference to “people of good will” suggests a certain responsibility:  we have to belong to God, to have chosen relationship, for peace to be ours.  The U.S. Catholic Bishops’ website also notes that this phrase highlights the fact “that the Messiah’s coming brings the world a higher order of divine peace that only the incarnate Son of God can bestow.” 

We now also have new words of homage to God:  in addition to worshipping, giving thanks, and praising God (all in the former version of the Gloria), we will include, “we bless you, we adore you.”  These two expressions are restored from the Latin version, and the poetic repetition that results enhances our demonstration of appreciation for God’s action in our lives, and allows us better to express that awe.

To say that Jesus is the “Only Begotten Son” allows us to recognize that the special relationship between God and Jesus.  We, too, are children (“sons”) of God, but Jesus is of God’s substance; they are of one essence, and the term “begotten” better captures that reality.

We see more poetic repetition in the addition of a second, “you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer,” which causes the entire passage to echo the Kyrie and the Lamb of God in its form of supplication:  “have mercy on us; receive our prayer; have mercy on us.”

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Prayer: Magnificat ~ All that I Am

Tomorrow, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we celebrate Mary's freedom from original sin, a freedom that opened her to say "Yes!" to God when she was visited by the angel Gabriel.  (Well, actually, she said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word."  But that's just a long way of saying, "Yes!" -- don't you think?)  As you listen to David Haas's song, "All that I Am," think about what God might be giving birth to in you today.  Are you saying, "Yes!"?

(This song is available on David Haas's "Best of David Haas," Vol. 1, "Blest Are They.")

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If Joseph and Mary were on Facebook...

(with thanks to Ed A., who shared this video!)

How has Advent figured into your own social networking lately?
(A note to email subscribers to the blog:
If no video is displayed, click on the title link in this message
to go directly to the blog, where the video is accessible.)

New Words (Re)new Meaning (3)

Before we come to the table of Eucharist together we first confess our sins so that we as a community might be in right relationship with God and each other to actually be what we receive: Communion. When we pray, ‘I have greatly sinned”, we speak through the words of King David’s prayer of repentance to God (1 Chr. 21:8) echoing his sorrow. Along with prayers of sorrow, in the Old Testament, God’s people would repent through physical expressions of sorrow: beating of the breast, tearing their clothes, sitting in sack-cloth and ashes, etc. During this prayer we enter into this practice by making a fist with our hands and gently striking our breast as we pray the three-fold repetition: ‘through my fault’. This repetition makes present that experience of being so sorry that we apologize more than once to fully express our sorrow and desire to be in right relationship. 

If sin is an obstacle in our relationship with God, then we need a moment to acknowledge what keeps God from working effectively in our lives.  In an important way, then, we are acknowledging our need for God, his place in our lives, and inviting him into our hearts that need healing.  The gesture of striking our breast is thus not simply remorse, but also focus, invitation.

(Information in this post was compiled by Fr. Pat, Jonathan, and Suzanne.) 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Keeping Christmas Fair

Check out this article and links about Fair Trade goods during the holday season courtasy of The Romero Center in Camden, NJ!

The Advent season is a powerful time for us to engage the mysterious and unexplainable love of God.  During Advent we are asked to pause and prepare our hearts for the little baby Jesus, as we try to take on the anxious miracle of the Incarnation.  Our hearts are invited to enter into the holy choir of the heavenly angels, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)  This is the beginning of the kingdom of God and we are its heralds.
At the same time, we are invited by our society to whip ourselves into a holiday frenzy, leaving our Thanksgiving tables early, forgoing sleep, dodging clouds of pepper sprayto chase the best of the retail bait. We show our love materially, by purchasing the most that we can for the least amount of money in as short a time as possible.  We wipe the rabid foam of our consumerist lust from our tired jowls and say, “I hope you like it.”
It is difficult to keep the peace and joy of Advent intact in our hearts with the false promises of consumerism.  By being thoughtful and intentional with our gifts purchased this year, we can express the love and joy of the holiday season while respecting the dignity of the human beings who created the clothing, toys, and other gifts that we purchase.

Here are some great fair trade resources for Christmas:

Romero Center Ministries
Clothing and Accessories
Food, Coffee, and Gifts
Art, Green Living, Sports, and Misc.

MC Teens earn Tam High Hawks of the Week!

Congrats to Mount Carmel teens Paula Venables and Haley Fretes for sweeping the Hawk of the Week awards at Tam High! 

Know of a youth who has been recognized? Let us know so our community can celebrate with them!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4th 2011: Sunday Gospel Reflection

Prepare the way of the Lord
How am I readying the way of the Lord to be born in my heart and actions this Advent? 

(answer this question concretely and measurably)

A Reading from the Gospel According to Mark 
(Mark 1:1-8)

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths."
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."