The Weekend of December 14-15
by Adam Mumm
This Weekend at SJTW
Father Paul joins us for the Third Sunday of Advent!
In the Readings
First Reading Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10
The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands. The desert will sing and shout for joy; it will be as beautiful as the Lebanon Mountains and as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the Lord’s splendor, see his greatness and power. Give strength to hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness. Tell everyone who is discouraged, “Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue, coming to punish your enemies.” The blind will be able to see, and the deaf will hear. The lame will leap and dance, and those who cannot speak will shout for joy. They will reach Jerusalem with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief.
Second Reading James 5:7-10
Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as they wait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains. You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near. Do not complain against one another, my friends, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear. My friends, remember the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Take them as examples of patient endurance under suffering.
Gospel Matthew 11:2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison about the things that Christ was doing, he sent some of his disciples to him. “Tell us,” they asked Jesus, “are you the one John said was going to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus answered, “Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. How happy are those who have no doubts about me!”
While John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus spoke about him to the crowds: “When you went out to John in the desert, what did you expect to see? A blade of grass bending in the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in fancy clothes? People who dress like that live in palaces! Tell me, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes indeed, but you saw much more than a prophet. For John is the one of whom the scripture says: ‘God said, I will send my messenger ahead of you to open the way for you.’ I assure you that John the Baptist is greater than anyone who has ever lived. But the one who is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than John.
After the 5:00 and 8:30 Masses, we will welcome new members into God’s family through the sacrament of baptism!
Father Paul’s Homily
Paper copies of Fr. Paul’s homily are available in the church entrances. You can also read it online here beginning Sunday afternoon.
Please have all Giving Tree gifts under the tree by Monday, Dec. 16. We also ask that the gifts are wrapped with the ornament securely attached. Thanks!
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
There will be Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 8:30 and 11:00 Masses. All kids between the ages of 5-10 and their guardians are invited to Martin Hall before the First Reading.
In the entrances to church, you’ll find Advent books and prayer cards to help you prepare for Christmas! You can also pick up a Catholic calendar for 2020!
When Jesus was born, He certainly wasn’t what people were expecting. They didn’t expect the King to be born in a barn or to show such love and forgiveness. Even John the Baptist was surprised, asking Jesus if He was really the Messiah John was expecting. Expectations are placed on all of us as well. In our society, we’re expected to do what we can to make more money, gain more power and look out for ourselves. Join us this Advent as we learn to follow Jesus’ example and go beyond what the world expects of us. Join us as we work to Shatter Expectations.
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