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Sunday, December 11th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 11:2-11.


Third Sunday of Advent

11 December 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:2-11.

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus
with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’
Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Bible Hub

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Third Sunday of Advent

11 December 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444),

Bishop, Doctor of the Church
First Christological Dialogue, 706

“The blind regain their sight (…), the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them”

“The one who is coming after me is mightier than I. (…) He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mt 3,11). Are we to say that the ability to baptize in fire and the Holy Spirit is the work of a nature similar to ours? How can that be? And yet, talking about a man who has still not presented himself, John declares that this one will baptize “in fire and the Holy Spirit”: not as any other servant would do by blowing into the baptized a spirit that is not his own, but like someone who is God by nature, who gives with sovereign power what comes from him and what is particular to him. It is thanks to this that the divine seal is stamped within us.

In fact, in Jesus Christ we are transformed in his divine image, not because our body is molded once again but because we receive the Holy Spirit and earn possession of Christ himself, to the point of being able to cry out our joy forever: “My heart exults in the Lord…because he clothed me with salvation and jubilation” (1Sm 2,1). The apostle Paul in fact says: “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal 3,27).

Therefore, is it into a man that we have been baptized? Silence, you who are only a man; do you want to turn down our hopes? We have been baptized into a God who became man; he frees all those who believe in him from sorrow and from sin. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. (…) You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2,38). He delivers those who cling to him…; he binds his own nature to ours…The Spirit belongs exclusively to the Son, who became man, a man similar to us. For he himself is the life of everything that exists.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Third Sunday of Advent

11 December 2016

Saints of the day

St. Damasus I,

Pope († 384)

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SAINT DAMASUS I
Pope
(† 384)

        St. Damasus was born at Rome at the beginning of the fourth century. He was archdeacon of the Roman Church in 355, when Pope Liberius was banished to Berda, and followed him into exile, but afterward returned to Rome. On the death of Liberius our Saint was chosen to succeed him. Ursinus, a competitor for the high office, incited a revolt, but the holy Pope took only such action as was becoming to the common father of the faithful.

Having freed the Church of this new schism, he turned his attention to the extirpation of Arianism in the West and of Apollinarianism in the East, and for this purpose he convened several councils. He rebuilt the church of St. Laurence, which to this day is known as St. Laurence in Damaso; he made many valuable presents to this church, and settled upon it houses and lands in its vicinity. He likewise drained all the springs of the Vatican, which ran over the bodies that were buried there, and decorated the sepulchres of a great number of martyrs in the cemeteries, and adorned them with epitaphs in verse.

        Having sat eighteen years and two months, he died on the 10th of December, in 384, being near fourscore years of age.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Third Sunday of Advent

11 December 2016

Saints of the day

St. María Maravillas de Jesús

(1891-1974)

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SAINT MARÍA MARAVILLAS DE JESÚS
(Pidal y Chico de Guzmán)
Professed Nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites
(1891-1974)

        María de las Maravillas was born in Madrid, Spain, on 4 November 1891, the daughter of Luis Pidal y Mon, the Marquis of Pidal, and Cristina Chico de Guzmán y Muñoz. At the time her father was the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See, and she grew up in a devout Catholic family.

María made a vow of chastity at the age of five and devoted herself to charitable work. After coming into contact with the writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Jesus, she felt called to become a Discalced Carmelite. Her father, whom she had faithfully assisted when he became ill, died in 1913, and her mother was reluctant  to  accept  her  daughter’s decision to enter the Carmelite monastery.

        However, on 12 October 1919, María did enter the Discalced Carmelites of El Escorial in Madrid. She made her simple vows on 7 May 1921.

        Before her final profession on 30 May 1924, Sr María had already received a special call from God to found the Carmel of Cerro de los Ángeles, and the foundation was inaugurated on 31 October 1926 with three other Carmelites. This was the first of the series of Teresian Carmelite Monasteries that she would establish, according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites. María was not being called to found a new order or to “branch off” from the Discalced Carmelites – she herself was very careful in pointing this out; she only sought to live deeply and to transmit the spirit and ideals of St Teresa of Jesus and St John of the Cross.

        On 28 June 1926, the Bishop of the Diocese  of  Madrid-Alcalá  appointed her prioress of the new monastery. In 1933 she established another foundation in Kottayam, India, and from this Carmel other foundations were started in India.

        Her role as prioress would be permanent in the various monasteries she founded throughout her life, notwithstanding the natural aversion and sense of inadequacy she felt in accepting positions of responsibility. María’s spirit of obedience and love for the Church and for her Carmelite sisters, however, gave her the strength and diligence to carry out this duty with love.

        Mother Maravillas was often criticized for the poverty of the convents she founded; charges were made that they were “not solid”, small in size and unfurnished, with bare walls on which hung chosen Bible verses or writings of the Carmelite saints. She would reply, however, that “it is not our concern to plant a seed, since the Discalced Carmelites have already been founded. Even if our convents collapse, nothing will happen”.

        During the Spanish Civil War, the nuns of Cerro de los Ángeles lived in an apartment in Madrid. In September 1937 another Carmel in the Batuecas, Salamanca, was founded. In 1939 the monastery  of  Cerro  de  los  Ángeles was restored. Even amid enormous deprivation, Mother Maravillas instilled courage and happiness, always being an admirable example to her daughters.

        But she also remained a mystery even to the nuns closest to her, since only her spiritual directors knew the “dark night of the soul” that she lived throughout her life, which kept her in profound spiritual aridity and trials, and made total faith and abandonment to the will of God her guide.

        In the following years, foundations were established in other parts of Spain. Mother Maravillas also restored and sent nuns to her original Carmel of El Escorial and to the venerable monastery of the Incarnation in Avila.

        In order to unite the monasteries founded  by  her  and  others  that  had the same finality, she founded  the Association of St Teresa, which received official approval from the Holy See in 1972.

        On 8 December 1974, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Mother Maravillas was anointed and received Holy Communion. On 11 December, surrounded by her community in the Carmel of La Aldehuela, Madrid, she died. At  the  time  of  her  death, her sisters report that Mother Maravillas kept repeating the phrase:  “What happiness to die a Carmelite!”.

        She was beatified on 10 May 1998 and canonized on 4 May 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Third Sunday of Advent

11 December 2016

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