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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 11.12.2022

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 11.12.2022


ISAIAH 35: 1 – 6a, 10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the lily it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The Word of the Lord

Psalm 146: 6c – 7, 8 – 9a, 9bc — 10 (R.) Is 35: 4

R/. Come, Lord, and save us.

It is the Lord who preserves fidelity forever,
who does justice to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord who sets prisoners free. R/.

It is the Lord who opens the eyes of the blind,
the Lord who raises up those who are bowed down.
It is the Lord who loves the just,
the Lord who protects the stranger. R/.

The Lord upholds the orphan and the widow,
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever,
the God of Sion from age to age. R/.

“Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
JAMES 5: 7 – 10

Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors. As an example of suffering and patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Luke 4: 18

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has sent me to preach good news to the poor.

“Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another? “
MATTHEW 11: 2 – 11

In those days: When John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offence at me.” As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? Why then did you go out? To see a man dressed in soft robes? Behold, those who wear soft robes are in kings’ houses. Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.’ Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Change and Newness in Christ
December 11, 2022

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?” (Matthew 11:2–3)

Why did Saint John the Baptist send his disciples to Jesus to ask this question? Recall that John had previously stated about Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). So if John knew that Jesus was the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” then why would he send his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the one who is to come?

The Church Fathers explore many reasons, but most arrive at the conclusion that John did this not because he didn’t know Who Jesus was, but for the sake of his disciples, so that they would come to follow our Lord once John was killed by Herod. So this was a way of trying to point his disciples to Jesus and to encourage them to embrace this new change in their life of faith.

Jesus understood the reason John sent his disciples to Him. As a result, Jesus gave these disciples what they needed so as to come to believe themselves. He points them to the works that He has done as the Christ so that they would be able to interpret these works on their own and, thus, come to the newness of faith. Jesus points out that 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. Who could argue with such miraculous signs from Heaven? But Jesus goes even further and states something very subtle. He says, “And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” This line appears to be one way that Jesus gently reproached these disciples for what appears to be their own personal struggle with this change of spiritual leaders. Jesus identified a certain “offense” that they were dealing with. They were “offended” by the fact that Jesus was indeed increasing while John was decreasing.

In many ways, this is a common experience any time there is a change in our spiritual lives. When something is new, we often struggle with various aspects of the change and newness. But the Christian life is all about change, transformation and newness of life. And this is good. We must seek to change, be transformed, build better and new relationships, learn new ways of loving and reaching out, and become very comfortable with any and every new experience that our Lord places in our lives.

Reflect, today, upon any way that you have struggled with changes in your spiritual life. Oftentimes, those things we struggle with are actually glorious opportunities to live our Christian faith and charity on a new level. Seek out the changes God is calling you to embrace in your life and know that even if they are difficult, they are the surest pathway to a life of greater holiness for you.

Dear Lord, I know You call me to embrace the newness of life and the changes that I must endure so as to follow You more faithfully. Help me to be open to all that You call me to so that I will continually become a new creation in Your grace. Jesus, I trust in You.

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