9 December, 2018

‘Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist’ by Sandro Boticelli (1475) Louvre Museum, ParisSecond Sunday of Advent

Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 125:1-6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

Prepare a way for the Lord

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

Fill the Valleys, Lower the Mountains

Today’s Gospel invites us to make a careful examination of conscience. St Luke speaks of “ways to be made straight”, of “valleys to be filled”, of “mountains” and “hills to be brought low” so that all flesh may see the salvation of God (cf. Lk 3: 4-6). These “valleys to be filled” make us think of the gap that can be seen in some people between the faith they profess and the daily life they lead:  The Council counted this dichotomy as “one of the gravest errors of our time” (Gaudium et spes, n. 43).

The “paths to be straightened” also recall the situation of some believers who extract from the complete and unchangeable patrimony of the faith certain subjectively selected elements, actually in the light of the dominant mentality, and abandon the straight path of Gospel spirituality to follow vague values inspired by a conventional and irenic moralism. In fact, although the Christian lives in a multiethnic and multireligious society, he cannot fail to sense the urgency of the missionary mandate which prompted St Paul to exclaim:  “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9: 16).

The Gospel of Christ, the message of happiness for every person, whatever his age, class, culture or nation, should be courageously presented in every circumstance, in every context, favourable or not.
St. John Paul II, Homily to Catechists, 10 December, 2000

Fri 21 St. Peter Canisius Priest and Doctor

Psalter Week II     

3rd Sunday of Advent Readings
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Resp: Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

The Baptist … the Prophet

The Son of God being about to gather together the Church, commences His work in His servant. And so it is well said, ‘The word, of the Lord came to John,’ that the Church should begin not from man, but from the Word. But Luke, in order to declare that John was a prophet, rightly used these few words, ‘The word of the Lord came to him.’ He adds nothing else, for they need not their own judgment who are filled with the Word of God. By saying this one thing, he has therefore declared all … The Word came, and the voice followed. For the Word first works inward, then follows the office of the voice, as it is said, ‘And he went into all the country about Jordan.’
St. Ambrose (Catena Aurea)

Weekly News

Parish Christmas Lunch and Raffle Sunday 9 Dec, 1:30pm at LPH. Must sign up for catering purposes. €10 suggested donation.

Shopping Trip to Nicosia Monday 10 Dec 2018, Coach leaving from Debenham’s at 8am, €17, come back at 7:30pm. Stops at M&S, Ledra Street, Ikea Mall. Bring passport if you’d like to walk to the North. Information call Linda 9956 2387.

Christmas Get Together at Hospice, Wednesday 12 Dec, 10am-1pm. Christmas Stalls, live entertainment by Island Blend, mulled wine, tea, coffee, homemade cakes, minced pies and ginger bread. €5 Donation.

Annual Light up a Life Service: Thurs 13 Dec, 6pm AK. Dedicate a candle in memory of a loved one, €8 each dedication, contact Mary Penny at 96398641. All proceeds to help our Hospice.

Nativity Play 2018 Sunday 23 December 3:30pm at the Parish Hall. Join the SJP2 Oratory children in this representation of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. All are welcome.

Give a Christmas present to a poor child CARITAS Paphos needs educational toys, warm clothes, school items (no soft toys please). Donations and prayers always help. Call Wendy at 99040294.

Mass Times HERE