Third Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of

  • December 11, 2016 10AM

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2016, we reflected that —

  • In the gospel, there is the list of what Jesus tells the messenger to tell the imprisoned John the Baptist of what is happening — healing blind, lame, deaf, dead, etc…  Usually in a list the last item is the most important.  In this case, the last item is “the poor have good news preached to them.”  A good cause for reflection that it is in the same list as the others and in the place of prominence (the one that the listener will most likely remember).
  • Who could be scandalized by Jesus’ miracles?  Why are leaders so hostile?  It’s not just the miracles; it is what underlies them, i.e.,  that God is reconciled with us, and there is a Messiah. 
  • John the Baptist is the great cry in the wilderness but the least in the Kindom is greater.
  • Michael Blumenthal’s poem I Think Constantly of Those Who Were Truly Great is about the least in the Kindom of our times, and it has a lot of vocabulary builders!
    • quotidian = daily, ordinaryPerseus = an ancient Greek hero who slew Medusa (serpent head, and could turn you to stone) and flew the winged horse Pegasusmundanity = common, of the earth
    • übermenschlicke = good human, really humble, to the nth degree
  • Even John the Baptist is pointing to Jesus; the ordinary folks like us?  We’re still in the Kindom recognizing the presence of our Savior.
  • Something that I enjoyed from SALT Lectionary’s The Dawn Chorus reflection booklet this week:

When birds break into song and begin their glorious dawn chorus, you might wonder: Why do they sing in the first place? Here’s what we know. Birds sing for two big reasons: first, to mark their territories (This is my house!); and second, to attract a mate (Want to make a home together?). But some scientists believe birds also sing for the sake of delight. Charles Darwin, for example, wrote that birds sing “for their own amusement.” A third big reason, then, may be just that: birds sing because it gives them joy!

The same is true for humans. Especially when we sing with others, our brains release endorphins and oxytocin (the “bonding” or “love” hormone), which is known to reduce stress and increase feelings of trust and gladness. It’s no wonder Isaiah’s vision of a new world features the wilderness singing for joy!

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