Third Sunday of Advent -Year A

by Fr Dabulamanzi Ntshangase

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Be brave and patient in times of trial

On this gaudate Sunday (third Sunday of Advent) all readings contain words of comfort, patience and perseverance in the waiting of Christ. Isaiah in the first reading calls us to take courage and not to be afraid because God is coming to save us. The Apostle, James, further calls us to be patient and not to lose heart in the waiting for this coming. He urges the kind of patience and hope that farmers show in waiting for their harvest. Jesus directing his words to John the, baptiser, says that ‘blessed is the person who does not lose faith in me.’ This message of perseverance and patience in the waiting of Christ should sink into our hearts because more often than not we find ourselves faced by dark and difficult situations in life. As a result, we lose faith and opt for despair.
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December 2019: The Future of the Very Young

by Fr. Henry Shea, SJ

Pope’s Prayer Intention, December 2019

Let us pray that every country decides to take necessary measures to make the future of children a priority, especially the future of children who are suffering today.

Shortly after my ordination I was missioned by the Jesuits to England for doctoral studies. There are few British winter traditions more famous than the service of Lessons and Carols held on Christmas Eve at Kings College Cambridge and broadcast throughout the country on the BBC. Since 1919 the choir at Kings College has opened this service with the same hymn, “Once in Royal David’s City,” the simple lyrics of which speak to the profound paradox of the mystery of Christmas. “He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all. And his shelter was a stable, and His cradle was a stall. With the poor, and mean, and lowly, lived on earth our Savior holy.” Continue reading “December 2019: The Future of the Very Young”

Second Sunday of Advent – Year A

by Fr Dabulamanzi Ntshangase

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‘John the baptiser was that “Elijah”’

Most of the prophets in the Old Testament prepared people for the coming of the Messiah. The Jewish people, therefore, were longing and hoping for the coming of this Messiah. The Messiah was to come very quickly and they were expecting him in their own life time. Based on the prophecy of Malachi 3:23-24, the Jews believed that the prophet, Elijah, would return to herald the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptiser was that ‘Elijah’. This is because the clothing of John, as described in the Gospel episode, resembles that of Elijah. 2 Kings 1:8 stipulates that Elijah ‘wore a hairy garment with a leather belt around his waist.’ Again, like Elijah, John seems to be an outsider, living in the desert. Scripturally, the desert amongst other things is a place or an experience of intimacy with God (Hosea 2:16). John preached the Gospel of repentance. His message, even today, urges us to change our hearts, our selves, and our ways of life. Through his message the Lord God is urging us to hear his voice, soften our hearts and turn our lives around. Advent, amongst other things therefore, is a time for us to be sorry for our sins. It is a time for us to make our ways straight from God’s heart to our own hearts.
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First Sunday of Advent – Year A

by Fr Dabulamanzi Ntshangase

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We, Christians, are known to be people most characterised by love for Christ commanded us to love God and our neighbour. If we belong to the Christian family and yet do not show love then we are in the dark, we need light. We need to start anew. In many ways today marks new beginnings: the beginning of a week, month, liturgical year and a liturgical season – Advent. Advent is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the second coming of Christ and it runs from the beginning of the season until the 16th of December. The second part focuses on the first coming of Christ (Incarnation) at Bethlehem and it runs from the 17th of December to the 24th of December.
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