Solemnity of Christmas

by Fr Dabulamanzi Ntshangase

Christmas: Mass during the day

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christmas. The prologue to the Gospel of John, today’s gospel reading, has two parts. The first part (1:1-11) speaks of the Word who is eternally present with God. He brings light and life to the world. Sadly, the world rejected the Word. However, in the second part (1:12-18) the response to Word seems to be positive. The word becomes one of us and lives among us. To those who accept him, he gives the power to become children of God. The Word is Jesus Christ. He is the Emmanuel, the God with us. He is the new born baby of whose birthday we celebrate today. It is my prayer that we do not reject him in our lives but rather welcome him to reign our hearts.
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Fourth Sunday of Advent – Year A

by Fr Dabulamanzi Ntshangase

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Let us awaken the Joseph character in us

We are on the edge of Christmas and we must use the remaining time to prepare ourselves to celebrate this beautiful feast worthily. We are getting ready to receive Christ into our heart because without him our hearts and homes will always be empty. In the recent days, the world is drowning in bad news: robberies, murders, kidnappings, human trafficking, etc. We are longing for good news: forgiveness, peace, love, respect for human dignity, etc. However, the best news of all is the news brought by an angel to Joseph that Mary will give birth to a Son whom he shall name ‘Jesus’ for will he save all people from their sins. This is a historical event (incarnation) where Jesus came down on earth to confer on us the dignity of ‘children of God.’ This is a time for us to act like children of God and restore the dignity of children of God in us: we need to ask for forgiveness to those we have wronged, we need to forgive those who have wronged us as well, we need to share what we have with those who are less fortunate. It is a time for us show sensitivity and unselfishness as Joseph did.
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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”