DAILY MASS READINGS (December 20, 2018)

FRIDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF ADVENT/MISSA AUREA/5TH DAY OF THE CHRISTMAS NOVENA MASSES [LATE ADVENT WEEKDAYS] (CYCLE A, Violet/White/Gold)

Reading 1 (ISAIAH 7:10-14)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

– The word of the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6)

R. (see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.


Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel (LUKE 1:26-38)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the midst of our Christmas preparations, we celebrate the Missa Aurea, the Golden Mass. It is called such because of one of the most important stories in the Mystery of the Incarnation, and that is the Annunciation. In the First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-14), King Ahaz disagrees to ask the Lord God a sign that will show the Israelites the promise of salvation. But the Prophet Isaiah defends the Lord by proclaiming the sign of the messianic prophecy of Emmanuel, God is with us, at which a virgin will give birth to a son. This virgin is identified in the Gospel today about the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) as the Blessed Virgin Mary. In order that our Lord Jesus Christ would be born without sin, God predestined the blessed Mother to be preserved from the stain of original sin. This proves that both Mary and Jesus needed salvation from God so that they could fulfill his plan. Indeed when the Archangel Saint Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah, she was at first troubled with the news and the greeting because she never knew that she was “ketcharitomene,” full of grace. This shows that God chose a humble woman to be immaculate. Then with her whole heart, she said “Yes” to God by proclaiming her fiat: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to thy word.” (Cf. Luke 1:38). The blessed Mother showed us three values, faith, humility, and obedience. Humility because she proclaimed herself as the Lord’s servant; therefore, even though she was married to Saint Joseph, she kept her virginity, at which this Marian dogma is known as the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Obedience because she allowed the word of the Lord spoken the archangel to be fulfilled, and she did bear Jesus in her immaculate womb. Combining these two values, she showed faith because after hearing the message, she proclaimed a “Yes” to God, both in words and in actions. If she did not submit herself to the Lord’s plan of salvation, then the original plan would not be fulfilled. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the reason why the Church existed from the time of the apostles until now for about 1,983 years. She inspires us to accept the word of God just like what she did. She continues to remind us, even this Christmas: “Do whatever he tells you to do” (Cf. John 2:5). As we journey down this Advent road, like Mary, let us live the word of God faithfully, humbly, and obediently by our service and acts of righteousness to others.


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