Tuesday of the Fourth week of Advent O Clavis David REFLECT The Hebrew word messiah means “the anointed.” In ancient Israel the kings were anointed with oil, marking them as special servants of the Lord. Consider the anointing of King David from the Old Testament: […]


Monday of the Fourth week of Advent O Radix Jesse REFLECT Today the Church sings, “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, / you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples. … / Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” At […]


Fourth Sunday of Advent Matthew 1:18–24 REFLECT Christmas draws very near. In just seven days we will celebrate again the great feast of the Incarnation, the birthday of Our Lord. And as the height of the drama of Christmas approaches, we turn to Mary and […]


SATURDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT O Sapientia REFLECT Today begins the singing of the traditional O Antiphons. The antiphons sung at Vespers during the Liturgy of the Hours (and at daily Mass as the verse during the “Alleluia”) invoke the coming Messiah. They […]


FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT Isaiah 56:1 REFLECT Chapter 56 of Isaiah begins, “Thus says the Lord: / Observe what is right, do what is just; / for my salvation is about to come, / my justice, about to be revealed.” Saint Jerome, […]


THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT Isaiah 54:1–10 REFLECT To fully understand the first verses of Isaiah 54, we have to turn to the dark period of Israel’s exile. During the Babylonian captivity, the Temple was destroyed, and the Israelites were taken from the […]


MEMORIAL OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH 1 Corinthians 2:1–10 REFLECT St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite mystic and reformer, once wrote, “Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach […]


MEMORIAL OF SAINT LUCY, VIRGIN AND MARTYR Matthew 25:1–13 REFLECT Catholic Tradition holds that before her martyrdom Saint Lucy suffered a terrible ordeal. Different versions of the legend recount that her eyes were gouged out, either by herself (to protect her chastity) or by her […]


FEAST OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE Revelation 12:1–6 REFLECT Beginning December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego daily, over the course of four days. During each appearance, she offered Juan Diego a tender message, consoling him and exhorting him to trust. On […]


THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT Matthew 11:2–11 REFLECT “Gaudete!” the Church sings today! “Rejoice!” we cry. Rose vestments and joyful music change the tone of our Sunday Advent meditations. And why? Because our joy flows from Christ, from the promise that he is truly the Messiah. […]