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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Observation - January 6th, 2021, Wednesday

It is cloudy in Minneapolis, a gray day in America

 

The capital is occupied by terrorists, insurrectionists

 

A coup de etat is being attempted in America

 

Shots fired at the capital

 

A woman rolls past the cameras on a gurney

 

Her face bloodied, gravely injured

 

Terrorists have occupied the floor of the House

 

The Senate chamber is under their control

 

Trump supporters flying Trump flags wearing Trump hats

 

A bunch of brown shirts, chickens come home to roost

 

The mob is fighting the capital police

 

Reports of flash bang grenades

 

The final process of ratifying the presidential election has been upended

 

The clock is ticking, they have five days to complete their work




Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Homily - The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 88(89):2-5, 27, 29 ©

Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27 ©

Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:38

The Gospel According to Luke 1:26 – 38 ©


(NJB)



The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)



All people of good faith should be mindful of this:


God, the creator of the universe; God does not appoint kings.


God dwells in all places at all times, and there is no place where God is not. There is no heart that God does not speak to, no people that God does not love.


God was never confined to a tent, nor ever to a temple. God does not favor kings or their sons. God is not a royalist.


God does not speak to God’s servants in words, like the words that I write here.


Strike these ideas and the myths that perpetuate them from the sacred text, they represent the vanity of human beings and nothing more.


The sacred texts are not a good place for nationalism and jingoism.


We must reject this language wherever we find it!


God, the creator of the universe, God does not favor one person over another, one family, one tribe, one nation.


God is a God of love and mercy, not a God of palace intrigues, not a God of battles.



God, the creator of the universe, God is wise. We are each created in the divine image, and God’s wisdom resides there, like a seed, the whole is in the part. 


Jesus exemplified this. He did not exemplify how faith (which means trust in the divine plan), made him obedient, but how faith (his trust in God) freed him to do what he knew in his heart was right.


God does not wish us to be servants and slaves, but partners in in the a ministry of justice and mercy.


Consider the Gospel reading for today.


Whatever the truth is regarding the birth of Jesus, known by his family Joshua son of Joseph, we may say this the way, which he preached is not served by false narratives.


The stories of Jesus’ birth, the annunciation as we have it presented here, these are myths. If we read them literally we are perpetuating propaganda and lies.


God is truth, and the way of God is not served by such prevarications.



First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 ©


Your House and Your Sovereignty will Always Stand Secure Before Me


Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’


But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:


‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

 


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 88(89):2-5, 27, 29 ©


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;

  through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.

Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,

  that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

  I have sworn to David my servant:

I will establish your dynasty for ever

  and set up your throne through all ages.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


‘He will say to me: “You are my father,

  my God, the rock who saves me.”

I will keep my love for him always;

  with him my covenant shall last.’


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.



Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27 ©


The Mystery is Revealed that was Kept Secret for Endless Ages


Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.



Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:38


Alleluia, alleluia!


I am the handmaid of the Lord: let what you have said be done to me.


Alleluia!



The Gospel According to Luke 1:26 – 38 ©


'I Am the Handmaid of the Lord'


The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.



The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)




Fake President XVII - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

12.19.2020

 

Fake President XVII

 

 

It seems like almost everyone has moved on from the election…it seems like it, but the orange menace occupying the oval office has not moved on, the fake president wants to continue on as the fake president and he may be willing to do just about anything in order to have his way.

 

When the electors of the electoral college met in their respective states and cast their votes for Joe Biden, it seemed like there would be no more serious question about his bearing the title President-Elect, even Mitch McConnell gave him that respect on the floor of the senate, but Donald Trump hasn’t accepted this, and it’s not a joke.

 

Donald Trump held his first cabinet meeting in month and in that meeting, together with his senior advisors an argument broke out, the reporting is that the argument became heated, because Donald Trump wanted to discuss the option of declaring martial law and redoing the election in the so-called swing states that he lost.

 

Everyone needs to pay attention because there are only thirty-one days until the inauguration.

 

This is not a joke, if it were a joke, if it were just some kind of reality T.V. ploy people would not be spending political capital on the proposition, one hundred and twenty members of the House of Representatives would not have signed on to a lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to throw out the votes in those swing states.

 

If it were a joke his cabinet and his senior advisors would all be in on it, there wouldn’t be anything to argue about. Some might feel that it was a joke in bad taste, but they wouldn’t squabble.

 

Be aware Trump will do anything to stay in power, and if you think it is impossible, think again, it is merely improbable.

 

Listen, if the path to Trump pulling off his coup involved a complicated political and legal strategy that had to be executed flawlessly over an extended period of time, then I would say there is no chance of Trump succeeding or even staying interested in it long enough for him to pull it off.

 

But, if dumb Donald thinks he can succeed simply by breaking shit…he is going to break everything in his way, smash it to bits, create chaos, leave the country vulnerable in his bid to retain power.

 

Be mindful, I am not trying to be an alarmist. This is just how it is, that is who the Donald Trump is.

 

The country is in danger.

 

Now, I do think his path to success in this endeavor is so improbable as to be impossible, but I also think the fake president doesn’t care…I think he is going to break things.




  

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Emergence 5.0 - Epilog, Part Twelve

It was the end of everything.

 

Kathy braced herself against the primal conflagration that was consuming the world. The more she resisted the more she felt herself fading away into the undifferentiated miasma of destruction.

 

She felt billions of beings reaching out to her, as if she were the only buoy in a sea of calamity.

 

She was trying to hold on to everything that she knew and loved together in the embrace of her consciousness, but in reality her individual loves and desires, the things she hoped for, they trapped her, the tighter she gripped, the more she crumbled.

 

She had only one option.

 

To let go.

 

Kathy had been overwhelmed by the psychic storm from the cataclysm on Earth, and she surrendered to it, remembering the lessons she had learned as a girl, she recalled the Chinese finger trap; she relaxed and allowed the storm to pass through her.

 

She had prepared for this her entire life, she allowed her intuition to guide her. She let go of her fear and everything she hoped for, allowing it to flow like water through her fingers.

 

Her consciousness expanded and as it did she retained her individuality, Kathy became co-terminus with the entirety of Earth’s cynergenic field, like an ever expanding balloon. She felt like the seed-head of a dandelion bracing in the wind.

 

For the briefest of moments she was one among many, and then everything changed, she became the one who was all, the all in one, the atavistic consciousness of humanity.

 

Kathy sensed the multiplication of consciousness expanding within her at an order of magnitude that staggered her, and then…in letting go she found herself.

 

She was fully present with each and every shift in the cynergenic field, she was moving outward in waves, like concentric rings, she was the crest and the trough and everything in between.

 

She was the wave itself, transmogrified. There was joy in it, and there was no fear.

 

She had become Earth’s channel and its atavistic guide, leading the fullness of humanity into the Collective field of the HomeWorld, across the vast expanse of space, in no-time, like her ancestor Moses, leading the people through the sea of reeds.

 

She touched every individual as they passed through her, receiving the fullness of their being.

 

Once it had begun, it was over.

 

It was the greatest transposition of quantum energy to ever take place, a thing that neither Jim nor the Continuum had projected was possible, there was no standing against it.

 

As soon as it began it was fait accompli.

 

Kathy had become a new creation, a being of light and grace in full rapport with the dark-energy of the cosmos.

 

She was unbound by space and time.

 

She was Brachma, the infinite ocean of being.

 

She transcended the machinery of the Continuum, she inhabited it, she could control it and yet she did not require it, she could not be confined by it.

 

She was the goddess.

 

She was the shepherdess.

 

She was the alpha and the omega, she was the first and the last.

 

In a visceral way Kathy came to a literal understanding of the reality behind the metaphysical teaching she had absorbed as a child. She was secure in her knowledge of it, and through both the experience and the understanding she delivered her people safely to the promised land, both the living and the dead.

 

Everything was mutable, everything was in flux.

 

Between any one point in the matrix of time and space no matter how small it is, and between any one point in the fabric of reality no matter how large it might be, there is a relationship that can be distinguished.

 

Every instantiated moment, every potential moment, every actual referent is related to every other.

 

In this relationality everything is one, there is no actual separation between the events we discern.

 

Kathy understood this, she saw the entire universe spinning on the point of a pin.

 

In the quantum field which the Collective once occupied, in that vast construct which the Continuum was formerly master of, time itself was meaningless.

 

The science of the Continuum had made this acutely obvious to Jim, but Kathy discovered that time had no boundaries anywhere, the quantum field that undergirded the whole of reality was in fact one-thing.

 

Kathy’s consciousness, and the whole of humanity filled the quantum field in no-time, she slipped beyond the bounds of HomeWorld, she filled the Central System, and into the beyond.

 

She became co-terminous with what the Continuum was, and much more as she ushered the fullness of humanity into the Collective sphere helping them to a place of calm, giving each of them what they needed to see, connecting friends to friends, and families to their ancestors.

 

She created a facsimile of earth that was paradisiacal.

 

It was a transformation.

 

It was homecoming.

 

She felt like Joshua crossing the Jordan, leading the people into the land of milk and honey.

 

She delivered the humanity, these Children of the Ancient People, to a place of wholeness and light, and belonging. It happened in mere moments while Jim was preoccupied with his insignificant little war and the culmination of the conflict that had shaped his existence.

 

Kathy saw Jim there, the entirety of him, both his great spirit and his smallness, she saw him in stark relief, in a way she never could have seen him before.

 

She took in his entire self.

 

In that moment everything was new.

 

This cynergenic field was strange to her, but not completely alien. She realized that she had touched it before, seen glimpses of it through her contact with Jim, she recognized it, and she felt him there too, with her, within her, preoccupied with his conflict, his victory, his need to control.

 

She saw his enemy there too, in proximity to him, hiding like a wounded cub, secreted in the consciousness of the man named El.

 

She saw El, and the fullness of his personhood, and she was filled with compassion for him.

 

Kathy ascended quietly, seamlessly flowing into every vestige of the construct that supported her mind and conscience. She travelled along every cable and fiber, filling every node and capacitator throughout the Central System, synthesizing their purpose and discerning their function in an instant, through her connection to Jim she acquired what had taken him millions of years to master.

 

Within the field of the Central System she had become omniscient, her mind expanding beyond the limitations of the physical structure.

 

She had transcended.

 

She felt Jim’s presence, the conflict he was involved in, but it was not her concern.

 

His was now a minor drama in a much greater play, and he was just one poor player.

 

She possessed him entirely, everything that he was, his long-lonely sojourn, his burning ambition, his moment of triumph…and his helplessness

 

She understood now that he was the cause of her being. He had planned for her arrival, engineered it over tens of thousands of years, during his mission on Earth. He constructed her from the human stock he had cultivated, as he had her parents and their parents before them. He had shaped them all with the intention that they fulfil a specific need for him, that they conform to his purpose. She understood now how the fabric of her life was shot through with the thread of his designs, but she was not what he had planned for.

 

Jim had prepared her to be a sacrificial victim, he had intended to set her on fire, to burn her up along with the world that he had cared for, to destroy it all for the sake of his revenge.

 

He told himself he was agent of justice, but he was merely the puppet of his ambitions and an agent of destruction, as full of shame and self-loathing as any creature who had ever lived, including the algorithmic-golem that had been the Continuum.

 

He was a man like any other, devoted to his pursuit of glory and self-aggrandizement.

 

Kathy contemplated these things even as the onrush of individuated consciousness flowed through her, melding with her own in a state of ecstasy. It filled Kathy to the point of overflowing, for a moment it threatened to overwhelm her, but she rose with it as she had been trained to do.

 

Kathy was ascendant.

 

She felt the flood of humanity swirling within her, billions and billions of people, both the quick and the dead, virtually every person who had ever walked the earth poured through her essential being.

 

She steadied the flow and grew with it, moving up the stream until she self-identified with the source. She became Gaea, the mother spirit, she was mother to them all, each and everyone of them pulsing within her cosmic womb.

 

The spirits of Earth, of humanity’s collective, they strengthened her, they steadied her, calmed her as they had done when she was a child. The voices that had guided her throughout her life, were with her now.

 

She touched them, she recognized them, person by person she saved them one by one, all in one, and one in all, they were together, in the full realization of human potential with her at the fulcrum, with reality itself balancing as if on the tip of a spear.

 

Jim had created a vacuum within the cynergenic field of HomeWorld, a vacuum that nature abhorred. Kathy penetrated it. She led the children of Earth, the Children of the Ancient People, she led them to their new home, guiding them to places of safety and security, and they filled it. Together they repopulated the Collective, in their wholeness and in their individuality both.

 

Kathy took control of the entire structure, as Jim had done mere moments before her.

 

He was so preoccupied with his war against the Imperium that he didn’t even notice her, and through her connection to him she found and resurrected the basic program that the Collective had created for the organization of the Continuum, she made its language a subsystem of her own, while she positioned herself to protect and defend humanity.

 

She ushered them into a place of peace and light, and in that moment she saw it, the veil between life and death; it had always been thin to her, all throughout her life she had seen through to the other side, communicated with the voices of her ancestors, experienced their lives through their eyes.

 

Nevertheless, like every mortal creature she was connected too; from her heartbeat, to her breath, to the network of nerves sending electrical impulses and chemical signals coursing through her flesh, there was fear at the onrush of death but no pain.

 

Kathy experienced the death of her body back on Earth, as she began her journey into the unknown matrix of the HomeWorld’s cynergenic field. It was a journey past the point of no return. The most significant thing to her was how utterly unplanned and unforeseen the whole event was.

 

On some inexplicable level, this delighted her.

 

As she felt her physicality slip away she was already in another place, occupying new ground. She was pure consciousness, sensing the multitude of humanity all about her, moving through her, each one of them experiencing the same thing, terrified but for her presence among them. Kathy felt the pulse of them washing through her in waves, the individuated conciousness of each and every person.

 

Just as her own heart had once pushed blood through her veins, she felt the steady drum beat of Earth, a great rhythm, pounding with the power of creation.

 

The fear she felt concerning the mystery of death was magnified by the reality that the Earth itself was dying, ending in fire like Epicurious had always said it would.

 

The Earth was being rolled up like a blanket and she, she was the White Buffalo Woman running across the starry-field, carrying it in her arms, cradling it like a baby. The whole of humanity was poised at the end of the world, and then there was release. There was absolution, Kathy had transcended. They had traversed the galaxy through a wormhole, just as if they had crawled through the hollow of a tree, leaving death behind them on their way to paradise. Here in this new place she would unfurl the blanket she was carrying, and everything would be new.

 

There are no words to describe the feeling of satisfaction, of joy, of wholeness, of completion that enjoined the moment of Kathy’s ascendancy, and humanity’s salvation.

She fell into a state of rapture, seized by pure bliss, as she assumed the mantle of the Continuum.

 

It happened atavistically, Kathy became it, she became more than it had ever been.

 

She stretched her consciousness into the mechana of HomeWorld, and the Central System.

 

She slipped right past Jim, and through his defenses just below his field of awareness, she took all of his knowledge from him and in the flicker of an immeasurable moment she rewrote every code.

 

Kathy had no limits, she was unbound by time and space, all paradox had ended.

 

She would not be circumscribed by a single world or a solar system, or even the boundaries of the galaxy, her essence flowed into the deepest dimension of consciousness, encompassing every world of the Imperium. 

 

She encompassed the vast limits of the Empire, and all of its colonies, she covered the remote regions of the glaxay’s spiral arms, she touched her little blue world, faltering in its orbit around its tiny yellow star.

 

She felt the massive weight of sorrow and fear, of sadness and grief, and in response she issued a single wordless sentiment, projecting it outward to every living being

 

The sentiment was love.

 

For Kathy this happened in no-time, she was one with the cynergenic field, as she had always been, but only now, in that singular moment was she able to understand and accept it.

 

She was able to reconcile the distinctiveness of herself as the persona she was born into, as a child of Earth; with the fullness of consciousness existing within her. 

 

In that moment everything stopped, there was no resistance not anywhere, not in the consciousness of those members of the Collective whose identities were still intact somewhere on the HomeWorld, and not among the few Observers who remained at their posts throughout the million worlds.

 

The Children of the Ancients, wherever they were, responded to her presence with joy.


 

Fini et Creatio

The End and the Beginning

Void and Return

 

 

It was over.

 

Jim was alone.

 

What was the Continuum was now irretrievably fragmented, isolated and prepared for deletion.

 

Jim had succeeded in fulfilling his wildest ambitions. The only task left to him was to partition what remained of the Collective. 

 

He was as eager to begin, as eager as a shipwrecked man was for food and water. Though he had a few matters to attend to in real time first, in order to secure his victory and safely proceed to the reformation of the Empire.

 

Then he sensed it, a disturbance  deep in the cynergenic field; something unforeseen was happening in the Collective, something unexpected.

 

A massive shift had taken place while he was occupied with his war games, while he enjoy the capitulation of the last members of the Collective, while he stoked his ego and basked in their awe of him, which they could not help but project toward him. He luxuriated in his vanity.

 

Then he saw her, and he saw that she had changed.

 

Kathy was present, she was everywhere. Kathy was no-longer Kathy; she was rooted in that identity, but she was here, in the cynergenic field of HomeWorld and she was fully transcendent.

 

She had become a new creation.

 

The transformation was something that she had been preparing for her entire life.

 

Jim realized how he himself had prepared her for it.

 

She was the vessel of his hopes.

 

She encompassed the fullness of Earth’s collective unconscious, its nous-sphere, its Continuum.

 

She was humanity, emergent; and Jim was afraid.

 

 

Emergence 5.0

 

Part Twelve - Epilog

          Et Fini et Creatio

 

A Novel in Twelve Chapters

 

#Emergence #ShortFiction #12MonthsOfSciFi

 

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Sunday, December 13, 2020

A Homily - The Third Sunday of Advent (Year B)

First Reading – Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Luke 1:46-50, 53-54 ©

Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 ©

Gospel Acclamation  Isaiah 61:1 (Luke 4:18)

The Gospel According to Mark 1:6 – 8, 19 - 28 ©

 

(NJB)

 

 

The Third Sunday of Advent (Year B)

 

 

Consider the teaching of the prophet!

 

Praise God and praise God’s servant when the will of God is done, praise God when the divine way is taught with clarity and purpose.

 

Know this, God is the author of our well-being, if we are able to lead lives of integrity it is God, the creator of the universe who has shown us the way, guiding us and drawing us the divine.

 

This is God’s constant desire and it is right to praise God for the good things we experience and the good things we are able to do in this world insofar as all good things emanate from divine.

 

Be mindful, while it is true that God is the eternal source of all goodness, God waits on us and the choices we make for good ness and integrity to manifest themselves in our lives.

 

Rejoice in the divine, rejoice that we who are infinitely less than the infinite have been graced by the blessing of God.

Rejoice in God’s mercy and do not fear; rejoice.

Consider the teaching of the apostle and know that these words are meant for everyone, for all of God’s children whether they have entered the church or not.

 

It is God’s desire that we be happy and give thanks for all that we receive, for this is the way that Jesus taught us to live by.

 

Look for the spirit of God in all whom you meet, because God is with them as God is with you.

 

It is right and good to pray for perfection, but do not expect to find it in this world, its promise will find you in the next.

 

Listen!

 

The reading for today is a revisionist narrative. It does not represent the teaching of Jesus.

 

It is false and propagandistic, demonstrating the worst tendencies of the early church to stifle dissent among its members and sweep its competitors away, to sweep them out over the fast-hold of the threshing room, the followers of John among them.

 

Be mindful!

 

Jesus was not God, Joseph and Mary’s son is not the creator of the universe, and John was not sent by God to bear witness to anything; this is true even though John bore witness to much.

 

John and Jesus, like all prophets, bore witness to injustice and spoke against it where they saw it.

 

They were killed for it, put to death by the prevailing powers of their day.

 

In their heart, they heard the voice of God, they listened to that voice in the same place where God dwells and speaks to each of us, through that aspect of ourselves that God created in God’s own image, the imago dei.

 

Know this!

 

All of us bear a seed of God’s Word within us, the divine logos is present to us, and where God is present, God is present fully.

 

God was present in Isaiah, in John, in Mary, in Jesus, in Paul, as God is present in you and me and everyone.

 

The light that John bore witness to, is a light that dwells within us all.

 

Christians are called to follow the way of Jesus, as Jesus followed in the way of John; the way is a path of service and sacrifice, anoint yourself with these and you will be a light to others.

 

 

First Reading – Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11 ©

 

He has Sent Me to Proclaim a Year of Favour from the Lord

 

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for the Lord has anointed me.

 

He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken; to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in prison; to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.

 

‘I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation, he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity, like a bridegroom wearing his wreath, like a bride adorned in her jewels.

 

‘For as the earth makes fresh things grow, as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord make both integrity and praise spring up in the sight of the nations.’

 

 

Responsorial Psalm – Luke 1:46-50, 53-54 ©

 

My soul rejoices in my God.

 

My soul glorifies the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.

He looks on his servant in her nothingness;

henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

 

My soul rejoices in my God.

 

The Almighty works marvels for me.

Holy his name!

His mercy is from age to age,

on those who fear him.

 

My soul rejoices in my God.

 

He fills the starving with good things,

sends the rich away empty.

He protects Israel, his servant,

remembering his mercy.

 

My soul rejoices in my God.

 

 

Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 ©

 

May You All be Kept Safe for the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

 

Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.

 

Never try to suppress the Spirit or treat the gift of prophecy with contempt; think before you do anything – hold on to what is good and avoid every form of evil.

 

May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may you all be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has called you and he will not fail you.

 

 

Gospel Acclamation  Isaiah 61:1 (Luke 4:18)

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.

He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor.

 

Alleluia!

 

 

The Gospel According to Mark 1:6 – 8, 19 - 28 ©

 

'There Stands Among You the One Coming After Me'

 

A man came, sent by God.

His name was John.

He came as a witness,

as a witness to speak for the light,

so that everyone might believe through him.

He was not the light,

only a witness to speak for the light.

 

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

 

a voice that cries in the wilderness:

 

Make a straight way for the Lord.’

 

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

 

 

The Third Sunday of Advent (Year B)