CATHOLIC FAITH AT HOME RESOURCES

For Our Family of Parishes

St. Thomas More, St. Bernadette, St. Mary's, St. Peter's

December 11

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

DECEMBER 11


HOW IS ADVENT WEEK THREE DIFFERENT?


The third Sunday in Advent shifts from a tone of expectation

of Christ’s coming to one of rejoicing

at the arrival of God’s kingdom with the coming of Jesus.


A third candle—a pink one—is lit on the Advent Wreath

Often called the Shepherd’s Candle and the Joy Candle,

it represents joy,

like what the shepherds experienced

when the angel told them that Christ was to be born.


The Advent season is now half over,

and Jesus’ coming—both his first coming, liturgically,

and his second coming, historically—

is nearer now

than it was two weeks ago.

More than any other week during the Advent season,

Advent III represents a shift in attitude.

One moves from hope, repentance, and fear

of the coming Judge to rejoicing at the coming of salvation

and the kingdom of God as Jesus makes all things new.



PRAYER FOR ADVENT WEEK THREE

Father, today we shout for joy and sing praises

for the birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Because of your grace and love for us,

you sent your son to earth to gift us our eternal salvation.

We repent of our sins and offer thanksgiving

for all you have done for us.


We await the return of your Son and

our rejoicing in heaven.

Amen.


Study the Mass with

Archbishop Schnurr 


Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

is leading a special study of

Word on Fire Ministries’

video series The Mass

featuring Bishop Robert Barron.


Participants will receive a weekly emails from

January 8 through February 12

with that weeks’ 25-minute episode

and a brief video of Archbishop Schnurr sharing his insights. 


"I don’t get anything out of Mass!"


Recognizing that this is a common statement

from many who have drifted from the Church,

Archbishop Schnurr hopes this study will help Catholics

experience the Mass in a whole new way.


Participation is free, takes just a few seconds and is open to everyone.

Click HERE to get signed up! 



DISCIPLE MAKER SURVEY

FOR OUR

FAMILY OF PARISHES



As part of Beacons of Light,

we are participating in a family-of-parishes-wide survey!


Announced at Mass, it is a discipleship survey

by the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI), who is helping us

through Beacons of Light phases.


This is your opportunity to share your voice

in this new planning phase for our family.


All responses are confidential.

Parishes will receive a summary an analysis report for individual churches and the family of parishes - but no individual responses are shared with us.


Please help us!

Just 10-15 minutes online!

and available until January 1


WHY THE SURVEY?

The Church's mission is to spread the Good News and

to support her members in living their faith.

To best do this, we seek

to understand where our parishioners are in their spiritual journey

to better perceive

how to help you, our members,

thrive on your journey through life

and draw others to Christ.


There are no grades, judgments, or comparisons!

We simply seeking to better know our flock.

Please by honest and genuine!


This will be invaluable to Fr. Tim and our Pathways and Leadership teams as we

striving to help everyone be the best disciples we can be.


Results will be shared with the family of parishes after they are returned

in Spring/Summer.



Click below to start the survey:

DISCIPLE MAKER SURVEY


A MULTITUDE OF ADVENT FAITH ACTIVITIES


Click on the titles of the UNDERLINED links below

to discover ways you can observe this special season.


REJOICE! AN ADVENT PILGRIMAGE


Pilgrimage into the Heart of Scripture for Year A

with this prayer resource that offers

daily reflections on the Sunday mass readings

to help you enter more deeply into the Advent season.

 

Together with the weekly videos,

this journal helps you grow your

understanding and appreciation

for the incredible gift of Christ's Incarnation.

THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS


Do you love Christmas traditions

but don’t know where they come from?


Tune in for Dr. Michael Patrick Barber’s Advent reflections

and learn the meaning behind your favorite Christmas pastimes.

BISHOP BARRON'S FREE ADVENT BOOKLET


The Word Became Flesh: Reflections for Advent and Christmas.

BEHOLD: GUIDED ADVENT JOURNAL



Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

—author of the bestselling book Restore—

will walk with you

as you explore familial wounds

with help from Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

 

FEATURES

  • Stunning original art by Josiah Henley of Heart of IESV
  • Free weekly companion videos with Sr. Miriam
  • Free downloadable discussion guide

 

FREE Shipping + 5x7 Print with code BEHOLDPRINT*

JOURNEY TO CHRISTMAS

This unique series is designed to give you

a spiritually-rich Christmas season,

helping you prepare and keep your focus on Christ.

 

FEATURES

  • Daily devotional email 
  • Spiritual guidance video 
  • Written reflections each Sunday
  • Access to an exclusive Catholic Facebook community
  • Mid-week video check-ins 

CHRIS STEFANICK'S AS WE FORGIVE THEM


'As We Forgive Those' is a 4-part video series

to serve as a guide through the Advent season

FREE!

ADVENT EXAMEN


Liturgically, one year is coming to an end

and another approaches, offering another

powerful opportunity to recommit ourselves to the narrow way.


To help you do just that, the Advent Examen

from the Avila Foundation is written to be a redemptive way

to enter into the new liturgical year

with greater clarity and a fuller sense of peace and purpose.


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

ABOUT ADVENT WREATHS


The Catholic tradition of the Advent wreath

is near and dear to many hearts!


Why do we have Advent wreaths?

Where does the tradition come from?



How do you start your own? 

ADVENT AT HOME: FIVE PRACTICES


Brad Bursa offers reflections and ideas

to help us celebrate Advent at home!

NEW!!


HOW TO RESPOND TO JESUS' CALL


BEST ADVENT EVER!!


Check out this encouraging message calling us to be

confident disciples this Advent

from Dynamic Catholic.


ADVENT GUIDE FROM THE CATHOLIC TELEGRAPH


When was the last time you had a

truly unforgettable Christmas?

To have a truly unforgettable Christmas you have to prepare for it!


"The Ultimate Guide to Advent"

is

FREE, beautiful and filled with stories that will

inspire you and

fill you with wonder.


A new issue comes out each Sunday during Advent.



Click the link below to get ADVENT WEEK TWO on PDF!


ADVENT GUIDE WEEK TWO

ADVENT REFLECTIONS ON FORMED.ORG


Enter more deeply into

the Sunday Mass readings

through reflections with

Drs. James Prothro & Israel McGrew.



Abide in the Word of God this Advent

by immersing yourself in it, thus preparing your heart for Christ's coming.


Follow along with your Bible this Sunday:

First Reading: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10

- Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10

- Second Reading: Jas 5:7-10

- Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11


Click below to watch the video on the THIRD Sunday of Advent readings:


ADVENT WEEK THREE ON FORMED.ORG






5 Reasons

To Bless Your Loved Ones

With Good Old-Fashioned Christmas Cards

This Year




USA Today reported that

“major retailers, including CVS and Walmart, were poised to cut back on cards, and greeting card companies have closed 

hundreds of standalone locations”

because

“more and more people are using text and email and e-cards,

and fewer people are buying cards.” 


Let us not let sit idly by on our screens

and let such a beautiful tradition die.

Exchanging Christmas cards offers many benefits

— not just to the receiver,

but to the soul of the sender as well.


Click below to discover five reasons

to send Christmas cards this year.


FIVE REASONS TO MAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS


Click below to view Catholic cards from Printery House,

one of many Catholic companies selling Christmas cards ONLINE:


PRINTERY HOUSE CHRISTMAS CARDS



A Prayer to Prepare My Heart

for Christ’s Coming


Father, just as You sent John the Baptist 

to prepare the way for Jesus,

help me to clear the path in my heart, too.


Show me the distractions in my life that block me

from all-out worship of You this Advent.


Lord, I await Your coming!

As I celebrate the first Advent––the first coming––I look

toward the day where I will see You face to face.


I imagine what it will be like.

Give me a heart, Lord, that looks for Your coming on a daily basis.


Help me to live my life where I'm constantly seeking Your presence.

My offering to You today is my righteous life for I know

I am only deserving because of Jesus.

Show me today how I need to be refined, purified, forgiven.

Give me the strength to ask for forgiveness

and to then change my ways.


Amen!



From Limelight to Lamblight

 

What kind of light are you looking for?

Deacon Lucio Caruso helps draw us into

the only Light worth seeking,

beckoning us into the same movement of self-giving love

that Jesus models for us in the Incarnation and

encountered in every Eucharist.

 

Click the link below to read more:


FROM LIMELIGHT TO LAMBLIGHT



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME:

A Step-by-Step Walk Through the Mass


Father Luke illuminates why silence before Mass

is so important when preparing

to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries.


Click the link below to read more:


DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Keeping Silence


"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"

one of the most ancient Catholic hymns dating back to the third century,

calls us to meditate on

the Incarnation and on Jesus’ Eucharistic Presence.


Click below to enjoy this beautiful recording from Vos Omnes:


LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE 




QUIZ! FOR THE WEEK


CAN YOU PASS THE ULTIMATE CATHOLIC TEST?

 

Scroll down to find the answer!

WHICH MASS???


In the church foyer,

a young boy was looking at a plaque

with the names of men and women

who had died in various wars.


He asked the pastor, “Who are these people?”


The pastor said, “Those are members from our church who died in service.”


Wide-eyed, the youth asked, “The early service or the second service?!”


 

GOSPEL READING REFLECTION

For December 11, 2022

 

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

 

Year A -  Mt 11:2-11

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God is our savior from oppression,

suffering, and death.


 

“Are you the one who is to come,

or should we look for another?”

Jesus said to them in reply,

“Go and tell John what you hear and see:

the blind regain their sight,

the lame walk,

lepers are cleansed,

the deaf hear,

the dead are raised,

and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.

And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”



  • Why did John send his disciples to Jesus to ask if Jesus “was the one to come,” in other words, the promised Messiah?
  • Was John demoralized due to his imprisonment and the seeming failure of his apostolate? After all, he was facing imminent execution.
  • Did John send his disciples to Jesus so they would see that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah, preparing them to transfer their discipleship from John to Jesus?


  • Our Lord testifies to John’s disciples that he, himself, is the promised Messiah. Jesus’ evidence that he is doing “the works of the Christ” is his preaching and his miracles.


  • Then to the crowds, Jesus praises John highly. The Baptist is the divinely appointed messenger of the Messiah and the greatest man “born of women.”


  • Yet, the reason why “the least in the kingdom of heaven” is greater than the Baptist is that those baptized under Christ are born from above. We are born of God.


  • “The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised”: a sound body, health, and sufficient material goods make earthly happiness possible, but divine grace makes possible the highest eternal happiness.


ANSWER TO QUIZ

 

10 Short questions:

Do you know all the answers?



Do you know enough about the Catholic Church to pass this test?

Give it a try! 

Those with the best scores will receive an

invitation to an expert-level quiz.


Click the link below to begin:


THE ULTIMATE CATHOLIC TEST

ST. THOMAS MORE WEBSITE LINKS


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Faith Formation Activities & Events for every Month & Season


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Click on the link below for past newsletters:

PREVIOUS CATHOLIC FAITH NEWSLETTERS



BOOK

RECOMMENDATION

 

We need to be armed for battle!



At all times, and especially during these crazy times in this vale of tears,

we need to lay our foundation in Christ Jesus.

Spiritual reading helps us build and strengthen that foundation.


This week's recommendation is:

 

The Hidden Power of Kindness:


A Practical Handbook for Souls

Who Dare to Transform the World,

One Deed at a Time


by Lawrence G. Lovasik


If you want to make progress in the spiritual life,

you can't afford to miss the bracing insights in this handbook

for souls who yearn to be kinder.   

Kindness counts.



If you have trouble acting with the consistent kindness our Lord expects,

your relationships with God and those you love may be suffering.


Probably, you just can't find the time and can't ever seem

to develop the patience needed to be consistently kind

amid the irritations that afflict you daily.


That's why this book is such a godsend.


There's nothing complicated or magical

about learning to be kinder;

just greater attention to what you do and how you do them.


 The Hidden Power of Kindness shows you how!

Become more aware of even your most offhand daily actions.


You'll find simple, step-by-step and spiritually crucial directions

to overcome the habitual unkindnesses that creep

undetected into the behavior of even the most careful souls.


We pray you will be excited to embark on purposeful

spiritual reading as a way to build a more prayer-filled,

Christ centered life.