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‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: . . . the deaf hear . . .' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A

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St John the Baptist in Prison Juan Fernández de Navarrete Gospel Matthew 3:1-12 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Ed.)

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare y…

Get Yout Advent On!

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Today's post features Advent ideas from lots of great places: Catholic Mom, USCCB, Our Sunday Visitor, Holy Heroes, Loyola Press, and much more. If you've ever wanted an easily-accessible collection of great family resources, this is it!

Please join me at Praying with Grace today!

Twelve Tips for Sharing Advent with Your Kids

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Since it's too soon for the Twelve Days of Christmas, here are twelve tips for celebrating Advent instead. These tips include what you should do, what you shouldn't do, and what you can get away with (I'll promise never to tell).

**What to Do this Advent**1. Explore other cultural traditions: Learn how the custom of Christmas stockings evolved from the German tradition of slipping treats into shoes or slippers that kids leave near the chimney in the days leading up to St. Nicholas' Day (December 6). Celebrate the Feast Day of the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe, on December 12 at the nearest parish with a large Hispanic community. On Christmas Eve, you can serve twelve fish dishes the way the Italians do. Experiment by adding shrimp cocktail or baked clams to the menu. Dilled salmon steaks garnished with lemon always taste great. Sushi platters or bouillabaisse combine many types of fish in one dish. See how many you can add to your Christmas Eve menu!

Advent Wreath Prayers

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There is no better way to prepare our hearts to receive Christ than to light the candles of the Advent wreath every evening in the weeks leading up to Christmas.The Catholic Church understand the power of symbols and the physical act of lighting candles and saying short prayers really does open our spiritual selves to the real Light of the World, Christ.

[On the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent, the family gathers around the wreath decorated with greens. One candle should be lit.] Leader: We gather around our wreath to begin the celebration of Advent. Let us ask our Father in heaven to fill our hearts with grace. Silent pause for prayer Heavenly Father, we look forward to the celebration of Christmas and to the coming of the Lord in glory. Bless this Advent wreath and all of us. As we pray daily around it, fill us with your life and strengthen us for our daily tasks. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.
The First Week of Advent [One candle is lit.] Leader : Heavenly Fa…