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Christmas Reflection From Chapters 17 & 18 of the Proto Gospel of James

Article posted: 23 Dec 2018

When they came to the middle of the journey, Mary said to him, "Joseph, take me off the donkey, the child is pushing from within me to let him come out." So he took her off the donkey and said to her, "Where will I take you and shelter you in your awkwardness? This area is a desert." 
And he found a cave and led her there and stationed his sons to watch her, while he went to a find a Hebrew midwife in the land of Bethlehem. Then, Joseph wandered, but he did not wander. And I looked up to the peak of the sky and saw it standing still and I looked up into the air. With utter astonishment I saw it, even the birds of the sky were not moving. And I looked at the ground and saw a bowl lying there and workers reclining. And their hands were in the bowl. And chewing, they were not chewing. And picking food up, they were not picking it up. And putting food in their mouths, they were not putting it in their mouths. Rather, all their faces were looking up. And I saw sheep being driven, but the sheep were standing still. And the shepherd lifted up his hand to strike them, but his hand remained above them. And I saw the rushing current of the river and I saw goats and their mouths resting in the water, but they were not drinking. And suddenly everything was replaced by the ordinary course of events.

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Fourth Sunday of Advent- The Annuciation

Article posted: 19 Dec 2018

The Angel Gabriel said to Mary in greeting; Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women. 

Advent Antiphon 

 

Behold, the virgin, as was said of old, 

Has conceived in her womb 

And has brought forth God as a man, 

Yet she remains a virgin. 

Being reconciled to God through her, 

Let us poor sinners sing her praises, 

For she is truly the Theotokos. 

Byzantine Matins for the Nativity

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Third Sunday of Advent- Gaudete Sunday

Article posted: 10 Dec 2018

Rejoice in the Lord always! I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. 

Philippians 4:4-5

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Second Sunday of Advent- The Advent Desert

Article posted: 8 Dec 2018

“What did you go out into the desert to see?.....” “Why did you go out?” 

Matthew 11:7,9 

It was in the desert that Israel had come to know God. 

Carl Kazmierki 

The desert is not a place of isolation, but one of encounter. 

Andre Neher, 1988

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First Sunday of Advent- The Prophets: Our Guides for the Journey

Article posted: 29 Nov 2018

Isaiah, as he kept watch by night, beheld the light that knows no evening, the light that of your manifestation, O Christ, which revealed your tender love for us. As he beheld the lights he cried aloud: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and shall bear the Incarnate Word, and all those born on earth shall rejoice exceedingly.” 

Byzantine Compline, Forefeast of the Nativity 

The prophets, receiving the gift of prophecy from the same word, foretold his coming in the flesh, which brought about the union and communion between God and man, ordained by the Father. From the beginning the word of God prophesied that God would be seen by men and would live among them on earth; he would speak with his own creation and be present to it, bringing it salvation and being visible to invisible. 

From a Treatise by St Irenaeus

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