Today is the Fourth Sunday in Advent, Rorate Sunday - and the last Sunday before the Christ Mass!
Let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior!
℣ Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant justum
(Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just)
℟ Aperiatur terra et germinet salvatorem"
(Let the earth be opened and send forth a Saviour").
We are reminded today to prepare ye the way of the Lord! Make straight His paths; let every valley be filled and every hill and mountain be brought low! In the Gospel we're reminded of the "voice crying in the wilderness," St. John the Baptist. I am reminded of the following song from "Godspell" (not the greatest theological piece, but I like this song)... "Prepare Ye"
From the Epistle for today we are reminded of our conscience - that little voice inside us that warns us when we're about to do something wrong... do we listen? Often we do not. Conscience can be Scrupulous, Lax or Delicate.
Scrupulous - can overdo it - make one not trust anything.
Lax - does not say enough (or we do not hear enough) and we make poor decisions.
Delicate - has a balance, not too scrupulous, not too lax - and we make rational decisions which do not get us into moral difficulties. We should strive to have a delicate conscience.
Conscience - presents us with two scenarios and lets us pick the "better" one. Say you're out duck hunting with your buddy and you see what you think is a duck, but it's too far away and maybe it's your buddy - do you shoot first and work out the details later, or do you hold off and wait until you're sure?
Today's readings in the Traditional Lectionary:
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior. (Psalm) The heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands. Glory be to the Father. Drop down…
O Lord, we beseech Thee, stir up Thy power, and come, and with great might succor us: that by the help of Thy grace that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by Thy merciful forgiveness: Who livest and reignest.
Epistle –1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Brethren: let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers, that a man be found faithful. But to me it is a very small thing to be judged by you, or by man’s day: but neither do I judge my own self. For I am not conscious to myself of any thing: yet am I not hereby justified, but He that judgeth me, is the Lord. Therefore judge not before the time, until the Lord come: Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise from God.
The Lord is night unto all them that call upon Him: to all that call upon Him in truth. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His holy name.
Alleluia, alleluia. Come, O Lord, and tarry not: forgive the sins of Thy people Israel. Alleluia.
Gospel – Luke 3:1-6
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
O Lord, we beseech Thee, look down favorably upon these present Sacrifices: that they may profit us unto both devotion and salvation. Through our Lord.
Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son: and His name shall be called Emmanuel.
Having received Thy gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord that as we frequent this mystery, so the work of our salvation may advance. Through our Lord.
And let us not forget!