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Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

  • First ReadingIsaiah 30:19-21, 23-26: The Lord promises Zion relief from sorrow, providing necessities and direct guidance. Prosperity will return to the land, with abundant resources and healing from past afflictions.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 147: Praise the Lord for His goodness and grace. He restores Jerusalem, gathers the dispersed, heals the brokenhearted, and shows His limitless wisdom and power.
  • Gospel Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8: Jesus, moved by compassion for the needy crowds, taught and healed throughout towns and villages. He urged prayer for more workers for the plentiful harvest. Empowering the Twelve disciples, He sent them to Israel’s lost sheep, instructing them to heal, raise the dead, cleanse, and exorcise, emphasizing giving freely as they had received.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

Matthew 10:6-7

Themes for the Gospel for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

  • Jesus’ Compassion and Ministry: The depiction of Jesus teaching, proclaiming the Good News, and healing every disease and sickness highlights His compassion and commitment to addressing both spiritual and physical needs. This theme illustrates Jesus’ holistic approach to ministry.
  • The Harvest and the Need for Laborers: Jesus’ observation of the crowds as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, and His statement about the plentiful harvest but few laborers, underlines the immense need for ministry and evangelization. It’s a call to action for believers to participate in spreading the Gospel.
  • The Appointment and Mission of the Apostles: Jesus giving authority to His disciples to drive out impure spirits and heal every disease and sickness signifies the extension of His ministry through His followers. It emphasizes the role of the apostles, and by extension all Christians, in continuing Christ’s work on earth.
  • The Specificity of the Mission: The instruction to go to the lost sheep of Israel and the emphasis on preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven is near underline the specific mission given to the apostles. It highlights the initial focus of Jesus’ ministry on the people of Israel.
  • Freely Received, Freely Give: Jesus’ command to the apostles to give freely as they have received freely stresses the principle of generosity and selfless service in Christian ministry. It teaches that the gifts of God are to be shared freely and not used for personal gain.
  • Preparation for the Coming of the Kingdom: During Advent, this passage invites believers to reflect on their role in preparing for and proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. It encourages active participation in spreading the message of Christ and serving others.

Thoughts for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

In the Gospel for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent, Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8, we witness Jesus’ deep compassion for the crowds and His call to His disciples to join in His mission of healing and preaching. This passage speaks powerfully to the Advent theme of preparation, as it illustrates the preparatory work of Jesus in establishing His ministry and the role of His followers in continuing that mission.

Jesus’ observation of the crowds, “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd,” resonates with the state of humanity awaiting the coming of the Messiah. Advent is a time to recognize our own need for guidance and salvation, and to reflect on the ways in which Christ fulfills these deep longings.

The calling and sending out of the Twelve Apostles is a significant moment in this passage. Jesus does not only empathize with the plight of the people; He takes concrete action by empowering His disciples to carry out works of healing and proclaim the message of the kingdom.

This is a powerful reminder during Advent that our preparation for Christ’s coming is not a passive waiting, but an active engagement in His work. We are called to be participants in the mission of Christ, extending His compassion and message of hope to those around us. As the Apostles were sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel,” we too are sent into our own communities and contexts, called to be bearers of good news and agents of healing and reconciliation.

Finally, Jesus’ instruction to His disciples, “Freely you have received; freely give,” captures the essence of the Christian vocation. In the context of Advent, this directive invites us to reflect on the gifts we have received from God, particularly the ultimate gift of His Son, and to consider how we are called to share these gifts with others.

This season is an opportunity to practice generosity, not only in material terms but also through acts of kindness, forgiveness, and service. The passage challenges us to look beyond our own needs and to see the needs of others, offering what we can with a spirit of generosity and love. As we journey through Advent, let us embrace this call to active discipleship, preparing for the coming of Christ by living out the values of the kingdom He proclaimed.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, as You called and empowered Your disciples to heal and teach, so call us to serve Your people with love and compassion. Help us to share the good news freely, just as we have received it. Amen.

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Homilies and Reflections for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

Word on Fire: Prioritizing Evangelization in Daily Life

Bishop Robert Barron, in his reflection for the Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent, encourages us to prioritize evangelization in all aspects of life. Jesus calls us to pray for laborers in the field of evangelization, emphasizing that every action should be tied to spreading the Good News. This doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a professional evangelizer; rather, it can be achieved through the moral quality of one’s life. Barron urges viewing others not as obstacles or tools for personal goals, but as opportunities for evangelization and service. He suggests that encounters with others, even if challenging, may be divinely appointed chances to share the victory of Jesus.

USCCB Reflection: God’s Bountiful Love

This USCCB video reflection for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent draws from Isaiah and the Psalms to describe God’s bountiful love for His people. It presents vivid images of God as a responsive listener, provider, gentle teacher, and healer. The reflection connects these attributes to the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus embodies God’s presence and extends His promises to all. It invites Christians to be co-laborers in spreading the Good News through both words and actions. As Advent prompts reflection on how we’ve served God’s purpose and what more we can do, the message culminates in a call to embrace God’s love, particularly manifested in Jesus becoming human.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent?

The next date is Saturday December 7, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent?

The Mass readings for Saturday December 7, 2024 are:
First Reading – Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26: Promise of Divine Guidance
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 147: Praise for God’s Mercy
Gospel – Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8: Sending the Twelve

What does the first reading for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent convey?

Isaiah’s prophecy of relief, guidance, and healing for Zion represents God’s promise of restoration and care. During Advent, Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26 speaks to the hope and anticipation of God’s healing and guidance through the coming of Christ, offering spiritual nourishment and renewal.

How does the responsorial psalm for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent complement the themes of these readings?

Psalm 147, with its praise for God’s goodness, restoration of Jerusalem, and healing of the brokenhearted, aligns with the themes of restoration and divine care in Isaiah. It reflects the Advent spirit of rejoicing in God’s grace and providential care.

What lesson is taught in the Gospel for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent about ministry?

Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8 highlights Jesus’ compassion and His call for more workers in the spiritual harvest. It teaches the importance of responding to Christ’s call to serve, emphasizing the need to share God’s grace and healing with others, a poignant message during Advent.

How is Jesus’ compassion in the Gospel for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent relevant to Advent?

Jesus’ compassion for the crowds in Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8 reflects God’s deep love for humanity. During Advent, this inspires believers to not only prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth but also to embody His compassion in their interactions with others.

What is the significance of Jesus empowering the Twelve in the Gospel for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent?

Jesus empowering the Twelve in Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8 represents the extension of His ministry through His followers. It underscores the responsibility of Christians to continue Christ’s work of healing and proclaiming the Good News, a theme that aligns with Advent’s focus on active waiting and preparation.

What is a common theme for a reflection or homily based on these readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent?

A reflection or homily could focus on God’s healing and the call to serve. This theme weaves together God’s promise of healing and prosperity in Isaiah, His restorative grace in Psalm 147, and the call to active ministry in Matthew’s Gospel.

How can these readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent inspire personal reflection?

These readings invite reflection on God’s promise of healing and guidance, and our response to His call to serve others. They encourage contemplation on how we can embody God’s compassion and participate in His restorative work during Advent and beyond.

What practical application can be drawn from these readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent for daily life?

The readings inspire a commitment to spiritual growth and service. Practically, this means seeking God’s guidance, being attentive to the needs of others, and actively participating in works of compassion and ministry, reflecting the spirit of Advent and Christ’s teachings.

What overarching theme do these readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent present?

These readings collectively emphasize God’s promises of restoration, healing, and guidance, and the call to participate in His work. They encourage believers to actively engage in sharing God’s compassion and preparing the way for Christ’s coming by living out His teachings.

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