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Thought for today Saint of the day Today's Readings Sunday's Readings
Thought for today

Seeking out God.


In Isaiah 63:17, this pre-eminent prophet of Advent essentially asks the question “Why have you (God) made us free?” Wouldn’t life be simpler if we couldn’t go off track and ignore God’s ways? But the answer to that question requires a direct encounter with God himself, which is what we are preparing for in Advent.

We are free to go our own way, to skip Advent entirely and to go directly to the celebration of Christmas. Or, we could just attend some parties, exchange some gifts and not bother to reflect on the Word made flesh. God has made us free people.

Isaiah asks God to return to us with a bit of the passion that God has in calling upon us to come back. Before Advent is over for another year, let us take some time to reflect on what we might do to seek him out.

Deirdre Powell


Source: Living Faith: Daily Catholic Devotions (adapted).
Saint of the day

Nov 30 - St Andrew (1st century) apostle

Andrew2Andrew, a Galilean fisherman from Bethsaida, was the first disciple to be called by Jesus. He is said to have preached the gospel in Greece and to have been crucified at Patras. He is patron of Scotland, Russia and Greece. Patrick Duffy outlines what is known about him.

Disciple of John the Baptist
Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist. He was one of the two standing with John when Jesus passed and John stared hard at him and said, "Look, there is the lamb of God". The two disciples followed Jesus, who turned and asked them, "What do you want?" They answered, "Rabbi, Where do you live?" "Come and see." was Jesus's reply. They went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of the day.

meet JAndrew brings Simon to Jesus
Early next morning, Andrew met his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah," and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at Simon and said, "You are Simon, son of John, you are to be called Cephas", meaning Rock (Jn 1:35-42). Mark has a slightly different version: both fishermen brothers were casting their net in the lake, when Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men. And at once they left their nets and followed him." (Mk 1:16-18).

Other mentions in the New Testament
Peter subsequently takes the leadership role, but Andrew is always in the first four in the lists of the names of  the twelve apostles. It is Andrew who points out there is a small boy there with five barley loaves and two fish from the crowd are miraculously fed (Jn 6:1-9). It is Andrew who helps Philip to bring the Greeks along who want to see Jesus (Jn 12:20-22).

Andrew put to death

andrew CruxAndrew is said to have evangelised in Asia Minor and Greece. It was also said that was  martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been.


The Acta of his martyrdom date from the 4th century. To support the claims of Constantinople as a patriarch, his supposed relics were taken there and the claim was made that he was its first bishop. During the Fourth Crusade in 1204, however, these relics were removed to Amalfi, by Cardinal Pedro. A relic of St. Andrew's head came to Pius II in 1460. As a gesture of good will toward the Greek Orthodox Church, Pope Paul VI returned it the Church of St. Andrew in Patras where it is reverenced in a special ceremony every November 30, his feast day.

How did Andrew become the patron of Scotland?
Legends tell of relics of Andrew being brought by one St Regulus to a Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa (729–761) from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St Andrews stands today. Or that Acca, the Bishop of Hexham, a well-known collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew there in 733. But it may be that Andrew's connection with Scotland may owe more to the Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba and Irish customs were superseded and "outranked" by Roman customs. Andrew may then have seemed a higher ranking patron. By 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath says that Scotland was converted to Christianity by Saint Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle".

Relics of St Andrew
Relic of St AndrewIn 1879 the Archbishop of Amalfi sent a small piece of the Saint's shoulder blade to the re-established Roman Catholic community in Scotland. During his visit in 1969, Pope Paul VI gave further relics of St. Andrew to Scotland with the words "Saint Peter gives you his brother" and these are now displayed in a reliquary in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.

For more on this see: The National Shrine of St Andrew at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh
Today's Readings
St Andrew, Apostle, Feast

St Andrew. Apostle

Scripture Theme
St Andrew from Bethsaida was a disciple of John the Baptist when he was called by Jesus. He in turn brought his brother Peter to Jesus. He is said to have suffered martyrdom by crucifixion on this date, but the tradition of an X-shaped cross is much later. Patron of Scotland, Russia and fishermen.

FIRST READING:            Romans 10:9-18
Faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ.

preachingIf your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him, and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him, and they will not hear of him unless they get a preacher, and they will never have a preacher unless one is sent, but as scripture says: The footsteps of those who bring good news is a welcome sound. Not everyone, of course, listens to the Good News. As Isaiah says: Lord, how many believed what we proclaimed? So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ.

Let me put the question: is it possible that they did not hear? Indeed they did; in the words of the psalm, their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm:           Ps  18  
Response                             Their word goes forth through all the earth.

1. The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.    Response

2. No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth.
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.    Response

Gospel Acclamation           Lk 1: 28

Alleluia, Alleluia!
Follow me , says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.

call by JesusGOSPEL:                            Matthew: 4:18-22
At once, leaving their nets, they followed him.

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.' And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
AN CHÉAD LÉACHT:          Rómhánaigh 10:9-18
Is ó theagasc a thagann an creideamh, mar sin, agus is trí sheanmóireacht Chríost a thagann an teagasc féin.

Jesus preaching2
Má adhmhaíonn tú ó do bhéal gurb é Íosa an Tiarna agus má chreideann tú ó do chroí gur thóg Dia ó mhairbh é, slánófar thú. Is sa chroí a bhíonn an creideamh a fhíréanaíonn agus sa bhéal a bhíonn an admháil a shlánaíonn. Agus deir an scrioptúr: “Gach aon duine a chreideann ann ní bheidh díoma air.” Mar níl aon dealú idir Giúdach agus Gréagach mar is é an t-aon Tiarna amháin atá orthu go léir agus caitheann sé go flaithiúil lena nglaonn air, “mar gach aon duine a ghlaofaidh ar ainm an Tiarna, slánófar é.”

Ach conas a ghlaofaidís ar an té nár chreid siad ann? Agus conas a chreidfidís sa té nár chuala siad trácht air? Agus conas a chloisfidís trácht air gan duine á fhógairt dóibh? Agus conas a dhéanfadh daoine é a fhógairt mura gcuirtear amach iad chuige sin? Mar atá scríofa: “Nach álainn iad cosa lucht fógartha an dea-scéil.” Ach ní gach aon duine a ghéill don dea-scéal, de réir mar a deir Íseáia: “A Thiarna, cé a chreid ár dteagasc?” Is ó theagasc a thagann an creideamh, mar sin, agus is trí sheanmóireacht Chríost a thagann an teagasc féin.

Ach ceist agam: An é nár chuala siad an scéala? Chuala go deimhin mar “chuaigh a nglór amach ar fud an domhain go léir agus a mbriathra go himill na cruinne.”

Psalm le Freagra:                Sm 18
Freagra                                    Gabhann a bhfocail i ngach uile thír  

1. Fógraíonn na spéartha glóir Dé
agus foilsíonn an fhirmimint saothar a lámh.
Insíonn na laethanta an scéal dá chéile
agus tugann na hoícheannta an t-eolas dá chéile.      Freagra

2. Ní chluintear caint ná canúint ná briathar
cé go ngabhann a nglór i ngach uile thír
agus a bhfocail go críocha imchiana na cruinne.        Freagra

Alleluia Véarsa                              Mth 4: 19   

Alleluia!  Alleluia
Tagaigí i mo dhiaidh, a deir an Tiarna
agus déanfaidh mé iascairí ar dhaoine díbh.

call by JesusAN SOISCÉAL:                      Matha :4:18-22
D’fhág siad na líonta láithreach agus lean siad é.

San am sin nuair a bhí Íosa ag siúl dó cois farraige na Gailíle, chonaic sé beirt dearthár, Síomón ar a dtugtar Peadar agus Aindrias a dheartháir, ag caitheamh eangacha san fharraige, mar iascairí a bhí iontu. Labhair sé leo: “Tagaigí i mo dhiaidh, agus déanfaidh mé iascairí ar dhaoine díbh.” D’fhág siad na líonta láithreach agus lean siad é.

Bhuail sé ar aghaidh, agus chonaic sé beirt dearthár eile, Séamas mac Zeibidé agus Eoin a dheartháir: bhí siad sa bhád in éineacht lena n-athair, Zeibidé, ag cóiriú a gcuid líonta; agus ghlaoigh sé orthu. D’fhág siad an bád agus a n-athair láithreach agus lean siad é.


© An Sagart
Sunday's Readings
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT Si Nicholas, bishop is not celebrated this year.

Second Sunday of Advent

Scripture theme
God's promises to us are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We look forward to the Kingdom when, pure and blameless, we will reach the perfect goodness which Christ produces in us.

FIRST READING                    Baruch5:1-9
God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven.

Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress,
put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever,
wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you,
put the diadem of the glory of the Eternal on your head:
since God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven,
since the name God gives you for ever will be,
'Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness'.
Arise, Jerusalem, stand on the heights and turn your eyes to the east:
see your sons reassembled from west and east
at the command of the Holy One, jubilant that God has remembered them.
lion of JudahThough they left you on foot,
with enemies for an escort,
now God brings them back to you
like royal princes carried back in glory.
For God has decreed the flattening
of each high mountain, of the everlasting hills,
the filling of the valleys to make the ground level
so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God.
And the forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade
for Israel at the command of God;
for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory
with his mercy and integrity for escort.

Responsorial Psalm:                Ps 125
Response:                                 What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.

1. When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
on our lips there were songs.  Response

2.The heathens themselves said:
'What marvels the Lord worked for them!'
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.             Response

3. Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.          Response

4. They go out, they go out, full of tears
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
carrying their sheaves.              Response

SECOND READING      Philippians 1:3-6. 8-11
Be pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ.
Every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present. The starI am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes. God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you. My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception. so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ, when you will reach the perfect goodness which Jesus Christ produces in us for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel  Acclamation        Lk 3:4.6

Alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight..
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God

GOSPEL:                           Luke 3:1-6
All mankind shall see the salvation of God.
In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
John the B 2A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.


AN CHÉAD LÉACHT:          Barúch5:1-9
Óir taispeánfaidh Dia do bhreáthacht do gach náisiún faoin spéir.

Bain díot, a Iarúsailéim,
do róba dobróin agus ainnise
agus bíodh niamhracht ghlóir Dé
á caitheamh agat go brách.
Cóirigh thú féin faoi bhrat na fíréantachta
a thagann ó Dhia;
cuir ar do cheann coróin ghlóir an Neach Shíoraí.
lion of JudahÓir taispeánfaidh Dia do bhreáthacht
do gach náisiún faoin spéir.
Is é an t-ainm a thabharfaidh Dia ort feasta:
An tSíocháin a Ghineann an Fhíréantacht,
An Ghlóir a Eascraíonn ón gCráifeacht.
Éirigh, a Iarúsailéim, agus seas ar na harda
agus breathnaigh soir, go bhfeice tú do chlann
agus iad bailithe le chéile anoir agus aniar,
ar ordú an Neach Naofa
agus iad ag déanamh lúcháire
de bhrí go bhfuil Dia tar éis cuimhneamh orthu.
Óir, d’imigh siad amach uait de shiúl a gcos
agus iad á dtiomáint ag a naimhde.
Ach tá Dia á dtabhairt ar ais chugat
agus iad á n-iompar go glórmhar
mar fhlatha ríoga.
Mar tá Dia tar éis ordú a thabhairt
go n-ísleofaí gach cnoc ard agus na sléibhte síoraí,
agus go líonfaí isteach na gleannta, ina machaire réidh,
chun go bhféadfadh Iosrael siúl go sábháilte slán faoi ghlóir Dé.
Tabharfaidh na coillte agus gach crann cumhra
scáth d’Iosrael ar ordú Dé.
Óir treoróidh Dia Iosrael go lúcháireach
agus leis an trócaire agus leis an ionracas is dual dó.

SALM LE FREAGRA.        Sm 125
Freagra :                              Rinne an Tiarna éachtaí dúinn:
táimid go lúcháireach.

1. Nuair a thug an Tiarna príosúnaigh Síón abhaile
ba chosúil sinn le daoine ag brionglóidigh.
Ansin líonadh ár mbéal le gáire,
agus ár dteanga le gairdeas.                Freagra

2. Ansin bhíothas á rá i measc na gciníocha:
'Rinne an Tiarna éachtaí.'
Rinne an Tiarna éachtaí dúinn:
táimid go lúcháireach.                          Freagra

3. Cuir sonas orainn arís, a Thiarna,
ar nós sruthanna san fhásach ó dheas.
An mhuintir a chuireann síol le deora,
bainfidh siad an fómhar le gairdeas.   Freagra

4. Ag imeacht dóibh imíonn siad ag sileadh na ndeor,
agus iad ag iompar síl chun a scaipthe;
ag teacht dóibh tiocfaidh siad le gairdeas,
agus a bpunanna á n-iompar acu.       Freagra

AN DARA LÉACHT:           1Filipigh1:3-6. 8-11
Go mbeidh sibh glan gan locht i gcomhair lá Chríost.

A bhráithre, gach uair dá gcuimhním oraibh gabhaim buíochas le mo Dhia agus gach uair a bhím ag guí déanaim guí oraibh uile go lúcháireach, mar gheall ar an bpáirt a bhí agaibh sa dea-scéal ón gcéad lá riamh go dtí inniu. The starAgus táim cinnte den mhéid seo: an té a thosaigh an dea-obair in bhur measc go leanfaidh sé á chur i gcrích go dtí lá Íosa Críost. Is maith is ceart dom an aigne seo a bheith agam in bhur dtaobh go léir, de bhrí go bhfuil sibh i gcochall mo chroí agam agus a rá go bhfuil sibh go léir rannpháirteach sa ghrásta a bhronn Dia orm, cibé acu a bhím i gcuibhreacha nó ag cosaint agus ag daingniú an dea-scéil. Tá a fhios ag Dia go bhfuilim ag tnúth libh uile le cion Íosa Críost féin. Is é mo ghuí go rachaidh bhur ngrá dá chéile i méid agus i méid le barr eolais agus tuisceana, sa tslí go mba rogha libh na nithe is fearr agus go mbeidh sibh glan gan locht i gcomhair lá Chríost agus go mbeidh sibh lán de thorthaí na fíréantachta sin a thagann trí Íosa Críost, chun moladh agus glóire Dé.

Alleluia Véarsa                     Lc 3:4, 6

Alleluia, alleluia!
Ullmhaigí bóthar an Tiarna,
déanaigi díreach a chosáin.
Agus feicfidh an uile cholainn shánú Dé.

AN SOISCÉAL :                    Lúcás 3:1-6
Feicfidh an uile cholainn slánú Dé.
Sa chúigiú bliain déag de réimeas Thibir Céasar, nuair a bhí Pointias Pioláit ina ghobharnóir ar Iúdáia, agus Héaród ina rí cúige ar an nGailíl, agus Pilib a dheartháir ina rí cúige ar cheantar Iotúráia agus Treachóinítis, agus Lusáinias ina rí cúige ar Aibiléiné, faoi ardsagartacht Annas agus Cháiafas, tháinig briathar Dé chun Eoin mac Zachairias san fhásach. Agus ghabh sé ar fud na tíre go léir timpeall na Iordáine ag fógairt bhaiste aithrí chun peacaí a mhaitheamh, mar atá scríofa i leabhar ráite Íseáia fáidh:
John the B 2“Glór duine ag éamh san fhásach:
‘ Réitígí bóthar an Tiarna,
déanaigí díreach a chasáin.
Líonfar gach cumar,
agus ísleofar gach sliabh agus cnocán;
déanfar na camshlite díreach
agus na bóithre anacra réidh,
agus feicfidh an uile cholainn slánú Dé.’”

© An Sagart