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Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Is 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, "Fear not,
I will help you."
Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O maggot Israel;
I will help you, says the LORD;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and double-edged,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off
and the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab

R. (8) The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let them make known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.

Alleluia See Is 45:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the clouds rain down the Just One,
and the earth bring forth a Savior.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 11:11-15

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."
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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Chillicothe nurse says special delivery of healthy baby made for her best Christmas

CHILLICOTHE — Early one cold December morning, long before the sun filled the sky, a baby boy was born. No, not that baby. This birth took place just south of Chillicothe, but it was still the best Christmas present Geneva Wallace ever received. On that Christmas Eve, the child made it clear that he was […]

Benedictine’s ‘eclectic’ Christmas village puts Nativity at the center of it all

ROCK ISLAND — Benedictine Sister Mary Core didn’t start out to make a Christmas village that enchants children and adults who visit St. Mary Monastery from late Advent through the Christmas season. It just sort of happened. What is more intentional is the focus on why Christmas is such a meaningful — as well as […]

St. Joseph School, Pekin, donates 77 ‘Boxes of Joy’ to children living in poverty

PEKIN — Children living in poverty in Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic will have a brighter Christmas, thanks to the 180 students at St. Joseph School in Pekin. Led by the eighth grade confirmation class, the students prepared 77 gift boxes as part of the Box of Joy Ministry of Cross Catholic Outreach. […]

As witnesses to Christ, we must change our lives, prepare the way of the Lord

By Sharon Priester Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)/Dec. 17 Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11; (Psalm) Luke 1:46-48,49-50,53-54; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28 This week, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Gospel begins with “A man named John was sent from God.” Who is this John? Why did he come? As we listen, we hear that he came for […]

St. Bede Academy raises $100,000 for Annual Fund and serves needy on #GivingTuesday

PERU — St. Bede Academy here raised a record $100,000 on Nov. 28 during a global day of giving promoted primarily via social media and known by the hashtag #GivingTuesday. “The outpouring of generosity and overwhelming kindness from our St. Bede family with more than 190 donations has made an incredible impact on the St. […]

Pastor, teacher win dance competition and their school arts programs benefit

LA SALLE — There wasn’t a mirror ball trophy in sight, but Father Jacob Rose and Darcy Mollo came away from “Dance Dance Dance for Charity” Dec. 10 with a much better prize. As the champions of the dance competition sponsored by OmniArts in Starved Rock Country, they will receive $1,500 for the arts programs […]

Father Caster, Father Sauppé celebrating 25 years of priesthood ordination

Father Gary Caster and Father Timothy Sauppé are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their ordination to the priesthood with Masses and social gatherings this weekend. Father Caster, who has served as the Catholic chaplain at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, since 2007, will celebrate the 7, 8:30 and 11 a.m. Masses this Sunday, Dec. 17, […]

Cathedral’s new sacred music director sets lofty goals, issues wide invitations

It was what he observed while playing the organ for liturgies at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria that brought Jon Kroepel into the Catholic Church at last year’s Easter Vigil. Now he will get to inspire others as the new director of sacred music there. Kroepel succeeds Greg Etzel in the position, which has been […]

Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

Reading 1 Is 40:25-31

To whom can you liken me as an equal?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
and see who has created these things:
He leads out their army and numbers them,
calling them all by name.
By his great might and the strength of his power
not one of them is missing!
Why, O Jacob, do you say,
and declare, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?

Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles' wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10

R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 11:28-30

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.