Advent December 17 – 24
In these last eight days before Christmas, the relationship between the readings changes. Now the gospel brings us to our celebration of Christmas. The gospels are taken from the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. Each of these days, the first reading is taken from the Hebrew Scriptures, and chosen to match the gospel. In many cases we can imagine Matthew or Luke having the first reading open on their desks while they wrote the gospel. So, we can read the gospel first and then read the first reading. The sense of anticipation and fulfillment builds as we read the story of the preparation for Jesus' first coming into this world for us.