Sunday, December 2, 2018

First Sunday of Advent

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 51 Those on Local Errands or Work
Mass: Jr 33:14-16; 1 Th 3:12-4:2; Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

Show us, Lord, your love; and grant us your salvation.

Before First Vespers last night I turned to the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year, 39, to set the tone for the new liturgical year about to commence. The text on the season goes like this: 'Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.' We might ask ourselves, then, How will I make the blessed season of Advent a period of devout and expectant delight? We have many aids to help in our reflection, including but not limited to the rich liturgical texts offered us. We can begin with one, also a prayer, from the pen of St Paul: May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Th 3:12-13). Another is to let the Solemn Blessing from Mass sink into the depths of our being: May the almighty and merciful God, by whose grace you have placed your faith in the First Coming of his Only Begotten Son and yearn for his coming again, sanctify you by the radiance of Christ's Advent and enrich you with his blessing. As you run the race of this present life, may he make you firm in faith, joyful in hope and active in charity. So that, rejoicing now with devotion at the Redeemer's coming in flesh, you may be endowed with the rich reward of eternal life when he comes again in majesty. AMEN.


Be still awhile, be still and wait
Beneath the whirl of love and hate,
Beneath the thoughts of good and ill
Drop down beneath where all is still.
(Koshin Schomberg)

Be not afraid, for God is with us, with us in the likeness of our flesh, made to be one with us.
(Bernard of Clairvaux)

We are not simply to believe, but to watch; not simply to love, but to watch, not simply to obey, but to watch; to watch for what? For the great event, Christ's coming.
(John Henry Newman)

Advent is the time to welcome the Lord who comes to meet us, the time to look ahead, and to prepare ourselves for Christ's return.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, December 2, 2018)

O God who is to come, grant me the grace to live now, in the hour of Your Advent, in such a way that I may merit to live in your forever, in the blissful hour of Your eternity.
(Karl Rahner)

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