December 1st: First Sunday of Advent
Dear Parish Family,
On this first Sunday of Advent, the Church invites us to reflect on the mystery of time, eternity and the end of time. We are told to be watchful. About being ready for Christ’s triumphant coming out of eternity into the world of time. His coming in the light of glory will come when we least expect it. The colorful language and imagery of His coming in glory seem frightful to us. But Jesus also warns us to be prepared for the Son of Man to come. We prepare ourselves first through prayer and the sacraments. We enter eternity through the doors of our everyday parish. This is what Christmas is about: God draws near, God becomes one of us and we are invited to meet the Mighty in the mundane. This is why Advent is the time to be with Mary, the Church, our new Mother who grants us a new life in her Son Jesus. In her perfect humanity, Mary is able to offer the Son of God the prefallen condition in which the human family was created and which is again ours in Christ. So Advent is a time which bridges the awesomeness of the return of the Great King and the maternal and intimate nature of the weeks before Christmas. Even though the coming of Christ seems fearful at first with these images of celestial changes and utter confusion, prophecies of great terror and destruction, cosmic events in nature, it should also inspire us to greater faithfulness. Our faith tells us that Christ has triumphed over all darkness, sin, and evil that we see in our world today. He has already won the battle. But we called to prepare our hearts by striving to be holy. In our preparing for Christ we begin to have a share in His great light of glory already here on earth. We prepare by stockpiling not things of this world but God’s grace in our hearts. We prepare by growing in union with Christ Jesus. We prepare by forming our hearts in devotion in private prayer, devotion to Our Blessed Mother, by taking time to be alone with Our Lord in Blessed Sacrament, and most of all by participating in the Holy Eucharist. In Advent we are called to have a broadened perspective of looking past the anxieties and troubles of this world and focusing on the world to come. We prepare for Christ coming in our hearts in our spiritual life and we also prepare through acts of charity, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and loving our neighbor. In this holy Season we wait for Jesus to come into our hearts spiritually at Christmas. We also prepare our hearts to meet Him in His glory and in eternity. May we lose all fear and deepen our union with him, who came into the world a little child to bring salvation. Let us grow closer to home and wait for him in hopeful expectation. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus! (hprweb.com)
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG