HAPPY NEW CHURCH YEAR! THE SEASON OF ADVENT
Today, the First Sunday of Advent, is the official beginning of the new Liturgical Year. The Gospel reading for today suggests a good new year’s resolution – to develop one good habit for keeping alert to God’s saving action in our life or in our world.
What do we see when look around these days – colorful lights, frantic holiday shopping, Santa Claus and premature Christmas carols? How can we find some spiritual quiet in our life to prepare for the coming of Christ in this distracting world? Jesus, in today’s gospel, urgently reminds his disciples, and each of us, “Be watchful! Be alert!” By paying attention to the quiet moments we can create, hidden things God is already doing in your life every day will come to our consciousness. May you experience the reality that you are beloved by God so much, that he is preparing send his only Son into our world!
THE ADVENT WREATH – IN CHURCH AND IN YOUR OWN HOME!
A prominent symbol of the Season of Advent for modern Catholics is the Advent Wreath. Its colors of purple and rose match the liturgical colors of this season of preparation for the Lord’s coming into our world. The four candles, three purple and one rose, are for the four Sundays of Advent. The evergreen wreath itself represents the “ever” green vitality of God’s life around us and the never-ending nature of a circle reminding us of God’s never-ending love, a promised fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah. The weekly increasing of candle flames during these darkening days of winter indicates the growing light of Christ in our world in a world darkened by tragedy and anxiety. “Come, Lord Jesus! Come!”
Prayer for Week One of Advent: “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” Psalm 25:1
Light the first candle on the wreath, then pray: Lord, Advent is the yearly reminder that you have fulfilled your promise to send us a savior. As we prepare for Christmas once again, Lord, help us not get overly caught up in the frantic pace and many tasks that need to get done. Rather, may we keep our eyes and hearts lifted up to you, the real reason for the season who brings us true peace. Amen!
JESSE TREE BOOKLET – DID YOU GET YOURS IN THE MAIL?
All the registered members of our parish family should have received in the mail this Advent spiritual aid – something you can read each day and reflect on a portion of God’s Word relating to the coming of the Savior of the world and the Messiah of God’s People. Also you can observe several new Jesse Tree symbols added each Sunday during Advent to the “tree that has sprouted from the stump of Jesse” in our sanctuary. [Note: Jesse is the father of King David, from whose family the Messiah would come.]