December 10: SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Our second reading from St. Peter today tells us to await new heavens and a new earth. Our prophets remind us that we are to prepare for this, but do we really believe it? Or have we become complacent like the community to whom Peter is writing in his day? As we go through the seasons year after year, we may still believe that Jesus will come again as we pray in the creed every Sunday, but do we think that he may come in our lifetime? Would you be ready for his return. This season of Advent, as we pray for the coming of the salvation of the world, let us prepare ourselves to receive our savior. By repentance of our sins and practicing the virtues, let us make straight a highway for our Lord that we may see his glory.
December 3: FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Happy new liturgical year. Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of waiting in the “in-between” times. Christ has won the victory, but his Kingdom is not yet fully realized. We wait for his return in glory. With Isaiah we call out to God asking him to return so we may not wander away from him. We need to stand firm with Paul and be watchful and alert as Mark tells us in the gospel. Advent is a time of waiting in active hope. It is a time for turning to the Lord that we may see his face as we call upon his name. Come Lord Jesus.
December 8, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the Patronal Feast Day of the United States and a Holy Day of Obligation.
For the earlier post on Advent click HERE
Fr. Rob Galea has a brief video about Advent:
23rd Publication has a free e-resource booket with daily prayers, activities and reflections available by clicking HERE
The NCEA website has its own collection of Advent Resources for Catholic educators to help celebrate the season of Advent with students
NOVEMBER 26: SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE
Today we celebrate Christ the King, but he is unlike ordinary, earthly kings. He is a shepherd to his flock - the Good Shepherd, who carries the lost sheep home on his shoulders. This is the King we follow and as his disciples we are called do the same. The gospel asks us what we have done for the least among us in imitation of our Shepherd-King and in service to him. As he has loved us, so we are called to love those whom he loves, the least of our brothers and sisters. On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, and as we look forward to Thanksgiving Thursday, let us be grateful for the love of our King and Shepherd and share that love with all around us.
NOVEMBER 19: THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Are you prepared for the return of the Master? What talents have we been entrusted with? Have we used our gifts or have we buried them or stored them on the shelf unopened and unused? Have we worked to increase our talents by using and sharing them? Our gospel today indicates that there may be some risk involved trying to increase our talents. We may fail or be rejected, but our gifts are not given to be buried in the sand. Our first reading shows us how we increase our talents: having obtained the raw materials of wool and flax, the good wife works with them, spins them into cloth and shares her wares with the poor and needy. In the Church, we have been given the gift of faith, and through prayer and study and sharing we can increase our faith, so as to let our faith overflow to those we meet. Let us use our talents and stay alert that we may be ready for the Lord's return and will hear those words: "Well done my good and faithful servant... come share your Master’s joy."
Another Liturgical Year is almost done ... December 3 begins the season of Advent, that time of preparation for Christmas.
A quick reminder from Busted Halo in case you don't remember the reason for the Advent Season:
Our Diocesan Family Life Office has put together a wonderful list of traditions and activities for the family to celebrate Advent:
Some other resources you may want to consider:
Make a retreat. If you can't get away, consider something like a daily prayer break. Loyola press offers a free email prayer break called SACRED ADVENT
The USCCB has an annual ADVENT CALENDAR with readings, lectio, prayers and activities
Bishop Barron offers a DAILY GOSPEL REFLECTION FOR ADVENT via email.
The Daughters of St. Paul offer a FREE ADVENT PLANNER with recipies, and prayers, planning lists, crafts etc.
And if you want to share the WORD this Christmas, check out Lighthouse Catholic Media. They are offering a case of books or CD's for Christmas for a dollar a book.
November 12 THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
How do you think of heaven? Do you think of it as a big wedding feast? Are you ready for the feast? It is so easy in our day and age to get distracted and forget that the goal is heaven. We, like the foolish ones, get bored waiting and allow our spirits to doze off. But Jesus reminds us in the Gospel today to stay alert, to remember who we are and what it is we hope for, to truly live our faith and not simply go through the motions. Shine your light so that others may see and also desire to come in to celebrate the great feast in heaven.
On October 14, a group of about 30 parishioners met for a morning workshop on parish hospitality. I was originally contacted by a parishioner from St. Augustine’s in Morrisonville who had attended the workshop by Sherri Wohlfert in June. They had so enjoyed the conference that they wanted to share it with their parish. After some back and forth emails, I realized that the simple talk or presentation that I was envisioning was not what was being asked for. They wanted an actual workshop where participants could grapple with ideas about hospitality. In small groups, they could begin to look at what they were already doing and what some next steps could be that would make their parish an even more welcoming community. Eventually I created a Saturday morning workshop focused on hospitality as seen through the lens of our diocesan vision statement. Some of the topics covered in this workshop were: We Are Rich in Gifts; Creating an Atmosphere of Hospitality; What is so special about our Parish; Whose Ministry is it anyway; Reaching out to those on the Peripheries; and How do we look to Outsiders and Visitors. If your parish would be interested in hosting a hospitality workshop, contact Marika at the Office of the New Evangelization email@example.com or 315-393-2920 extension 1380.
SEPTEMBER 24: TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Readings: Is 55:6-9/Phil 1:20c-24, 27a/Mt 20:1-16a
The Lord asks of us: "Are you envious because I am generous?" We live in an entitlement culture. We often grumble when others receive accolades and honors. We envy the success of others. How much energy do we waste keeping up with the Joneses, or hanging on and worrying about our possessions, when everything we have is gift. Rather than imitating the Joneses, can we follow Christ in giving of ourselves. Can we be grateful for all he has given us and give in return by showing mercy and kindness to our neighbor. For it is in giving that we receive. Let us not be afraid to serve others, for in serving we will find true peace and joy.