Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
With the First Sunday of Advent, today marks the beginning of the Advent Season. This is a period of time that we set aside each year to recall the Incarnation of Christ in the flesh at Christmas.
This is an important Feast for us to recall, and also to prepare for, because Advent symbolizes in a limited and temporal way what we should be doing our entire lives. Advent recalls for us the coming of Christ into time, while the entirety of our lives needs to be directed toward the coming of Christ again in glory. If we are not capable of accepting Christ now, and if we aren’t prepared to receive Him into our souls, than the day of judgement will be quite harsh upon us. Christ came in the past, so that we can accept Him in the present, to be with Him forever in the future.
It is for this reason that the beginning of Advent is often focused on themes such as the Second Coming of Christ, because Advent is a time when the Church reminds us that there are three comings of Christ in time. The first has already passed, on that cold evening in Bethlehem. The second lives in the present, when we each are willing to accept Christ into our hearts and into our souls. The third is when Christ will come again in glory, to judge both the living and the dead.
I pray that this Advent season is a fruitful time of preparation for Christmas Day, but also the daily coming of Christ to us. I suggest increasing your prayers during this Advent Season, taking advantage of some of the Advent offerings at Old St. Mary’s, and doing your best to clear out of your life whatever could hinder the coming of the Lord to you. If we do this, and do this well, then we will be well prepared to receive Christ when he comes again.
A few practical items for this new Liturgical Year. We have decided, in order to save money and also to make life a bit easier for our parishioners, to no longer purchase missalettes. Missalettes are a modern invention that come at a large cost to the parish each year. In place of the missalettes, I first encourage everyone purchase their own hand Missal, as was done in the past. You can also opt to subscribe to the monthly Magnificat (http:// www.magnificat.com/).
You will find at the entrances Mass leaflets which will now be used for the music, in place of the bulletin. These will also contain the readings each week. I hope this change make things easier to find, so that we can more faithfully worship God at Holy Mass. At some point in the near future, we will be looking at obtaining new hymnals. May God Bless you in this week ahead!