Dear brothers and sisters,
Happy New Year! Today, on this the first Sunday of Advent, we begin a new Liturgical Year.
Below is an amplified version of one of the Penitential Rite options for Mass during Advent. It speaks of 3 realities of Christ’s coming among us:
Two thousand years ago “You came in humility as a baby, as a man and as a lamb of sacrifice in order to gather the nations into the peace of God’s Kingdom, Lord have mercy.
You come to us today hidden and yet revealed, in your word and in the Sacraments, in the poor and even in creation itself, in order to wake us up to your Divine Presence and to strengthen us in holiness. Christ have mercy
At the end of time, You will come in glory and majesty, as judge of the living and the dead, and the world by fire, and to bring salvation to your people. Lord have mercy.
Another way you might say this is:
- Lord Jesus, You came in history. Lord have mercy. (past)
- Lord Jesus, You come in mystery, Christ have mercy. (present)
- Lord Jesus, You will come in glory, Lord have mercy. (future)
The source of all grace is Jesus’ first coming 2,000 years ago, and yet, to prepare a people for his final coming as judge, Christ comes to us today “in Mystery,” that is, hidden to the natural eye, but revealed to the person of faith and love. He comes in his Word and in the Sacraments, in the poor, the sick, and anyone in need.
Normally the secular world is “preparing” for Christmas with a frenzy of things to do and things to buy. However, this year, due to the Covid pandemic, much of the manic state of affairs has been dampened by financial difficulties and by an unparalleled fear of sickness and death. Yet, the preparation for the coming of Jesus has perhaps never been as needed and as relevant. In this time of great unprecedented suffering all over the world, and in our families, we need Jesus!
More than ever we need to open our hearts for the coming of Jesus. This world, and in fact all of us, desperately need to know that we have a Savior, Who came in history, but is Lord of history. It is He Who is with us right now, seeking to wake us up to His Divine Presence. Through his loving mercy He is calling us to conversion and holiness. When this time of mercy passes, the time of judgement will begin. This is why the Lord admonishes us to “stay awake.” This is a reference to the alertness of an active faith that will keep us alert for his coming.
In special way during this Holy Season of Advent, we will meet Jesus in the poor and suffering through our neighborhood Christmas Caroling Outreach on Sunday, December 20th. As we pray and sing carols recounting the good news of Christmas, we will be giving out gifts to our brothers and sisters who live very close to our Church and yet can seem so far away from us. Although we’ll be taking the proper precautions like wearing masks on our faces and social distancing, our masks will be decorated with Christmas themes and we’ll provide hot chocolate for those we meet. I encourage you to join us in some way in this beautiful outreach. This outreach actually begins with our Giving Tree, which has been set up close to the altar.
Attached to our Giving Tree will be gift tags. Each tag will indicate a gift request that you can choose to fulfill, such as children’s toys, hoodies for teenagers, socks for men & women, etc.
You can take as many tags as you can: the more gifts you donate, the more Christmas presents we will have to hand out to our brothers and sisters in our neighborhood at our Caroling Outreach on Sunday afternoon, December 20. The tags will also be available digitally.
As part of our Advent mission, we have two online events of prayer and teaching: one is every Sunday which will be presented by Renewal Ministries, and the 2nd one is a daily reflection from Parousia Media. More information below.
May we keep each other in prayer that no matter what happens arounds us, we will keep our eyes on Jesus ever ready to welcome Him when He comes. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!!!
In Jesus thru Mary,