Welcome to Advent and a new Church year. This past year we read the Gospel of Luke; this year our Gospels will come from Mark.
Tuesday evening, December 3rd, our Advent reflection will be held from 7 to 8 pm in the church. I will share some thoughts on Distractions to a Lifestyle as a Disciple, followed by some quiet time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Please take advantage of this opportunity to enter into the spiritual season of Advent, preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior. And elsewhere in this bulletin, see the information on the adult and children Advent/Christmas literature available in church or the parish office.
Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. Yes, we prepare to celebrate Christmas, His first coming, but it is a call to remember that we have to prepare the way for His Kingdom, for His second coming. Notice the opening words of the prophet in our first reading: in days to come… Our readings in this season are oriented toward the fullness of the Kingdom. Notice the images that Isaiah uses in our reading: all nations shall stream towards God’s holy mountain. In other words, divisions and hostility will cease and all will be united in the Lord. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. In other words, weapons of war will become agricultural tools, used for life-giving productivity rather than destruction and death.
The Kingdom is about caring for each other and the earth and attracting all people to “the mountain of God.” Advent invites to reflect on this goal, to have a change of heart, and to rededicate ourselves to living in such a way as to bring about the Kingdom. The more we can do this, the more our celebration of Christmas will be alive and vital, not just sentimental memories and feelings. And it fits in so well with our parish goal to become better disciples.
I invite us to take advantage of this special season of the Church year and the opportunities presented by this community: use the reflection books provided, come to the December 3rd reflection, and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at our communal service on December 10 or at some other time. Then we will be ready to walk in the Light of Christ as we celebrate His birth. My prayers are with each of you that you may have an Advent of spiritual growth.