Happy New Year! A little over a month remains in the civil year, yet the Church is getting ready to celebrate the beginning of a new Liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent on November 30, 2014.
Advent — from the Latin ad venio, “to come” — is the liturgical season anticipating the Adventus Domini, the “coming of the Lord.” While the days grow shorter and colder, we prepare for the Son of God who comes to kindle our hearts with his light and his love.
The Eternal Word, who is outside of time, became Incarnate in time, thereby making all time sacred. In the season of Advent, we await the coming of Christ on all the levels which we experience time: in the past — as a babe in the stable of Bethlehem; in the present — as grace in our souls; and in the future — as the Judge at the end of time.
The Advent season is filled with preparation and expectation. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Too often, however, we are so busy with the material preparations that we lose sight of the real reason for our activity: the Word made flesh coming to dwell among us. By celebrating Advent; using this time to prepare our hearts we can preserve the spiritual focus of Christmas amidst the prevailingly secular and consumer-driven society.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, how do can we keep Advent a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and hope?
Meditate often on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on flesh of the Virgin Mary.
When we are our shopping and baking, let us remember to purchase and prepare something for the poor.
When we clean our homes, let us distribute some of our possessions to those who lack many necessities.
While we are decking the halls of our homes, let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.
On Sunday, November 23rd , we celebrate the Feast of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (formerly known as the Feast of Christ the King). This feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
The 1920s saw a rise in secularism, in which people increasingly lived their lives as if God did not exist. Many Christians (including Catholics) began to doubt the authority and existence of Christ and to question the power of the Church to continue Christ’s authority. Pope Pius XI felt that a feast celebrating the kingship of Christ over all humanity would be especially appropriate at this time when respect for Christ and for the Church was declining rapidly.
In Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quas primas, he hoped that this feast would have three effects:
That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas 32)
That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas 31)
That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills and bodies (Quas primas 33).
The need for such a feast continues to exist in our world today, as the problems observed by Pope Pius XI have not vanished but appear instead to have worsened. The embrace of individualism in today’s society moves Jesus from the central role He is meant to occupy in the lives of Christians. This feast allows us to reaffirm and refocus our faith and respect in the kingship of Jesus just as it did when it was first established.
It is fitting to celebrate Christ’s kingship right before Advent, when we liturgically prepare for the arrival of the promised Messiah. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the infant, we also meditate on the Second and Final coming of Christ the King.
Every Wednesday during advent Saint Peter’s will have Adoration with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Benediction.
Exposition starts at noon, and Benediction is at 5.45 pm. Afterwards, there will be soup and sandwiches in the Cardinal Bernardin Center. We hope to see many of you there.
Take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity and sign up for a slot during Adoration to be present with Our Lord. We ask two people to sign up per slot to make certain the Blessed Sacrament is never left unattended. Signing up is a commitment to be there.
Of course you are welcome to join in prayer and adoration any time, even without signing up.
Click the link below to sign up through google docs for December 3rd, 10th and 17th. You can fill in your name, phone number and/or email. You do not need to click save as the document updates in real time. Just fill in your name and you are done. Please do NOT make changes to any entries except your own.
Have a look at this veteran’s Day Tribute from The Catholic Miscellany, featuring Father Linsky. Take the time to look, to learn and to say a prayer for our men and women who serve or have served. Honoring our veterans goes beyond Veteran’s Day, so keep our men and women in uniform in your prayers.
Today is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica which is the cathedra (or chair) of the Bishop of Rome, the pope. This is the symbolic center of Catholicism.
The Basilica has been known as the mother and head of all churches of the city and the world since it’s dedication in 324. The church is named after the Laterani family who donated the property on which the basilica stands.
Today’s feast celebrates God’s desire to build a spiritual temple in the world, a community that worships in spirit and truth. Give thanks for your place of worship; take a prayerful walk through your church and notice its unique architectural features.
Also, take a virtual tour of the Lateran Basilica here or take this wonderful video tour: www.youtube.com/watch?v=56kx6OMFL8I
Thank you Middle School youth (grades 6-8) and advisers who spent last Wednesday evening making a WHOPPING 453 sandwiches for Oliver Gospel Mission. Our Youth brought the meat and cheese; the advisers provided the bread.
Their efforts will “feed the hungry.”
Now that is what we call a “corporal work of mercy!”