Tag Archives: Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent – reflection

Advent4Each one of us has experienced God’s action in our lives in some special way, at least once. Maybe through a truly uncanny coincidence, or through an answered prayer, or through the providential intervention of a friend or loved one. I must admit that I too have experienced such God’s interventions. There were times when I was almost mad at God that he had ruined my plans I had for my own sake. When I was ready to proceed with my plan suddenly, something strange happened. A person or an event had changed my plans. Once I was in a hurry for a train to go to an important meeting. Then, suddenly, it happened that I had to take a stranger to a hospital. And of course, I was late for the train.

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Third Sunday of Advent

Advent3The Third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday, the Sunday of rejoicing. That’s why today’s readings mention the word “joy” twelve times. Jesus didn’t come to intimidate and oppress us; he came to save us. Salvation, friendship with God, the fullness and security of living in communion with our Creator and Redeemer, of being “gathered into the barns” of his eternal and sublime Kingdom… This is the message of Christmas, the message we have been thinking about during these weeks of Advent. In today’s Second Reading, St Paul actually commands us to “rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS.” And just in case we thought he was exaggerating, in the very next sentence he says, “I say it again, rejoice!” We can only rejoice “always” if our joy is based on something that goes deeper than the passing pleasures of this world. Continue reading Third Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent

Advent2Pope Benedict XVI said: “In these days the liturgy constantly reminds us that ‘God comes’ to visit his people, to dwell in the midst of men and women and to form with them a communion of love and life: a family” (Angelus, 10 December 2006). In today’s Second Reading, St Paul makes the same point in one of the most memorable, beautiful, and powerful phrases of the entire New Testament: “"I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus." God doesn’t create us and then forget about us, like some kind of divine architect or watchmaker. He gives us the gift of life, and then he accompanies us, gently trying to guide us into a deeper and deeper friendship with him, never giving up on us. He knows where we were born, where we grew up, what we have suffered and enjoyed, the wounds in our hearts. Continue reading Second Sunday of Advent

Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

Advent, which starts today, is sometimes understood as a waiting period – waiting for Christmas to arrive. That’s what the prophecy in today’s First Reading calls to mind. From that point of view, this waiting period between Advent and Christmas is also supposed to make us think deeply about another waiting period. The one between now and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, who will bring history to its fulfillment, judge the living and the dead, and put a definitive end to evil. This second waiting period is what our Lord refers to in today’s Gospel passage. Continue reading Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent

Advent1"Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us."    —   Pope Benedict VXI, Homily at First Vespers of Advent, November 28, 2009

“The season of Advent offers us an opportunity to ponder the beauty, mystery, and awesome responsibility of our vocation as Christian disciples who follow the Vincentian charism. Our Advent journey has four distinct movements that mirror this liturgical season as well as stages in Christian discipleship.”   —- Fr. Gregory Gay, CM, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission.

Letter of Rev. Gregory Gay, CM, Superior General, for Advent

Use the Advent Calendar for your daily activity in preparation for Christmas:

Advent Calendar

Last Sunday of Advent – meditation

On this last Sunday of Advent, as the solemn celebration of Christ’s birth approaches, the Church reminds us of that holy day nine months earlier when Jesus was conceived in his Mother’s womb. There are two great mysteries connected with that day. The first is the mystery of God becoming man – the Incarnation. God has loved us so much that he became one of us, so that he could save us from sin and the meaninglessness that sin brings, and show us the way to a meaningful life, now and forever. The second mystery is that God didn’t – and doesn’t – work out that plan of salvation for us all by himself. Instead, he asks for our cooperation.

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Advent Day of Prayer

Here are some thoughts from the Advent Day of Prayer conducted by Fr. Marek on Monday of the Third week of Advent. The theme of our mediation is “Gaudete in Domino semper”. 

“Rejoice in the Lord always” reads the opening antiphon for the 3 Sunday  of Advent Mass. Yes, yesterday we celebrated the Rejoice Sunday. As you have noticed, in order to remind the people that they were preparing for the very joyful occasion of the birth of Jesus, the celebrant wore “rose” vestments yesterday and we lit the rose candle on the advent wreath. We expressed our joy in the coming of Jesus, our savior.

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Meaning of an Advent wreath

As you probably have already noticed, there is a traditional Advent wreath in the sanctuary of our church. It is constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent.  Three candles are purple and one is rose. And there is also a white candle, which will be lit on Christmas Day.  The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass. Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.

Advent and Christmas 2010 Calendar of Activities

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Our Bishop, the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, in his Pastoral Letter entitled “The New Evangelization in Brooklyn and Queens” (October 3, 2004) tells us,

Re-evangelization is the revitalized proclamation of the Gospel as a lived experience in the concrete events of daily life for those already baptized and active in the Church.  It is the encounter with Christ offered in the New Evangelization that gives us an opportunity to transform our own personal relationships with Christ.  Continue reading Advent and Christmas 2010 Calendar of Activities