The New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat is a conservative commentator on life as well as a practicing Catholic. In his recent newsletter he speaks about an Advent experience of someone who enters deeply into the the promise of a Messiah and the hard reality of what is expected of us should we say “yes” to the Savior. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Advent
O Come, Veni
A Gift of Advent: the Habit of Patience
So far this Advent, the Saturday morning post has explored one of the many gifts that await us under the tree, that is, the cross of Christ. And there are some awesome gifts – to name the ones mentioned in previous weeks – forgiveness and mercy. Now we have arrived at the Third Week of Advent, Gaudete Sunday! The name comes from wording in Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! It is another week, and another gift awaits. Like any kid in the days leading up to Christmas you have begun to peer under the tree, assessing the shapes, sizes and weight of gifts – and guessing what could possibly be under wraps. You have to wonder what other awesome gift is waiting right there under the tree, the cross of Christ. Let’s open up another gift! But wait…it’s not Christmas yet. What’s the rush? Christmas is only over a week away. Of course, when I was 7 years old, “only a week” seemed liked a lifetime. Now that I am a lot older than 7, “only a week” is but the blink of an eye. I am much more patient about most things…. Not all things, most things. So, what’s the rush? Maybe we should practice a little patience? Continue reading
Sounds of the Advent Season
Also part of the Advent Season are music concerts of holiday music. Our parish will hold its “Festival of Praise” on Friday evening, December 16th at 7:30 pm. Join us! Here is a sample of the musical offerings from a recent Saturday morning practice.
A Gift of Advent: Mercy
Last Saturday I wrote about forgiveness. I started out the post as a reflection on the readings from Scripture for the first week of Advent, noting how the readings did not seem to fit the mood of Christmas coming. The column explained that they weren’t meant to be – it’s Advent, a time of waiting and reflecting despite what the commercial world of commerce would have you believe. But maybe the draw of Christmas is too powerful. The column sort of morphed itself into the idea of forgiveness as the gift you give. The end of the post said: “What ‘Christmas gift’ comes along with this life of forgiveness? Lower blood pressure, restful night, sweet dreams, peace, no longer being a victim, uninterrupted prayer, a new experience of God’s love… and so much more. Your gift is waiting right there under the tree, the cross of Christ. Go ahead, open your gift. `Tis always the season.’” Continue reading
This morning’s homily was posted earlier today…. but it was different than the one I actually gave at the morning Masses. That sometimes happens. A shorten version of what I gave can found here. But I also offer you the insight of Rev. Jim Harnish, the now retired pastor of Hyde Park United Methodist in Tampa. I offer the text of his thoughts below. You can find his blog here. His post today is titled: A Time for Active Waiting Continue reading
The Season of Advent and Sacred Scriptures
At the start of Advent 2022 the Church begins a new liturgical year. This entails a shift from the Gospel of Luke being the primary source of our Sunday gospels (in Cycle C) to our primary source being the Gospel of Matthew (Cycle A; the Gospel of Mark for Cycle B). You can find the upcoming Sunday readings of Advent, as follows:
- First Sunday of Advent
- Second Sunday of Advent
- Third Sunday of Advent
- Fourth Sunday of Advent
A Gift of Advent: Forgiveness
The First Sunday of Advent readings might strike you as somewhat odd. They don’t seem very…well, in the Christmas spirit. Perhaps it helps to consider where Advent falls on the liturgical calendar for the Church. It is immediately preceded by the Solemnity of Christ the King and followed by the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas). Advent lies between the celebration of the Seconding Coming of Christ at the end of time and the commemoration of the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming at the end of time, while also commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. With the view of directing the thoughts of Christians to the first coming of Jesus Christ as Savior, and to his second coming as Judge, special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent. Continue reading
The Parade of Nations
In our modern times there is perhaps no “parade of nations” more famous than the ceremony that begins the modern Olympic Games. All the nations of the world, national flags at the fore, people dressed for the occasion, with a destination in mind. A reminder of what the Prophet Isaiah foretold in this morning’s first reading.
In days to come, The mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
In the gospel we again receive a foretaste of Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled as the Centurion comes to Jesus. He came because he had heard of Jesus because “from Zion” went forth instructions.
As the psalm refrain says, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” but when we arrive, we can be spectators only, or we can chose to “go forth from Zion” and speak of our Hope in Jesus to a modern Centurion that he or she may join the parade of nations.
Photo by Franck Robichon
Waiting in all its forms
Advent is a season of waiting in Hope. As a Christian people we wait on the Nativity of the Christ child. But in our personal lives, sometimes the goal of our waiting is not exactly clear in our minds; yet we wait. I often wait for an idea or at least the seed of an idea of what I might write for this post. There are times I am just waiting for just a quiet spot within the day.
This Advent has been quiet. We are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing – and so parishioners are “safer at home.” All this and I am here in this parish less than 3 months. As a result of all these things and more, the normal ebb and flow of my previous Advents as a priest is quite different this year. There were a million things to do or ensure got done. My previous parish also was responsible as chaplains for a major regional trauma center hospital. Our daily confession lines stretched out to the horizon (or so it seemed some days). There were lots of December weddings and the quiet of Advent seemed to be punctuated by the next phone call, the next meeting, the next …. whatever it was. Run, Father, run….