… … Happy Advent Season … …
The new Liturgical Year begins with the Advent Season in which the people of God recalled the “longing of the Messiah” coming as promised in the Scripture and for His coming again in our time. Today, the Church lights the first of four candles on the Advent wreath to reflect upon the great mystery, perhaps, you will want to light a candle as well in reflecting along with the Church and your own thoughts as we recalled this great event.
Like the Israelites had been waiting for this Messiah; during Advent, we too, anticipate the arrival of the Messiah. But it’s not the powerful, royal, military Messiah the Israelites envisioned. For us, the Messiah comes as a baby, born to a carpenter and his wife, in a stable in Bethlehem. Jesus’ disciples had to re-think their perception of the Messiah because he wasn’t going to be the Messiah they expected. That is something that has been true for those who follow Jesus from the very beginning until now, and it will continue until the end of time. Jesus isn’t always the Messiah I expect!!
The first reading from the prophet Isaiah (2:1-5) sends chills up and down our spines today. The prophet describes a beautiful and rather unexpected vision of universal salvation, justice and peace, not only for Jerusalem and the Holy Land, but for all of humanity.
In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans (13:11-14), the Apostle to the Gentiles says that Christians claim to be people of the new day that will dawn with the return of Christ.
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew (24:37-44), Noah’s contemporaries were unprepared for the flood. They didn’t dream of an event that would mark the end of time as they knew it. The people of Noah’s time were so caught up in everyday affairs that they failed to take precautions against the flood. Three parables are told to remind us of the necessity of vigilance – because the Second Coming has no “estimated time of arrival.”
Time is central to the Christian celebration of Advent. This season reminds us that the mystery of faith is not complete until Jesus’ Second Coming. We are living in-between the time of Resurrection-Ascension-Pentecost and the time of “the final coming”.
How do we deal with the issue of time?
Christ has given us warning of such an event coming. We can’t say, “We had no idea,” as the people said up to the day that Noah went into the ark and closed the door.
Advent asks us to be aware of responsibilities and see to their fulfilment! Advent challenges us to attend to relationships, reach out to the needy, cherish the gift of human life, and make time for prayer! The Second Coming thus becomes an event that gives purpose and energy to our every breath and pulse here and now.
- December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is NOT a holy day of obligation in 2019. It’s the Second Sunday of Advent.
- A special word of “Thank” to all the Church’s Environment Group and all parishioners who came to help transform our worship place to the Advent Season, the beginning of another Liturgical Year.
- Ending the week of “Thanksgiving Day”, the spirit of “thanks” also extended to the many families who have renewed their support to the parish in returning a Stewardship Card to the parish. As a sign of a good steward, for those who didn’t have opportunity to fill out “A Stewardship of Treasure Card”, please recommit your support to our parish by returning you Stewardship Card in the collection basket or mail to the parish office.
Fr. Phuong Hoang