Happy First Sunday of Advent!
Happy New Year!
I personally love the seasonal nature of the Liturgical Year in the Catholic Faith. Today we begin the Season of Advent. “Advent has a two fold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered. And likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.” (ordo of the Catholic Church) During Advent for example, “the use of the organ and other musical instruments and the decorating of the altar with flowers should be done in a moderate manner, as is consonant with the character of the season, without anticipating the full joy of Christmas.” (Ceremonial of Bishops) At Saint Francis of Assisi outside of lighting the outside pine trees, we try to keep the spirit of Advent in the Church Sanctuary. I would encourage you to at home, while you are putting up the Christmas tree – also put up an Advent Wreath, use Advent Prayers for meals and make use of an Advent Calendar!
Happy New Year! Our Liturgical Year begins with Advent. We are going to be in Year One for our Weekday Readings and Year C for our Sunday Readings. Year C as you remember means that we will be in the Gospel of Luke, which I personally love! It is so beautiful as all of the Gospels are! I would encourage you to buy The Gospel of Luke – A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture by Pablo T. Gadenz. I have just ordered about 30 copies for sale in the gift shop – so you can buy them here, or order it on Amazon, or on E Books. It is a great treasure. If 2 years ago you bought the Catholic Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, and last year you bought the Catholic Commentary on the Gospel of Mark – and you buy this book – you now have 3 great Gospel Commentaries in your Scripture Library at home! Remember that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Jesus Christ – Saint Jerome.
On behalf of myself, Fr. Ricardo, Deacon Tom, Deacon Jacob and my most hard working staff – Happy Advent! May this new year be truly a year of Grace for you and your families!