Saturday, November 26, 2011

First Sunday of Advent – Year B- Sunday, November 27, 2011

The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the storytelling by narrating the anticipation of Christ's coming and by highlighting the story in the word-picture of the liturgy. The liturgy of the Catholic Church is most impressive and contains a world of meaning if we will but look beneath the surface and meditate reflectively.  Every movement of priest and people, every psalm, every prayer that is uttered has a meaning and contains a fund for spiritual enrichment.
 The Catholic Church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent, a time to “prepare the way of the Lord” for His coming as our King and Savior. In addition, the Church teaches that:
[w]hen the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating [John the Baptist’s] birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Catechism, no. 524; original emphasis).
By participating in various time-honored traditions, such as making Jesse trees or putting on a Christmas play at home, Catholic families can engage more fruitfully in the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent:

esus said to this disciples:  There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars;  and on the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the sound of the sea and of the waves, men withering away for fear and expectation of the things which shall come upon the world; for the powers of heaven shall be moved.  And then they shall see the Son of man coming on a cloud with great power and majesty.  But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption is at hand.  And He spoke to them a similitude;  See the fig-tree, and all the trees;  when they now shoot forth their fruit, ye know that summer is nigh.  So also, when the kingdom of God is at hand.  Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all things be fulfilled.  heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away  (Lk. 21;25-33).
First Sunday of Advent – Year B
Commentary of the day
Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk
Sermon for Advent, (Durham collection)
The Lord's Coming
Behold the time is now here for us, dearest brethren, when we are to «sing of kindness and judgment to the Lord» (Ps 101[100],1). This is the Lord's Advent, the arrival of the Lord of all who comes and is to come (Rv 1,8). But how and where is he to come? How and where is he coming? Has he not said: «I fill the heaven and the earth?» (Jr 23,24). How, then, is he who fills heaven and earth coming to heaven and earth? Listen to the Gospel: «He was in the world and world was made by him and the world did not know him» (Jn 1,10). Therefore he was both present and absent at the same time: present in that he was in the world; absent because the world did not know him... How could he who was not recognised not be far away, he in whom people did not believe, who was not feared, who was not loved?...

He comes, then, so that he who was not known might be recognized; he in whom no one believed might be believed; he who was not loved might be loved. He who was present according to his nature is coming in his mercy... Think on God a little and see what it means that he should transfer so great a might; how he humbles so great a power, weakens so great a strength, makes feeble so great a wisdom! Was this a requirement of justice towards us? Most certainly not!...

In truth, my Lord, not my righteousness but your mercy guided you; not your necessity but my need. As you have said: «My mercy is established in the heavens» (Ps 89[88],3). Rightly so, for our neediness abounds on earth. That is why «I shall sing for ever of your love, O Lord», which you manifested at your coming. When he showed himself humble in his humanity, powerful in his miracles, strong against the tyranny of the demons, gentle in his welcome of sinners: all these things came from his mercy, all came from his inmost goodness. That is why «I shall sing your love, O Lord» made known at your first coming. And rightly so, for «the earth is filled with the mercy of the Lord» (Ps 119[118],64).

Prayer to Our Lady of the New Advent

O Lady and Mother
of the One who was and is and is to come,
dawn of the New Jerusalem,
we earnestly beseech you,
bring us by your intercession
so to live in love
that the Church, the Body of Christ,
may stand in this world's dark
as fiery icon of the New Jerusalem.
We ask you to obtain for us this mercy
through Jesus Christ, your Son and Lord,
who lives and reigns
with the Father in the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.


Prayer composed by the Sisters of the Abbey of Walburga
of Boulder, Colorado

Creighton University 



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