Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus
THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
Advent derives from the Latin adventus meaning ‘arrival’ or ‘approach’. For thousands of years the world waited for the coming of the Messiah to redeem and to save the human race, restoring mankind’s relationship to God.
We, too, experience this same longing for the coming of Christ. Spiritually, we long for the coming of Christ into our hearts as the Holy Spirit draws us into ever deepening relationship with Him; we also long for Christ in his Second Coming, when He will return physically to earth—as He promised—to restore all things to Himself.
It is a season of:
Prayerful penance, and
It looks to:
Salvation history of the past,
Our present redemption being accomplished.
The future coming of Christ.
Advent connects us spiritually with God’s whole plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.
Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on December 24th. Christmas begins December 25th at 1st Vespers (Evening Prayer) and continues until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Advent is our liturgically built-in time of spiritual preparation for Christmas. If you want to get the most out of the Christmas season and fill up your soul with love for Christ, the best way to do that is to “let every heart prepare Him room” —and celebrating Advent is the Church’s way to do it!
The year of Saint Luke ends with a characteristic take on the feast of Christ the King: in Lukes gospel we are so familiar with seeing and hearing the voiceless, the rejected, those whom society puts in second place: how suitable, then, that on the feast of the King of all Creation we see him at his most vulnerable on the cross, with only an abrupt inscription to announce that he is the King. He is King because of the work he has done, which is described by Saint Paul in the Second Reading: all things [are] reconciled through him and for him when he made peace by his death on the cross. Next week, when we re-enter Advent and a new Liturgical Year, we will be thinking of the King who will come again: though he will come as his disciples saw him go at the Ascension, the marks of the cross will still be visible for all time, to remind us of the one who came to reunite all Creation, especially frail human creatures.
1000. PARISH MASS
We must be very careful that the real point of todays first reading is not washed away in genuine concerns over what one can and cannot say about the responsibilities of spouses. This is not, in fact, a recipe for the perfect wife, but an illustration, from one age, of the virtue of fully employing the talents God gives us. Some things are timeless, such as holding out a hand to the poor, while other talents shift and change. The point is that all of us are gifted in varying ways and degrees: none of us should begrudge anyone else their talents, for fear that we overlook our own. We work wisely and well, looking forward to the masters return, when we can hand over to him not just what he gave us, but also the fruits that our labours have gained.
1000. PARISH MASS
Remembrance Sunday calls us to do three things:
First, to give thanks for all those men and women who have laid down their lives in various conflicts, so that we may enjoy peace and security;
Secondly, to pray for peace with justice in our own time;
And thirdly – and this is a special call to us as Catholics – to pray for those who have died in war, often in terrible and violent circumstances and quite likely far from fully prepared to meet their Maker.
To give thanks for those who have fallen in the two World Wars and in subsequent conflicts – and to give thanks also for those now serving in the Armed Forces – comes to us quite naturally, above all at this time of the year.
The Solemnity of All Saints today reminds us of who we are and what a bright future can be ours. As we celebrate today all the saints, both those canonized and those who are unknown, we are joyful that they have reached the goal of life, heaven. They remind us to keep our sights fixed high, to remember who we are and the glorious possibility that God offers us.
The saints encourage us in our own struggles because like us they also endured struggles, they grew from strength to strength, they matured in the Lord as they grew in years.
The publican went home at rights with God; the Pharisee did not.
A few weeks ago (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time) we had a Gospel about humility in social life – today we hear the Lord reiterating the message, but this time in reference to our prayer lives. The two Gospels are linked by the last words today, which also appear in the other story: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This phrase is obviously a key part of our Lord’s teaching! The sin of “self-exaltation” consists in putting others in a lower place – as the Pharisee does to the tax collector. Perhaps the most telling phrase in today’s Gospel is where Jesus refers to the Pharisee saying “this prayer to himself,” rather than offering it to God! And since the Pharisee wasn’t talking to God, how could he expect to be heard?
ALL SAINTS DAY
in honour of S John Henry Newman
...you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land... You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, "Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us. The priest will take the basket from your hand and place it before the altar of the LORD your God.’
Scripture and Tradition are clear about the existence of the angels. Though Scripture mentions angels over 200 times, only three are mentioned by name. They are the Archangels whose feast we celebrate today: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Through the intercession of St. Raphael may all who suffer from loneliness or sickness know the healing graces of our loving God.
Through the intercession of St. Gabriel, may God’s strength be with all those who work for the Spread of the Gospel.
And through the intercession of St. Michael, may all who are persecuted for the faith be protected against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
You cannot be the slave both of God and money.
How easy to take the words of Jesus out of context: Use money to win you friends, is one of those lines that sounds strange to us outside the context of the parable and the teaching in todays Gospel. Even the parable itself can seem a little strange is Jesus really recommending that we act like dishonest stewards? No, of course not! The point that reveals this is hidden half way down: The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind Jesus in a way praises the effort of the dishonest steward, but wishes that it was directed less to worldly things, but to the things of heaven. And this is the message that we are to take: where do we direct our energies to making money, fame, fortune and success, or to finding friends in heaven?
0900. Morning Prayer
1000. PARISH MASS
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