First Sunday of Advent

November 27, 2022

Today we celebrate the beginning of a New Church year with the First Sunday of Advent. Happy New Church Year! Whereas this past year the Gospels were predominantly from St. Luke (Yay!), this Church year we read predominantly from St. Matthew’s Gospel. Whereas Luke is the great story teller, Matthew is the evangelist that gives us more of Jesus’ words. This Sunday, as we begin to relive the life of Jesus and grow in our path of discipleship, we prepare to welcome Him. Advent means, “coming.” We prepare for the Lord to come to us in mystery, everyday; in glory, at the end of time; and in history, His Incarnation. Advent is a special season of expectant hope. Even though the color of Advent is purple, like Lent, the two seasons couldn’t be more different. In Lent we are constantly called to ‘Repent’ while Advent calls us to rejoice and prepare for the great gift of our Savior. During this season we reflect on all the comings of Jesus and strive to remove any hindrances that prevent that from happening. Our first readings will feature the great Advent Prophet, Isaiah, whose call is to await the coming of the Messiah. Our second readings will come from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans where Paul reveals the fulfillment of Israel’s hopes and dreams in Jesus. Our Gospels, this year from St. Matthew, will call us to preparedness. We will be reintroduced to John the Baptist, the “voice crying out in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord.” Matthew will take us to hear the story of how the birth of Jesus came about on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, just a week from Christmas.

During Advent we will mark our journey with our traditional Advent wreath. As we light the candles each weekend we advance ever closer to Christmas and the first great celebration of the New Year. This weekend we bless the wreath with these words, “Lord God, Your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin. Pour forth Your blessings upon us as we light the candles of this wreath; may their light reflect the splendor of Christ, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.” May the Lord bless each of you abundantly with a happy and holy Advent.

During Advent we will once again sponsor the annual “Giving Tree” for your support of those less fortunate this season. Please participate by taking an ornament, purchasing the suggested gift, and return it to the Giving Tree located by St. Joseph’s Altar.

Finally, a reminder that we will once again be having our annual Memorial Poinsettia program. All of the poinsettias in Church on Christmas will be in memory of departed loved ones, or to honor special family and friends. Please use the envelopes in your monthly packet, write (or print) names of those to remembered on the outside and return them in the regular offering. There will also be a limited number of envelopes by the Church doors.

God Bless! Happy Advent!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete