This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
The Season of Advent. (b)
Sunday 3rd December: First Sunday of Advent. (B)
During this Advent, we are confronted again with the question so vital for us – what place are we giving to Christ in our lives ? Are we close to him ? One thing is certain – he is close to us. We have to become more aware of that presence in our day to day lives.
Monday 4th December: Monday in 1st week of Advent.
During Advent, we try to get into the spirit of the people of the Old Testament waiting for the expected arrival of the Messiah. Initially we reflect on the prophets, especially Isaiah. He preaches that all are called to believe in God, to worship him, to live according to his plans and laws and so enjoy his peace.
The centurion’s faith in the Gospel passage is remarkable. He is a symbol of all the gentiles who will be called, for the kingdom is open to all, without any privilege of race or culture. The reading mirrors the reading from Isaiah. If we have faith, all the evils in us would be healed and Christ’s kingdom fully implemented.
Tuesday 5th December: Tuesday in the first week of Advent.
Today Isaiah foretells that one will come from God who will have a spirit of wisdom, insight, integrity, counsel, power, knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will bring great peace. That day, the root of Jesse, Jesus Christ, will stand as a sign to the peoples.
The people are seeing signs but not recognising them. Above all, they have not realised who Jesus is. The prophets had longed for this moment. With people who are receptive to God’s gifts, even today, he can do great things.
Wednesday 6th December: Wednesday in the 1st week of Advent.
For Isaiah, the sign of messianic times is that through the Messiah, God will give to his people an abundance of food and drink. The symbolism of the great banquet is used to portray eternal happiness and the blessings which will be part of God’s kingdom. Death will be destroyed forever and every tear will be wiped from every cheek.
Jesus foreshadows the land of plenty when he heals the many sick and feeds the multitude in the desert.
Thursday 7th December: Memorial of St. Ambrose.
He was born of a Roman Christian family around 339 when his father was an official in Gaul. He moved back to Rome and became a lawyer and eventually a consul in the region of Milan. He was named bishop by popular acclamation even though he was still a catechumen. Eight days later he was baptised and, after receiving further instruction, was ordained a Bishop He frequently had to defend the rights and freedom of the Church sometimes even against the emperor. A favourite saying of his was that ‘the emperor is in the church, not over it.’ He was known as ‘an apostle of charity, a reformer of the liturgy a director of souls.’ He died on this date in 397.
Friday 8th December: Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception of
the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Today’s feast celebrates the perfect holiness of Our Lady. It affirms the church’s belief and teaching that Our Lady, from the very moment of her conception, was preserved free from all stain of original sin. In this way, she was prepared for her unique role in the work of redemption. Pope Pius IX instituted the feast when he defined the dogman of the Immaculate Conception on 8th December 1854.
Saturday 9th December: Saturday in first week of Advent.
The Old Testament text promises restoration to God’s people after their conversion. The prophet uses various images to bring home to the people the happiness that would be theirs when the day of salvation dawns. God will take pity on his people.
In the Gospel, Jesus will go out to meet us and help us. Today it is his Church which provides that service through its members – reaching out to those who are in need of any kind. Each Christian is a missionary commissioned by Christ to carry on the work of the apostles.
you come forth from the most high,
You fill the universe and hold all things together
In a strong and gentle manner.
To teach us the way of truth.