We come today to the First Sunday of the Church’s New Year of Grace, the First Sunday in Advent. As we know the Church Year does not follow the calendar year but rather it begins, not on January 1st but rather on the First Sunday in Advent. Thus today we begin to place our feet along the way of holiness once more.
The season of Advent is grace filled for it is the time of preparation for the coming of Our Divine Savior on Christmas Day. It is said that in true darkness one can never judge the light in the distance. Sailors have discovered this phenomenon at seas as have travelers in the desert. They may see light in the distance but cannot judge how far away it is…is it five miles or five hundred? For the ancient Jews it was much the same as they awaited the coming of the Messiah.
They had been told on that most tragic day, the day of the ruin of our race, that one day a Savior would come who would crush the head of the ancient enemy of our race, the accursed serpent, the devil. But how long would it be…5 years, 50 years, or 500 years? No one was certain. And thus the ancient people of Israel awaited the coming of the Messiah and watched and waited.
Finally, the long wait ended on that first Christmas night when God became a man. In the world of nature we see the nights growing darker and longer right until the time of Christmas. Then suddenly the sun returns and the light shines ever greater on each day. So we are reminded that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light no darkness will ever extinguish.
Let us use these days then to prepare for the coming of the light and to live in intimate union with Our Lady and St. Joseph as they too await the light.
LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR: Thank you for your generosity to the Little Sisters of the Poor who were with us last week.
GLENN MOHR CHORALE: Please make every effort to attend the Glenn Mohr Chorale Production of Blessed Hope (see the information elsewhere in the bulletin) which will be next Sunday, December 4th. The Glenn Mohr Chorale is deservedly world famous and many guests will also be coming to St. Paul’s. We will not have our annual Advent retreat this year so I encourage you to make this beautiful musical your spiritual preparation for Christmas.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION: Today, the First Sunday in Advent, our Eucharistic ministers will begin some slight new practices as requested by the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome. They will sit in a reserved section in the pie section near St. Joseph’s Altar. They will
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: Monday December 12th is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Empress of the Americas. It is under that title, the River of Light, that Our Lady is the Protectress of all the peoples of the Americas, both North America and South America. Our Lady appeared to a humble Aztec St. Juan Diego on the Tepeyac Hill outside Mexico City four times between December 9, 1531 and December 12, 1531 – 485 years ago. There she said I have come to make known, to manifest, and to demonstrate my love, for all the peoples of these lands (North and South America). She asked that a Church be built on the Hill and finally she left us the miraculous image that is the most visited object on earth in the Basilica in Mexico City. There will be a Solemn High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite (Extraordinary Form) at 6.30PM. Visiting clergy will serve as deacon and subdeacon at the Mass and the music will be the traditional Gregorian chant. After the Mass will be the singing of the traditional mananitas in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe by an authentic mariachi singer. Please make every effort to attend. The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a replica of the one in Mexico City, will be on display in the Church.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda