Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! 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, and 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.
SPIRITUAL EVENTS DURING ADVENT: Please remember two important dates that will be of great spiritual benefit to all of us. On Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 7.00PM Father Gregory Rannazzisi will lead us in an Advent Evening of Prayer. Father is the Vice-Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington and often appears on TELECARE. Confessions will be available.
And then on December 12, 2014, at 7.00PM here at St. Paul’s there will be a Solemn High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The musical setting of the Mass will be a setting by the famous renaissance composed Palestrina. Please come to this Mass to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and to hear beautiful polyphonic music.
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda