Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

First Sunday of Advent—3 December A.D. 2017
Ave Maria!

Please pray for Alfie Evans, 16 Months old ,
another hostage of socialized medicine in Britain.

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Blessing of the Advent Wreath

Archbishop Humphreys' Advent 2017 Pastoral Letter

“The night is past, and the day is at hand.
Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.”[1]

    An interesting thing starts to take place every year, right about this time    even here in South Florida.  God has arranged things so that nature renews itself and prepares to begin over again.  The leaves turn brown , they drop off the trees, and soon they give place to new green shoots.

    The Psalmist describes this as a perennial and universal process as he addressed God:

    Of old Thou established the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands.

    They shall perish, but Thou remain though all of them grow old like a garment.

    Like clothing Thou change them, and they are changed, but Thou art the same, and Thy years have no end.[2]

    And the Church adopts this same theme, and adapts her liturgy to it each year.  For every year, as this season of renovation and restoration begins, so does the Church's liturgical year.  We are reminded that as God's creatures, we are part of the same process.  We are privileged to begin again, and (hopefully) to see the events of our salvation played out again for us as the year unfolds.  Once again, we look forward to the birth of our Lord at Christmas, the events of His public life, and to recounting the story of our redemption during Holy Week and the Easter Season.

    The Church gives us this season of Advent as a time of prayer and mild penance to cleanse us from our sins and prepare us for the new year, in much the same way as God sends winter to prepare the growing things of the earth for the coming spring.  So to speak, we are shedding our brown and dried out leaves for fresh green ones    shedding, as it were the old habits of sin, for a fresh renewal of Gods graces.  We are to:

    “Lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.”

And to:

    “Rise from sleep, because our salvation is nearer than when we first came to believe.”[3]

    This whole season of Advent is intended to prepare us not only for Christmas and the rest of the liturgical year, but to prepare us for our ultimate end.  That's why read this Gospel about the end of the world, and why we read a similar one last Sunday.  Our Lord is telling us about the events at the end of time    not necessarily because we will see them    but because each and every one of us, no matter how long the world lasts, and no matter how old we live to be    will some day see the end of our own world.  And in truth, it matters very little if we leave this world at its end, or thousands of years beforehand.  We will still be subject to the same judgments, no matter.  And the way we are judged will depend very little on the condition of the world at the time of our departure, or what is going on around us.  Our judgment will depend primarily upon how well we have come to love God, and how well we express that love by conforming our wills to His Divine Will.

    Advent, then, is a time for prayer and reflection on what it is that God expects of us.  A time for saying the Rosary a bit more often, or for getting to an extra Mass during the week.  For joining with the family for prayers or for reading from the scriptures.  It is a time that should be marked with some penance;  fasting and abstinence are the traditional penance, if our health will allow that.  That's why we always tell you that Catholics don't plan their Christmas parties until Christmas (at least not if they can help it).

    Advent is the time for new beginnings.  Let us all thank God that He has brought us to the beginning of yet another year, so that we can shed our old selves, and receive His graces afresh.  Let us thank God that we are once again, as St. Paul says, able to “rise from sleep … to walk becomingly as in the day … not in revelry … and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy.  But [to] put on the Lord Jesus Christ."





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