No we haven't lost our minds! This weeks show falls on the First Sunday of Advent which is the beginning of a new liturgical year which we commemorate with the blessing of our Advent Wreath. Fr Frank Duhig gives us a small reflection on Advent and its meaning which is followed by our regular Sunday morning discussion on the weekly Gospel, Saints of the Week, a review of interesting pieces in this weeks Irish Catholic and a preview of up coming programmes on EWTN.
All make the Sign of the Cross. A member of the family recites the following blessing while another lights the first candle on the Advent Wreath:
Fr Frank Duhig (PP of Newcastle West) is a welcome visitor back in studio this week and gives an introduction and reflection to Advent and the beginning of a new liturgical year. We discuss some of the traditions of Advent including the Advent Wreath and the way that Advent is a time to individually prepare penitently to welcome the Lord.
We also discuss Advent in terms of the period of preparation for the celebration of Christmas celebrating the coming of the Lord as the Word Incarnate to fulfill the desires and promises made to the Chosen People but also the season of preparation for the second coming of the Lord and also a season for us to prepare for the coming of the Lord into our lives and hearts.
UPDATED: Some short daily reflections for Advent and Christmas with Pope Bendict XVI compiled by the USCCB.
This week we move into a new liturgical cycle and with it we begin the reading of the Gospel of St Matthew opening with a reading of Mttw 24:37 - 44. Each Sunday gospel during Advent has a distinctive theme and this Sunday's focus is on the Lord's coming at the end of time.
The gospel can sound frightening but actually is a reminder to us all that time is transient and we do not know the time when the Lord is going to come, either for each of us individually or at the end of time. It is not a condemnation of the daily busy-ness of life but rather a call to remember to always have God as the ultimate destination on our journey through life, to be alive to the sacrament (sacredness) of the present moment. The past is gone never to return, the future may never happen, we only have this present moment.
It is also a reminder to us that as followers of Christ, we are called to rouse a slumbering world which is in danger of loosing its soul and at the same time that while sometimes we try to reach God but our hands are too short, we should let Him reach out for us.
Some more reflections here, here, here and here.
Saints of the Week
November 29th - St Brendan of Birr
November 30th - St Andrew, Apostle
December 1st - St Edmund Campion SJ
December 2nd - Blessed John of Ruysbroek
December 3rd - St Francis Xavier SJ
December 4th - St John Damascene
And finally another musical number for the Advent season
Thanks for listening
John, Lorraine, Michael and Shane