|Raphael, The Small Cowper Madonna, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1504-05|
- Limerick Diocese resources here and here
- Blue Eyed Ennis - Phil is posting quite a number of posts on Advent so we are going to link to the blog address in general and encourage you to explore the various links that she has given in posts including her own reflections on the O Antiphons.
- Loyola Press
Advent - A Time of Waiting, Conversion and Hope
Advent begins the Church's liturgical year. It is a short season comprising of 4 Sundays, beginning with the Sunday closes to November 30th. The Latin word Adventus means 'arrival' or 'coming'. In the Roman Empire, the adventus referred to the arrival of a person of dignity and great power. During the season of Advent we wait in joyful hope for the coming of THE King of kings, and Lord of lords, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
We read from the notes on Advent in the liturgical calendar (the Ordo):
Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope:
- waiting-memory of the first, humble coming of the Lord in our mortal flesh; waiting-supplication for his final, glorious coming as Lord of History and universal Judge;
- conversion to which the Liturgy at this time often refers quoting the prophets, especially John the Baptist, 'Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand' (Mt 3:2)
- joyful hope that the salvation already accomplished by Christ (cf. Rm 8:24-25) and the reality of grace in the world will mature and reach their fullness, therby granting us what is promised by faith, and 'we shall become like him for we shall see him as he really is' (Jn 3:2)
Gospel - Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Each Gospel reading during Advent has a distinctive theme. In the Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent we look at the Lord's coming at the end of time. Fr. Frank explained the that Advent is a time to prepare for the three comings of Christ as described by St. Bernard of Clairveaux: the first coming of Jesus at Bethlehem, the second coming of Jesus at the end of time and the third coming of Jesus into our hearts when we reflect upon the Word of God and participate in the sacraments. It is by becoming aware and working on this third coming of Christ every day that we can best prepare to commemorate and celebrate the first coming of Christ at Christmas and the second coming at the moment of our death and at the end of time. Fr. Frank offers some practical and sound advice about how we can spend our Advent season.
Fr. Frank's reflection on Advent and this weeks gospel has been excerpted from the programme and you can listen to it HERE.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Liturgical odds and ends
Divine Office - Week 1
As we begin a new church year we move in our cycle of readings and for the next 12 months we are following Cycle C (Sunday Readings) and Weekday Cycle 1.
Pope's Intentions for the month of December
Missionary Intention - Christ, light for all humanity: That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church
General Intention - Migrants: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.
Saints of the Week
December 3rd - St Francis Xavier
December 4th - St John Damascene
December 5th - St Christina of Markyate
December 6th - St Nicholas
December 7th - St Ambrose (First Friday)
December 8th - Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Holy Day of Obligation in Ireland)