1 Dec 2013

1st December 2013 - First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

On this week's programme, Geraldine Creaton of the Emmanuel Community, joins John, Ann and Lorraine in the studio to chat about the end of the Year of Faith and how we can continue to live the message of the Year of Faith in the light of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).  

Geraldine speaks about God's faithfulness and encourages us to increase our faith in God by trusting God in little things.  When we put our trust in God, we learn that God can be trusted - He is faithful and true and loves us completely.  When we see the trust and faith of others, we want that joy and certainty.  This is the joy of the Gospel which is deeper than any fleeting moments of happiness.  God loves us and cares for us, not in any general 'God loves the world' way, but in a profoundly personal way - 'God loves me' way.  The challenge we have is to share this Good News with others.

This week's programme is available on podcast HERE.

Gospel - Mt 24:37-44

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of the Church's liturgical year, where the lectionary moves from reflecting predominantly on Luke's Gospel (Year C) to Matthew's Gospel (Year A).  The Carmelites give a good introduction to Matthew's Gospel HERE.  

Today's Gospel prompts us to reflect on our priorities.  We read that "For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Mt 24:38-39).  There is nothing wrong with eating, drinking, marrying etc. - all these things are good gifts from God.  God has given us life to be lived to the full (cf. Jn 10:10).  The problem comes when we get so caught up in living life that we neglect the source of that life and every good gift - God Himself.  

Advent is a time of preparation, when we look back to the first coming of Christ, which we celebrate at Christmas, and forward to the second coming of Christ at the end of time, but every moment of the day, Christ knocks at the door of our hearts waiting patiently to enter in.  If we spend time in prayer and allow ourselves to be open to God's presence on a daily basis, we will celebrate the first coming of Christ with joy and we will have nothing to fear when Christ comes at the end of time.

So what's your New Year's resolution?  Will you spend more time this year getting to know God and allow Him to enter more fully into your life?

Reflections on this week's Gospel:

Liturgical Odds and Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 1 (First Sunday of Advent)

Pope's Intentions for December:

Universal: That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.

For Evangelisation: That Christians, enlightened by the Word Incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Saviour's coming.

Saints of the Week:

December 2nd - St. Eusebius
December 3rd - St. Francis Xavier
December 4th - St. John Damascene
December 5th - St. Sabas
December 6th - St. Nicholas (First Friday)
December 7th - St. Ambrose (First Saturday)


Newcastle West Knitting Club meets in the Library in Newcastle West every Friday between 11am and 1pm to knit vests for sick babies in Africa.  We would like to thank Shanagolden knitting club, who meet every Monday, and have already knitted 10 vests.  We have over 50 vests knitted now, which are on exhibition in Newcastle West Library for the month of December.  

Geraldine and Ann with one of the children's vests
If you would like to get involved in knitting these vests, there are patterns in the Library in Newcastle West.  Please do not use white (as this is the colour for mourning in Africa) or blue or pink (as these colours are considered to be very European), but any other colours would be very welcome.  For more information, contact Ann at: keilys@eircom.net 

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