I can’t help but think of the first Advent while Mama Mary was waiting in silence for her Child to enter into the world. “Let it be done according to your word”, the “yes” for all time, bringing true Peace to earth. Peace that has never been known since the fall of man.
When we talk about the “piercing cold”, more often we identify with the sense of touch and the coldness to skin then with the pain in the heart.
Why is no one listening, has been a deep subject I have been experiencing in my own life. From my children who are so jazzed bout Santa coming that they don’t even see each other fighting like cats and dogs. My husband who is so wrapped up in what to get everyone that he can’t see the things around the house that need to be addressed. I’ll be honest. I can’t stand “Anti Christmas”.
“Anti Christmas” is that “piercing cold” you get from people around you, so caught up in gifts, getting to the store to get the “have to have” garbage that ends up in a landfill by the following Christmas, they forget the reason there is Christmas. They become nasty to be around and become “to busy” to love. When the Christmas season is all about love and the “warmth” of that love that comes with our Newborn King.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
He chose to be born in this “cold”. Not only in a damp, physically cold cave, but into the “coldness” of the world. Cold hearts, that could not see past their own misguided wants. We are all guilty. In the chill of that cave, “Fire” was born. As the years of our Lords childhood passed, that tiny little spark, was stoked, with the billows of Abba Father, and set the world on fire.
As children of Abba Father, we need to remember through humility that we to are called to be on fire in faith. So when we are confronted by the “coldness” of others, in all seasons, it is not us who become lukewarm because of the “cold”, but rather we warmth the chill, “piercing” through the “cold” in those around us through that same Love born in the “piercing cold”, in Bethlehem. That same Love which by the “cold piercing” of a lance to His side, spilled the “Flame of Love” about the face of the earth, which brought forth mercy, hope, and forgiveness through Love, to melt through the ice that held us in its death grip.
Now, WAKE UP!
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”(Mt 24:37-44).
Today we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent and a new liturgical year for the Church, year A, which features the Gospel of Matthew. In today’s readings, the passage speaks to the uselessness of looking for signs for the coming of the Lord in glory; there will be none. The metaphor of the thief sneaking in during the night makes us aware that watchful waiting and vigilance are necessary. As Christians, we know that our Lord is coming even if we cannot know a precise time. Our Lord calls us to be watchful, attentive, like the homeowner and not to be carried away by the flood as in the days of Noah. If we become loose in our Christian living, we may be caught vulnerable and unprepared.
To be “sleeping” as our Lord is speaking of, means not being attentive to His words. Being worldly, living in the world with disregard to the spiritual life, and not putting on the “new man”. Sleep walking among those wide awake. Don’t fall asleep.
It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us live honorably as in daylight; not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy. Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:11-12
Wake up! Take a shower (Confession) and put on the “New Man”, pick up your “cross” and lets go! We have a journey to take. Glory to God, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.
The USCCB has a wonderful tool on their website for family’s to enjoy and better understand this Advent Season. HERE
Tonight is the first night of Advent. The first candle is lit and we begin our journey to the newborn King.
Bless your Advent wreath. Sing “O Come Emmanuel” and light the first candle.
Prayer for the First Week of Advent
God of our longing,
be with us during these days of Advent
as we accept Your invitation
to climb Your holy mountain.
May we walk in the light of Your love
and learn your ways
so that each day may draw us closer
to You and another
as we await the coming
of the One Who is
and Who is to come,
Jesus Christ, Your Son,
in Whose name we pray.
Generation X – what a wonderful Saint to take for our generation. May we lead others, our Brothers and Sisters to our Lord, to do much greater things then we, to give glory to God.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
St. Andrew, pray for us that our generation is full of souls who answer the call as you did. To lead others to the fullness of our Lord as you did. Without any fear of persecution, to give the glory to God. Amen
Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist, but when John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master. Jesus knew that Andrew was walking behind him, and turning back, he asked, “what do you seek?” When Andrew answered that he would like to know where Jesus lived, Our Lord replied, “Come and see.” Andrew had been only a little time with Jesus when he realized that this was truly the Messiah.
From then on, he chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was thus the first disciple of Christ. Next, Andrew brought his brother Simon (St. Peter) to Jesus and Jesus received him, too, as His disciple. At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good. It is believed that after Our Lord ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel. He is said to have been put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He lived two days in that state of suffering, still preaching to the people who gathered around their beloved Apostle. Two countries have chosen St. Andrew as their patron – Russia and Scotland.
Above taken from Catholic OnLine
“…The Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word’” (Acts of the Apostles 6:2–4).
Prepare for Advent, before Christmas.
“When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to His desire: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ ” (§524)
Its “New Years Eve” early. Make your resolutions now. I hope to start and stick with the Christmas Novena (St. Andrews Novena) Not for the squeamish. prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas, along with a few other personal things..
Wednesday night as I drove to Holy Mass, I was “reminded” of a situation that was told to me. In all honesty, it is a recap of my entire life. We always think in different situations that when our parents tell us no, they just don’t understand. This is hardly the case. They understand completely thus the reason they say “no”. because they know that our actions will cause us or others great harm.
What I was told and now can place together and the story of my conversion…
As I was growing up, I was invited to a “party”. EVERYONE was going to be there. I asked my “Dad” if I could go and He said absolutely not! What’s going to take place at that “party” will hurt you in more ways than you can understand right now. There will be a much greater “party” when you are done with all your “work”. I was disappointed because all my “friends” were going and everyone I thought I knew were going to be there. When I “thought” my “Dad” wasn’t looking, I went anyway. On my way there, a car stopped and asked me where I was going and if I needed a ride. I said yeah, I’m going to this party and everyone is going to be there. He said hop in, I’m going to and I will take you there. We got to the “party” and everyone was dancing and singing and some people were dressed and some were not. All sorts of things were going on. I stood against a wall and just “watched” and seen “everyone” looking as if they were having a great time. I went to “dance” and as soon as I started “dancing”, I could see that the close I got to “everyone” the more pain they were in. Although they looked like they were having fun, they were not. With that, I stood back again and realized how painful it was to “dance” with them. My entire body ached and I was “thirsty” and “hungry”. There was no “food”. The “water” was muddy. I thought it would make me feel good to go but it didn’t. It made me worse than I was before I got there. With that, I seen the “party” starting to get worse and more “Adult”. They were telling crude jokes and no one was left out of them. Including my “Mom” and “Dad” and my entire “Family”. they started off as funny jokes, and then after a while, EVERYONE began to believe the “jokes” to be “Truth”. Which they were not. There was all sorts of bad things taking place at this “party”.
Remembering what my “Dad” had said, I wanted to leave. There were people at the “door” who wouldn’t let me. They kept pushing me back in telling me your “Dad” wont mind. I knew He would. I didn’t listen to Him. With that, my “Brother” came in. I was SO happy to see Him. I cried and cried! He came “looking” for me. He was calling and calling, and I called back to Him. He wasn’t smiling when He seen me and grabbed hold of my hand. I could tell He was more focused on bringing me out of the mess I had gotten myself into. It took a while to get out of the “party”. I was sobbing so much as He pushed His way through the mob that were beating Him on His way out. By MY actions, my “disobeying” my “Dad” my “Brother” laid His life down to pull me out of that “party” and bring me back to my “Dad”. He carried me out the entire way.
I didn’t realize how “far away” that “party” is from our “home”. My “Brother” and I are still making our way back “home” and He will not let go of my hand. No matter what I did at that “party”, makes no difference, as long as I’m not still there doing it. I did a lot of things that hurt my “Dad” at that “party”. The biggest being to not listen to His Word in the first place. My “Brother” tells me all the time now, “Don’t let go of My hand”, “Dad” will forgive you because He loves you very much. He sent Me to save you.