First Sunday of Advent December 3
FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER
Isaiah, Chapter 63, verse 17
Why do you make us wander, LORD, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we do not fear you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.
This chapter in Isaiah is called the Divine Warrior and Isaiah in this chapter refers to Christ as a warrior. Isaiah laments that we in our weak human nature have turned our hearts away from God and that we have no fear of divine justice. Have we become so enamored with the world and our own lives that when we look into the heavens at night we only see impressive specks of glittering rocks we call stars and not the love of the creator which made them? There is an expression, “Attitude is everything!” and so what should our attitude be and why is Isaiah lamenting that Israel did not fear God? The answer lies in our personal attitude toward life. Holy fear is born out of love and is a response to the God the creator; it is a fear more closely related to awe. It is the loving fear of a child that does not want to disappoint a parent and goes to great lengths to please them. So we should develop this sense of Holy fear doing what is right and good to please the Father. Remembering that, “Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let us daily ask of our Lord to remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of love thus making the winter brighter and our burdens lighter and bring cheer to the hearts of all we encounter. May we through love be brought to Holy fear enabling us to be careful in the practice of our faith and bring us to a spirit of penitence.
May we with the psalmist say, Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved. (Psalm 80)
First Sunday of Advent
A sudden announcement that the lord is comingFor us Catholics, the new Liturgical Year commences with the first Sunday of Advent. In this new liturgical year, the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period, but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the faith by all those who follow Christ, the Lord. This time of prayer and path of penance that is so powerful, rich and intense, endeavors to give us a renewed impetus to truly welcome the message of the One who was incarnated for us. In fact, the entire Liturgy of the Advent Season, will spur us to an awakening in our Christian life and will put us in a ‘vigilant’ disposition, to wait for Our Lord Jesus who is coming:
‘Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today, now! The one true God, "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob", is not a God who is there in Heaven, unconcerned with us and our history, but he is the-God-who-comes.’
FRANCIS XAVIER, surnamed the Apostle of the Indies, was born of noble parents April 7, 1506, at Xavier, a castle near Pampeluna, in Spain. In his eighteenth year he became one of the first members of the Society of Jesus, at Paris, and from that moment gave himself up so earnestly and perseveringly to meditation, self-denial, and the practice of Christian virtues that by no desire was he so much animated as by that of laboring and suffering for the glory of God and the salvation of men, wherever and however it might please God. In the year 1541 he was sent as missionary to India. Of his labors and sufferings there his works bear witness. He preached the Gospel in fifty-two kingdoms, great and small, of India and Japan, and baptized about a hundred thousand pagans and Muslims. Wherever he came, the idols temples were thrown down, and churches built to the true God. He died in 1552, poor and destitute of all bodily comforts, but rejoicing in the Lord, with these words, Lord, in Thee have I hoped; let me never be confounded. Let us learn from St. Francis Xavier to labor, according to our ability, for the glory of God and the salvation of our neighbor. -Although we cannot become missionaries, we yet can pray, and we can join the Association for the Propagation of the Faith.
49 Godly Character Traits
As we begin the Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Compassion vs. Indifference
Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others (I John 3:17)
1503 Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that "God has visited his people" and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited me." His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them.
Full Cold Moon
According to the almanac today is a Full Cold Moon; today would be a good day to take the children/grandchildren out in the cold and enjoy hot chocolate afterward.
· Please pray for me and this ministry
Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896