DAY 21 - MARY, MIRROR OF JUSTICE, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE FRUIT OF GOODNESS!
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Glorious Mysteries
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First Sunday of Advent
John, Chapter 13, Verse 1
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He LOVED his own in the world and he LOVED them to the end.
Christ as man and God knowing that his sacrifice of love was eminent, rises up, empties Himself and disrobes and taking the role of a lowly servant washes the disciple’s feet even the feet of Judas Iscariot.
This is the love of Christ displayed for us from the Father. Jesus, servant of the Father, becomes the servant of mankind. His hour has come, and he loves his friends “to the end” and so in turn His disciples must serve one another. We are all called to wash one another’s feet.
Jesus washing the feet of the disciples (John 13:1–17) occurred in the upper room, just prior to the Last Supper and has significance in three ways. For Jesus, it was the display of His humility and His servanthood. For the disciples, the washing of their feet was in direct contrast to their heart attitudes at that time. For us, washing feet is symbolic of our role in the body of Christ.
Walking in sandals on the filthy roads of Israel in the first century made it imperative that feet be washed before a communal meal, especially since people reclined at a low table and feet were very much in evidence. When Jesus rose from the table and began to wash the feet of the disciples (John 13:4), He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. The disciples must have been stunned at this act of humility and condescension, that Christ, their Lord and master, should wash the feet of His disciples, when it was their proper work to have washed His. But when Jesus came to earth the first time, He came not as King and Conqueror, but as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. As He revealed in Matthew 20:28, He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The humility expressed by His act with towel and basin foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross. Jesus’ attitude of servanthood was in direct contrast to that of the disciples, who had recently been arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24).
Since there was no servant present to wash their feet, it would never have occurred to them to wash one another’s feet. When the Lord Himself stooped to this lowly task, they were stunned into silence. To his credit, though, Peter was profoundly uncomfortable with the Lord washing his feet, and never being at a loss for words, Peter protested, “You shall never wash my feet!” Then Jesus said something that must have further shocked Peter:
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8), prompting Peter, whose love for the Savior was genuine, to request a complete washing. Then Jesus explained the true meaning of being washed by Him. Peter had experienced the cleansing of salvation and did not need to be washed again in the spiritual sense. Salvation is a one-time act of justification by faith, but the lifelong process of sanctification is one of washing from the stain of sin we experience as we walk through the world. Peter and the disciples—all except Judas, who never belonged to Christ—needed only this temporal cleansing.
This truth is just one of several from this incident that Christians can apply to their own lives. First, when we come to Christ for the washing of our sins, we can be sure that is permanent and complete. No act can cleanse us further from our sin, as our sin has been exchanged for the perfect righteousness of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we do need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world. The continual washing of sanctification is done by the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, through the “washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26), given to us to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Further, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them (and us), “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). As His followers, we are to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek the preeminence, we displease the Lord who promised that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant’s heart (Mark 9:35; 10:44). When we have that servant’s heart, the Lord promised, we will be greatly blessed (John 13:17).
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
7. The duty to keep Sunday holy, especially by sharing in the Eucharist and by relaxing in a spirit of Christian joy and fraternity, is easily understood if we consider the many different aspects of this day upon which the present Letter will focus our attention.
Sunday is a day which is at the very heart of
the Christian life. From the beginning of my Pontificate, I have not ceased to
repeat: "Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!". In
the same way, today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday: Do not
be afraid to give your time to Christ! Yes, let us open our time to Christ,
that he may cast light upon it and give it direction. He is the One who knows
the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us "his
day" as an ever-new gift of his love. The rediscovery of this day is a
grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith
to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human
yearnings. Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained,
so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly
A sudden announcement that the lord is coming
does Advent mean?
Advent means the coming, and is used by the Church to represent the four thousand years of preparation for the coming of the Redeemer, and at the same time points us to His second coming as our judge.
the season of Advent?
The season of Advent comprises the four weeks preceding Christmas.
the first coming of our Redeemer?
When the Son of God was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and was made flesh, to sanctify the world by His coming.
Yes, for all men sinned in Adam, and needed to be reconciled to God.
not the just under the Old Law be saved before the coming of Christ?
Yes; through the expectation of Him and through His future merits all might be saved under the Old Law who made themselves worthy of the grace of Christ by innocence and penance, though they could not be admitted to heaven until Our Lord’s ascension.
will be the second coming of Christ?
At the end of the world, when Christ will come with great power and majesty to judge the living and the dead.
the Church appointed the holy season of Advent?
1. That we may consider the wretched state of mankind before the coming of Christ, and bring before our minds the mercy of God, Who sent His only-begotten Son down from heaven for our redemption.
2. That we may prepare ourselves worthily for Christmas, that Christ may then enter our hearts in the fulness of His grace, to renew them and to dwell in them.
3. That we may so prepare ourselves for the second advent that He may be to us a merciful judge. “Watch ye, therefore, because you know not what hour your Lord will come (St. Matt. xxiv. 42).
O God, Who hast brought joy to the world through Thy gracious advent, grant us, we beseech Thee, Thy grace, that we may prepare ourselves by sincere penance for its celebration and for the Last Judgment. Amen.
First Sunday of Advent
THIS is the first day of the ecclesiastical year; on it the Church begins to contemplate the coming of Our Savior, and, with the prophets, to long for Him; she exhorts the faithful to true penance for their sins, which oppose Christ s entrance into their hearts; she sings, therefore, at the Introit of the Mass, in the words of the psalmist: “To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul.
Raise up Thy power, O Lord, we pray Thee, and
come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening
dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Amen.
EPISTLE. Rom. xiii. 11-14.
Brethren: Knowing the season, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now, our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is understood here by sleep?
Sin, in which man, as if sunk in a torpor, no longer sees the light of the Gospel, no longer hears the warning of his conscience, neglects the means of salvation, and lives without care, until he awakes, alas! too late, as from a dream.
understood by night and day?
By night is to be understood ignorance, infidelity, and sin. The day represents faith, grace, and reconciliation with God.
the works of darkness?
All sin, especially that which is unknown to men, but seen and known by God, of Whose grace it deprives us.
the armor of light?
It consists in faith, hope, charity, and good works, the spiritual arms with which we have to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.
does it mean to put on the Lord Jesus Christ?
It means that Christians should think, speak, and act like Jesus, adorning themselves by the imitation of Him as with precious garments.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who became man for us, grant that we may in all things comply with the admonitions of this epistle; that we may arise from the slumber of our sins, and walk in the light of grace by the diligent performance of good works, and adorn our souls by putting on Thee, through the imitation of Thy virtues.
GOSPEL. Luke xxi. 25-33.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: There shall be Signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves: men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world, for the powers of heaven shall be moved ; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And He spoke to them a similitude: See the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh. So, you also when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.
the Church cause this Gospel concerning the Last Judgment to be read to-day?
To prepare our hearts by penance for the coming of Jesus as our judge.
signs shall precede the Last Judgment?
The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give light, the stars shall fall from heaven; the heavens themselves shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth with all that is in it shall be burned up. At the command of God, the world shall be shaken to its center; fearful tempests shall arise; the sea and waves shall roar, and wild struggle and destruction take the place of quiet and order. Men shall wither away with fear, not knowing whither to fly. Then shall appear the holy cross, the sign of the Son of man a terror to sinners who have hated it, a consolation to- those who have loved it.
the Last Judgment begin?
At the command of God, the angels, with the round of the trumpet, shall summon all men to judgment (i. These, iv. 15). The bodies and souls of the dead shall be again united, and the wicked shall be separated from the righteous, the just on the right, the wicked on the left (St. Matt. xxv. 33). The angels and the devils will be present, and Christ Himself will appear in a bright cloud with such power and majesty that the wicked, for fear, will not be able to look at Him, but will say to the mountains, “Fall on us,” and to the hills, “Cover us” (St. Luke xxiii. 30).
God hold a general and public judgment?
1. That all may know how just He has been in the particular judgment of each one.
2. That justice may at last be rendered to the afflicted and persecuted, while the wicked who have oppressed the poor, the widow, the orphan, the religious, and yet have often passed for upright and devout persons, may be known in their real characters and be forever disgraced.
Jesus Christ may complete His redemption, and openly triumph over His enemies,
who shall see the glory of the Crucified, and tremble at His power.
the Last Judgment proceed?
The books will be opened, and from them all men will be judged; all their good and bad thoughts, words, and deeds, even the most secret, known only to God, will be revealed before the whole world, and according to their works men will be rewarded or be damned forever. The wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting (St. Matt. xxv.46).
The Church, during the season of Advent,
reminds thee, O Christian, of the coming of Christ to judgment, that thou
mayest with the more zeal apply thyself to profit by His first coming; for they
only will be justified and glorified who have acknowledged and received Him as
their Redeemer. Examine thyself, therefore, to-day, and during this week, whether
thou hast believed in Him, loved Him, admitted Him into thy heart, and kept His
holy commands. Begin at once penance and good works, that thou mayest with
confidence await the judgment-day of the Lord.
Thou art just, O Lord! and just is Thy
judgment. Oh, penetrate my soul with holy fear, that I may be kept from evil
deeds, and incited to good works. Would that I could say, with St. Jerome, “Whether
I eat or drink, or whatever I do, it is as if I heard the awful summons of the
trumpet, Ye dead, arise, and come to judgment!”
First Sunday of Advent #Advent
For 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.’
The Season of Advent is therefore a season of vigilant waiting, that prepares us to welcome the mystery of the Word Incarnate, who will give the ‘Light’ to the womb of the Virgin Mary, but essentially this time prepares us not only to welcome this great event but to incarnate it in our lives. We could say that the true light enters the world through the immaculate womb of Mary, but it does not stay there. On the contrary, this light flows out into our dark, obscure, sinful lives to illuminate them, so that we can become the light that illuminates the world. For this reason, let us live this time of waiting not only to celebrate a historical memory but to repeat this memory in our lives and in the service of others. To wait for the Lord who comes, means to wait and to watch so that the Word of Love enters inside us and focuses us every day of our lives. As Blessed John Henry Newman reminded us in a homily for the Advent Season: “Advent is a time of waiting, it is a time of joy because the coming of Christ is not only a gift of grace and salvation, but it is also a time of commitment because it motivates us to live the present as a time of responsibility and vigilance. This ‘vigilance’ means the necessity, the urgency of an industrious, living ‘wait’. To make all this happen, then we need to wake up, as we are warned by the apostle to the Gentiles, in Romans: ‘Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rm 13:11). We must start our journey to ascend to the mountain of the Lord, to be illuminated by His Words of peace and to allow Him to indicate the path to tread. Moreover, we must change our conduct abandoning the works of darkness and put on the ‘armor of light’ and so seek only to do God’s work and to abandon the deeds of the flesh. (Rm 13:12-14). Jesus, through the story in the parable, outlines the Christian lifestyle that must not be distracted and indifferent but must be vigilant and recognize even the smallest sign of the Lord’s coming because we don’t know the hour in which He will arrive. (Mt 24:39-44)
Blessing of an Advent Wreath
The use of the Advent Wreath is a traditional practice which has found its place in the Church as well as in the home. The blessing of an Advent Wreath takes place on the First Sunday of Advent or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent.
When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family.
All make the sign of the cross as the leader says:
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response (R/.) Who made heaven and earth.
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
R/. Thanks be to God.
With hands joined, the leader says:
Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The blessing may conclude with a verse from
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:
O come, desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
bid ev’ry sad division cease
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
Advent begins Facts & Quotes
Each Sunday in Advent has a particular theme
· the first week is faithfulness, associated with Christ coming in final victory.
· The second and third Sundays, which feature the stories about John the Baptist, represent hope and joy.
· The fourth Sunday, which covers the events that led up to the birth of Jesus, represents love.
Many churches light a candle on an advent wreath each Sunday to represent each theme. The wreath is either suspended from the ceiling or sits on a table. It is made of evergreen branches and holds four candles - three purple for the first weeks of Advent and a pink one for the last week. A white Christ candle is placed in the center and will be lit on Christmas. A common activity for children is to make Christmas ornaments. Many church Christmas trees are decorated with these ornaments that represent symbols in Christianity, like doves and fish. Advent starts the four Sundays before Christmas. Church banners and cleric's stoles are purple during the season. Advent is a journey towards Bethlehem. May we let ourselves be drawn by the light of God made man - Pope Francis via twitter on Dec 21, 2013.
Advent Begins Top Events and Things to Do
· Decorate your home with evergreens or go to a 'Hanging of the Greens' church service. Church members decorate the church in preparation for Christmas.
· Hang up an advent calendar. Many of these decorative pieces have little doors that open and reveal holiday images or have pockets with small items in them that reflect the season. They are especially popular with children who enjoy opening the little doors to reveal chocolates.
· Sing Advent Hymns. Two popular ones are in the Deep Midwinter, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
 The Collegeville Bible Commentary
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.