First Sunday of Advent
CHANUKAH Begins at Sunset FRENCH TOAST DAY
Proverbs, Chapter 16, Verse 6
By steadfast loyalty guilt is
expiated, and by the FEAR of the LORD
evil is avoided.
This verse is a language of worship to express what is acceptable or not to God, so this saying uses similar language to declare that lovingly loyal conduct undoes the effects of sin.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
49. Because the faithful are obliged to attend Mass unless there is a grave impediment, Pastors have the corresponding duty to offer to everyone the real possibility of fulfilling the precept. The provisions of Church law move in this direction, as for example in the faculty granted to priests, with the prior authorization of the diocesan Bishop, to celebrate more than one Mass on Sundays and holy days, the institution of evening Masses and the provision which allows the obligation to be fulfilled from Saturday evening onwards, starting at the time of First Vespers of Sunday. From a liturgical point of view, in fact, holy days begin with First Vespers. Consequently, the liturgy of what is sometimes called the "Vigil Mass" is in effect the "festive" Mass of Sunday, at which the celebrant is required to preach the homily and recite the Prayer of the Faithful.
Moreover, Pastors should remind the faithful
that when they are away from home on Sundays, they are to take care to attend
Mass wherever they may be, enriching the local community with their personal witness.
At the same time, these communities should show a warm sense of welcome to
visiting brothers and sisters, especially in places which attract many tourists
and pilgrims, for whom it will often be necessary to provide special religious
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?
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.
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.
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?
all may know how just He has been in the particular judgment of each one.
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!”
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:
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Advent and Christmas
The Advent season in the Northern Hemisphere is normally cold, dark and the days are short. Traditions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas have been established to help dispel the psychological fear that develops as a result of the darkness. However, in the Southern Hemisphere the days are long and warm.
This is a good time if you have the
means to take a winter’s break and go to a warmer climate to give you a chance
to create a brighter spirit. However, if this is not possible, we can greatly
reduce our fears by getting some sun for 10 or 15 minutes a day. Try to walk at
the brightest time of the day, or if you have a sun
Also spending some time exercising daily will definitely dispel our fears. We are both physical and spiritual and having a balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual activities will make us resilient to the darkness in the world. I find hiking a wonderful anecdote to the blues and fears.
It is also
important to reach out to others. We can strengthen ourselves by being with and
for others. No matter what your cultural background this season will provide
many ethnic opportunities to celebrate together. Think of the giant Redwoods
they are the largest trees in the world. These trees survive by intertwining
their roots because the ground is so hard the Redwood cannot strike a taproot
to hold itself up but by supporting each other they become the largest trees in
Chanukah (Hebrew: חנוכה) is an eight-day Jewish festival, also known as the festival of lights. On each day a Menorah (an eight branched candelabra) is lit with an ascending number of candles to match the day. The reason for Chanukah is based on the story of the Maccabees battle with the Greeks. It is told that one pure bottle of olive oil lasted for eight days in the Holy Temple. It should have lasted only for the first day.
It is customary to eat fried foods on Chanukah
because of the significance of oil to the holiday. Among Ashkenazic Jews,
this usually includes latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) and doughnuts.
A popular game during Hanukkah is dreidel.
The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with one Hebrew letter inscribed
on each face/side. These letters are Nun (like N), Gimel (like G), Hei
(Like H) and Shin (like Sh). These letters stand for the Hebrew
phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, a great miracle happened there, referring to the
miracle of the oil.
There is a special prayer called for the
Miracles said during all prayer sessions and grace after meals. In
this prayer the Lord is thanked for allowing the Jewish minority to overcome
their much larger and stronger enemies (a recurrent theme in Jewish survival).
Chanukah is not one of the Biblical festivals
and Jews are permitted to work on Chanukah.
Top Events and Things to Do
An event that gathers much attention is the
White House Hanukkah Party. Watch it on TV (some parts are broadcast) or
Play a dreidel game, which consists of spinning
a special four-sided block with Hebrew letters. Once you're out of game pieces,
you can either get a loan or you're out until one person collects all of the
Make latkes and donuts at home. Many
recipes can be found online.
· Listen to a special song is sung after the lighting of the candles, called Maoz Zur, 'the Rock of our Salvation'. Many renditions of it can be found on YouTube.
French Toast Day
There’s a blend that just makes our morning fantastic, and it’s a blending of eggs, milk, and cinnamon with bread dipped in. There’s something about the savory sweet smell of it, and the anticipation of having it painted with butter and drizzled with syrup, with a side of breakfast sausage and a tall glass of orange juice that’ll get us out of bed on even the worst of days. French Toast Day is honoring this amazing breakfast delight and encourages you to enjoy it for breakfast with a few friends. The breakfast favorite French toast goes by many names depending on where it’s being served up – eggy bread, German toast, poor knights’ pudding, Bombay toast – but it’s always made of the same key ingredients. Egg, milk – or cream – and bread. This delicious, sweet snack is often served with sugar or syrup and fruit and consists of bread slices fried in a mixture of milk and egg. In France, its name is ‘pain perdu’, which literally means ‘lost bread’, because it would often be made with stale or old bread. Although we tend to call it French Bread, the dish isn’t known to have come from France. Some ancient Latin recipes from the 4th century mention soaking bread in milk before frying, and in fourteenth Century Germany the term ‘poor knights’ pudding’ was coined for the sweet treat because it was seen as an affordable meal for those without too much money to spend. Today, it’s eaten across the world as a breakfast meal or a sweet snack. In Italy, there’s a savory version, called ‘mozzarella en carrozza’, which sees the egg-soaked bread sandwiching slices of mozzarella cheese before it is fried. Its name literally means ‘mozzarella in a carriage’. So you can have eggy bread for your main meal, and your pudding!
How to Celebrate
French Toast Day
So how can
you celebrate French Toast Day? If you’ve got any stale bread in the kitchen,
this is a great way to use it up. The recipe tends to call for bread that’s at
least a day old because older slices will be able to soak up the tasty egg and
milk mixture without falling apart. Then, once you’ve fried it up, you can
slather on as much jam, syrup, fruit or honey as you like. If you’re feeling
extra indulgent, why not pop a swirl of cream on top?
Ferdinand Magellan on this
date crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the straits of Magellan.
The late Senator McCain states Ferdinand Magellan
was a man who is the best example of the virtue of Aspiration.
He left the service of one king and won the support
of another so that he could pursue an ambition as big as the world he
discovered. Ferdinand Magellan claimed the most daunting and marvelous prize.
By the greatest feat of seamanship in history, he was the first European to go
around the unknown world. At court, the young Magellan received an excellent
education in the arts and sciences as well as the martial arts. In 1505, he
joined the fleet of the first Portuguese governor of India, and over the course
of several years’ service became a skilled navigator and a brave and capable
soldier of fortune. Soldiers of fortune were constantly searching for a faster
route to the prized Spice Islands. Whether Magellan had indeed reached them
while he was in service to the Portuguese crown, there is little doubt that
like all adventurers of the age, he held them as the richest prize on earth,
and surely dreamed of sharing in the wealth and reputation they offered.
Magellan believed that a passage between the Atlantic Ocean and that uncharted
sea to the west, and through it a western route to the Spice Islands, existed
at the unexplored end of the South American continent. He was determined to
locate it. On September 10, 1519, five small ships, the San Antonio, the Concepción,
the Victoria, the Santiago, and the Trinidad, carrying 265 men, a sizable
arsenal of arms and munitions, and a less-than-adequate store of food and
water, left the Spanish port of San Lucar de Barrameda for South America. The
ships’ captains were Spaniards. The fleet’s ultimate destination was kept
secret from the ships’ crews, who believed that they were sailing for South
America, and not for the unknown world beyond its shores. It would not have
been possible to find a crew willing to embark on such a perilous, if not
impossible, journey. Their Portuguese commander, Ferdinand Magellan, sailed
aboard the Trinidad, flying the imperial standard of Spain, the flag of
Castile. Only one of the ships would ever return.
Stella Maris Chapel, Cape
Next to the lighthouse on Cape Horn Island lies a tiny
wooden chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It serves the sacramental
needs of the researchers and staff at this station, which lies between South
America’s Tierra de Fuego and the Antarctic continent. The first
Catholic, let alone human being, to visit the area was Ferdinand Magellan on
his round-the-world-trip across the straits that still bear his name. Oddly,
the 90 researchers and support staff of the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station at Terra
Nova Bay don’t have a permanent chapel, despite lay Italian Catholics offering
to build one for free. In fact, a German shipping company offered to transport
the prefab chapel to Terra Nova Bay gratis. Despite this, the Italian
government is dragging its feet, to the detriment of the devout scientists and
staff on the base. The Worldwide Antarctic Program (WAP) is spearheading the
construction of a Catholic chapel at the base. So far, the plan is on ice.
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.
Go to MASS
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.