Fr. Luis Largaespada
A Thanksgiving Prayer
Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness, look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for all your graces and blessings, for our faith, for the love we have for one another, for food and shelter, health, family and friends. In Your infinite generosity, grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year. Through Christ our Lord.
INTENTIONS OF THE HOLY FATHER FOR DECEMBER
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PRAYER INTENTION FOR THE WEEK
That we may prepare for the coming of Jesus, both at Christmas and at the end of time.
A Sunday Reflection
First Sunday of Advent (Cycle A)
“AT AN HOUR YOU DO NOT EXPECT, THE SON OF MAN WILL COME” (MT 24:44).
With these sobering words we begin a new liturgical year. One would expect something more cheery when greeting the new year, but these words are meant to keep us on our toes, alert, as we await the Lord Jesus’ glorious return, when —as Isaiah tells us in the first reading— “all nations…shall come and say: ‘Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain’” (Is 2:3) and “one nation shall not raise the word against another” (2:4c). After all the wars and rumors of war we have endured this year, these prophecy is certainly one of hope.
This year the Church offers us St. Matthew’s Gospel for us to contemplate the mysteries of our salvation. Addressed to a Jewish audience, St. Matthew presents Jesus as the promised Messiah who will fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy, and he bids us to “stay awake” (Mt 24:42) as we await His return.
Let us then “throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” as St. Paul urges us (Rom 13:12b) and heed Isaiah’s invitation: “let us walk in the light of the Lord” (2:5). Happy New Year! Come, Lord Jesus!
Celebrating the saints
Children in our religious education program dressed as the saints to celebrate the feast of All Saints.
ACADEMIC AWARDS, FIRSTH THROUGH SEVENTH GRADE
CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2022!!
EXPLORING THE LITURGY
THE SIGN OF PEACE
At this point, we ask for peace and unity for the Church and for the whole human family, and we wish Christ’s peace to one another before we share in the same bread. This rite was recovered during the reform of the liturgy and is not mandatory, and when used, its form varies from country to country. But the sign of peace remains only a sign if there isn’t a deeper commitment to charity, love and forgiveness of our neighbor.
“Everyone is interested in marriage. If the human heart does not have enough love in its heart, it seeks out those who are in love. The most famous marriage in history was at Cana, because Our Blessed Lord was present there.”
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen
The wedding at Cana symbolizes the covenant love of Christ the bridegroom and the Church, his beloved bride. This union of Christ and the Church develops the marriage symbolism of the Old Testament that God is bound by a covenant to his chosen people. But for Christians, the miracle Jesus performs at Cana also has a deep Eucharistic meaning. This miracle, which took place near the celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover, foreshadows Jesus’ own Paschal Mystery, when Christ the true lamb offers himself for our sins. The new wine at the wedding at Cana, like the multiplication of loaves, is a prefiguration of the New Covenant, in which Christ gives us his flesh and blood for our food and drink.
Lord Jesus, transform the mere water of our lives into rich, choice wine. May we rejoice in your faithfulness, confident that in moments of true need you always provide with abundance. Amen.
Fr. Patrick Mary Briscoe, OP, Eucharist
© 2022 by Our Sunday Visitor (with permission)
THE LITURGICAL YEAR
The Catechism of the Catholic Church…speaks of the calendar as a long teaching moment. “The cycle of the liturgical year and its great feasts are… basic rhythms of the Christian’s life of prayer” (CCC, n. 2698). The great feasts “commemorate” and “communicate” the mystery of Christ (n. 1171).
The Church marked off not only the days of his life, but of our life today. For Jesus is the… “firstborn of many brethren” (Rom 8:29). Those terms imply that others, many others, are to follow; and so the Church proved this claim by celebrating the feasts of the saints, beginning with the Blessed Virgin Mary, but including the apostles, martyrs and many others.
The year, as it has developed, is, like a microscope or telescope, a finely tuned instrument for keeping its object always in focus, always near; and its object is Jesus Christ.
In the course of the liturgical year, Christians receive repeated exposure to the major events of salvation history. The cycle brings times of fasting and times of feasting, times of sorrow and times of joy, times of penance and times of reconciliation. All creation tells the story. All history tells the story. All our lives, yours and mine, tell the story.
It is a story of hope.
Scott Hahn, Signs of Life (New York: Doubleday, 2009),
Pages 52, 54-55. Used with permission.