December 1, 2013

1st Sun. of Advent

December 1, 2013:   1st Sunday of Advent, World AIDS Day

  • Is 2:1-5  Isaiah:  All shall stream toward Lord's mountain, beat swords into plowshares and spears into hooks, not raise the sword or train for war.  Walk in the light of the Lord!
  • Ps 122: 1-9  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  The tribes go to Jerusalem to give thanks.  Pray for peace!
    Wordle: Readings 12-1-13
  • Rom 13:11-14  Wake from sleep; salvation is near.  Throw off works of darkness; put on the armor of light, behaving properly.  Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Mt 24:37-44  At the Son of Man's coming, two will be out in the field or grinding; one will be taken, the other left.  Stay awake!  If the master knew when thief would come, he would have stayed awake.  Son of Man will come when you don't expect it.

Pope Francis
  • Angelus:  The day will come when nations will live in peace.  Advent is a season that renews hope; bet on hope.  Encounter Jesus.  We express solidarity with and closeness to all affected by HIV/AIDS, missionaries, healthcare workers, and researchers.  May every sick person have access to needed care.
      • "Gospel Joy 1.II" (Evangelii Gaudium drill-down), continuing Chapter 1 of Pope Francis's new exhortation (a series):

        Always be in a state of mission. The call to renewal includes the whole Church; we must look inward with penetrating eyes and struggle to correct our flaws. Renewal is increased fidelity to our calling. Christ summons the Church to reform.

        May everything about the Church be channeled towards evangelization, renewing structures to make them more mission-oriented, inspiring us all to go forth, lest we fall prey to introversion. A self-renewing, adaptable, open, creative parish can be a lively Church where the thirsty can drink, hear God’s word, and grow—a place for dialogue, outreach, worship, and celebration, where its members are evangelizers. Other communities and movements can also enrich the Church, evangelize, and bring new fervor, but they should be integrated with the parish and diocese lest they lose root or concentrate only on part of the Gospel.
      Dioceses are called to missionary conversion, preaching Christ with joy to areas in need and going wherever the need is greatest. Undertake a resolute process of discernment, purification and reform. Bishops, go before your people, listen, point the way, keep hope vibrant, help the lagging, and allow your flock to strike out on new paths. Aim to reach everyone. My ministry needs conversion too to be more faithful to what Christ wished and to present needs of evangelization. Central Church structures also need conversion. Excessive centralization complicates our outreach. Missionary ministry abandons complacency. Rethink goals, structures, styles, and methods of evangelization courageously, relying on each other and on bishops’ leadership.  (1.II, 25-33; pp. 23-30) 
      • Creighton:  3 comings/advents of Jesus:  as infant born of Mary, born into our lives and world now, final coming in glory.  Celebrate his birth to Mary and Joseph, receive him now, and await his triumphant return.  Advent begins new church year, invites us to assess our relationship with God. Be aware of Jesus in our daily activities.  Patience is hard.  To Isaiah, walking in the Lord = striving for peace 
      •   We live in the end times; don't be caught off guard.  God invites me to accept his kingdom, knows my struggles, and gives me grace and hope; I can't outsource responsibility for my life and decisions.  Is my hope in God's kingdom?  Help me to live each day for the Kingdom.
      Saints (when Dec. 1 isn't trumped by Advent Sunday), per Universalis:  
      • St. Edmund Campion, SJ, martyred at 41
      • St. Alexander Briant, martyred as Jesuit at 25
      • St. Ralph Sherwin, priest, martyr
      • Bl. Clementine Anuarite, 20th-century teacher and martyr

        • Sword pin:  "beat swords into plowshares" (1st reading)
        • "Scales of justice" pin:  judgment (1st reading, psalm)
        • Peace-sign tie bar:  peace (1st reading, psalm)
        • Clock tie bar:  if master knew the hour the thief would come (gospel)
        • Purple shirt:  Advent season
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