Endings and beginnings, as we know, are a significant part of life. They come to us frequently in different ways and under different circumstances. This weekend, we end one liturgical year and begin a new one as Advent dawns. This also happens to be Thanksgiving weekend and it is a good time for us to look back over the past year so as to take stock of our blessings, material and spiritual, and pray a heartfelt prayer of gratitude for all that God has done for us.
In this new liturgical year, we hear the readings from Cycle C and the Gospel that predominates the year is Luke. In Luke, we find some favorite passages such as the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, Zacchaeus the tax collector, among others. Luke has as its dominant themes the importance of prayer, Godís love for the poor, and the centrality of mercy as an attribute of God. Luke gives great importance to the place and the role of women in Jesusí ministry.
Advent is a time for watchful waiting and the focus of this relatively brief season is preparation. During the first part of Advent, we devote our attention and prayer to the fact that the Lord will come again in glory at the end of time and bring the Kingdom of God to its fulfillment. As followers of Christ, we are beckoned to live in a constant state of readiness for the Lordís appearance, which will come on a day and at an hour we may least expect.
We can make good use of this special time of Advent by spending extra time in prayer and taking time for some silence in the midst of the busy¨ness of this time of year. Make an effort to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this time as an important part of your preparation for the celebration of Christmas. There are extra hours scheduled for confessions between now and Christmas. You should have received by now a copy of the new edition of the parish newsletter. A complete schedule of Advent and Christmas celebrations is in it. Keep it handy.
A reminder of the Parish Mission which begins next Sunday evening, December 6 and runs through Tuesday, December 8. We are blessed to have Jon Leonetti with us, so plan to be here on those evenings to hear him. He is an excellent and engaging speaker.
Have a good week!
Rev. Aidan N. Donahue
© 2010 Saint Mary Church, Milford, Connecticut