Happy New Year! Well, new liturgical year anyway! Our church is now in Year B of the three year cycle of readings, and we will mostly hear from the Gospel of Mark this year.
We are now in the midst of the season of Advent, exclaiming in hope and anticipation, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!” We spend the next few weeks preparing a place for Christ to come again and to be born anew in our hearts and in the world. It can seem rather odd to simultaneously celebrate the coming of the newborn king, God’s covenant with his people, and Christ’s return in glory—his fulfillment of salvation history. But we are to do just that! We prepare for our Messiah, the Savior incarnate, the One who is here, and the One who is to come again. Wow!
What a blessing this Advent season can be! I challenge all of us to live it out as best we can in our daily lives. God invites all of us to be alert to the signs of his loving redemption, to participate in the Paschal life (dying to ourselves and rising with Christ), and to trust in him every day and say “yes” as Mary did.
Let’s set aside the busyness of “creating Christmas” and reach out to those in need—pay attention to those who are grieving, those who are lonely, those far away from family. Invite them to Mass, to dinner, to coffee. Be still and see God right in front of you, listen to his voice in your heart, and wait for his “coming” in the everyday moments of your life. Emmanuel—God with us. His blessings are endless.
Please take home some of the wonderful Advent materials available for you on the table in the Gathering Area. Use them to assist you and your family in your daily prayer in your own domestic church—your home!
~ Kelley Smith, Music Liturgist