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Sunday, First Week of Advent

December 2, 2012

Blessed New Year!

Today we start afresh,
a brand new Year of Our Lord,
preparing to celebrate Jesus’ first coming (a date we know)
and His Second Coming (a date we don’t know).

Today is also traditionally “Stir up Sunday,”
from the first phrase of the traditional opening prayer of the Mass,

Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come.

This is a good day to “stir up” a plum pudding or fruitcake to age for Christmas.
Let each family member give it a good stir,
symbolizing the need to stir up our hearts
to prepare a celebration worthy of the birth of so great a King.

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet Your Christ
with righteous deeds at His coming,
so that, gathered at His right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.
(Opening prayer from Mass)

Jeremiah 33:14-16 (God will fulfill His promise of a Messiah)
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14 “To You, O Lord, I lift my soul”
I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2 (may God strengthen you to make even greater progress)
+ Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 (be on the watch for the last day)

When the heavens shake and oceans rage as the Son of Man appears-
will you die of fright or raise your head
to His power and great glory?

On Zion sinners are in dread,
trembling grips the impious:
“Who can live with the consuming fire?
who of us can live with the everlasting flames?
-Isaiah 33:14

These will die of fright!
…but some will not:

He who practises virtue and speaks honestly,
who spurns what is gained by oppression,
brushing his hands free of contact with a bride,
stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed,
closing his eyes lest he look on evil-
He shall dwell on the heights,
his stronghold shall be the rocky fastness,
his food and drink in steady supply
-Isaiah 33:15-16

These vigilant, in virtue strong,
will stand erect and raise their heads
when all else shakes
and falls apart.

It’s by God’s grace.

Today, let us begin to serve the Lord Our Justice! (Jeremiah 33:16)
Today, let us cast off our affinity for sin.
Today, let us humbly beg our God to guide us in His truth and teach us His paths (Psalm 25:5,9),
that we may increase and abound in the love that strengthens our hearts,
making us blameless in holiness (I Thessalonians 3:12-13).

No matter how far we have fallen
our God can raise us up
and make us good.

That’s why He came
the first time.

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