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Sunday, First Week of Advent

December 1, 2013

JMJ

Blessed New Year! (liturgically speaking…)

Today we start afresh,
a brand new Year of Our Lord,
preparing to celebrate Jesus’ first coming,
His Second Coming,
and His coming to us here and now,
meeting us in “distressing disguise” in our daily lives
and in Holy Communion.

Entrance Antiphon:
To You, I lift up my soul, O my God.
In You I have trusted;
let me not be put to shame.
Nor let my enemies exult over me;
and let none who hope in You be put to shame.
(cf. Psalm 25:1-3)

Collect:
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.

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.

Readings:
Isaiah 2:1-5 (all nations shall stream to the Lord’s mountain and learn to live in peace)
Psalm 122:1-9 “I rejoiced when I heard them say: let us go to the house of the Lord”
Romans 13:11-14 (Live honorably, as in daylight)
+ Matthew 24:37-44 (Jesus will return when least expected; always be ready!)

Today we climb the mountain,
streaming with all nations
to the Church,
God’s House, the highest mountain,
raised above the hills,
to learn to beat our swords

their tongue is a sharpened sword ~Psalm 57:5

into plowshares
to till the rocky, thorn-infested soil of our hearts
for holy seed
to bear much fruit (see Luke 8:4-15);

to learn to shape our spears
as pruning shears
to cut away the wild growth of our passions

let us live honorably as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy ~Romans 13:13

and so increase our yield (see John 15:1-5);

to learn to be prepared
to be drawn near
to God
at any time–
not swept away
as in the flood of Noah’s day
by evil deeds
of darkness.

This is the day,
a timeless “now,”
a foretaste of a grand eternity
of living light.

What wild growth in my life chokes out the deeds of light?
What weapons am I inclined to use against other people
that could be better used for tilling and pruning my own soul?

 

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