November 29, 2015 - 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Do you ever feel like you need a new beginning? As Christmas quickly approaches maybe you are feeling tired, frustrated, rushed, restless, disoriented, lonely, depressed, distracted.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? But this is not what the Lord Jesus wants for us and ignoring these feelings won't make them go away.
The season of Advent which begins today is the church’s time for new beginnings. Why not you? Why not me? Why not now?
Jesus wants us to have a new beginning. The church wants us to have a new beginning, that's why she gives us this wonderful season of Advent, to prepare for the Lord to come to us.
We begin this new liturgical year with the cosmic gospel scene that may terrify some. The sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the nations all dismay and people dying of fright.
But we are told to raise our heads; we are told to make a new beginning. We are told to be vigilant and to pray, because our redemption is near. And that redemption comes from the Lord.
The season of Advent calls us to a living, breathing, deeply personal encounter with the Lord Jesus. How can we open ourselves to this encounter? What can we do this season of Advent to start fresh, to begin anew?
We can do simple things, three simple things.
First, read the Gospel. The Gospel of Luke is the one that we will be reading throughout the upcoming liturgical year. Read it. Why?
Because the Gospel has incredible insight into who Jesus is and who Jesus is inviting us to be. As we read the Gospel, we can pray, “Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to me as I begin to discover you through this Gospel.”
We can read it straight through like a short story or we can read a chapter a day. Read the Gospel.
Second, receive the Eucharist. When we receive the Eucharist, we receive Jesus himself. We receive the spiritual food that we need to help us on our pilgrim way.
Maybe you feel like you can’t or shouldn’t receive the Eucharist. Have you ever thought that it might be a good idea to have a chat with me to see if something can be done about that?
We need the spiritual nourishment Jesus offers. Receive the Eucharist.
Third, practice mercy. Pope Francis has declared the upcoming year to be a Jubilee Year of Mercy. Can we allow ourselves to be immersed in this year of mercy?
We can practice mercy in many different ways. We can go to confession or forgive someone or rediscover the works of mercy. Practice mercy.
Let’s make this the best Advent ever by beginning again.
I invite you to check out my blog or Facebook page or the parish’s Facebook page or the parish website and follow the link to Dynamic Catholic’s Best Advent Ever and sign up for a daily reminder that this is the season of new beginnings.