First Week of Advent

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FIRST SUNDAY OF   ADVENT
 

Blessing The Advent Wreath
(usually on Saturday evening before the first Sunday of Advent)

Father, today we begin our  time of  preparation for the  birthday of your Son. We ask you to bless this wreath, and grant that as we use it we may receive abundant graces. Amen.
WELCOME THE LORD
Light the First PURPLE Candle which symbolizes hope. For many years the faithful looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. We look forward with the eyes of faith.


ADVENT designates the coming or second coming of Christ. 
The English term advent comes from a Latin word meaning "coming" and is used primarily to designate a period before Christmas during which Christians prepare for the Christmas season and reflect on the meaning of the coming of Christ. 
Churches in many areas began to observe this period of preparation as early as the fifth century, soon after the origin of the celebration of Christmas. The period was one of both penitence and joyous anticipation. By the Middle Ages, four Sundays had become the standard length of the Advent season. Since then, Advent has been considered to be the beginning of the church year. 



First Sunday of Advent
TRUST IN GOD'S PROMISES

1 Cor 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 1:4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
1 Cor 1:5 For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--
1 Cor 1:6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
1 Cor 1:7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
1 Cor 1:8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


~~~ St. Paul reminds us that all our blessings come from the Lord. We come together at Advent to remember what God has done for us and look forward to His coming again.
What do you look forward to most this
Christmas?


Ps 80:1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth.
Carol: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"



Advent 1 Monday

Advent... the new liturgical season has begun. God's plan to bring all creation to perfection and unity is proclaimed through Advent and culminating in the birth of Jesus. The prophets of Israel saw visions of this many centuries earlier. The prophet Isaiah describes the "days to come" in an optimistic and joyful way as is true of all beginnings. 

Isaiah: 2:2-3 In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be estblished as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall 
stream toward it' many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the Lord's mountain, to the hous of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." 

Isaiah: 2: 5 O house of Jacob, com let us walk in the light of the Lord!


Ps 25, 1-3 To you, my God, I lift my soul, I trust in you; let me never come to shame. Do not let my enemies laugh at me. No one who wits for you is ever put to shame.

Let us pray: All powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

Advent 1 Tuesday
GRATEFUL IN THE LORD

Father in heaven, we wish to thank you for all that you have given us as we await the fullness of Your Kingdom. As we look with anticipation to the celebration of Christmas and the gifts that we will receive and give, help us to remember that we have received the most wonderful gift of all, the life of Your Son, Jesus.


Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you,Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Luke 10:22 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
Luke 10:23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
Luke 10:24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."

~~~ We have truly been given so many things from God. Our lives, our family, our faith in Jesus, and so much more. Advent is a time to look ahead to Christmas, but it is also a time for giving thanks to what we have right now. Let us all take a few moments to call to mind all the things that we are thankful for in our lives. 

Ps 72:17 May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed.

Advent 1 Wednesday
TRUST IN THE LORD

Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing 
in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. 


As advent progresses we see that we must look back in order to look forward. Jesus often reminded his disciples on the necessity of being ready. He did this not so people would live in fear and dread: rather that they live in expectation and hope, ever mindful of the signs of God's loving plan. Since Advent means coming or arrival.. we have the sense of coming in the excerpt from Matthew that follows:

Matthew 24:42-44 Watch out, then, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. If the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, you can be sure that he would stay awake and not let the thief break into his house. So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him. 

Ps 85:13 The Lord will shower his gifts, and our land will yield its fruit.

Advent 1 Thursday

STRONG AND FAITHFUL GOD

Dear Lord, so much changes around us as we change and grow each day. We are always changing but You remain the same. Help us to cling to You all of our lives and help us to know 
that you will always be with us for all time. Amen.

If we obey God, then we will be cared for, no matter what happens.

Isa 26:1-4 "In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong 
city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in 
you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal."

Meditation: A rock remains unchanged for thousands of years, through changing seasons, wind, rain, daylight and darkness. God is there for us even more, he is the most solid rock that we can think of. If we turn away from God, He is still there, faithful and rock solid, ready for us to return. Let us pray now in thanksgiving for the faithful, solid presence of our Lord.


Psa 117:29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Advent 1 Friday

EXPECTATION

The coming of God's Son to Earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ; all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the "First Covenant." He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel. 
Moreover, he awakens in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming. 
(Catechism of the Catholic Church 522) 

St. John the Baptist is the Lord's immediate precursor of forerunner, sent to prepare his way. (CCC) 

John 13: 24-25 Before Jesus began His work, John preached to all the people of Israel that they should turn from their sins and be baptized. And as John was about to finish his mission, he said to the people, "Who do you think I am? I am not the one you are waiting for. but listen! He is coming after me, and I am not good enough to take his sandals off his feet."

Matthew 3:3 John was the man the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said, "Someone is shouting in the desert, "Prepare a road for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel!' "

As we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ we must ask ourselves, how are we preparing our for the coming of Christ when he comes again! Are we worthy to have Him come into our lives? Are we ready if He came to us this day?

Let us pray: His future coming was proclaimed by all the prophets. The virgin mother bore him in her womb with love beyond telling. John the Baptist was his herald and made him known when at last he came.

Advent 1 Saturday

OUR FAMILY OF FAITH

Lord God, we thank you for our family and our family in faith, the Church. We never have to be alone on this life, we always have our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us. In this Advent season, help us to remember how much we need each other to work together, to pray together and to celebrate together. Amen

Mat 9:35-39 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Down through the centuries, the Church has gathered together during Advent to celebrate the Birth of Christ and to wait in hope for the Lord's return. Meanwhile, we can spread the good news to everyone who will hear. We can help by praying for the Church and asking God for more men and women to serve the People of God. Let us pray for vocations now, (pause) and with the whole Church we join our hands and pray the Lord's prayer. 


Psa 147:1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting
to praise him!

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