Sunday, November 27, 2005

"PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD! MAKE STRAIGHT HIS PATHS!”

The Alleluia Verse for the Mass of the Second Sunday of Advent is at the heart of the ChurchÂ’s message: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths! All mankind shall see the salvation of God.”
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin, Adventus Domini, the Coming of the Lord. The Church prepares for the coming of Christ by exhorting Christ’s faithful to turn away from sin and live a new life of grace.
The Prophet Isaiah tells us to cry out at the top of our voices for the coming of the Messiah is at hand. “Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: `Here is your God’”!
Yet, many people now do the exact opposite. More and more each year, Jesus Christ is expelled from Christmas. Despite the pleadings of the Church, we witness the world's pagan, godless preparations for Christmas. The `Holiday’ is identified with a string of parties and preparations devoid of Jesus Christ. Now, more than ever, “There is no room at the inn.”
Yes, the Holy Season is a time of joy. Followers of the Lord enjoy sending out cards, looking forward to the family gatherings and the exchange of gifts. However, the smell of trees and holly must thrill us with a true sense of Christmas, one that is in the Lord! We must do these things in a godly way. We must identify with Christ and not with the pagan world, which knows Him not.
Every year we hear the same sorry, silly scenario: "It just doesn't seem like Christmas this year." Of course it cannot seem like Christmas! Christ is absent! He has been expelled! The Church's holy days are mindlessly transformed into pagan festivals. For Christians, advent must be a time of penance & conversion in preparation for the Lord's coming. The faithful follower of the Lord must be more holy on Christmas Day than he was on the First Sunday of Advent. We can have no part of Christmas preparations without Our Lord, Jesus.
The liturgy constantly reminds us of the seriousness of the sacred mysteries. Reflect on the Opening Prayer of today's Mass: "Father, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things (sin, paganism, materialism) that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy." The closing prayer pleads: "Father, you give us food from heaven. Teach us to live by your wisdom and to love the things of heaven."
Seek the things of God, which are above! Be holy! Avoid the pagan mentality of the world! Seek the peace of Christ in heaven through the Catholic Church, founded by our Divine Savior. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. This is the constant message of the liturgy in today’s Advent Mass. Indeed, it is repeated in one form or another in every liturgy throughout the entire liturgical year.
We read in the Communion Antiphon: “Rise up Jerusalem, stand on the heights and see the joy that is coming to you from God.” When the liturgy refers to Jerusalem, it signifies the Church. Every member of the Mystical Body is exhorted to “stand on the heights,” the heights of a holy life! The joy will come to us is Christ, the Savior of the world. He is the One who will lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven. That Kingdom has already begun in the Church on earth. It will reach its full realization in heaven, in the Vision of God for all eternity. My prayer at Mass for you is that the holy Mother of God will be with us on our journey to the Kingdom of Heaven.


Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you said we must be more holy on Christmas than the first Sunday of Advent. It was a good and firm reminder for me that Advent is a time to prepare my soul not presents!

God bless you, Father! We need to hear the voices of holy priests.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Fr. Richard J. Rego said...

Thanks! it was good to hear from you! God bless and have a Blessed Christmas.
father Rego

11:58 AM  
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