Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Season of Advent is upon us. It is the Adventus Dominus of our Messiah-Savior-Redeemer. Our Divine Lord came to save us in the past by His birth at Bethlehem. He comes to save us in the present, through the saving mission of the Catholic Church. He comes to save us in the future by His Second Coming at the end of time.

During November the liturgy exhorted us to prepare for the Day of Judgment. We must be among those, "Who have survived the great period of trial, who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb" (Apoc 7:14). The Advent liturgies prepare us for both comings of Christ: His second Coming when He will, “Come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,” and His First Coming in mercy and forgiveness as the humble Christ Child in the Crib.

Jesus Christ’s Second Coming should fill our hearts with joyful anticipation because He will complete His work of Redemption. He will raise each and every human person from the dead and reunite us with our bodies. In Christ’s glory, we will be clothed eternally with incorruptibility (see 1Cor 15:50f). The Post Communion for this Sunday exhorts us to “prepare with due honor for the approaching feast of our redemption.”

Christmas preparations must begin with three basic ingredients:

a) A Catholic liturgical life through the Mass and the frequent reception of the sacraments,
b) Living Catholic faith by humbly accepting all the teachings of our most holy religion,

c) Living Catholic morality by rendering, as Vatican II teaches, "a religious submission of mind and will" to the Magisterial teachings of the Holy Father and the Bishops united with him.

The Advent Season is a time when we meditate on the justice and the mercy of God. The Second Coming of Christ will be in justice. The time for mercy will have passed. Thus the Church exhorts us to prepare for the Day of Judgment.

The Advent Season prepares us for the First Coming of Christ. At Bethlehem, Jesus comes to us in mercy, the mercy of God that has become Man. He comes to us as the poorest of the poor, the most humble of the humble and the most obedient of the obedient. He comes to us as a Babe in the arms of His Virgin Mother. As we marvel at the Crib of Bethlehem, our hearts are filled with great joy. We see a helpless Babe in the arms of His youthful mother. He is completely dependent on her love, just as you and I were dependent on our mothers. The All Powerful God is powerless Babe in the arms of the Virgin Mother. We have nothing to fear in Jesus Christ. He is our Brother, our Divine Brother!

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


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