Second Sunday of Advent

On the second Sunday of Advent we are introduced to another great Advent figure, John the Baptist. Matthew has him preach, like Jesus, about the coming of the kingdom of heaven. His preaching fulfils the words found in the prophet Isaiah about ‘a voice crying in the wilderness’.

John is dressed like a prophet and lives in the wilderness. Those who come to him receive a baptism of repentance for their sins. John fiercely attacks those who have relied on their status and their traditions for their salvation. They have relied on being ‘children of Abraham’ and have become complacent. For John, the love of God is not limited to the chosen race, and all men and women are called to produce good fruit.

John’s principal task is to point to the ‘one who follows me’. This one is more powerful and will bring a new baptism, in the Holy Spirit. With the preaching of John the Baptist, the liturgy is preparing us for the coming of Christ.

ADVENT PENANCE SERVICES

Sunday, December 11:

                 Church of the Beloved Disciple, Grove City – 2:00pm

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mercer – 5:00pm

Monday, December 12:

                 St. Bartholomew, Sharpsville – 6:30pm

Wednesday, December 14:

                 Good Shepherd, West Middlesex – 6:30pm

Thursday, December 15:

                 Kennedy Catholic High School – 1:30pm

St. Joseph, Sharon – 6:30pm

Sunday, December 18:

Notre Dame, Hermitage – 2:00pm

Monday, December 19:

Our Lady of Fatima, Farrell – 6:00pm

 

First Sunday of Advent

Do you believe in Jesus? During the next few weeks the scriptures will confront us with the abiding presence of Christ in the world, the church, the Word, and the Living Bread. How will this revolutionize our lives this year?     ~ Fr. Matt

                                                                                   

 

First Sunday of Advent

Reflection

“READY TO GREET HIM WHEN HE COMES”

“You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect.” —Matthew 24:44

Happy Advent! Advent is about the three comings of Christ:

1)      Jesus first came to earth as a Baby, humble and lowly, at Bethlehem (Lk 2:4ff).

2)      Jesus will come again at His Second Coming on the last day (Mt 24:30-31). This coming will be as majestic as His first coming was humble (1 Thes 4:16Lk 21:27).

3)      The third coming of Jesus is the coming of the Eucharistic Jesus into our souls today. Jesus’ coming in Holy Communion is a humble coming, just as He came humbly to earth in Bethlehem. His Eucharistic coming is as easy to miss as was His coming at Bethlehem.

How prepared are we to meet the Eucharistic Jesus when He comes to us today? If we’re prepared for this “third” coming, we’ll welcome His first coming at Christmas and be prepared for His Second Coming.

Therefore, on this first day of the new Church Year, this day of new beginning, invite Jesus to come and reign in your life. “Seek first His kingship over you” (Mt 6:33). Be “sober and alert” (1 Pt 5:8), ever ready to greet Him when He comes. Live so that Jesus may never have to ask: “Why was no one there when I came?” (Is 50:2)

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

THE CRUCIFIX AND THE KING

“There was an inscription over His head:

‘THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ ” —Luke 23:38

Many people have crucifixes on their walls, in their pockets, in their purses, or around their necks. Usually at the top of this crucifix are the letters I. N. R. I. This stands for “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” On Calvary, hardly anyone believed this inscription. In fact, “the chief priests of the Jews tried to tell Pilate…‘This man claimed to be King of the Jews’ ” (Jn 19:21).

What about you? Do you believe the letters on your crucifix? Or are the letters I.N.R.I. just an inscription to which you’ve never paid any attention? If you decide to take your crucifix seriously and be a faithful subject of King Jesus, you must:

  • be rescued “from the power of darkness” (Col 1:13),
  • repent,
  • contradict leaders, soldiers, criminals, and the many people who continue to mock His kingship (Lk 23:35, 36, 39),
  • be willing to be persecuted,
  • worship King Jesus, for He is the King of kings (Rv 19:16) and God Himself, and
  • tell everyone about the perfect King, Who is God and Love (see 1 Jn 4:16).

Are you willing to accept Jesus as your King? If so, kneel down before Him now and give Your most precious gifts to Him (see Mt 2:11). Give your whole life to King Jesus. Start talking to Jesus. Ask Him to show you Who He is. Begin to repent. Keep talking to Jesus until you can again honestly see or carry a crucifix not out of habit but out of love.