Gospel Reflection: First Sunday of Advent
Malvern Minute



                            NOVEMBER 29, 2015                            

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Show us, Lord, your love;

And grant us your salvation.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay,  perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.  People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.

Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.  For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.  Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The Gospel of the Lord



Today the Church begins her New Year of Grace, a New Liturgical Year with this Advent Season.  Sunday Mass, the weekly celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection is the foremost religious formational and educational setting for adult Catholics.  Advent focuses on two basic truths of our Faith dividing the four week season into two parts: 1) First Sunday of Advent until the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday; 2) Third Sunday of Advent including Christmas Eve.

This two-fold character of Advent provides a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, which remembers and celebrates the First Coming of the Son of God to the human community, and by this remembrance our consciousness and hearts are moved to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming in Glory.  For these two reasons, Advent is a period of gratitude and hope.

A central point of meditation that will assist us in our movement through Advent and Christmas will be: COME TO OUR HEARTS, LORD JESUS.

The Seasons of Advent and Christmas are designed to energize HOPE within our hearts and consequently in the way we live each day.  The love of God demonstrated so profoundly in the Son of God becoming man, and his promise to return in Glory, gives us the meaning of life, the reason for living, and reveals our final destiny, eternal life!

On Sundays, while the congregation sings a hymn that transitions us from the Liturgy of the Word (Sacred Readings) to the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), the altar is prepared and the gifts are brought forward.  The priest and deacon accept the offerings of the people, symbols of the faithful — their weekly joys and sufferings.  Then with prayers of thanksgiving the bread and wine are prepared. In the preparation the deacon or priest pours the wine and a little water into the chalice, saying quietly:

By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

The Truth of Faith that recognizes the unity of Christ as fully human and fully divine, the consequence of Christ’s Incarnation (becoming flesh), is accented in the Advent-Christmas Seasons.  At each and every celebration of Mass, the Mystery of Faith recalls that:

Jesus became one like us so that we can become one like Him;

            He descended to earth so that we can ascend to heaven;

            He became human so that we can be joined to His divinity.

This Advent – Christmas season provides through the Sacred Mass a fundamental way for us to allow Jesus to immerse Himself in us.  As in all celebrations of Mass, all we need do is avail ourselves and open our hearts: COME TO OUR HEARTS, LORD JESUS!


(Made of three purple and one rose colored candles, and a circle of branches)

Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:

            He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, He is the wisdom

            that teaches and guides us, He is the Savior of every nation.

Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath.  May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.  May he come quickly and not delay.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com


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