THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT




REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR

Advent marks the four-week celebration before Christmas. It is traditionally a season of penance and preparation before Christmas. The official church Liturgical color is purple, a symbol of penitence. In today’s gospel, John the Baptist sends emissaries to Jesus Christ in order to make it sure if He is really the One that they are waiting, the Messiah.  Jesus answers the messengers, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead raised and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” In other words, the greatest message of Jesus is that of healing. He healed the sick and the dying without medicine and takes no charge for His service – no doctor’s fee. He never studied psychiatry and yet he has healed more broken hearts than the doctors far and near. The healing would be seen also as signs of an inner spiritual blessings. Long ago, a rabbi was said to have knocked at heaven’s door and confronted the Messiah. Why are you taking so long? Don’t you know humankind is waiting for you? “It is not for me they are expecting,” answered the Messiah. “Some are waiting for wealth and riches; others for power to lord over others or for a kingdom of their own fantasies. No, they are waiting for the realization of their own foolish dreams, not the dreams of the Messiah for them.” The rabbi came back to earth, gathered his disciples and forbade them to despair: “Let us begin to dream God’s dream for us – Our true waiting begins.”

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT





REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR

We are in the second Sunday of Advent. Many of us are already engrossed in the preparation for Christmas. The trouble, it seems is that our modern society has commercialized Christmas so that we have mistaken icings from the cake, the accidents from the substance. Somebody once made this strange proposal: “Christmas should be abolished because it only makes the poor suffer more. Hence, we need to constantly remind ourselves to “keep Christ on Christmas”. Let us focus more on internal preparation and be ready to share some of our blessings this Christmas that would cheer and somehow alleviate the harsh conditions of our less fortunate brothers and sisters. That is why, in today’s gospel, it instructs us to prepare in the true spirit that is, inwardly by which John the Baptist beautifully announces: “Reform lives, the kingdom of God is at hand.” The Christmas carol, Joy to the World puts it beautifully: “Let every heart prepare Him room.” This is a big event, the coming of God’s Kingdom. Indeed, it is the big event of world history. But John does not worry about his outfit or what he will eat. He simply gets ready for the coming of the Lord. And as God’s messenger, he warns the rest of the people to get ready too. Reform! Repent! Reform your lives! And turn away from sin. Say, ‘We are sorry”,  and walk with it. Do it ! and do it now! Tomorrow may be too late!

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT



REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR
First Sunday of Advent is the beginning of the new Liturgical year of the church. The next four weeks are filled with anticipation. What are we anticipating? For many the answer could be a party, Christmas bonus or vacation leave and a gift. All these anticipations are not bad but good. Christ was already born two thousand years ago and had put at our disposal all that we need to save ourselves. What is needed now is our personal response. We have to do our part. One of our responses could be a good preparation of ourselves by which the next four weeks are about preparing a place in our hearts for the one who will prepare a place for us with the Father in heaven. The best preparation that we should do with our lives during this season and the days to come throughout the year is what Mother Theresa of Calcutta had said, “Give until it hurts”. We are good people. We do give. Sometimes we give a lot to show that we are generous and charitable. We even announce it and publish it but we rarely give until it hurts. If we want to be really good, we have to learn to really give. We cannot just give what is extra. We have to give up something we think is important to us and yet others need it all the more.