1st Sunday of Advent (A)

November 27, 2022

INTRODUCTIONHOMILIESPAPAL HOMILIESCOMMENTARYECUMENICAL RESOURCESVIDEO ARCHIVEHOMILY STARTERSFAITH SHARINGCHILDREN ACTIVITIESMUSIC

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THE RELIGION TEACHER (4:30) – In this video you will learn the meaning of these symbols in the Advent wreath: – Circle – Evergreen Leaves – Candles – Four Candles – Three Purple Candles of Advent – One Rose (Pink) Candle of Advent

Related Video: The Meaning of the Advent Candles (and Wreath) ! A Catholic Mom’s Life

Advent Wreath

One of the most recognizable Catholic symbols of the Advent season is the Advent wreath.  It symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church. The concept of the Advent wreath originated in pre-Christian times when people would gather evergreens and light candles to ward off the darkness of winter and serve as a sign of hope that spring would come. By the 16th century, Catholics in Germany began using the wreath as a sign of Christ’s coming. From there the tradition slowly spread throughout the world as Germans immigrated to various countries.

Symbolism of the Wreath: The circular wreath represents the fact that God has no beginning and no end. The evergreen branches stand for everlasting life. Four candles—representing Christ as the light of the world—adorn the wreath. Traditionally, three of the candles are purple, a sign of penance. (Sometimes the three candles are blue.) These candles are lit on the first, second, and fourth weeks of Advent. On the third week a rose candle is lit. This week is known as “Gaudete” Sunday, Latin for “rejoice.” The rose candle symbolizes joy. (Make sure to check out the priest’s vestments at Mass on this Sunday. They might be rose to match the rose candle that you will be lighting.) In addition to these four candles, many people place a white candle in the center of their Advent wreath. This candle is called the Christ candle and is lit on Christmas Day to represent the birth of Christ. The candles should be lit each day of the appropriate week and for the subsequent weeks. For example, during the third week you will light two purple candles and the rose one.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

September 11

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BBC (4:51) – George Bush breaks down his very public initial reaction

When the bi-partisan 9/11 commission made their final report to Congress, they begin their report with these words. “September 11, was a day of unprecedented shock and suffering in the history of the United States. The nation was unprepared. …. The 9/11 attacks were a shock, but they should not have come as a surprise.” What follows is a long list of warning signs that were generally ignored by the Clinton and Bush administrations in their pursuit of other matters. Things have changed since then. Now the unofficial creed of the American Homeland war on terror is, “Be Vigilant, Be Watchful, and Be Prepared.” We must not be caught off-guard again.

There are Christians who approach the coming of Christ the way the government deals with the war on terror. They ring out a danger and they announce a warning. With concern, they say, “You’d better get ready, you’d better watch out, because before you know it Christ will come.”

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Mount St. Helens

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CBS SUNDAY MORNING (4:51) – Forty years ago, on May 18, 1980, a volcano in Washington state erupted, killing 57 and triggering a debris avalanche that destroyed hundreds of square miles of forest. Correspondent Luke Burbank talks with Steve Olson, author of “Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens,” about the largest volcanic event in U.S. history.

It’s also what we tell ourselves as the hurricane season approaches in the South and wild winter weather approaches in the North.. Local television stations compete with one another to be known as the storm center for their region: the greatest, most up-to-the-minute source of information, weather watches, emergency reports, and eye-in-the-sky overviews. The only problem with all this preparedness, with all this reliance upon emergency broadcast systems, is that once an ice storm, flood, hurricane or windstorm hits with its inevitable power outage, we’re out of the broadcast loop.  It’s completely predictable. Those in the middle of the worst weather, those with the most critical need to know, are those the information can’t reach. Yet whenever the power really does go out we continue to be surprised at the fact that we’re really cut off!  We’re unprepared for the isolation, the helplessness, the not-just-electrical-powerlessness of our situation.

Some emergencies, some crisis situations, truly spring upon us with little or no warning. When Mt. St. Helen’s exploded back in 1980, not one vulcanologist expected the monstrous, nuclear-type blast that flattened the mountainside, the landscape, and the entire ecosystem inside the blast-zone. The scientists were waiting for, even eagerly anticipating, an eruption. They anticipated something powerful and dangerous, but expected a plottable trajectory, a comprehensible movement and growth. When instead the mountain exploded with unimagined force of fire and rush of wind, no one was prepared for the devastation.

In today’s gospel text we hear Jesus’ own words about predictable surprises

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

Life Messages

1) We need to be alert and watchful while spiritually preparing for Christmas i) by beginning each day by praying for the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ rebirth in our lives; ii) by offering our daily work to God for His glory; iii) by practicing more self-control in resisting our evil habits and inclinations; iv) by seeking reconciliation daily with God, our families and our neighbors; v) and by asking God’s pardon and forgiveness as we extend our unconditional forgiveness to those who have hurt us and vi) by trying to see the face of Jesus in everyone we meet today and sharing with them Jesus’ sacrificial love, mercy, forgiveness, and selfless service.

2) We need to have an Advent project to become alert and watchful in the spirit of today’s Gospel.  Every morning when we get up, let us pray, “Lord, show me someone today with whom I may share your love, mercy and forgiveness.”  St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), once said, “Whatever you do in your family, for your children, for your husband, for your wife, you do for Jesus.”  Every night when we go to bed, let us ask ourselves, “Where have I found Christ today?”  The answer will be God’s Advent gift to us that day. By being alert and watchful, we’ll be getting an extra gift:  Christ himself.  There is a saying about being saved which goes back to St. Thomas Aquinas: “Without God, I can’t.  Without me, He won’t.”

2) We need to be wakeful and watchful: We are so future-oriented that we frequently forget the present entirely.  We spend too much time trying to protect ourselves against future misfortunes.  We save for a rainy day, to get married, to buy a home, to send the children to college, to retire in comfort, and to protect ourselves against future misfortunes with varieties of insurance.  But we need to be more spiritually wakeful to prepare for our eternal life.  Let us make this Advent season the time of such preparation.

Jokes of the Week

At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, places, or congregations. 

#1: Shirt over the wings: Grandma Martha was scolding her little grandson on his failure to go to church on a Sunday. “You will never get into Heaven the way you are going today,” she told him. “Well, Granny, the reason that I don’t go is I got a problem. I can’t for the life of me figure how I’m gonna get my shirt on over those wings I’ll have on my way to Heaven.” “Never mind about shirts,” said the grandma. “The question in your case is how are you gonna get your hat on over those horns which the bad boys get when they are taken to hell?”

 #2: End of the World News Reactions: God had finally had enough and decided to end the world. However, He wanted to warn the people. He decided to call the three most influential people of the world.  He therefore summoned Donald Trump, Xi Jinping (President of China), and Bill Gates into one room and told them of His plan and asked them to go out and inform the world. Trump immediately appeared on CNN news and told the U.S., “I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that God congratulated me for standing for religious and moral principles.  The bad news is that He is going to end the world and I won’t be able to win my second term and bring back full prosperity to our country.” Jiang Zemin went to the Communist network and told his people: “I have bad news and worse news.  The bad news is that, despite what we have taught all these years, there IS a God. The worse news is that He is upset.  He is about to end the world.” Bill Gates turned to the Internet and informed the world: “I have good news and better news…  The good news is that God thinks I am one of the three most influential people on earth… The better news is that Microsoft need not upgrade its WINDOWS anymore.

3) Search Google: One Sunday after Church, a mother was talking to her young daughter. She told her daughter that, according to the Bible, Jesus will return to earth someday. “When is he coming back?” the daughter asked. “I don’t know,” replied the mother. “Can’t you look it up on the Internet?” the little girl asked. [Jeff Totten, “The Lord’s Laughter,” Joyful Noiseletter (Jan. 2004), p. 2.]

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

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