This weekend brings us to the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new liturgical year: the Year of Grace 2016!
You will find the scripture readings and background material on them here. If you're shepherding young ones to Mass this weekend, look here for hints to help them prepare to hear the Word of the Lord.
We begin with Jeremiah who tells us "the days are coming" when the Lord's promise will be fulfilled. "In those days, in that time," there will come one from the House of David who will champion what is right and just that God's people might dwell secure... How do we not need to hear those words, that promise in our own times?
The gospel passage leads us into the third year of the lectionary, with gospel passages drawn primarily from Luke. In this text Jesus points to signs in the heavens and peoples in dismay as signals that "the days are coming." The passage ends with some sharp words of warning that we'd do well to heed during "the holidays!"
The second lesson is taken from Thessalonians and earnestly exhorts us to love one another that we might be strengthened and stand blameless before God. Again - good words for those about to enter a season of parties, excess and indulgence.
In light of the above we might ask ourselves, as St. Paul suggests, if we are "conducting ourselves in ways pleasing to God..."
Now, there's some food for thought for New Year's Resolution making - only 32 days from this coming Sunday!
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