Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
We are now well into the Advent Season in preparation for the great Feast of Christmas! It is easy to be overcome by the Christmas mania that begins before Holloween anymore. Still, I encourage everyone to use this Advent season to prepare to receive the gifts that Christ has offered us through His visitation.
The first gift is obviously the gift of Himself. Christ, emptying Himself of His divinity, accepted human nature as a means to be close to us. So that, as St. Paul reminds up, we could have a high priest who understands our condition. Though He never sinned, Christ intimately understands what it means to be a man. Secondly, as St. Leo the Great teaches us, Christ has elevated it and saved it by accepting human nature. Christ, in taking on man, has offered us divinity. God became man so that man could be gods. Not in the sense that we are equal with God, but God gives us a share in His very life. He is elevating us even more.
This is quite the gift that God has given to us. So may we do well to prepare this Advent through our increased prayer, self-denial and sacrifices, and greater participation in parish life. Perhaps read the first chapters of the Gospel of St. Luke, meditating upon the Annunciation and the Nativity of the Lord.
Be sure to get to Mass on the Immaculate Conception (December 8 & a Holy Day of Obligation!)! And indeed, try to get to the annual Rorate Mass on December 10 at 6:45 a.m. at Old St. Mary’s. The Rorate Mass is a candlelit Mass that is offered in honor of the Blessed Virgin. It is a German custom and is known as mini-Christmas. Lastly, attend our Annual Musical Oratory of Advent, an evening of meditation on the Scriptures prophesying the coming of the Christ Child, with motets and hymns. The Musical Oratory of Advent is unique in that it is in Latin, German, and English, so this is one of the rare opportunities everyone can gather together. The Musical Oratory will be on December 14 at 6:30 at Old St. Mary’s.
Lastly, please continue praying for Vocations to the Oratory and the Carmelite Daughters of St. Elias. This season of generosity, starting first with our God’s generosity with us is the perfect time to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Each vocation must also make a generous commitment to faithfully serve God and the people entrusted to them.
Be assured of my prayers for you during this Advent Season, and please also pray for your current priests and sisters!