Sunday, November 29, 2015

What is Advent - Prepare for the Coming of Jesus - #Free #Advent #Resources - SHARE

Latin ad-venio, to come to.
Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished
  • to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
  • thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
  • thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.

Duration and ritual

In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 

Historical origin

The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], it was celebrated throughout the whole Church,    Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time,. 

blank purple square
blank purple square
Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  More Advent resources are listed below.


Advent Resources

#BreakingNews #PopeFrancis has Arrived in the Central African Republic - Pray for his Safety...

Bangui welcomes Pope Francis - AFP Bangui welcomes Pope Francis - AFP 29/11/2015 10:23SHARE: (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis arrived in the Central African Republic on the morning of Sunday 29th of November on the last leg of his Apostolic journey to Africa, his 11th abroad. A journey which marks his first to this continent and which has taken him to Kenya and Uganda. In the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui, Pope Francis will accomplish an historic gesture by opening the Holy Door of the cathedral in this city nine days before the inauguration of the Jubilee of Mercy on the 8th of December in the Vatican. A symbolic gesture given the nation’s gruesome reality of ethnic and religious violence over the past two years which has pitted the majority Muslim Séléka forces against the majority Christian anti- Balaka. A situation which led to tens of thousands of people fleeing into neighbouring countries. And as brutal atrocities were reported on both sides the United Nations warned that there was high risk of the country descending into genocide.
For a long time the organizers of this visit of Pope Francis were uncertain whether they would have to cancel the visit to this nation for fear of lack of security. The nation gained independence from France in 1960 and is one of the poorest in the world. Among the other highlights of the visit of Pope Francis on Sunday in Bangui are a meeting with the local authorities and the diplomatic corps, a visit to the St Sauveur refugee camp, and a private encounter with the Bishops of the nation.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sunday Mass Online : 1st of Advent : Sunday November 29, 2015

First Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 3

Reading 1JER 33:14-16

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ;
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure;
this is what they shall call her:
“The LORD our justice.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

R. (1b) To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and for you I wait all the day.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Reading 21 THES 3:12—4:2

Brothers and sisters:
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love
for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God
and as you are conducting yourselves
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

AlleluiaPS 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us, Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:25-28,v 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.”

Saint November 29 : St. Saturninus : Missionary and Martyr

St. Saturninus
Feast: November 29

Feast Day:November 29
Born:third century, Patras, Greece
Died:257, Toulouse, France
Canonized:Basilique St-Sernin, Toulouse
Patron of:Toulouse, France

St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.
source EWTN

#PopeFrancis "Jesus has touched your hearts, called you by name, and asked you to follow him ...." FULL TEXT - Video in #Uganda

Pope Francis during a meeting with priests, religious, and seminarians in Kampala's cathedral, Uganda - ANSA
Pope Francis during a meeting with priests, religious, and seminarians in Kampala's cathedral, Uganda - ANSA
28/11/2015 17:

(Vatican Radio) The final event on Pope Francis’ agenda on Saturday was a meeting with priest, religious, and seminarians in Kampala cathedral. Putting aside his prepared text, Pope Francis spoke off the cuff in his native Spanish, highlighting three essential points for the clergy - memory, fidelity, prayer - and seeking to strengthen the Christian faith in their country.
Listen to Devin Watkins' report:
Firstly, he told them to keep alive the testimony of the Ugandan martyrs, not allowing themselves to become too comfortable with superficial memories of the past, but continuing to be authentic witnesses to the faith today.
Secondly, the Pope urged the priests and religious to remain faithful, following the way of holiness of the martyrs and being good missionaries. Noting that there are dioceses in the country that have many clergy and others that have very few, the Pope said fidelity means having a diocesan bishop who is generous in offering priests to a neighbouring diocese that is in need.
Thirdly, Pope Francis stressed that fidelity is only possible through prayer. If a priest or religious stops praying because he or she has too much work, he said, then they begin to lose their memory and their fidelity. Prayer means constantly confessing our sins, the Pope concluded, not leading a double life but asking for forgiveness and for the strength to keep the missionary spirit alive.
Below, please find Pope Francis’ prepared remarks for the encounter:
Meeting with Priests, Religious and Seminarians
Kampala, St Mary’s Cathedral
Saturday, 28 November 2015
Dear Brother Priests, Religious and Seminarians,
I am happy to be with you, and I thank you for your cordial welcome.  I especially thank the speakers for bearing witness to your hopes and concerns, and, above all, the joy which inspires you in your service to God’s people in Uganda.
I am pleased, too, that our meeting takes place on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent, a season which invites us to look to new beginnings.  This Advent we are also preparing to cross the threshold of the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy which I have called for the whole Church. 
As we approach the Jubilee of Mercy, I would ask you two questions.  First: who are you, as priests or future priests, and as consecrated persons?  In one sense, the answer is an easy one: surely you are men and women whose lives have been shaped by a “personal encounter with Jesus Christ” (Evangelii Gaudium, 3).  Jesus has touched your hearts, called you by name, and asked you to follow him with an undivided heart in the service of his holy people.
The Church in Uganda has been blessed, in its short yet venerable history, with a great cloud of witnesses – lay faithful, catechists, priests and religious – who forsook everything for the love of Jesus: homes, families, and, in the case of the martyrs, their own lives.  In your own lives, whether in the priestly ministry or in your religious consecration, you are called to carry on this great legacy, above all with quiet acts of humble service.  Jesus wants to use you to touch the hearts of yet other people: he wants to use your mouths to proclaim his saving word, your arms to embrace the poor whom he loves, your hands to build up communities of authentic missionary disciples.  May we never forget that our “yes” to Jesus is a “yes” to his people.  Our doors, the doors of our churches, but above all the doors of our hearts, must constantly be open to God’s people, our people.  For that is who we are.
A second question I would ask you tonight is: What more are you called to do in living your specific vocation?  Because there is always more that we can do, another mile to be walked on our journey.
God’s people, indeed all people, yearn for new life, forgiveness and peace.  Sadly, there are many troubling situations in our world for which we must pray, beginning with realities closest to us.  I pray especially for the beloved people of Burundi, that the Lord may awaken in their leaders and in society as a whole a commitment to dialogue and cooperation, reconciliation and peace.  If we are to accompany those who suffer, then like the light passing through the stained glass windows of this Cathedral, we must let God’s power and healing pass through us.  We must first let the waves of his mercy flow over us, purify us, and refresh us, so that we can bring that mercy to others, especially those on the peripheries.
All of us know well how difficult this can be.  There is so much work to be done.  At the same time, modern life also offers so many distractions which can dull our consciences, dissipate our zeal, and even lure us into that “spiritual worldliness” which eats away at the foundations of the Christian life.  The work of conversion – that conversion which is the heart of the Gospel of Jesus (cf. Mk 1:15) – must be carried out each day, in the battle to recognize and overcome those habits and ways of thinking which can fuel spiritual complacency.  We need to examine our consciences, as individuals and as communities.
As I mentioned, we are entering the season of Advent, which is a time of new beginnings.  In the Church we like to say that Africa is the continent of hope, and with good reason.  The Church in these lands is blessed with an abundant harvest of religious vocations.  This evening I would offer a special word of encouragement to the young seminarians and religious present.  The Lord’s call is a source of joy and a summons to serve.  Jesus tells us that “it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45).  May the fire of the Holy Spirit purify your hearts, so that you can be joyful and convincing witnesses to the hope of the Gospel.  You have a beautiful word to speak!  May you always speak it, above all, by the integrity and conviction of your lives.
Dear brothers and sisters, my visit to Uganda is brief, and today was a very long day!  But I consider our meeting tonight to be the crowning of this beautiful day when I was able to go as a pilgrim to the Shrine of the Uganda Martyrs at Namugongo, and to meet with the many young people who are the future of the nation and our Church.  Truly I leave Africa with great hope in the harvest of grace which God is preparing in your midst!  I ask all of you to pray for an outpouring of apostolic zeal, for joyful perseverance in the calling you have received, and, above all, for the gift of a pure heart ever open to the needs of all our brothers and sisters.  In this way the Church in Uganda will truly prove worthy of its glorious heritage and face the challenges of the future with sure hope in Christ’s promises.  I will remember all of you in my prayers, and I ask you, please, to pray for me!