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2nd Week of Advent

December 10, 2017
By Our Lady of Sorrows School
Advent wreath with lit candles

During the blessing given to the mother and father of a newly baptized child at the end of the Baptismal Liturgy, we hear these words: These parents will be the first teachers of their children in the faith, may they be also the best of teachers by what they say and do. The Second Vatican Council called each home and family “the domestic church.” With this in mind, the season of Advent provides an excellent opportunity for parents to share their faith with the whole family.

 Buying (or making) an advent wreath and then setting up a prayer area in your home (somewhere near the living room or dining room, where it is clearly visible) to place it on is a good first step. Blessing the wreath, and then lighting the candle(s) before or after dinner each evening can become a way of keeping the focus of this Advent season on the coming of the Light of Christ.

Setting up a Jesse tree (especially a homemade one) can be another way of marking the days during Advent until we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Setting up Christmas lights inside or outside the home can be another way of remembering the light of Christ, especially as our days grow shorter and the nights grow longer.

Traditional Posadas or praying the rosary together are another way to fully prepare for the coming Christmas season. And of course, the best way to prepare is to attend Mass together during the season of Advent—it will help to prepare the whole family to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus at the beginning of the Christmas season.

In whatever ways your family prepares, remember that Jesus can stay at the center of our lives only with our attention and devotion to him—may we give God the best gift we can ever give him this Advent and Christmas season—our time.

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo De La Rosa III

Advent Reflection

December 03, 2017
By Our Lady of Sorrows School
Advent wreath with lit candles, licensed for reuse, Alex Harden, Flickr

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” - Mark 13:33-37, abridged

Advent is a time to wait in joyful expectation for the coming of the newborn Son. Think of the first few weeks of falling in love with someone: you can’t wait to see them again, you yearn for the intimacy of their presence, you imagine what your time together will be like. This is what the season of Advent brings to us: time to anticipate the birth of Jesus.

The gospel reading for the first Sunday of Advent emphasizes this theme of yearning and anticipation. We are reminded that Jesus can come at any moment, and we are commanded to be on the lookout for his appearance.

But this is not just a one time “end-of-the-world” moment that we’re asked to watch for. We are challenged to be watchful for the unexpected encounters where we catch a glimpse of the presence of Jesus: a kind word from a stranger, a smile just when we need one, a word of encouragement when life is difficult, a hug from a child, a kiss from a spouse—in all of these moments of our life we are asked to look beyond the surface to the gentle, watchful presence of the Word made flesh.

May our Advent preparations help us clearly see the presence of God all around us, and may the celebration of the Christmas season find us prepared in body, mind, soul and spirit for the celebration of the birth of the Son.

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo De La Rosa III

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