Advent and Christmas - Week 01

First Sunday of Advent

(From Conversation with God, Fernandez Carvajal)

"Almighty God, grant us the will to greet our Saviour with our good works when He comes, so that we may be worthy to be on His right hand and possess the kingdom of heaven." Everybody knows, even those of us who have lived most unadventurously, says Ronald Knox in a sermon on Advent, what it is to plod on for miles, it seems, eagerly straining your eyes towards the lights that, somehow, mean home. How difficult it is, when you are doing that to judge distances! In pitch darkness, it might be a couple of miles to your destination, it might be a few hundred yards. So it was, I think, with the Hebrew prophets, as they looked forward to the redemption of their people. They could not have told you, within a hundred years, within five hundred years, when it was the deliverance would come. They only knew that, some time, the stock of David would burgeon anew; some time, a key would be found to fit the door of their prison house; some time, the light that only showed, now, like a will-o'-the-wisp on the horizon would broaden out, at last, into the perfect day.

This attitude of expectation is one which the Church wants to encourage in us, her children, permanently. She sees it as an essential part of our Christian drill that we should still be looking forward; getting on for two thousand years, now, since the first Christmas Day came and went, and we must still be looking forward. So she encourages us, during Advent, to take the shepherd-folk for our guides, and imagine ourselves travelling with them, at dead of night, straining our eyes towards that chink of light which streams out, we know, from the cave at Bethlehem.

When the Messiah came, few really were expecting him. He came unto his own and his own received him not. Most men of that time had been blind to what was most essential in their lives and in the life of the world. Watch, therefore, Our Lord tells us in today's gospel. Wake from sleep, St Paul echoes. For we too can forget what is most fundamental in our existence, what our life here on earth is about.

The Church reminds us of this with a four-week period of preparation, so that we can get ourselves ready to celebrate Christmas once more. And at the same time so that, with the first coming to the world of God made Man, we may be heedful of those other ?advents' of God - first when we die, and then again at the end of time. The holy season is thus a time of preparation and of hope.

Come, 0 Lord, and do not delay. Let us make straight His path. The Lord is soon to arrive. If we are aware that our sight is clouded and that we don't see clearly the radiance emanating from Bethlehem, from the infant Jesus, it is time to rid ourselves of whatever impairs our vision. Now is the time for a special good examination of conscience and for a thorough interior purification which will befit us to receive and to welcome that expected guest who is God. It is the moment to take note of the things that separate us from Him, to loosen their hold and cast them from us. Our examination, then, must penetrate to the very roots of our actions and scrutinize deep down in our hearts the motives which inspire our actions.

MASS TIMES

Monday to Friday:
07h00

Saturday:
07h00
18h00 (Vigil Mass)

Sunday:
08h00
09h30
11h00

CONFESSIONS

Before every morning Mass.

Before and during Saturday evening and Sunday Masses.

For confession outside of these times, please contact Fr Joe or the Parish Office.