Sunday, November 27, 2016
Today is the first day of our new liturgical year, the first Sunday of Advent. A new color for the vestments and a new beginning. Both Catholic papers have editorials and articles to prepare our Christians for the new year. Catholics begin the new year with Advent, as world citizens, they will greet the new year on Jan 1st and again as Asians on Jan. 28th.Which one is of greatest importance is without doubt Jan. 28th. This year it will be a long holiday.
Each Diocesan Ordinary has a pastoral letter for the parishioners reminding them of what is necessary during this period of preparation. The love of God is the message and we are to respond. We need a new answer to the old message of evangelization: a more faithful response to the sacramental life of the Church.
The temptations of the world are many and great. Materialism and pleasure are always beckoning and the need to be vigilant. The Cardinal invites his diocese to remember the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives. Once we have deepened our faith life we go out to spread this love.
One of the editorials mentions a book by Cardinal Walter Kasper recently translated into Korean. The cardinal stresses we need to be the signs of hope and joy to the world. We have to remember what God has deemed important and participate in that work: for the good, justice, and truth.
Our society is thirsting for hope.The corruption and deceit have demoralized many and they are looking for hope. This way of life was shown to us by Jesus and his followers. We are to show the way to truth, justice, goodness, mercy, and hope.
In John's Gospel 13:35 we hear: love one another. He gave us the new commandment. By keeping that commandment people will know that we are disciples of Jesus. Pope Francis has asked us to be people of hope and be witnesses to the truth--prophets.
We need to be careful to not separate our religious life and our daily life. Our life is one, lived according to the Gospel. A norm that comes to us from the time of Jesus. We are Christians, honest citizens of the country. Let us be born anew during this Advent to be more merciful and hopeful messengers of the Gospel.