The First Sunday of Advent 

The Introit (Psalm 24:1-3) To you have I lifted up my soul. In you, O God, I put my trust. Let me not be ashamed; neither let my enemies laugh at me, for none that wait on you shall be confounded. Show, O Lord, your ways to me, and teach my your paths. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world wiyout end. Amen.

The Collect Stir up Your power, we beseech You, O Lord, and come: that from the threatening dangers of our sins, we may deserve to be rescued by Your protection, and be saved by Your deliverance: Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world wiyout end.

The Gradual (Psalm 24 : 3, 4) All they that wait on You shall not be confounded, O Lord. ℣. Show, O Lord, Your ways to me: and teach me Your paths. Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 84:4.) Show us, O Lord, Your mercy; and grant us Your salvation. Alleluia.

The Epistle (Romans 13:11-14) Brethren, know the season; that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in immorality and impurities, not in contention and envy: but put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel (Luke 21:25-33) At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves; men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And He spoke to them in a similitude. See the fig tree, and all the trees: When they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away, till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The Offertory (Psalm 24 : 1 – 3) To You have I lifted up my soul: in You, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on You shall be confounded.

The Secret May these holy Mysteries, O Lord, cleanse us by their powerful efficacy, and enable us to come with greater purity to Him who is their foundation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son …

The Preface of Advent It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and places give thanks unto You, O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, through Christ our Lord. In Your mercy and fidelity You promised Him as Saviour to the lost race of men, to instruct the ignorant with His truth, justify the wicked with His holiness, and help the weak by His power. Now that the time draws nigh that He Whom You are to send should come, and the day of our liberation should dawn, with faith in Your promises, we rejoice with holy exultation. And therefore with the Angels and Archangels, with the Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing a hymn to Your glory, evermore saying: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus …

The Communion The Lord will give goodness: and our earth shall yield her fruit.

The Postcommunion May we receive Your mercy, O Lord, in the midst of Your temple: that we may with becoming honour prepare for the approaching solemnities of our redemption. Through our Lord Jesus Christ …

Fathers 

The world does not understand the faith. Let us take, as an example, Father’s Day. It began in the Catholic Church, when it was celebrated on St Joseph’s Day. In the USA the idea of a Father’s Day was independently begun as a way of selling more items. What should Catholics do? Observe the religious feast, of course, and remember the divine origin of fatherhood even as we fete our fathers. In other words, we should remake Father’s day as a Christian feast. And so it is in all things: God always comes first, and because He commands us to live in this world, and has given us parents, we cherish them.

God the Father came first. He created the world. He designed it, and gave it a pattern. That word “pattern” comes from the Latin pater, “father.” The father should be the pattern in the home, the guide, the one who points to God’s design. It is a responsibility as well as a privilege. Here is a true example: a man married a woman, they had children, and then she suffered a stroke while only middle-aged. He told his brother-in-law that from that moment he knew what God intended for him in this life: that he was to look after his wife and children. He carried out this duty unflinchingly, and with joy, despite however hard it was. He insisted that caring for his wife would be his duty, and that his children would not be burdened by this, but have careers, and have lives as normal as possible. He said that caring for his life was never the burden that other people thought it was. When people spoke to him about his lost opportunities, and lack of options, he answered: “They’ve got it all wrong. I had a purpose that gives my life meaning. I don’t have to worry about all the other stuff that people spend their lives pursuing. When looking after her became extremely physically demanding, because she couldn’t leave her bed, the family canvassed the possibility of placing her in a home. He asked if they could guarantee that she would not get bed sores. They could not. So he didn’t allow her into the home, because he was turning her every few hours so she would not get those sores. That is fatherhood.

And that is a model of how Christianity can remake our attitude to the world, the way we approach our duties. It is an example of how the way the world thinks about things (“he had no opportunity to lead his own life”) is so myopic. This was his life. He and his wife were one. Life is for spiritual achievement, and by being a good husband and father he lived a life which was fulfilling and discharged his duties to God.

One comment

  1. This duty as a father reminds me of another true story. There was a girl who grew up with a very abusive father both verbally and making lots of advances to her. when he got older and couldn’t manage around his own home yet, his daughter despite of all the abuse she received, looked after him. When I asked this person why she continue to do that, her response was, because he is my father.

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