I. Start all over again! Just as our liturgical year culminates in the Feast of Christ the King, so Advent ushers in the beginning of another liturgical year. Every Advent, we celebrate Jesus coming as an infant long ago; His ongoing presence with us now, and His return in glory in the future. Advent calls us anew to figure out how to live in relation to a world that frequently wants little or nothing to do with getting ready to celebrate the Incarnation, Jesus becoming human. How does one live “in the world” without becoming absorbed by the world? Ours is the mission to prepare the Lord’s way. It will take an intentional decision to stay focused on what Advent is truly about. Will our preparation for Christmas simply plug into the secular “pagan winter festival” or truly prepare our hearts that Jesus may be born more deeply there? I draw your attention to opportunities listed in the letter you received before Thanksgiving. Plan ahead. Stay alert.
II. Sleepiness is Hard to Fight! Not only for children, but physical sleepiness can be tough for anyone who doesn’t take the time to get the rest needed. Have you ever been so sleepy that you simply could not keep your eyes open? It can even happen during a homily, God forbid! Our physical sleepiness can alert us to our spiritual sleepiness. Jesus admonishes us in the Gospel (Matthew 24:37–44) to “stay awake.” It is difficult to keep our eyes constantly focused on Christ’s comings. We get easily distracted by all the everyday demands on our time. Advent calls us to “stay awake,” to be alert to the Presence of God in our daily living.
III. Festival of Lessons and Carols is a wonderful opportunity to hear the Word of God, interspersed with hymns and choral music. Kentucky We College, under the direction of the capable Dr. Bradley Naylor, will present this service as part of our Arts at the Cathedral program. Please join us at 7:30 p.m., this Thursday and Friday, December 1st and 2nd, at St. Stephen Cathedral in the church. There is a small admission fee of $5.00 each for students and seniors, and $10.00 for adults.
IV. Provincial Priests’ Council will meet in Owensboro this year Tuesday & Wednesday. Bishops and priests from all the Dioceses of Tennessee and Kentucky share best practices, have a bishops’ panel for questions/concerns, as well as fraternity and prayer. Pray for our bishops and priests.
V. God and Stewardship: when we realize that everything is GIFT, we want to share our time, talent, and treasure. Whether you are single, parents of the young family, or grandparents, you need to take in consideration your personal situation, capabilities, and talents. Whatever we do, it should stem from an “attitude of gratitude.” If you have not returned your stewardship response form, please do so as soon as possible.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus, Alleluia, Amen!