Monday Message, November 28, 2022
Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Denise Bartleson, director of religious education at Our Lady of Grace in Stratford. Details on arrangements can be found here. May the angels welcome her to paradise and may God bring consolation to her husband, children, and extended family. Please also keep the parish staff and community of Our Lady of Grace in your prayers.
We have a Parish Leader Check In tomorrow. Hot topics include a prize for those parishes that have cleaned up their data in LEAD. Also on the agenda:
- LEAD 6.4
- Advent Retreat/Workshop
- Loyola Press and LEAD
- Adult Confirmation in the Spring
- Catechetical Guidelines
Our friends at SpiritJuice have launched a new YouTube channel for the youngsters in our parish. Take a look.
NCCL is hosting an Online Mini-Conferences in February and May of 2023 will address the most important needs that surfaced in our surveys. The February 15-16, 2023 Mini-Conference will focus adult faith formation and parent & family faith formation. It is free to all catechetical leaders. Registration opens in December. By the way, if you have not yet become a member of NCCL, you should.
Lifelong Faith is offering 50 learning programs to help your church conduct family and intergenerational programming throughout the year. Available for free download.
Many of you subscribe to The Face of Prayer. If you do not, you should. Text pray to 55778. Our prayers have been sporadic lately. I blame the devil. We’re working on it.
Week one of Advent. How did that happen?
O God of patience, help us to wait eagerly for the coming of you in the flesh. We know that time is central to the Christian celebration of Advent. This season reminds us that the mystery of faith is not complete until Jesus’ Second Coming (the Parousia). We are in-between people, caught between the time of Resurrection-Ascension-Pentecost and the time of the Parousia. How do we deal with the issue of time?
Isaiah says that future security comes from following divine wisdom today; success will not be found in our own designs. This reading pictures a pilgrimage of nations. They are asking Yahweh to settle their disputes once and for all. The instruments of war will be refashioned into peacetime implements of agriculture — swords into plowshares. The renouncing of war and aggression will take time, but the believer knows that tomorrow must begin today.
The Romans must give daily witness to their faith. Paul says that it’s time to wake up, the dawn of salvation draws near. An urgency about time moves Paul to confront those living in darkness, challenging them to “put on the armor of light.” The question of the Parousia also comes up in the excerpt from Matthew’s gospel. Vigilance is demanded because the Second Coming has no “estimated time of arrival.” Lest anyone become indifferent about the need to prepare, three short parables are offered.
Noah’s contemporaries were so caught up in everyday affairs that they failed to take precautions against the flood. The two pairs of workers appear the same, but the Final Judgment will bring out such great differences that one will be chosen and the other left behind. The thief does not announce his arrival; in the same way the Parousia will be sudden and unexpected.
Sunday’s readings challenge us to adopt a timetable in which the seemingly distant Parousia impinges on the present moment. Be aware of responsibilities and see to their fulfillment! Attend to relationships, reach out to the needy, and make time for prayer. The Second Coming thus becomes an event that gives purpose and energy to our every breath and pulse now.