Monday, November 30, 2009

Fr. James Farfaglia: Penitential Season of Advent

"Advent is a penitential season because Christmas is about our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not about external celebrations. The external celebrations should be seen as a visible manifestation of our joy of being disciples of Jesus Christ."

"Advent, as a penitential season, prepares us to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's first coming as the incarnate God of love. As a penitential time, Advent helps us examine the condition of our soul."

"As disciples of the Lord we have so many ways to sleep. We can sleep by putting off the sacrament of Confession. We can sleep by not committing ourselves to a life of prayer. We can sleep by giving in to the temptations of secularism. We can sleep by "not being too hard on ourselves". We can sleep by being satisfied with being "good people" rather than striving for holiness. We can sleep by rationalizing our own sloth and laziness. We can sleep by dulling our conscience. Tepidity is a very dangerous obstacle to our eternal salvation. Advent is a time to wake up. "

"As we begin Advent, we must also remember that the celebration of Christmas does not begin until Christmas Eve and it does not end until the Epiphany. Christmas season does not begin on Thanksgiving Day and end on December 26th. It is the Church that directs that our celebration of Christmas, not the stores. We must not be caught up in the materialism around us.

"The manger should be set up in the home as of the first Sunday of Advent and according to our Catholic traditions, it should not be removed until February 2, which is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Christmas trees can be erected in the home according to the customs of each family. It is a good practice to keep the Christmas tree up until the Epiphany.

"Every nationality will have their own particular customs and traditions. However, we must keep in mind that Advent is Advent and that the Christmas Season does not liturgically begin until the Vigil Mass of Christmas on December 24 and it does not liturgically end until the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord."

For Father Farfaglia's excellent Advent homily in its entirety click here.

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests, and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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