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First Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2004

• Scripture Readings: Isa. 2: 1-5 • Rom. 13: 11-14 • Matt 24:37-44

• Advent Homily: "The Meaning of Advent: Waiting for Jesus" by Rev. Jeffrey Lawrence | When I was a kid, my friends and I used to spend countless hours playing make believe. We played school; some kids were the teachers, others were the pupils. We played house. We played cowboys and Indians. Our bicycles and wagons became long freight trains and trucks and fancy cars. We played circus. We had pretend battles, and all of us were soldiers. Some kids even played church and Mass. ...

"The Helpful Tension of Advent Expectation" by Carl E. Olson | During Advent, guided by the liturgy, we look back to when God came into the world at the Incarnation. We also look forward in time to the Parousia, the final coming of the God-man when He will judge the living and the dead, and the world as we know it will pass away. And, in between these two cosmic events, we come face-to-face with ourselves, examining our hearts and preparing them for the celebration of the great feast of Christmas. ...

• Advent Reflection: "Mary’s Gift of Self Points the Way" by Carl E. Olson | An advent is a coming; it literally means "to come to." The season of Advent anticipates the coming–or comings–of the Son: in his Incarnation two thousand years ago, in his future return in glory, and in the mystery of the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist. ...

"Baking with Children", an excerpt from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz | Advent is a wonderful time to bake with children. It’s not just that it is fun—though it is fun. This baking picks up the themes of Advent: the preparing of gifts for others, to make them happy, and the waiting for Christmas before eating the good things we prepare. ...

"The Advent Wreath", an excerpt from Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in the Domestic Church by by Peter & Catherine Fournier | Every season of Advent is a new reminder of the promise of eternity. (CCC 1020 - 1029) Thus, Advent wreaths are made of evergreens to symbolize God's "everlastingness" and our immortality. (Purple is the liturgical color for Advent, green in the wreath symbolizes hope and new life.) Four candles--three purple or violet that represent penance, sorrow, and longing expectation and one rose or pink that represents the hope and coming joy--are used to represent the four weeks of Advent. ...

Selected Ignatius Press books and music for Advent and Christmas. Books for the entire family, including Fiona French's beautifully illustrated Bethlehem, books by theologian John Saward, and classic Catholic Christmas carols. ...

The page for the second week of Advent is here.

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