Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

Yes!  It is the "New Year" liturgically speaking!  Today is the First Sunday of Advent.  Like the Last Sunday After Pentecost (Traditional lectionary) last week, we are again drawn to think upon the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 

Our priest reminds us today that Advent is NOT the season of celebration - Christmas is!  During Advent we are to PREPARE for the coming of our Lord and Savior.  While the culmination of Advent is the Christ Mass - Advent is not a celebratory season, it is more a time of "cleaning house" that is, our heart.  Preparing the way for the Lord to be in our hearts, our minds and our soul.   Let our celebration begin and be properly done starting with the Christ Mass (first Mass of Christmas) and continue through at least Epiphany, if not all the way to Candlemas. 

Traditional Lectionary:
Epistle:  Romans 13:11-14
Gospel:  Luke 21:25-33

On this First Sunday of Advent the readings remind us first... "our salvation is near and that we are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurity, not in contention and envy, but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." (Epistle)  And then (in the Gospel) we are again reminded of His Second Coming - of the signs in the sun and the moon and the stars, and as when the fig tree is shooting forth its fruit, you know that summer is near - so also shall be the signs of His coming again in the clouds with great majesty.  When these things are happening - do not be dismayed, but lift up your head because your redemption is at hand! 

Fondly, our priest remembered a hymn sung in his native Australia during Advent, he does not recall hearing it since he has been in the United States.  I hope we can bring some joy to him by sharing this hymn next Sunday at Mass:


1. O Jesus Christ, remember,
when thou shalt come again,
upon the clouds of heaven,
with all thy shining train;
when every eye shall see thee
in deity revealed,
who now upon this altar
in silence art concealed.

2. Remember then, O Saviour,
I supplicate of thee,
that here I bowed before thee
upon my bended knee;
that here I owned thy presence,
and did not thee deny,
and glorified thy greatness
though hid from human eye.

3. Accept, divine Redeemer,
the homage of my praise;
be thou the light and honour
and glory of my days.
Be thou my consolation
when death is drawing nigh:
be thou my only treasure
through all eternity.

Upon researching this hymn I found a couple things - 1) This hymn was written by Edward Caswell in 1878, a Catholic but 2) hearing the tune, I recalled it from my Lutheran upbringing - and always thought that "The Church's One Foundation" was a tune by Martin Luther - and it is not.  The tune, also known as "Aurelia," was written by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, an Anglican - and "The Church's One Foundation" is a hymn also written by an Anglican, Samuel John Stone.  It was commonplace to use the melody from another hymn and put your own words to it - and that is what Caswell did - and his hymn is truly wonderful.

Fr. Robinson also speculated in today's sermon... What if King Henry VIII, who was once named "Defender of the Faith" by the pope for his defense of the Catholic Church against the heresies of Martin Luther, had not allowed lust and dynasty distract him from the One, True Faith?  Imagine a world where the empire of Great Britain was all Catholic!  The United States, Canada, Australia, to name but a few of Britain's colonies - could all have been great Catholic states! 

And remember!

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