Father Park Reflection

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From Bulletin, Sunday, December 1

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: 

“Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children.” -St. Clement of Alexandria

SCRIPTURE FOCUS: 

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year for the Church. The Advent season includes the four Sundays that precede Christmas. It is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. In this season, we recall two central elements of our faith: the final coming of the Lord in glory and the incarnation of the Lord in the birth of Jesus. Key themes of the Advent season are watchful waiting, preparation, and justice.

In this new liturgical year, the Gospel of Matthew will be the primary Gospel proclaimed (Lectionary Cycle A). In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus speak about the need for wakefulness, for watchful waiting, for the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew's Gospel is dated by most scholars after 70 A.D. Most believe that Matthew wrote for a primarily Jewish community, but one that was no longer centered on the Temple in Jerusalem. These were Jewish Christians trying to come to terms with their relationship to Judaism in a new situation: Judaism after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. There may have been Christians who believed that the events of the world around them gave evidence of the imminent return of the Lord in glory.

The passage from Matthew we read today is rather straightforward. No one knows the precise time of the coming of the Lord in glory, so watchful waiting and vigilance are required. The passage speaks to the uselessness of looking for signs; there will be none. As a thief sneaks in during the night, so will the Lord's coming in glory be.

The question for us as members of the Christian community, then, is how do we prepare for this? Today's passage speaks more about the manner of waiting, rather than the details of the preparation. Jesus compares the vigilance required of Christians to the vigilance of a homeowner who knows the plans of the thief. If one knows that the thief's action is imminent, one remains watchful. As Christians, we know that our Lord is coming even if we cannot know the precise timing. Jesus calls us to be watchful and vigilant, like the homeowner. If we become lax in our Christian living, we may be caught unprepared.

CATHOLIC WATCHMEN: 

What does it mean to be a Catholic man? How does a man protect, provide for, and lead within his parish and family? The mission of the Catholic Watchmen movement is to respond to Bishop Cozzens’ call for Catholic men to live up to their duty to be protectors, providers, and leaders of their families. Each monthly Catholic Watchmen meeting runs from 6:30pm– 8:30pm with food, social time, video presentation, discussion, and prayer.

All men ages 15 and older are welcome to be a part of the Catholic Watchmen group at Annunciation. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, December 4 from 6:30pm– 8:30pm in the Community Room downstairs in the Church.