ADVENT: God Comes to Save Us
CHRIST the KING
NO RCIA Session on November 23!
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
"I myself will look after and tend my sheep. ...I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sic I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly. As for you, my sheep, says the Lord God, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. -cf. Ezekiel 34:11-17
"For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all." -cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Sessions & Rite in coming 2 weeks
- No RCIA on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23.
- The November 30 Session of RCIA will be Family Groups from 7:00-8:00 pm. On November 30 from 8:00-9:00 pm all RCIA candidates and families will prepare for the Rite by gathering in Church together and doing a quick "walk thru."
- All RCIA families and Candidates are asked and encouraged to take part in the two central activities of Advent at St. Monica: the Giving Tree and Forty Hours Adoration. Find out more at the November 30 RCIA Session - or ask your Sponsor to help you understand. Information on these two activities is available in the Bulletin and in other places.
PRACTICE THE FAITH: GRATITUDE & LIGHT
- In this Thanksgiving week, reflect on the many ways you are thankful for God's presence in your life and in the life of your family, whatever your "family" may be at this time.
- If you have children, even grown children who may no longer live at home, think about whether or not blessing your children would be a practice you could begin. See page 385 for a blessing parents may give to their children or grandchildren.
- Take part in the two main Advent activities of St. Monica Parish - the Giving Tree and the 40 Hours Devotion.
CONNECTIONS: What is "kingly"???
In the past week we reflected on the Foolish and Wise Virgins of Matthew 25:1-13. We shared a little about what it means to be "ready" for the "bridegroom" (Jesus) when he comes. We also spoke about the oil, which the foolish did not have enough of, as God's life within us: we are not able to give each other God's life, but we can share the light which is lit by that fragrant oil. To be ready to greet Jesus - now in our own hearts & lives, at the hour of our own death, and at the end of all time -- we must know and walk with Jesus, following Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our lives. In Eucharist, which literally means "Thanksgiving" - we thank God for the gift of salvation in Jesus, and we allow God to make us new in Jesus.
On Sunday, November 26, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. This is the final Sunday of the liturgical year; we begin a new liturgical year on the first Sunday of Advent, December 2.
As we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, we might remember the words we use at the baptism of every infant when they are anointed with Holy Christ, "God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, and given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life."
Take some time to reflect in the coming two weeks...
Advent comes in the darkest, shortest days of the year. What is the darkness in our own lives, our world? From what do we need to be freed?
How do we "make room" for God within us, in our homes, in our lives? How are "making room" and "being prepared" similar and/or different?
In Ezekiel 34 we hear about the "bad shepherds" of old -- the ones who did not "strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured." The ones who took the wool, drank the milk, ate the meat of the sheep - but then let them be scattered to far places where "no one looked after them or searched for them."
On the Solemnity of Christ the King we celebrate a great King who comes in the guise of a humble Shepherd - who seeks the lost from every place that is "cloudy and dark", who binds up the injured, who brings them all back. What kind of a KING is this?
What kind of kings are we? What kind of sheep are we_