SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Mary, Perfect Disciple
1st Sunday of Advent
RCIA SESSION, December 6
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made... -cf. Jeremiah 33:14-16
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars...Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkeness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you be surprise like a trap. -cf. Luke 21:25-36
- Saturday, December 1: Family Advent Retreat, 9:30 am-12:30 pm in Cafeteria
- Thursday, December 6: Usual Classes - St. Nicholas Day
- Thursday, December 13: Usual Classes
- Thursday, December 20: Family Small Groups - Posadas
GOALS THIS WEEK:
- To enter into Advent through the experience of Mary
- To know what the Church teaches about Mary
- To understand our vocation as disciples by reflecting on Mary, perfect disciple
- Read Chapter 12 of the USCCA
- Set aside time each day in Advent to practice the qualities of STILLNESS, EMPTYING, ATTENTIVENESS-ALERTNESS, WAITING, HOPE
"When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman." - Galatians 4:4
There is a saying that someone is "full of himself": it is not a compliment but rather refers to the fact that someone is overly conscious of his own greatness and talent.
Our attention in Advent is not on what we hope for ourselves - our attention is to be completely on the fullness of time. What is it that God is doing now? This question is not only at the center of our Advent every year - it is also to be at the center of our lives. We are called to be filled not with our own will, but with a question- and a response like Mary's.
Mary is the opposite of "full of herself." Mary's poverty - her emptiness - is the quality that quite literally leaves room inside of her for Jesus to come. If she were "full of herself" she would not be the Mother of God. We know none of the details, but we can conclude that Mary lived her whole life in a great love story with God. All we know of the story is her answer to God's great request: this young, poor girl answered "May it be done unto me according to your word." From the moment she uttered these words, the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, and inside of her, God himself grew. God came as one of us.
In the coming week we will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the time of Mary's appearance to the very humble Juan Diego in Mexico. Juan Diego is himself a saint - and because of his humility and the love of Mary, all of Mexico quickly and profoundly grasped the love of God in Christ Jesus. The love of God is active in Mary even today. During this Advent Season may we "empty ourselves" to receive God - just as Mary, the greatest of all disciples did in her life on earth.