In the season of Advent, larger than life personalities like Isaiah and John the Baptist certainly draw our attention to living a holy season but most importantly it is Our Mother who always plays the most important role in leading us to the heart of Jesus.
The Church begins the year with the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God (On the 1st of January, 2023 this solemnity falls on a Sunday), and ends the year with Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (In 2022, this day is a holy day of obligation) and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of Americas.
Of the three oracles of concerting a future king in the book of Isaiah (1st in 7th chapter & 2nd in 9th chapter) the third is presented to us in the first reading (10th chapter). The prophesy of the spirit of God with sevenfold gifts are associated with the advent of the Messiah. All four gospels mention the ministry of John of the Baptist - his message was clear - a call to repentance, thus return to the Lord.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church 712 teaches us that “the characteristics of the awaited Messiah begin to appear in the "Book of Emmanuel" ("Isaiah said this when he saw his glory," speaking of Christ), especially in the first two verses of Isaiah 11: There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
Teaching about John the Baptist, the Church clarifies, “John the Baptist is "more than a prophet.” In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light." In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . . . Behold, the Lamb of God.” (CCC 719)
As part of Christmas preparation, our participation in ‘doing good’ takes priority over the ‘glamor’ of the feast. I am grateful to Deacon Larry and all the members of the Sacramental Committee for recruiting new members for all ministries that are under this committee. A special thanks to all the new volunteers for these ministries. You are still welcome to be part of the ministries that are under this Committee: Baptismal, Marriage preparations, RCIA, Pre-Cana, Lenten and Advent Penance Services.
Fr. AntonyBACK TO LIST