Easter, Lent and Advent

Easter, Lent and Advent
Posted on 12/04/2017

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, which means we are starting a whole new Church year, and we are also starting to get ready for the feast of Christmas.  Jesus’ birth comes when the days are getting longer, promising the new life of spring.

From the beginning, the main Christian feast was Easter, and this is still true today.  And, every Sunday is called a “Little Easter.”  (That is why from early times, penitential actions – such as fasting and kneeling – were prohibited on Sundays, even during Lent.)

The death/resurrection of Jesus took place during the feast of Passover. But there is no way of knowing what time of the year Jesus was born.  In the fourth century, the feast of his birth began to be celebrated on December 25, apparently to replace the pagan feast of the “unconquered sun” (the time of year when the days started getting longer again).  The feast of the re-birth of the sun was replaced by the feast of the birth of the Light of the World.

Just as there was a time of preparation for Easter (Lent), there also developed a time of preparation for Christmas – Advent.  This season varied in length, but eventually the practice of beginning Advent on the fourth Sunday before Christmas became the norm.  
Bishop Kenneth Untener

FYI: December Mr. Luke Rosen and his chorus invites all to an Advent Taize Prayer reflection as an aid to our preparation for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.  If you have never experienced a Taize service, they are very calming, quieting, a perfect way to aid in our preparation for the birth of Christ Christmas Day.

The father of SJJ graduate Mark Dubielak and grandfather of SJJ grad Ben Dubielak passed to his loving Lord yesterday at 6:35 p.m.  He was 88 years-old, battling dementia.  Pray for his peaceful passing.  Mark shared his father was a “gentleman, a gentle man, and a great father.” Pray for Mark, Ben, and the Dubielak family. Mark is one of the founders of the SJJ and St. Ursula Labre program. Lord, Christ, I wish I could offer you a reasonably clean house to dwell in, but I can’t. I can say “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof..” but you are already there! Hope is like a green shoot in the midst of a disordered world.  And that hope comes from your Spirit.  I rest in that hope, Lord. (Fr. William Breault, S.J.)  St. John Berchmans, pray for us. St. Ignatius, pray for us.

There will be a memorial Mass at St. John’s Jesuit this Wednesday and 3:30 in the St. John Berchmans Chapel for beloved SJJ teacher Mrs. Elfriede Brunner.  All are welcome.  

Life Is Changed Not Ended
Our Christian belief does not view death as an ending. As we pray in the Mass for the Dead, “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.” Because life is changed, not ended, we continue to have communion with all those who have gone before us in death. Our prayers for those who have died and their prayers for us are the way we celebrate this relationship.

Let perpetual light shine upon them,
with your Saints forever, for you are merciful.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

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