November 30, 2023 | Source & Summit
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Deacon Ricardo Garcia lights a candle in the Advent wreath to mark the first Sunday of Advent at Our Lady of Grace Church in West Babylon, N.Y., Dec. 1, 2019. (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Source & Summit: First Sunday of Advent

(The faithful) taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the source and summit of the whole Christian life, offer the Divine Victim to God, and themselves along with it. 

-The Second Vatican Council fathers in Lumen Gentium, #11

Source & Summit is a feature of The Western Kentucky Catholic online, celebrating the National Eucharistic Revival: Year of Parish Revival. Intended to help Catholics of our parishes to probe the riches of our liturgical year and celebrate the liturgy well, the column will always start with the Bible readings for the Mass of the Day to help us reflect on, and help to “unpack” and expand our experiences at liturgy into the domestic church (the home) and the workplace.

Sunday reflections will be based on the Lord’s Day, the Liturgy, the Eucharist, and, occasionally, community.

 

Sunday, December 3, 2023:

Source & Summit: First Sunday of Advent

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120323.cfm

 

Isaiah 63:16-17, 19, 64:2-7

Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:33-37

 

Today we begin the Advent season, a season of preparation, of waiting, and of contemplation on God’s reign in our lives and world. Like the first reading, we too have wandered and allowed our hearts to become hard.

I once met a man going through a divorce and job loss at the same time. He was broken. He shared that he was considering taking his life. I prayed with him and invited him to go on retreat. He declined, but I persisted and three weeks later he was on retreat with our parish. He listened to the testimonies of our men and realized, we are all broken, and God is the great rebuilder. He invited Jesus to come into his life and over the next year, he experienced the resurrection in his life! In fact, he joined the Catholic Church and was baptized. He gave a testimony at all the Masses over the Easter season following his baptism. He had recently started a new job selling cardiovascular medical supplies, quite a good job actually. He hit the ambo with a model shaped like a heart that was hard. It made a clear thud sound and got people’s attention. He said, “this was my heart a little over a year ago. I was a mess. I was broken and I almost took my own life.” Then he had a soft, squishy heart and he held it up and squeezed it. “This is my heart today.” He expressed gratitude to God, to all the people he met over the past year and said, “if God can do this for me, he can do it for anyone.”

Advent is a busy season, but so is every season in our lives. To celebrate Advent this year, take a pause each morning for prayer and ask God to reveal where you have allowed your heart to be hardened. Be attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit in your reflection and ask God to help you be watchful and alert to how the Lord is calling you to live and love in all you do. Advent blessings to you and yours!

-Jeff Andrini

 

To learn more about the Diocese of Owensboro’s celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival, visit https://owensborodiocese.org/eucharistic-revival/.

 

Editor’s note: Need help or know someone who needs help? Call or text 988 to reach the 24/7 National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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