[from Pflaum's The Gospel at Home]
There are no official classes for Faith Formation this week, but a new church year begins and it is time to prepare our hearts and minds for the Advent season as we wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas!
The emphasis of this weekend’s Gospel is on the second coming of Jesus. Matthew refers to three events that show we do not know when Jesus will return, but the message is clear: we are to be ready! The first reference Matthew makes is to Noah and the flood. People were occupied with their daily lives—eating, drinking, and marrying. In the second example, men were working in the field and women were grinding at the mill. Some were taken and some remained. In the final example, the master of the house could have prevented the robbery if only he had known when the thief would come. This Gospel is a stern caution for each of us to live in preparation for Jesus’ return.
Reflection for Families
There is more work for parents to do in a day than will ever get done. Some of us work outside our homes while some stay at home. In either case there are always bills to pay, laundry to wash, meals to prepare, errands to run and things to fix. Unless we deliberately set aside time to prepare ourselves and our families for Jesus’ return, we will continue with the busyness of everyday life like the people of Noah’s time and the workers in the field and at the mill. Especially at this time of year, it is easy to get caught up in the demands centered upon Jesus’ birth rather than his return.
Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
Make an Advent wreath this season with your family. You can make it from natural materials or construction paper, but basically you will need a green wreath (the green wreath represents God’s unending love). A green ribbon wrapped around a grapevine or straw or Styrofoam wreath works, too. Three purple candles represent forgiveness and one pink candle represents joy and is usually lit on the third week of Advent. Each week as you light a new candle, encourage each member of the family to tell one thing s/he will do during the week to prepare for Jesus’ return. (An accompanying prayer can be found in Family Prayer on this site.)
- If today were the last day of life on earth I would . . .
- In order to help my family see the light of Christ this Advent season, one distraction I plan to eliminate is . . .
- The joy I have in my heart this season is because . . .
Feast Day: November 22
During the month of November the church asks us to dedicate prayer especially for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Below is a short prayer to do just that.
Advent is the four weeks before Christmas. It is a time of joyful preparation for the celebration of Jesus' birth as our Savior. Many people like to use a special calendar to help them mark the days until Christmas. You can use this Web calendar to remind you to do something each day to share the meaning of the season.