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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Meditation: First Sunday of Advent

Our Advent began with Mass and a big brunch celebrated with our youngest and her family and my oldest brother and his wife. But before brunch the three oldest children (eight, five, and three) helped me cut greens for the advent wreath off our pine trees and red berries off the nandina bushes.

What fun it was to have them poking the greens into the pine cone wreath (a gift from my sister Laura many moons ago!) and then adding the berries. Since I didn't have any new advent candles we scoured the candle drawer for three already used purples and one pink.

I would have bought new candles had I been thinking about it, but using partially burnt candles makes me think of the continuity of life. Another Advent, but one filled with memories of all the preceding ones. I may buy new candles, but probably not because I believe in the habit of my parents, which was never throw anything away if you can use it up or re-purpose it.

My next project is bringing up the nativity and setting up the stable with the animals and the manger, but no one there yet -- just waiting as we are for the Holy Family to arrive. The shepherds will be in the green felt "fields" watching over their menagerie of sheep. Some of the sheep wandered over from my grandparents' nativity set, some from my parents' set, and some added by us. What a host of memories fill my mind as I set about this joyful work!

A few years ago when we were at the Shrine of the North American martyrs, I bought a statue of Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem with an obviously expectant Mary riding on the donkey. How fun it was to add that to our Advent table. Mary and Joseph waited expectantly too.

The holiday season is filled with memories and offers us the opportunity to create new ones. How I look forward to the next four weeks. Help me, Lord, to make a good Advent filled with thoughts of all your gifts to us. Help me to respond with gifts for You, especially the gift of gratitude!

How are you spending this first Sunday of Advent?


Mary's Child Mariann said...

Beautiful! You bring joy, and I thank you.

The Jesse tree is up and awaiting its first item to be hung with prayers and O Come O Come Emmanuel sung. I, too, have 3 old purple candles, but no pink--Walmart doesn't sell pink so I'll have to go elsewhere tomorrow. It's 8:30 and we'll be praying the family rosary then we've added Night Prayer for Advent.

Today at Holy Mass, Fr. Bede told us to remember that Jesus came to a stable. We are to repent with contrite hearts, turn from sin, and in humility, offer our stable of a soul to our Lord, knowing by His presence, our stablelike souls may become transformed into magnificent tabernacles. God bless you, your entire family, and Holy Mother Church this Advent season. Happy New Liturgical Year!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You are so sweet, Mariann. Thank you for your kind words. May we all meet Christ at Christmas with increased love! And happy new year to you and your family as well.