The Advent Veiling Mission 2015Happy Advent! Here we are, at the start of the Church year - a beautiful time of year to reflect on many things as we prepare for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.
Why an Advent Veiling Mission? Several reasons!First, the beginning of a new year is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the past year and what changes we may want to make for the next. The Church, in its wisdom, gives us Advent in order to reflect on this and make preparations. So many people want to jump straight into Christmas - why the hurry? Christmas will be here very soon - so let's prepare!
Second, I believe that the angels and saints are always trying to lead us to Christ. Sometimes it's a gentle nudge, but other times not so gentle! For me, veiling falls into the gentle nudge category. Six years ago I started thinking about veiling. I tried to make it go away by not thinking about it, but the thought kept returning - over and over! That is one of the ways you know it's a nudge from above - it doesn't change your world in a flash but it's there, constantly, until you give in to it. Are you perhaps being led to veiling?
Third, Advent can be a time of renewal. Think about those who lived before Christ was born - they had the hope of a savior who would deliver them from Hell. The anticipation they must have felt, and for those alive when Christ was born - what joy, what gratitude! We must put ourselves in their shoes and experience that same anticipation, joy and gratitude.
My hope is that throughout this Advent, we can all walk together toward the birth of our Savior and find or renew the reasons we veil in His presence.
Today's Reading - Sunday, November 29th, 2015 - First Sunday of AdventThe Coming of the Son of Man.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
Exhortation to Be Vigilant.
34 “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise
35 like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
36 Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
-Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
It's interesting that the Church year begins with a reading about the second coming of Christ. Let's think about that for a minute - are you ready? Are you perhaps a bit scared? Jesus tells us that "people will die of fright". But - remember Pope John Paul II's first words as Pope? "Be not afraid". Those are the same words the angel Gabriel said to Mary. Christians are a people of hope - and our hope is found in Christ.
But, how do we conquer that fear? By getting and remaining close to Christ and His mother, Mary. How long has it been since you went to confession? How is your prayer life? It's no secret that we live in troubling times. Why, then, wouldn't we strive to get closer to Christ? And why wouldn't we ask His mother to help us get there?
Let's also note that the second part of today's reading is an exhortation to be vigilant. What do we make of this? Jesus is telling us that we will all at one time get caught up in the things of this world. He tells us to to fight that tendency so that His second coming doesn't catch us by surprise. And then the exhortation to always pay attention to what's going on and - important - prepare through prayer to withstand the tribulations.
In conclusion, Christ is telling us what we really already know - there are many scary things going on in this world and Christ is our only salvation. We have to stay away from the temptations of this world and look to Him for help. What a perfect message for this Advent season!
Click to join us on the Advent Veiling Mission 2015!