RCIA: Advent and Liturgical Year Nov 29 2016

Liturgical YearHAPPY NEW (LITURGICAL) YEAR!  We have entered into the beautiful Season of Advent when the church waits, longs, and prepares for the celebration of our God’s Incarnation, an event that changed the history of the world. Tonight, we talked about the liturgical year and how it does not follow the regular calendar. While everyone has begun Christmas shopping, decorating and consuming, the Church invites us into the quiet and hushed time of peaceful anticipation during Advent, the first season of our new year.

We have started a podcast to cast a wider net in the virtual community. Here is the link. Please share it with anyone who wants to learn more about the faith:http://tuesday-nights-at-rcia.madewithopinion.com/advent-and-the-liturgical-year-nov-29-2016/#

The Season of Advent  (Power Point Presentation)

Advent in Two Minutes  (Short Video)

Fr. Robert Barron on the Advent Revolution (Short Video)

Advent Day 9: Vigilance

owl-2Be watchful! I have told it all to you beforehand. . . “  Mark 13:23

My son-in-law is a police officer and one of the most vigilant persons I know. He constantly warns us to be observant of our surroundings, aware of anything out of place or not quite right. I think of him as the perpetual Advent owl, ready and poised for action should there be signs that consciousness is about to shift. While he is most often looking for possible danger, I also feel vigilant as I look for signals of transcendence in this complicated world. Knowing that God doesn’t communicate with me directly, using phone calls, text messages or posts on Facebook, I become watchful of creation and other people as messengers of meaning. When I am fully awake and observant, taking a break from looking at ubiquitous screens, I am able to see the natural streams of light  all around me. Then, no matter what happens, I am ready for action.

by DC

Advent Day 8: Lighting Candles

lighting-up-a-candle“He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?” Mark 4:21-23

There are a few people in my family who light candles every waking minute. They place the candles on the kitchen table, the coffee table and the nightstand. The candles burn to the root core of the stem and then they start a new one. There’s often a soothing smell with each new candle and sometimes it’s on Easter or Christmas or the day your car gets towed and repossessed. Jesus tells us to light our lamps and make visible the truth that lies beneath every event. The truth that God’s light will shine on forever.  The truth that every light that is joyous and lofty will most likely be followed by a dark and ominous light. We live in God’s light, a silent, holy light. Place it on the lampstand.

by Diego

Advent Day 7: Transfigured

transfiguration-modern “. . . He was transfigured before them, His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light. And behold Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.” Matthew 17-1-3

I can’t help but contrast, in this Advent season, this divine, powerful, glorious image of the transfigured Christ with the lowly, humble, vulnerable baby that entered the world in Bethlehem, low those 2016 years ago. No one really understood Christ’s divinity, what it meant to be the Son of God, until He was transfigured. It amazes me that Jesus performed His teaching and His miracles not in His divine form but in His human form. It wasn’t until the moment of the transfiguration that they saw him truly as the Son of God, the Son of Man. I wonder what it would have been like, back in the day, if Jesus had showed up as His divine self? Would we have believed then?

by Gracie

Advent Day 6: Spill the Light

cross-of-lightTherefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.  Matthew 10:26-28

Let’s be real. There is much darkness in the world. We can see it on the news, witness it in our daily lives and maybe be the victim of some dishonorable act. There will always be depravity in some form or another. Ahh, but then there is light, beautiful light that can actually dispel the darkness. The challenge is how do we stand firm in this light that Christ offers, leading others to experience forms of illumination in their lives. When we follow Jesus he is like our spiritual flashlight. No one wants to live in murkiness and fear. Jesus promises freedom from fear as people of light. Light is a powerful force; it helps us to truly see. Spill the light.

“Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on.” Cardinal John Henry Newman

by Cathy

Advent Day 5: Night Light

night-light“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. . .” Matthew 6:22-24

The black, dark night growing up in the thick of the redwood forest would scare me.  Once I went to bed I never got up during the night.  Laying in my bed before going to sleep, I would hold my hand in front of my face and it was hard to focus and see because it was so dark. But I got use to it and to the silence so it became familiar and peaceful. I remember my Mom always having night lights spread about the house, one in the kitchen, the bathroom and the hallway. They were tiny, guiding lights in case we got up in the middle of the night. My Mom knew I needed that small light. She gave me a sense of security and foundation when I was alone in the dark. She also gave me the light of Christ in so many ways–those tiny lights that guide us to God’s beauty and the light within us, the night light of the soul.  Let it shine!

by Liz

Advent Day 4: Shine Your Light

matthew-5-14-151I have always loved to sing, but I spent the first, formative years of my life hiding this love from everyone I knew. Of course, I’m sure my family was well aware of the private concerts I held for my stuffed animals or the audience in front of my mirror, since my room was not sound proof. However, I was afraid of sharing this passion for fear that people would laugh at me. I didn’t realize until high school that I was hiding my light “under a bushel basket.” This epiphany helped me to share my love of music with others and join the high school worship band at St. Edward. Today, as an adult, I have continued to shine my light by singing at our Sunday morning masses. I feel proud that I am able to answer God’s call to be “the light of the world” in this small but wonderful way.

by CMM

Advent Day 3: Light Has Arisen

cande-in-the-dark“. . .the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land  by death light has arisen.” Matthew 4:15-17

One night during Advent when my children were young, the power suddenly went off in our neighborhood. It was pouring rain and black clouds covered the moon and stars. The immediate silence and utter darkness that engulfed the house was disorienting. The three girls, paralyzed with fright, began to cry out “I can’t see! Where are  you?” I groped around for matches and a candle and slowly gathered them together into our family room. The light of that one candle was transforming. We could see the comfort of familiar surroundings and each other. I told them stories and soon they were giggling and calm. It was hours until the power was restored and so I made a nest of blankets and we had a slumber party. Later that night, while they slept beside me, I remembered this Scripture quote and the symbolism was vivid. The Light of Christ has arisen. No matter what, there was nothing to fear.

by DC