November 29

FOCUS:    Like the centurion, let us place our trust in the Lord as we await the reign of God.


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Here is what St. Charles Borromeo, 17th century bishop of Milan, Italy, wrote concerning Advent:


“Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation; the great season of Advent.


“This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with great solemnity.  We too should observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery.  In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.


“Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery [the Incarnation], she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us.  This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries; his power has still to be communicated to us all.  We shall share his power, if, through holy faith and the sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us, and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ.


“The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again.  When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.”


Today is the first full day our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the Hanukkah festival.  It began last night at sundown.