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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

What is Advent?

Second Sunday of Advent

The Latin word “adventus” means “coming”. In Christian language refers to the coming of Jesus Christ. The liturgy of the Church gives the name of Advent to the four weeks preceding Christmas as it is an opportunity to prepare in the hope and for repentance for the coming of the Lord. Advent is the season of the liturgical cycle where we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. Christ’s coming to earth is such a huge event that God would prepare for centuries, which lasted four thousand years, filled with longing from all the holy souls of the Old Testament who kept asking for the Messiah the Savior. During Advent we renew the desire to receive Christ through prayer, sacrifice, generosity and love with those around us, i.e., we renew our lives trying to be better for Jesus. The church during the four weeks before Christmas, and especially on Sundays, dedicate the liturgy of the Mass to the contemplation of the first “arrival” of Christ to earth, his next triumphant “arrival” and the disposition that we must have to receive him. Purple color is used at this time to decorate the church, and is used in celebrations, which reminds us of the attitude of penance and sacrifice that all Christians must take to prepare for this important event.

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What can we do at home?

  • To create your own spiritual atmosphere of Advent, you can prepare at home with the children, the “Advent Wreath”.
  • Advent is a time of joyful waiting. We could put a sign saying, “Jesus, Son of God and our brother, we await your Birth”
  • Let everyone to start this time, after praying together and lighting a candle each Sunday in the Advent wreath, writing on a card what your goals are for this Advent. The church in prayer tells us that we should prepare through good works.

Triple Purpose

Reminisce: Celebrate and contemplate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The Lord has come and was born in Bethlehem. This was his coming in the flesh, full of humility and poverty. Coming like us, man among men. This was his first coming.

Living the present: It is to live in the present in our daily lives to the “presence of Christ” in us and, for us, in the world. Always living vigilant, walking the ways of the Lord, in justice and love.

Preparing for the future: This is to prepare for the Parousia or second coming of Jesus Christ in the “majesty of his glory.” Then he will come as Lord and Judge of all nations and will reward with heaven to those who have believe in Him; live as faithful children of the Father and good brothers of others. We hope his glorious coming will bring us salvation and eternal life without suffering.

In the Gospel, Jesus speaks repeatedly of the Parousia and tells us that no one knows the day or the hour when it will happen. For this reason, the Church invites us during Advent to prepare for this moment through review and projection:

Review: Taking advantage of this time to think about how good we have been so far and what we do to be better than before. It is important to take a break in life to reflect on our spiritual life and our relationship with God and our neighbor. Every day we can and must do better.

Projection: In Advent we must make a plan so that we are not only good in Advent but always. Analyze what has cost us more work and make resolutions to avoid falling back into the same thing. Something we should not forget Advent is comprised of the four weeks before Christmas.

Advent is a time of preparation, hope and repentance of our sins to the Lord’s arrival. In Advent we prepare for Christmas and the Second Coming of Christ to the world, when he returns as King of the Universe. It is a time where we can check how our spiritual life has been, our life in relationship with God and convert again. It is a time when we can make a life plan to improve as people. At this time it is easy to forget the true meaning of Advent. Strive to live this liturgical season with depth, and the Christian sense not to live the Nativity of the Lord occupied.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Gn 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98:1-4; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Lk 1:26-38
Tuesday: Is 40:1-11; Ps 96:1-3, 10ac, 11-13; Mt 18:12-14
Wednesday: Is 40:25-31; Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10; Mt 11:28-30
Thursday: Is 41:13-20; Ps 145:1, 9, 10-13ab; Mt 11:11-15
Friday: Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; Jdt 13:18bcde, 19: Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47, or any readings from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712
Saturday: Sir 48:1-4, 9-11; Ps 80:2ac, 3b, 15-16, 18-19; Mt 17:9a, 10-13
Sunday: Is 61:1-2a, 10-11; Lk 1:46-50, 53-54; 1 Thes 5:16-24; Jn 1:6-8, 19-28

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Second Sunday of Advent; Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Monday: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Tuesday: St. Juan Diego
Wednesday: International Human Rights Day
Thursday: St. Damasus I
Friday: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saturday: St. Lucy

Ecology Corner

Think Green when decorating this Christmas

  • Decorate with more energy efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) strings rather than the larger, old fashioned lights. And be sure to turn them on only when someone’s around to appreciate them.
  • Wrap gifts using old newspapers or paper bags.
  • Avoid foil and plastic-embossed paper because it uses more resources in its manufacturing process.
  • When you’re not enjoying a fire in your fireplace, close the flue (gas) and block the hearth to prevent heat loss.

Did You Know?

Santa Safety—Here are some simple guidelines for parents, guardians, and grandparents to employ to make sure that children have a safe and happy visit with Santa’s helper: When your child is with Santa’s helper, consider encouraging him or her to stand next to Santa or sit on the floor between his feet rather than sitting on his lap. Let your child know that it’s okay to tell Santa what he or she wants for Christmas but that he or she should also tell mom and dad because they are also Santa’s helpers… Secret surprises are special but no adult should ask a child to keep secrets from the child’s parents. Make sure that the Santa visit is out in the open—or make sure that parents, guardians, and grandparents are included in the interaction. For copy of the VIRTUS® article “Safety for Children and Santa Helpers,” email jvienna@laarchdiocese.org.