From the Pastor
2nd Sunday of
Advent – B
December 10, 2017
Votive Masses are not usually celebrated in what we call ‘privileged
time‘ which is every
day in Advent and Christmastime, Lent and Eastertime, and on all Solemnities, Feasts
Memorials. However, there are exceptions to this rule, as when we want to honor our Blessed Mother, so the Roman Missal provides orations we call ‘Commons‘ or generic prayers, some of which highlight a certain theme. This weekend, between two Marian Feasts: the Immaculate Conception
and Our Lady of Guadalupe, I’ll reflect on the ‘Common‘ orations for use during Advent. For who else can better help us understand Advent: a time of joyful expectation, patient waiting, and hope-filled worry, than she who literally
lived these things for nine months: our Blessed Mother?
Collect – Common of the BVM in Advent
O God, who willed that at the message
of an Angel your Word should take flesh
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
grant that we, who pray to you
and believe her to be truly the Mother of God,
may be helped by her interceding before you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
TO BE PREGNANT WITH JESUS.
While only our Blessed Mother knows what it is like to literally carry the unborn Christ in her womb, Jesus said, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” [Luke 8:21]
So, to be ‘His Mother’ and bring Him to birth, we must do what all pregnant women should do: we must prepare
ourselves to receive Jesus, nurture Him, and enable Him to come to birth through us. We must better understand how God wants to work now in us – by knowing how He worked through others in the past. We presume our Blessed Mother
knew the Scriptures, and was attuned to how God worked in the past. With her family, she celebrated the Jewish rituals that made their faith come alive, so she was well prepared to act on her faith when God invited her to do so. We who wish to bring Christ to birth must strive to follow Our Lady’s
Prayer over the Offerings – BVM in Advent
Accept, O Lord, these offerings, and by your power change them into the Sacrament of salvation, in which, fulfilling the sacrifices of the Fathers, is offered the true Lamb, Jesus Christ your Son, born of the ever-Virgin Mary
in a way beyond all telling.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
WHO ARE ‘THE FATHERS?’
The Church uses the term ‘The Fathers’ to designate special groups of men who played key roles in the development of our Faith. The Council Fathers were the Bishops who had major input at the 1960’s Second Vatican Council. The Apostolic Fathers were Bishops who personally knew the Apostles. From AD 100 to 800, the Patristic Fathers
formed the Creed and other dogmas.
But the Fathers referenced in this oration are those who, in Old Testament times, entered into covenants with God that were sealed with a sacrifice. Among them are Father Abraham, as Jesus calls him in a parable, who was tested by being asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The more we understand the sacrifices the Fathers of old made, the more the greatest sacrifice of all: God’s sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son, means to us. We presume our Blessed Mother’s
knowledge of these sacrifices helped her accept her Son’s self-sacrifice as she stood beneath His Cross.
Prayer after Communion – BVM in Advent
May the mysteries we have received, O Lord
our God, always show forth your mercy in us,
that we, who commemorate in faith the Mother of your Son, may be saved by his Incarnation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
WILL YOU CELEBRATE THE INCARNATION?
While Christmas means many things, it is, above all, the mystery of the Incarnation: God became a man, born of a Virgin, who totally gave herself to the Lord to make God’s plan a reality. How can we give of ourselves so God’s plan to save the world through Christ becomes a greater reality through us?
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS