The Roman Catholic Community of Saint Thomas Aquinas & Holy Family. Two churches - Joining as ONE Family - Together in Love.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The 4th Sunday of Advent

Roráte caéli désuper, et núbes plúant jústum: aperiátur térra, et gérminet. Salvatórem. Psalm ~ Caéli enárrant glóriam Déi: et ópera mánuum éjus annúntiat firmamentum. Gloria Pátri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sáncto. Sicut érat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saécula saeculórum. Amen.

Drop down dew, you heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior. (Isaiah 45:8)

Psalm ~ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.

Alas, this is the last Sunday our guest will be among us. He returns from whence he came to spend Christmastide with friends and family. Certainly we are happy for him and wish him God’s speed. I’m sure he won’t mind if we listen in on his thoughts this one last time on this last Sunday of Advent.

“I suppose they will sing Christmas Carols next week. I’ve been hearing them on the radio and in stores for a month! Today another Introit, they must have a reason. Well, Advent is one of the Church’s liturgical seasons and they are not making this stuff up. It is in the missal, I checked. The music has been different. Ok, it has been interesting. There must be a reason the Church wants us to begin Mass this way?”

“Today the music is almost gentle. The image is lovely, God’s justice descending like a gentle rain. How typical of myself to open up an umbrella at the first hint of rain. Can’t be too careful, you know. I suppose that’s why, ‘bring forth a Savior’, is placed in an undefined future.”

“Clearly, I’m to prepare not just for this Christmas but for the Second Coming as well. Well, one thing is for sure, I will remember ‘Rorate caeli’ every time I get caught in the rain.”

Monday, December 12, 2005

Gaudete Sunday

Gaudéte in Dómino semper: íterum díco, gaudéte: modéstia véstra nóta sit ómnibus hominibus: Dóminus prope est Nihil sollíciti sítis: sed in ómni oratióne petitiónes véstrae innotéscant apud Déum. Psalm ~ Benedixisti, Dómine, térram túam: avertisti captivitátem Jácob. Gloria Pátri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sáncto. Sicut érat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saécula saeculórum. Amen.

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men: for the Lord is near. Have no anxiety, but in everything, by prayer let your petitions be made known to God. (Philippians 4: 4, 5)

Psalm ~ You have favored, O Lord, Your land; You have restored the wellbeing of Jacob. (Psalm 84:2)

Lets not forget, as we scurry in from the cold, that we have a visitor. Our imaginary parishioner is among us stamping the cold from his feet as vigorously as any of us. What might his thoughts be on this Gaudete Sunday?

“At least I spared a few thoughts for Advent this week. Of course, the cold weather helped. A subtle reminder from God that the birth of his Son is nigh! Ah, they light the pink candle today. That’s right, it is Gaudete Sunday. Now I know where that name comes from, it is the first word of the Introit. ‘Rejoice, the Lord is near’.”

“Odd though, the music is very reserved almost somber. It’s as if they are saying, ‘He’s not here yet’. True, Christmas is still two weeks away but I think they refer to more than the Liturgical calendar. I believe they mean us to think on the Second Coming.”

“It’s obvious that the Kingdom has not yet come. Jesus himself told us that, ‘His kingdom was not of this world.’ (I skip seasons, that’s Lent.) Still, there must be a way for us to break through to God’s Kingdom? Ah, sitting here in church it seems clear. Prayer and the sacraments can help even a sinner like me catch a glimpse of the Kingdom!”

“I’ll do my bit then to hasten the coming of the Kingdom. I will pray and receive the sacrament. I’ll even sing. Aquinas told us the ‘He who sings prays twice.’ We all like a bargain.”

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Second Sunday of Advent


Populus Sion, ecce Dóminus véniet ad salvándas géntes: et audítam fáciet Dóminus glóriam vócis súae, in laetítia córdis vestri. Psalm ~ Qui régis Israel, inténde: qui dedúcis velut óvem Jóseph. Glória Pátri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sáncto, Sicut érat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saécula saeculórum. Amen.

People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart. (Isaiah 30:19, 30)
Ps. O Shepherd of Israel, hearken, O Guide of the flock of Joseph! (Psalm 79:2)

Let us resume our privileged position as unseen observer of our fellow parishioner’s thoughts on this Second Sunday of Advent.

“Oh that’s right, I had forgotten about Advent immediately after Mass last Sunday. So much for good intentions, I’ve done my fair share to pave that particular road! Ah, another strange melody sung in Latin. Why do they sing that instead of a hymn? Maybe the Church thinks that the message is important?

“What are they singing? ‘People of Zion’, that would be us I guess. It sounds like a proclamation. The music is certainly straight forward almost emphatic. ‘The Lord will come to save all nations’, sounds like an unfulfilled promise. It certainly doesn’t describe the world I see around me!

“Wait, I’m being stubborn and childish. What’s wrong with the world has very little to do with God. We’ve managed this all by ourselves. Indeed, sitting here in church I can almost grasp a different reality or at least the hope of one.

“God’s power in the world is manifest in truth and love. I’m just too stubborn to be open to them most of the time. Perhaps that is part of this Advent message?

Come Lord Jesus! Enter our hearts this Advent!