Newsletter — First Sunday of Advent B – 3rd December 2023

Click here for our latest newsletter

Our First Reading is Isaiah 63:16-17,19;64:2-7: Isaiah prays for the Lord’s forgiveness of the people. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 80: A prayer for the Lord’s protection. Our Second Reading is taken from 1 Corinthians 1:3-9: Paul gives thanks to God for the faith of the Corinthians. This Sunday’s Gospel Reading is Mark 13:33-37: Jesus warns his disciples to be watchful so that they will be ready when the Son of Man comes.
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, the 1st Sunday of Advent is already here and the Christmas season is fast approaching. Advent is a unique and a grace filled time, don’t let it slip by without receiving the graces of the season.
Advent is a season of HOPE. Probably the greatest spiritual illnesses in our western society today is despair. Its icy hands knock on the door of all of our hearts. Advent offers the antidote to despair. A well lived Advent season offers us a hope that nothing can shake, a hope that is stronger than anything life can throw at us. An Anchor in times of storm.
What is real Hope? First of all it is not Optimism. Mother Teresa was once asked if she was an optimist. She said; “I am not an optimist, I hope!”. Optimism and pessimism are mostly a question of individual temperament, being upbeat. Optimism is a natural disposition one can have. Hope is a gift from above, the power of God to allow you face any obstacle, even defeat and know deep down, with a deep inner
peace, its all going to be ok!
Lighting the Advent candle is a beautiful tradition and more than just lighting a decorative candle, its lighting a fire of Hope that nobody or nothing can take away.

“Jesus taught his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope.” Luke 18:1

Symbolism of the Advent candle

1st Candle (Purple), is the candle of Hope, sometimes called the Prophecy Candle.
2nd Candle (Purple), is the candle of Faith, sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle.
3rd Candle (Rose), is the candle of Joy (Gaudete Sunday), called the Shepherd’s Candle.
4th Candle (Purple), is the candle of Peace, sometimes called the Angel’s Candle.
The White candle placed in the middle of the wreath and lit on Christmas Eve, is called the Christ candle and represents the presence of Christ in our midst.

Prayer for Advent

“Lord Jesus, You alone can satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart. Through baptism, You have claimed us for Yourself, but too often we live as if we belong only to ourselves. May this season of Advent remind us that You have blessed us, so that, in gratitude, we may live the gospel more faithfully. As we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Your Incarnation, may we attend to the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters, the body of Christ in our midst. Amen.

Click here for our latest newsletter