1st Sunday of Advent
Key words and phrases
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise
He shall do what is right and just in the land
The LORD our justice
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
For you are God my savior
Good and upright is the LORD
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all
Conduct yourselves to please God
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory
Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand
Be vigilant at all times
Friendship of the Lord
Way and Path of God
What do you see as God's promise?
How does the Church understand the End Times?
What is conduct pleasing to God?
What is our understanding of redemption?
How do last weeks readings mesh with this week?
In 1912 the “unsinkable” Titanic was launched in Liverpool, England. So haughty was the hoopla surrounding the Titanic’s safety and structural integrity that it caused great anxiety in the heart of one God-fearing woman, whose family was unexpectedly transferred onto the gigantic liner for its maiden voyage. The woman was the mother of seven-year-old Eva Hart, who recalls that her family was saved from tragedy because of Mrs. Hart’s spiritual convictions. Throughout the voyage, Mrs. Hart stayed awake at night waiting for disaster to strike, and thus was able to move her family to an upper deck almost immediately after the ship collided with an unseen iceberg. Because of her vigilance, the family did not join the 1,500 others who died that night.
After reading the shipbuilders’ claims, Mrs. Hart believed—and so stated—”This is flying in the face of God!”
Today in the Word, July, 1989, p. 8
The pictures of St. Thomas, though many of them were painted long after his death, are all obviously pictures of the same man. He rears himself defiantly, with the Napoleonic head and the dark bulk of body, in Raphael's "Dispute About the Sacrament." A portrait by Ghirlandajo emphasises a point which specially reveals what may be called the neglected Italian quality in the man. It also emphasizes points that are very important in the mystic and the philosopher. It is universally attested that Aquinas was what is commonly called an absent-minded man. That type has often been rendered in painting, humorous or serious; but almost always in one of two or three conventional ways. Sometimes the expression of the eyes is merely vacant, as it absent-mindedness did really mean a permanent absence of mind. Sometimes it is rendered more respectfully as a wistful expression, as of one yearning for something afar off, that he cannot see and can only faintly desire. Look at the eves in Ghirlandajo's portrait of St. Thomas; and you will see a sharp difference. While the eyes are indeed completely torn away from the immediate surroundings, so that the pot of flowers above the philosopher's head might fall on it without attracting his attention, they are not in the least wistful, let alone vacant. There is kindled in them a fire of instant inner excitement; they are vivid and very Italian eyes. The man is thinking about something; and something that has reached a crisis; not about nothing or about anything; or, what is almost worse, about everything. There must have been that smoldering vigilance in his eyes, the moment before he smote the table and startled the banquet hall of the King.