Sunday, December 9, Second Week in Advent
We all want to re-form ourselves from time to time.
New Years Resolutions are an example of our desire to change. Advent is also a time when we thing about reform its the beginning of a new Church year, and were coming upon the end of another calendar year.
We usually try to reform ourselves by using our own resources like a self-help program.
In a way, John the Baptist preached that kind of reform. He spoke forcefully about the need for reform and then people had to figure out how to do it.
But the reform Jesus talks about is never based on our own initiative or our own resources. We turn to Jesus not to our own self-help plan.
For starters, I need to turn to the Lord to find out what I should reform. My own list can be a fairly stock one, and fairly superficial: lose weight, stop smoking, cut down on my drinking, etc. Maybe I should do those things, but maybe that isnt where I should start.
What would happen if I turned to the Lord first and asked, Lord what is it you want me to change in my life? It might be something I havent thought about.
I dont know what the Lord would say, but I do know that I ought to give the Lord a chance to say it.
Advent isnt a self-help program. Its a time when we try to open ourselves more fully to the Lord.
Monday, December 10, Second Week in Advent
Although occasionally attributed to St. Bonacenture, the popular Christmas hymn, Adeste Fidelis (O, Come, All Ye Faithful) was actually written by a Catholic layman who lived in England.
John Francis Wade (c.1711-1780) was a musician who made his living copying and teaching music. At age 32, he composed the music and words for Adeste Fidelis.
When Catholics were persecuted during the Jacobean rebellion, Wade fled to France were he died at age 75.
This hymn was often used at Benediction and at Christmas time in France and England.