God desires constant, faithful vigilance Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015
First Sunday of Advent

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

I was driving on an interstate highway one day with my daughter. We were chatting away when she interrupted the conversation to point out a highway patrol car parked among some trees in the median a good distance ahead. "You see the cop up there, don't you?" she said, indicating I should probably slow down.

I started to touch the brakes but then smiled and cut my eyes at her. "Seriously?" I asked with a slight tone of sarcasm. She looked at me and burst into laughter, "Oh, right."

We both knew I've been driving "like a grandma" (slow) since I was 15. I'm not as attentive to watching for hidden patrol cars as she is. But I don't have to be, because I so rarely drive over the speed limit.

The fact is I've never believed I was a very good driver, so I've always been overly cautious behind the wheel. It's not so much that I'm conscientious about following the rules as it is that I'm extra-sensitive to risking the safety of everybody else on the road.

Too bad I'm not equally conscientious about how my attention to following the Father's commandments and Jesus' teachings affects everybody else around me. But that's what God desires -- of me and all of us.

The Scriptures for this first Sunday of Advent call us to constantly, faithfully follow God's ways, because in this way we help open the world to God's presence, both now and at the end of time.

Paul explained in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, "May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all . . . so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God."

When we do stand before God, it will be our own failure to be faithful that will "catch you by surprise like a trap," Jesus told his disciples.

God doesn't hide among the trees in the median waiting to catch us for breaking his commandments. Instead, he wants us to "be vigilant" ourselves, so that our own lives always enhance the life of the world so it is worthy of God's presence.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: November 2015 Print E-mail
November Universal Intention

Dialogue. That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.

November Evangelization Intention

Pastors. That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2015.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 14
Ascension Thursday
Saturday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Sunday, Nov. 1
All Saints
Tuesday, Dec.8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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