The Church gives us the Liturgical Calendar with various Liturgical Seasons to grow closer to God as a community of believers. The Advent Season has arrived this year again bringing us the readings of the season from November 29th up to Christmas Eve.  It’s the time of year that the Church gives all Christians to prepare ourselves, families and homes for the most joyous of events in history, the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Eve over 2000 years ago.  Our Advent may differ by traditions and circumstances, no doubt this 2020 Advent Season is full of personal and communal challenges perhaps like no other we have experienced. To be sure, God has a plan for us all during this Advent Season, an opportunity for us to grow closer to Him and to each other. As with all seasons in our Liturgical Calendar, this year’s Advent affords us a chance to take one or more steps to drawing closer to God and living a holier life!

Advent has been called and considered a “little Lent” as we are asked to increase our prayer time, fasting and alms giving. During the Advent Season, the Church has provided for us specific daily Gospel readings to reflect on, that help us to remain focused on the message of hope, peace, faith and joy that are embodied in our Savior’s birth.  The divine love, that is the gift of Christ our Savior.  We respond to the Word of God and are encouraged by our Church to prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming and birth of our Lord on Christmas Eve.  As we meditate on God’s unique message for each one of us in our Advent readings, may the Word of God assist us as we experience the uncertainties, challenges and losses we have lived and continue to live. Despite current temporal difficulties, let us rejoice in knowing, Emmanuel (God with us) is by our side to accompany us at all times! Let our hearts sing out, “O come, O come Emmanuel!” 

Dear Brother and sisters, as Advent prepares us to commemorate Jesus’ first coming let our time and energy be invested in preparing our hearts for the second coming of our Lord.  Given the social distancing guidelines, due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in our community, which limit our usual and customary faith centered church activities, we can still take steps to deepen our connection to our Lord and our communities as faithful practicing Catholics.  I invite you to utilize the many resources available to us that are provided by approved entities and share with others.  The following are a few possibilities:

  • In person participation of Mass daily if possible 
  • Online participation of Mass daily at your parish or L.A. Cathedral
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in person if possible or online
  • Daily reflection on the readings provided through USCCB or Laudate via smartphone or computer
  • Daily Rosary individually or family
  • Utilize Zoom to gather with small faith group to discuss and reflect on Advent readings 
  • Give to your church or community food pantries
  • Fast and offer prayers for those in need

Your Sister in Christ: Rosie Cardenas