This Sunday the Church invites us to embark on a great journey – the journey of the Liturgical Year.
When we start the liturgical year, we are setting out to follow in the footsteps of Christ. In the course of the year, the whole of his life and teaching will pass before us. We will re-visit all the mysteries of his time on earth: from his expectation (that is what Advent is about), to his birth, his life, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and his sending of the Holy Spirit.
In the course of the year we will relive his whole story, in particular through the eyes of the Gospel writer Luke. The mysteries of Christ’s life are represented in such a way that we are drawn into them and become participants in them. That makes it more demanding, but more enriching and exciting too. God is not just a God of the past, but of the present and the future.
Each year we ought to hear the Christ story better, understand it more deeply, and make it more our own. In hearing this story we ought to hear our own stories too. Our stories merge with his and are illuminated by it. His story enables us to live our own story more fully and more joyfully.
Even though we’ve made the journey before, we must try to embark on it today as if for the very first time. This Sunday is a God-given chance to make a new beginning in our following of Christ.
Today the readings concentrate on the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. The reason for this is that before we commit ourselves to a journey we need to know the goal of the journey. So on this day the liturgy directs our eyes toward the goal of our own journey and that of the world,
namely, the second coming of Christ.
This year, as we make this liturgical journey, Pope Francis asks us to make the journey with eyes of mercy. Come to know the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, not so much by memory, but by practicing them. Learn the mercy of Christ as Luke will depict it in his Gospel. If there is need for
forgiveness in our lives, now is the time to either ask for it or to give it.
Next Saturday, December 5th, Tom Turner and Maria Antonia will lead a morning of reflection on “Finding God in the Poor.” It is good way to enter into this Year of Mercy. December 16th, we will have our Communal Reconciliation Service at 7:00 p.m. Be open in your lives to experience God’s mercy and to help others to know God’s mercy because of your actions.