Sunday December 3, 2017 through Monday December 25, 2017
Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. We prepare for the annual celebrations of Christ’s incarnation at Christmas, his manifestation at Epiphany, and the beginning of his mission at the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Advent means “coming.” We are to prepare for the coming of God among us as a child who is a King, as an infant who is a Savior, as one born at a given time and place yet who is a Messiah for all ages and people.
Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.
We celebrate the feast of Christ the King the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Its official name is the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. This solemnity was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925, an observance celebrating an aspect of Jesus’ identity rather than of his life. Conventional understandings of kingship and power are transformed. Rather than calling up images of Jesus Christ dressed in kingly robes, the Gospel proclaims him as king by the sign over his head on the throne of a wooden cross (I.N.R.I.: –IESUS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM– Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). Paradoxically, it is the thief who recognized in Christ the Lord and Messiah.
Through our baptism we share in Christ’s kingly office, exercising good stewardship for people and things we are put in charge of. (Lumen Genitum 31).
The Roman Catholic Faith Community of St. Thomas the Apostle recognizes God’s call to be a sign of His Kingdom in the communities we serve.
We respond to this call by:
- Leading people to a deeper relationship with Christ by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, renewal, education, the celebration of the Sacraments, and the worship of God in the sacred liturgy;
- Encouraging a commitment to justice and to service of those in need;
- Promoting good stewardship of our time, talent and treasure;
- Building a community of hospitality and support in the daily living out of Christian ideals by nourishing mutual respect and understanding within our Church, our families, our community, and other faith traditions.