st. augustine beach, florida
Advent Day 18 ~ Wednesday of the third week of Advent
Advent themes are all about waiting for light to shine in our darkness.
For we who are Christians we await, Jesus, Yeshua, who is for us the Light of the World.
We prepare a place for him to shine in our own hearts this day.
We invite you to search out your own inner meaning whatever that might be.
During Hanukkah later this month we will honor our Jewish brothers and sisters with these words
that appear in the Catholic liturgy just before Christmas, one of the magnificent O Antiphons:
O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and on Mount Sinai gave him your law.
Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.
And my prayer . . .
O Adonai*, we need you in our world more than ever!
You appeared in the burning bush long ago.
I remember this awesome sunrise over the ocean when I lived some years ago on St. Augustine Beach, Florida.
I’m reminded of the old sailor’s maxim: “Red at night, a sailor’s delight; red in the morning, sailors take warning.”
Come with your refiner’s fire and burn your way into our hearts.
so we can prepare the way for the Messiah to come into our lives,
into our homes,
our workplace and marketplace,
and, most especially into our beloved country that so badly needs You right now,
and our waiting world!
Come Lord Jesus!
I have a couple of notes for you as we make our countdown toward Christmas. Hanukkah begins at Nightfall on Sunday, December 22nd and goes through sundown on December 30th.
Hanukkah, which is Hebrew for “dedication,” is the Jewish Festival of Lights.
It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army, and the subsequent miracle of rededicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restoring its menorah, or lamp.
The miracle of Hanukkah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days. Jewish children usually receive a new gift each day of Hanukkah.
May we pray for our Hebrew sisters and brothers who have suffered so much violence and fear in our country and abroad these past few years.
The other important event that we won’t be able to cover this year directly in this blog this year is the Winter Solstice that is observed in ritual form my our pagan sisters and brothers in places like Stonehenge in Great Britain and the Easter Islands in the Pacific. I don’t use the term “pagan” here pejoratively, as we actually got our date of Christmas from their celebrations of the Winter Solstice!
Actually, we haven’t the slightest idea when Jesus was born. We only celebrate it liturgically. On the Winter Solstice, the sun in the northern hemisphere is beginning to ascend again, connoting the phrase of John the Baptist about Jesus: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30). This year the Winter Solstice is on Saturday, December, 21st. (My last post before Christmas will be on Friday, December 20th, since many of you may be taking advantage of the long weekend for travel.
And before you go, Here’s another prayerful rendition of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Click here.
And here are today’s Mass Readings. Click here.
* Adonai is one of the names the Jewish people use for God, meaning “Lord God Almighty.”