First Week of Advent
The Journey Begins
On the First Sunday of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year: a new journey of the People of God with Jesus Christ, our Shepherd, who guides us through history toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, this day has a special charm; it makes us experience deeply the meaning of history. We rediscover the beauty of all being on a journey: the Church, with her vocation and mission, and all humanity, peoples, civilisations, cultures, all on a journey across the paths of time.
But where are we journeying? Is there a common goal? And what is this goal? The Lord responds to us through the prophet Isaiah, who says: “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths (Isaiah 2:2-3).'” This is what Isaiah says regarding the goal toward which we are traveling. It is a universal pilgrimage toward a common goal, which in the Old Testament is Jerusalem, where the Temple of the Lord rises. For from there, from Jerusalem came the revelation of the Face of God and of his Law. Revelation found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and he, the Word made flesh, became the “Temple of the Lord”: he is both guide and goal of our pilgrimage, the pilgrimage of the entire People of God; and in his light, the other peoples may also walk toward the kingdom of justice, toward the kingdom of peace.
The Prophet continues: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:4).” Allow me to repeat what the Prophet says: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”. But when will this occur? What a beautiful day it will be, when weapons are dismantled in order to be transformed into tools for work! What a beautiful day that will be! And this is possible! Let us bet on hope, on the hope for peace, and it will be possible!
This journey never comes to an end. Just as in each of our lives, we always need to begin again, to get up again, to rediscover the meaning of the goal of our lives, so also for the great human family it is always necessary to rediscover the common horizon toward which we are journeying. The horizon of hope! This is the horizon that makes for a good journey. The Season of Advent, which we now begin again, restores this horizon of hope, a hope which does not disappoint for it is founded on God’s Word. A hope which does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful! He does not disappoint! Let us think about and feel this beauty.
The model of this spiritual disposition, of this way of being and journeying in life, is the Virgin Mary. A simple girl from the country who carries within her heart the fullness of hope in God! In her womb, God’s hope took flesh, it became man, it became history: Jesus Christ. Her Magnificat is the canticle of the People of God on a journey, and of all people who hope in God and in the power of his mercy. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by her, she who is mother, a mamma, and knows how to guide us. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by her during this season of active waiting and watchfulness.
Sunday Angelus Address
First Week of Advent 2013
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, December 22nd
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey after their first pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers in the United States, Canada, Africa, and Europe. Our mission is to help adults of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ and grow closer to the Church through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
The Assisi Project meets on the last Saturday of every month in Saint Ann Church (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts) for the Celebration of Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next “Saturday Morning with Saint Francis” is December 22nd beginning at 8:00am. This month, we will continue our reading and reflection on the saints, Bernard of Quintavalle and Jacopane of Todi. All fellow parishioners are invited to join the Assisi Project! You do not need to travel with us to Assisi to be a member of the Assisi Project!
Members of our fellowship all around the world, who range in age from 16 to 93, also pray for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like to join us or if you would like us to pray for your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. For more information about the Assisi Project and upcoming opportunities for faith formation, prayer, and pilgrimage in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
Follow us on Twitter: @Assisi_Project