Happy Liturgical New Year!
Happy Liturgical Year 2023!
For many of us we will wait for that secular time at the stroke of midnight on 31 December 2022 to set our goals – from decluttering the house, volunteering more (surely this is already being accomplished), and yes, the most top goal of eating healthy. All of this is great, but the best Good News here is that we shared the beginning of the Liturgical Year.
As we began our Advent with the lighting of the candles on Advent Sundays, we are reminded of goals also. The first candle purple we recall and remember what this symbolizes penance, preparation and sacrifice. We have the hope that is instilled by lighting this candle and the anticipation that the Old Testament prophets told us of Jesus coming. We have our hope for our families and friends that times will be bearable and manageable.
The second Sunday of Advent the candle was purple and represents peace. During this time, we reflected on our lives and how we can truly become a better version of ourselves and those around us. Think of the many women in the bible. From Esther the protector of her people to Bathsheba identified with sin and redemption, we see that ultimately, we are here with God’s grace and forgiveness. Countless women brought peace in their times.
The third Sunday of Advent we noted the vestment of the priest is “rose-colored” or pink and the candle that is lit is also the same color. This represents rejoicing. We are nearing that special and blessed time of the birth of our Savior. This particular Sunday is often referred to as “Gaudete Sunday” or Rejoice Sunday. That joy was present when the shepherds, wiseman and the little boy would feel at the birth of Jesus.
The fourth Sunday of Advent the candle is also known as the Angel’s Candle. This represents love. The endless love that we rejoice every day in our faith of what God has given each of us.
You might have thought spiritual resolutions were going to be a difficult shift in your life. This is definitely not the case, because we have each begun the new year in our Church – the Catholic Church. Our year began when we lit the candle of hope, followed by peace. As a military faith community, we continue to pray for hope and peace in a sometimes-senseless world, when events force our loved ones to serve away from home but require faith they are being watched over. We continue to pray for hope and peace as each of us man the home front.
No matter what is being transformed in our lives we continue to rejoice and praise God for the fruitful blessings in our lives and others. Love is something we truly understand is unconditional even in the toughest of times. Like making a PCS with children and your sponsor is not there, it’s tough and involves tears at times. I know you move past that moment and with another one of your sisters in Christ, you will get through another aspect of being a military family.
The message of Christmas is timeless. The message of love, hope, peace and joy remain. But this year and each year begin your liturgical year with the beginning of Advent. The angels bring us good news that Christ has been born, not to be crowned, but rather, to crown us with the joy of heaven.
As we all take this time to thank God for the many blessings in our lives and His love for us, be a witness to bringing the Good News of Christ to all. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta noted, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Another quote from Dale Evans is, “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”
On behalf of the MCCW-Worldwide Executive Board we wish you a very, “Happy Liturgical Year!”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
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