HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Fr. Robert Chiesa, SJ, Director, St. John de Britto English Center
The First Sunday of Advent, 2nd of December this year, marks the beginning of the new 2019 Church Year (so “Happy New Year”!). Just as we have six weeks of Lent to prepare for Easter, so we have four weeks of Advent to recall the first coming of Jesus at his birth in Bethlehem and to prepare for his present and future coming to each and every one of us.
Advent means Coming or Arrival. It is a time of hope and preparation for the coming of the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed: “The days are coming when I I will fulfill the promises made to David.” These promises were fulfilled first of all when Jesus came into our world, and these promises are now renewed for us in our own day. In St. Luke’s Gospel, which will be read throughout this liturgical year, we are told to be always ready to welcome the coming of the Lord. John the Baptist urges us to fill up the valleys and make a smooth road inside us for the Lord to enter, just as his mother Elizabeth had welcomed the arrival of Jesus when she greeted his mother Mary as “Mother of my Lord.” Elizabeth echoed the words of the prophet Zephaniah: “Rejoice, for the Lord is in your midst!”
In celebrating Jesus’ First Arrival in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, the Church reminds us that Jesus is born into our life and our community every day of every year, and that we live in hope and preparation for his Second Coming to each of us at our own death and to the whole world at its final completion and glorification.
With the beginning of Advent, we are happy to launch this new format for our English Bulletin. The cover design presents a panorama view of St. Ignatius church as the symbol of our union around the table of the Lord (note the detailed explanation on page 2). The Bulletin will continue to provide information concerning schedules and projects, but, more importantly, it will focus on formation in faith and will serve as a forum for sharing ideas on how our English community can concretely contribute to MISSION 2030 in the overall life of the parish.
The St. John de Britto English Team and the Bulletin staff join together in wishing all our readers a grace-filled Advent season leading up to a joyous celebration of Christmas 2018!