What is the point of Advent? Fr. Deepak D’Souza reflects on this question: “We are called to make the path straight, to prepare a way for the Lord…The Church gives us this season of Advent in a beautiful way and helps us to grow in our intimacy with the Lord.”
Beautifully weaving together images and themes of spiritual darkness and light, Fr. Tony Cutcher poetically links the seasons of winter and Advent: “As our days get shorter and our nights get longer, as the darkness builds in some of our lives, we turn to the light. And we are reminded that it is that light of Christ that we are to keep burning brightly until he comes again.”
Advent is “a time of repentance, a time of preparation and waiting for the Lord,” as Fr. Deepak D’Souza puts it. Here he walks through some practical suggestions for things individuals and families can prepare for the coming of the Lord with joyful anticipation.
We are called to be lights in a world of dark and sin. Fr. Tony Cutcher reflects on this reality as contemplates the end. He says: “When the lights go out, the question we must ask ourselves is: How well did we care for our neighbor? How well did we love our God?”
Contemplating death can help us examine our lives, leading to a path of ever-fuller and newer life. Fr. Joseph Kindel reflects on this: “Are you ready for the end? Sometimes it’s good to meditate on that because I might change the way I’m living if I find I’m not ready…What if you were told that you had five years to live? What would you change? How would you prepare yourself? How would you live differently – maybe more fully – in those five years? What would you stop wasting your time with? What would you give top priority? What unfinished business would you take care of?”
Something amazing happens when we rely on God. Using the gospel story of the widow's mite, Fr. Tony Cutcher explores the depths of human generosity. He says: "Sometimes I think we don't totally rely on God...We know it up here, but sometimes it doesn't get all the way down to our hearts."
From the timeless prayer of St. Francis we learn that it is in giving that we receive. Fr. Deepak D’Souza shares a beautiful reflection on the nature of giving. He asserts: “The Kingdom of God is worth more than all that we have.”
Which is the greatest commandment? This question evoked a paradigm-shifting response from Christ. Reflecting on this, Fr. Deepak D’Souza says: “The love of God that does not lead us to love our neighbor is futile, has no value…So let us love God, and let that love reflect in our actions towards each other.”
Sharing stories of saintly lives to celebrate the Feast of All Saints, Fr. Deepak D’Souza reflects on our common call to sainthood. He begins, simply, by stating: “We are all called to be saints.”
There are so many lessons we can learn from the gospel account of Christ’s healing of the blind man. Fr. Tony Cutcher emphasizes: “An encounter with Christ results in discipleship. We are called to be those disciples. Why? Because every Sunday when we come here, it’s an encounter with Christ: Christ made present physically in the Eucharist, Christ here in spirit as we read his words, Christ in our hearts as we leave the building.”