1st Sunday of Advent, Year C

1st Sunday of Advent
A Reflection by Fred Schaeffer, OFS

 

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,  men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Luke 21:25-28 RSVCE; “C” 

 

We begin the Season of Advent with fear and foreboding but also with great joy because Jesus Christ, the Son of man is coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Luke 21:27 RSVCE, in the Gospel of the First Sunday of Advent. That time is not yet here but it is coming. When this time will take place no one knows, except God. My message is, be prepared! Let is begin NOW, not tomorrow or the next day, not next week or next month, but right now.

 

The Advent Season begins the new Liturgical Year in the Catholic Church. The First Sunday of Advent falls on December 2, 2018, which is next Sunday, and that is a good time to begin getting prepared for His coming. In the few days until that Sunday we might think of going to confession, that is, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a great way of preparing for His coming. Many people call themselves Catholic, but they have “fallen away.” It is said that the group that has fallen away is now larger than the group that remains. If that is true than that is very sad.

 

It takes effort to stay close to Jesus, to God. It takes daily conversion to remain close to Him. We know it takes a lifetime to prepare for His coming, but when He does come, there will be only two ways to go for us: to Heaven or to Hell. What about Purgatory? Anyone who is not perfect enough to go to Heaven will go to Purgatory, a place to be purified before entering Heaven. I’m sure I will meet you in Purgatory as I am far from perfect, very far.

 

I love Advent, because each year Advent rolls around I realize I need to do better than the year before. Another year means another chance. That puts great responsibility on our shoulders: getting closer to Jesus is something I am thinking about very frequently these days. For 5 years I used to be a monk in Religious Life. I am no longer there because God had other plans for me, but it was a beautiful time in my life. And, for the years before and after that time, I have been a Secular Franciscan (24 years now). I lead a very quiet lifestyle, actually very similar to being in the monastery, especially now that I am older. I think God gave me the gift of these 5 years in the monastery to prepare me to look at life in a deeper way, and that is where I began writing Spiritual Reflections (see https://www.dmf-ofs.org/reflections/ ). I ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten me, so I will be able to write more stories and reflections. I’ve been using Facebook only recently to let people know where to find these stories. The website is accessed from all over the world, but too few from the United States (less than 50%). That is disappointing. Incidentally, all this writing is not for business. I do not do this for money. My only wish is to save souls.

 

So, dear readers, please join me in this effort to get closer to Jesus. “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8.   Let us make sure He does. Peace and Good.

 

Fred Schaeffer, OFS
November 25, 2018

 

Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

Divine Mercy Fraternity

Vero Beach, FL

 

Officers as of 1/10/2016

 

Minister:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Vice-Minister:
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Secretary:
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Treasurer:
 
Jack Reddy, OFS

Formation Director: 
Donna Haro, OFS

Councillor-at-Large:

 Joanne Giordano, OFS

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Webmaster:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
 

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