Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy New Year! Advent 2011

The new year is here! I was a little more prepared this year since I had just had spiritual direction last week and the 1st Sunday of Advent had really been hyped up this year due to the NEW TRANSLATION of the Roman Missal.

I have an awesome friend who gave me the strong advice to start singing the phrase "new translation" to the tune of INXS' "New Sensation" whenever someone started complaining about the changes in the Missal- ha! My friends are 80s/liturgical nerds as well.

You're welcome.

I was almost a little nervous to go to my parents' parish this morning for Mass because I wasn't sure how the parish would respond or how they had been prepared for the changes. I shouldn't have really been nervous. The priest and the parishoners did great. I think the hardest part was the "and with your spirit" response, but once we get it down, it's going to be beautiful.

And I absolutely love the new response post-Lamb of God where we articulate the words of the centurion: "Lord I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, but only say the word and my SOUL shall be healed."

My SOUL shall be healed. LOVE THAT.

The priest gave a really lovely homily on the typical Advent speak: Waiting, Expecting, etc. But he called to our attention the distinction between waiting and expectation.

Waiting tends to be negative. He used the example if a flight gets delayed, we are stuck in traffic, etc. We hate waiting and lose focus of what is expected- namely, the destination, the hope, the joy that awaits us on the other end of what we are waiting for.

I thought this was a nice thought to begin Advent. I get so focused sometimes on celebrating Advent and doing it right, that I lose sight of the joy of Christmas. Or Christmas just creeps up on us, which is why we need the waiting of Advent. I think the priest today was saying to truly use this holding pattern of Advent to focus on the joy that awaits- at Christmas and in heaven.

I actually tend to give even "expectation" a negative connotation sometimes. Alot of us set our expectations in a way that they aren't realistic and then they set us up for disappointment. The beauty of Christmas is that it IS real- there is a real goal of Christ and of heaven. And I remember a sister telling me before I entered the convent to even "expect MORE" from Jesus.

So as I wait for Christmas this year, I want to continue to draw closer to His Sacred Heart and his person (as mentioned in a previous post)and to focus on the reality of that expectation of joy and hope.

I'm also bringing back my Advent resolution of last year to pray the rosary each day. I also bought an Advent wreath since I have a CLASSROOM to put it in and intend to pray each day with my students as we prepare for Christmas.

As we mediate on the waiting and expectation of Christ's birth of Christmas, I think of this song:

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

A little old school made "new" in honor of the new translation. Man, I'm a nerd!

You love it. Happy Advent!

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