Rev. Father Francis Stevenson, Pastor
Assigned Tahoe City: July 1, 2019
December 3, 2023
The First Sunday of Advent
The new Church year begins with a plea for God’s visitation. “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,” the prophet Isaiah cries in today’s First Reading.
In today’s Psalm, too, we hear the anguished voice of Israel, imploring God to look down from His heavenly throne—to save and shepherd His people.
Today’s readings are relatively brief. Their language and “message” are deceptively simple. But we should take note of the serious mood and penitential aspect of the Liturgy today as the people of Israel recognize their sinfulness, their failures to keep God’s covenant, their inability to save themselves. And in this Advent season, we should see our own lives in the experience of Israel. As we examine our consciences, can’t we, too, find that we often harden our hearts, refuse His rule, wander from His ways, withhold our love from Him?
God is faithful, Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle. He is our Father. He has hearkened to the cry of His children, coming down from heaven for Israel’s sake and for ours to redeem us from our exile from God, to restore us to His love.
In Jesus, we have seen the Father. The Father has let His face shine upon us. He is the good shepherd come to guide us to the heavenly kingdom. No matter how far we have strayed, He will give us new life if we turn to Him, if we call upon His holy name, if we pledge anew never again to withdraw from Him.
As Paul says today, He has given us every spiritual gift—especially the Eucharist and penance—to strengthen us as we await Christ’s final coming. He will keep us firm to the end—if we let Him.
So, in this season of repentance, we should heed the warning repeated three times by our Lord in today’s Gospel: be watchful, for we know not the hour when the Lord of the house will return.
POPE BENEDICT XVI
April 16, 1927-December 31. 2022
Father Richard W. Rolfs, SJ, emeritus professor of history at Loyola Marymount University, died March 7, 2022, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California, at age 98. He had been a member of the Jesuits for 73 years. He had a long association with Loyola Marymount, first as an undergraduate (1946-48) and later as dean of students (1963-70) and professor of history (1974-2016, emeritus, 2008). He helped with the celebration of masses here at Corpus Christi during the summer months for over 23 years! Our sympathy to his family. He will truly be missed. To read more about Father Rolfs incredible life please go to https://www.jesuitswest.org/memoriam/rolfs-richard-w-father/