Awaiting our Only Hope: the 4th Sunday of Advent

After an initial lament, the Psalmist, in Psalm 80, recalls what God has done in days past: You brought a vine out of Egypt; to plant it you drove out the nations; before it you cleared the ground; it took root and spread through the land. In the words of Ps147:20, He has not done thus for any other nation. This great thing the Lord has done for His people, a sort of recreation, paralleling that first creation of Genesis, is recalled, for it shows the utterly gratuitous gift of God. Continue reading “Awaiting our Only Hope: the 4th Sunday of Advent”

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Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord

IMG_2608It’s in Sacred Scripture (2 Maccabees 12:46); it’s in Sacred Tradition (see Catechism, 1032); it’s a spiritual work of mercy (praying for the living and the dead) and, by extension, a corporal work of mercy (burying the dead). Today, the Church highlights the importance of this teaching which is constantly repeated. Perhaps the most beautiful reason for this custom of remembering and praying for the dead is that, in the words of the Song of Songs (8:6) “Love is as stern as death” (understood to mean that love is a force equal in power to death, and which death cannot destroy). Since we love those who have gone before us “marked with the sign of faith”, we want to speed them on their journey to the Home of our Father, and, once there, they are compelled by that same union of love to aid us on our own journey. Continue reading “Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord”