Happy New Year! That may sound a bit odd to some. But to Catholics, it shouldn’t. Today is beginning of a new liturgical year. The First Sunday of Advent. The theme of Advent is summed up in the first words of Jesus from today’s Gospel reading from Mark 13: “Be watchful! Be alert!”
Today is the day when Catholics across America begin using the new translation of the Roman Missal. Some of the words that we use in the prayers that we pray will be changing today. For some, this will come as a great shock. I hope that you and your parish have been preparing for this. It is the Church’s effort to be more faithful to the original Latin translation of the Mass. For some, this will be a slow and perhaps clumsy transition. But with time, the new words will come to us more naturally and easily.
My prayer is that this will be a great time for Catholics to really think about what they are saying during Mass. For most of us, the prayers and responses we say during Mass are so ingrained into our memories that we don’t even think about them any more. For many, the words have probably lost all meaning. This will be a wonderful opportunity to really think about the things we say and profess at Mass. To let them flourish anew in our hearts. The Lord be with you! And with your spirit!
Father, allow this time in the Church to be a time of renewal and reflection on the mysteries of our faith. Help us to truly understand and believe that which we profess. Amen.