Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ember Wednesday in Advent

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

Station "With St. Mary Major"

"He was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary" (Credo)
 Today's Eucharistic solemnity is known as "Missa area, the golden Mass" which, in the days of greater faith, was observed as a most solemn day.

 One this day the Church renders present the adorable mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, the mystery which sent golden rays of hope and life into a helpless and sin-laden world. What occurred nineteen centuries ago in the chaste womb of Mary--"a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel" is re-enacted today in the virginal bosom of the Church. In the Holy Sacrifice, the golden Mass, the heavens will drop the divine Dew (introit) upon our altar, into our hearts. At consecration we can exclaim with joy and gratitude: "Et incarnatus est!", the incarnate Mercy of God is with the Church, is with us. "Et homo factus est!", the Man-God, Christ the Savior is in our midst, the Emmanuel, our God, is with HIs people.

 "Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and the King of glory shall enter in" (gradual). Come to the divine Table with faith and purity! Speak the word of Mary: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to Thy word." In the sacred Banquet your soul will conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel, God with you." The gift of salvation of which you partake with joy will be to you a wellspring of spiritual renewal (cf. postcommunion).

 But today is also the first of the three Advent Ember days. Let us take to heart the words of St. Leo the Great spoken fifteen centuries ago: "Dearly beloved, it is our duty as shepherds of your souls to exhort you to the observance of the December fast. Now that the fruits of the earth have bene gathered in, it is most fitting that this sacrifice of abstinence should be offered to God who has so bountifully bestowed them upon us. And what can be more useful to this end than fasting? For by its observance we draw near to God, we resist the devil, and overcome the allurements of vice. Fasting has ever been the support of virtue. From abstinence spring chaste thoughts, reasonable desires and salutary counsels. By voluntary mortifications the lusts of the flesh are extinguished and the soul receives new strength.

 "But since fasting alone will not obtain health for our souls, let us add to our fasting works of mercy to the poor. Let us spend in good works what we deny to indulgence. Let the abstinence of him who fasts become the banquet of the poor. Therefore, let us fast on Wednesday and Friday, and on Saturday let us keep vigil with blessed Peter the Apostle, that through his merits we may obtain what we ask, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen."

 Let us recommend to our blessed Mother the deacons who are about to receive the grace of Christ's priesthood. Mother of the divine Highpriest, Mother of all priests, bless thy devoted servants, take them under thy maternal mantel, that they may always be faithful in dispensing to their flock the mystery of the Incarnate Son of God, thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Our gift at today's offertory will be: To recite with greater fervor the Angelus; to keep the three Ember days in the spirit of the Church, to offer the eucharistic Sacrifice, our prayers and good works for the priests of the Lord, in particular, for those who are about to be raised to the dignity of ministers of Christ and dispensers of the mysteries of God.

The source for this blog today is from : Catholic Culture. org

Father Ed Bakker ,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarme
Launceston, Tasmania

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