•We hope you’ll join us for the Lessons and Carols Concert on Sunday, December 10th at 7 PM. The concert will be in the Abbey church followed by a festive reception in the St. Joseph/Perpetual Help Rooms. Mrs. Aeschliman is asking families to sign-up to bring an appetizer or dessert and to let us know how many will attend. Please email her or call the office and she will send you the link to sign up.
•First semester final exams are December 13-15.
•Students will be dismissed for Christmas vacation on Friday, December 15, at 12:30 PM (after their last exam). No one may be excused from exams.
•Report cards will be emailed home on Thursday, December 21.
•Students return to school for the beginning of the second semester on Sunday, January 7. Those going to Rome may return the next day in time for their first period class.
• Congratulations to our basketball team on their recent victories! The team is 2-0.
• The next soccer games are: Thursday, December 7, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s; and Friday, December 8, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s. *Please note that the game originally schedule for Tuesday has been cancelled.
• The next basketball games are: Tuesday, December 5, at 2:00 PM, at Ladera Sports Center [Ladera Sports Center, 2 Terrace Road, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694]; Thursday, December 7, at 2:00 PM, at Ladera Sports Center; and Friday, December 8, at Calvary Baptist School, 2990 Damien Ave, La Verne, CA 91750].
On the First Sunday of Advent and on several of the days to follow, a time in which we begin to prepare for the joyful Feast of Christmas, our Blessed Lord makes us aware of a not so joyful time, namely His Second Coming at the end of the world. In all three cycles of the liturgical year the Gospel for the first Sunday and many of the readings from the Divine Office concern the end times. Christ tells us, Men shall wither away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. Such words might not exactly seem like the best way to prepare us for Christmas, a cheerful season; but we can be sure that Holy Mother Church knows what she’s doing by offering us such material for our consideration.
By placing at the beginning of Advent texts about the Final Judgment we are reminded of just exactly Who it is Who lies in the manger on Christmas Morning. We are reminded that that little Babe Who comes to us in perfect meekness and even a certain helplessness is the same Omnipotent Judge Who will come at the end of time to reward each one according to his deeds. To some He will grant eternal happiness, to others eternal damnation. This little Child will do all that. It is as if our Lord wants to remind us Who He is before we start preparing for His arrival. Lest we be too taken by the littleness of the Babe in Mary’s arms and not approach with enough reverence, He tells us ahead of time that this Child is also the Mighty God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
It is now the hour for your to wake from sleep, said St. Paul. And our Lord Himself also warns us on the first Sunday of Advent, Be constantly on the watch! Stay awake! Our Lord’s goal for this first week then seems to be to wake us from our spiritual slumber in order that we might take this time of preparation seriously. And He does this by telling us that He will come a third and final time, and this time not as an Infant, but as a Judge.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked…The Lord is an eternal rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down. He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. In addition to passages such as these from the Prophet Isaiah, we hear in the Gospels during this first week many miracles performed by Christ (another show of His divine power): the curing of the centurion’s son, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the curing of two blind men. And we finish the first week with the Lord giving to His disciples the power to cast out demons, something only God can do! The little Babe Who is fed by His Mother has the power to bind and cast out even the fiercest of demons, and can even bestow that power on those who follow Him A final flex of His divine muscle.
Remember that, if we prepare well for the commemoration of His first coming in the manger, and if we prepare for our Lord’s daily second coming to us in grace, then we will be ready for His coming at the end of time. The third and final coming is the final goal for us all, and so our Lord presents it to us at the very beginning of this holy season.
Let’s be honest, if we knew that the end of the world was going to take place this December 25th, if we knew that on that day Christ would come in all His glory to judge the living and the dead, how would we spend the next few weeks? Probably doing some serious prayer and penance, preparing our hearts to receive our Divine King. Why do we prepare any less diligently for His coming at Christmas?
You know how it seems that businesses begin the countdown to Christmas earlier and earlier every year. Stores are now putting up their Christmas displays as early as October. Recall that harsh criticism from our Lord: The children of this world are wiser in their own generation than the children of light. If the “children of this world”, those bent on worldly goods, are so anxious for their earthly treasure that they push up their Christmas preparations more and more each year, why do we do so little, we who seek heavenly treasures?
On the first Saturday of Advent we hear these words of Isaiah: No longer will your Teacher hide Himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: “This is the way; walk in it.” In this first week of Advent Christ awakes us from sleep, points the way to Bethlehem and warns us to approach, yes with hearts full of joy, but also with a holy fear and reverence, for it is none other than God Himself Whom we go out to meet.
•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.