The 50 days from Easter Sunday of the Lord's Resurrection until Pentecost Sunday are celebrated in joy and exultation as one single feastday, as 'Great Sunday (manga dominica)'. It is on these days in particular that Alleluia is sung.
Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It's a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ's will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ's death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time take us through the life of Christ. This is the time of conversion. This is living the life of Christ. Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.
Epiphany means manifestation. What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him.
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom she had circumcised on the 8th day, according to the Levitical Law. On this holy feast day, we take a moment as we start our new year to honor our Blessed Mother, who in her “yes” to God brought our Savior into the world to redeem us.
Advent is a time when the holy church reminds us as the children of God to wake up and pray, and actively prepare for the grace of the Savior Jesus Christ. Come and join Fr Augustine Wong's reflections and let the Words of God change our heart.