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Archbishop Wenski to ordain new Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of Miami

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Cath·o·hól·ic

Matthew 13:33-37

First Sunday of Advent - Nov. 30, 2014

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Click here to read a brief commentary >>

Fr. Wilfredo Contreras

St. Martha Church

First Sunday of Advent - Nov. 30, 2014

Watch!

Dear Parishioners,

“Watch!” This word occurs three times in today’s Gospel passage. Moreover, it is placed at significant points: the beginning, the center, and the end. Though this is technically a parable, it is quite short (four verses). The threefold repetition of “watch” leaves no doubt as to what the story is about.

We often think of Advent as a time of waiting, but it truly is a season of watchfulness, a very active form of waiting for the coming Day of the Lord. It is that day, more than Christmas day, that the Christian community faithfully expects, using all of our gifts and talents for this purpose, as Paul reminds us in the Letter to the Corinthians. When we use these gifts in faithful watching and expectation, we become like the servants of the parable, set to their tasks, not waiting around idly, but engaged in the master’s work until his return. May our Advent be a time when we return or rededicate our lives and our communities to this work—the active and diligent faithfulness that the Lord will expect to find

Fr. Wilfredo Contreras

Heaven, hell and purgatory

November 30, 2014

We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. (Catechism 1821)

The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death, the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire” (Catechism 1035). The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. (Catechism 1035)

All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (Catechism 1030)

The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. (Catechism 1031) The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. (Catechism 1031)

Source: Fountain of Grace, Archdiocese of Miami, Office of Lay Ministry

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