Text and Illustrations from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
First Sunday of Advent.
Station at Saint Mary Major.
Stational Indulgence of 10 years
and 10 Quarantines.
Privileged Sunday of the First-Class.
"See the fig tree and all the trees: when they now shoot forth their fruit
you know that Summer is nigh; so you also, when you shall see these things
come to pass, know that the Kingdom of God is at hand"
At Christmas, Jesus will be born into our hearts, for at that time the Anniversary of His Birth will be Celebrated. He refuses nothing to the Prayer of The Church, His Spouse, and thus He will grant to our Souls the same Graces which He gave the Shepherds and the Three Kings.
Christ will come again, also, at the end of time, to "condemn the guilty to the flames, and to call the Just with a loving voice to Heaven" (Hymn for Matins).
The whole of today's Mass is a preparation for this double Advent of Mercy and Justice. Some parts of it can be applied equally to either (e.g., the Introit, Collect, Gradual, Alleluia), while others refer to our Divine Redeemer's lowly birth, and others, again, (e.g., the Epistle and Gospel), to His coming in the splendour of His power and majesty.
The same welcome will be given to us by Our Lord when He comes to Judge us, as we give to Him now, when coming to redeem us. Let us prepare for the Christmas Feast by Holy Prayers and aspirations and by reforming our lives, that we may be ready for that last great assize, upon which depends the fate of our Soul for all Eternity. And all this with confidence, for those "who wait upon the Lord will never be confounded" (Introit; Gradual; Offertory).
In former times, on this First Sunday of Advent, all the people of Rome made the Station at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, to assist at The Solemn Mass which the Pope Celebrated, surrounded by his Clergy. This particular Church was chosen because it is Mary who gave us Jesus, and because Relics of the Crib, in which The Blessed Mother placed her Divine Child, are preserved in this Church.
Every Parish Priest says Mass for the people of his Parish.