Advent is a time of anticipation. Every day of this season helps us be ready to receive Christ into our hearts, often in quite different ways. Many want the holiday season to be the same every year, including the songs, the schedule for gift-giving, and even the food that is prepared. Fine. The heart can find comfort in consistency.
However, a contrary fact teaches us that every year should be unique. We are not alike. We are confronted with various responsibilities, moved by various insights, altered (or changed) by circumstances we did not previously have, challenged by novel opportunities, and confronted with various memories, all while being armed with either growing or waning capacities for handling all these variations. So, we never “Advent” in exactly the same way.
Christ is preparing to come to us this Christmas in a way that suits who we are—and how we are—this year. On the Sundays in Advent (from the gospels in this year’s readings), our Lord speaks to us with words meant to sustain us for the coming week. I suggest using these prayers as your grace before supper, at least on Sunday night.
The first half of these reflections traces Jesus’ coming at different times to different people. There is an “Adventing” unique to each of them. And each has a message to share with us about preparing for Christmas.
The eight days leading up to Christmas remember those who were present at the first Christmas. By considering how Christ’s love reached them, we might imitate their generosity and seek their guidance as we live out our Advent. Of course, it is crucial to show kindness as we greet Jesus, who never changes. He hasn’t changed in the genuineness and hope of his offer of love over the past two thousand years as God-infant and God-man. His Christmas story leaves us with a timeless and relevant message. This much we can be certain of.
When he visits this year, we must allow him to recognize us. We must be honest with him about who we are and what our deepest hopes are. The humility of the Child of Bethlehem is something we must once more learn. We also need his mother to show us how to love and how to be loved in return.
ADVENT GIVING TREE PROJECT
This Advent season, the ESRCCB and Spanish communities would like to support asylum seekers in Basel through the Advent Giving Tree Project. Together we seek to provide items of need to OeSA, (Ecumenical Pastoral Ministry for Asylum seekers), who will distribute the gifts.
Please take a tag hanging from the Advent tree at Bruderklaus Kirche. The tags list the gifts needed by the asylum seekers. Purchase the gift and return it wrapped under the Advent tree with the tag attached.
Through the generosity of our communities, we hope to distribute many gifts to those in need for Christmas. The Giving Tree Project takes place from Nov 27th – Dec 18th.
Copies of Advent Extra available at Mass this weekend – your journey to Christmas with daily reflections and prayers to guide you through Advent. If you prefer to receive a daily reflection online, sign up for Best Advent Ever Reflections which you can do at no cost. BEST ADVENT EVER Reflections 2022 | Dynamic Catholic
As always during Advent, we support the Children’s Hospital in Bethlehem which is the only children’s hospital in the region looking after the needs of the local population. After Mass on Sunday 11th December our RE Classes will be selling Chocolate Hearts for CHF5-00 in support of the hospital. These funds, together with the collection taken on Christmas Day will be in aid of the Hospital
Father Sibi available in the Chapel downstairs at BK on Sunday 4th and 18th December from 16.30 to hear Confessions.
NATIVITY PLAY FOR CHRISTMAS MASS
Would you like your children to participate in the Nativity Play during Christmas Mass on December 25 at 5:30 pm? We have roles for Joseph, Mary, Angels, Shepherds, Sheep, Donkeys and of course, the 3 Kings. Rehearsal will be at 4:00pm on Sunday Dec 18, in the church hall (and of course the main performance on Dec 25, 5:30pm Mass!). Please don’t buy costumes but rather be creative with what you find at home. Your child will love to help make their own. We’ll give you the reading ahead of time so children can enjoy the whole story and understand cues when their roles appear. No memorizing lines needed! Ready to sign up? Please fill in the form at https://forms.gle/hkGHTEM15Fyhkzxx9 Irmarie will contact you with further details.
As always, our collection taken at Christmas Mass, as part of the Bishop’s Appeal, is in aid of the Children’s Hospital in Bethlehem, this year together with the proceeds from the Chocolate Hearts sale. We thank you in advance for your generous support for this worthy cause. After Christmas Mass coffee and Christmas cookies will be served in the Hall downstairs. Bring along your favourite cookies to share.
CALLING ALL MUSICIANS
A small Ensemble will accompany the Choir at Mass on 27th November (this Sunday). Looking ahead, the choir are needing guitarists, drummers, and other musicians for a Rock Mass in the New Year. If you are interested or would like more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Rose Lee/Joe Paola from the Choir.
SERVING IN OUR COMMUNITY…..
God calls on us to think outside of ourselves and use the gifts He has entrusted to us to grow His kingdom and serve others. There can be no doubt about our ability to help when we are working on behalf of the Lord – He has prepared us for this mission! We must ask ourselves today, “How am I joyfully and generously using my gifts to be a good steward for Christ?”
As a Community of Volunteers, we are always in need of members to support the functioning of the ESRCCB.
Word of God…. We will introduce the Word of God for the younger members of our Community in the New Year. Anyone interested in volunteering to help Nava Sepulveda lead the weekly meeting can contact her directly or via email@example.com. We will also need assistants to help with the Word of God and appeal to the young adults to consider helping out. As with our other activities the WoG team will be scheduled using the Church Scheduling system.
If you are interested in serving as a Volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or approach the Hospitality Minister on duty, a Council member, or Father Sibi after Mass.
Dress warmly… to ensure sufficient fresh air in the Church during Mass the large doors will remain open during the winter months and heating may be reduced to save energy.
Happy Holidays… We wish all community members a Blessed Advent and Christ-filled Christmas. Go well, travel safely, stay healthy and take time to slow down and rest.
New Year Mass times… On Sunday 1 January 2023 – Feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, Mass will be celebrated as usual at 17:30. After Mass Glühwein and Stollen will be served in the Hall downstairs.