In the Beginning – A Gift for the New Year from Deep Space Astronomy
Once again we are at a beginning time. The First Sunday of Advent begins the liturgical year. It is New Year’s Day in our Catholic community.
The readings in Advent begin by speaking of things to come – specifically the coming of the Lord of Hosts, the coming of the Son of Man. We are reminded to be ready, to move away from acts of evil and put on the armour of light, to walk in the light of the Lord. It’s a time of anticipation as well as a time to take stock of our lives and change the things that keep us from being ready for the Lord’s coming into our lives.
This year our Gospel readings will be primarily from the Gospel of St. Matthew, Cycle A. The readings we’ll hear will be those from a community that saw Jesus as the Mercy of God and the church as the kingdom of God coming into being here and now, in this life we share on Earth. For those who’d like to know more about the Gospel of St. Matthew, I recommend Megan McKenna’s, Matthew: The Book of Mercy. She has also written a set of commentaries on the Sunday and daily readings from all three Cycles of liturgical readings used in Roman Catholic liturgies — Tasting the Word of God, Vol. 1 (Sunday) and Vol 2 (Daily).
As we begin this new year, with all the uncertainty, challenges, joys and blessings it will bring, I’d like to share a gift from the Lord with you. These pictures were taken with the Hubble telescope of places in the universe where normally nothing can be seen. May they be a reminder that although we may not be able to see what God has in mind for us, or all the beauty that surrounds us, or all the wonders that flow through God’s creation (including each of us), there are marvelous surprises waiting for us to be ready and able to perceive them.
Happy New Year!