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From the Pastor's Pen - First Sunday of Advent

This is a critical Sunday. It’s actually the First Sunday. In the church calendar, this is New Year’s Day. Each year the Feast of Christ the King concludes the previous year’s liturgies, and the 1st Sunday of Advent starts the new year of liturgies. This year, we rotate into gospels mostly by St. Mark, the shortest gospel, but very powerful. Each year this 1st Advent Sunday has the same theme; no, not “Christmas is coming!” It’s the return of Christ at the end of all time. Christmas, a feast that comes and passes each year, reminds us that we’re always in a state of waiting for Christ to return in glory. It’s what we proclaim each week in the Creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” St. Mark’s gospel this year especially directs us to the humility of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man. With him, our humble work somehow can bring this day closer, though “we do not know when the appointed time will come.” This helps us hold off the hecticness of “holiday” preparations for awhile, for true spiritual preparation. And “we lack no spiritual gift as we wait . . .he will strengthen us to the end, so that we will be blameless on the day of Our Lord.” Let’s learn this week how to “Be on guard!” as Jesus says, and John the Baptist will help us next week., including our Advent confessions.


My Antarctic trip is hard to summarize just yet. It met and exceeded expectations by a good lot. The ocean and land down there are filled with life, beauty and surprises. The team leading us was exceedingly knowledgeable and experienced. The group of 200 on this “expedition” was a community right from the start. Sharing goals and backgrounds was easy and plentiful. I have friends now at least in passing from New Zealand, South Africa, London, the Philippines, Chile, China, Korea, and pretty much everywhere else. My Christmas will include such great awareness of this marvelous part of our globe, and I hope to create an event to share it with the parish in the New Year.

Click the links below to listen to recordings of a radio interview with Debbie Monterrey and Tom Ackerman on KMOX Radio, which aired the morning of 12-6-17.

KMOX Radio AM 1120 Interviews Fr. Tom Wyrsch about Recent Trip to Antarctica


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