From the Pastor's Pen - REJOICE
This Sunday contains a flat-out call to REJOICE. In the midst of whatever our lives contain, this is the only Sunday that does this. The first Sundays of Advent centered primarily on our faith in Jesus’ return at the end of time, and our readiness as called by John the Baptist. Now with Christmas nearer, the liturgy does direct us to anticipate the joy of this great feast. This Sunday the usually severe John the Baptist announces, seemingly with excitement, that one greater than he was coming on the scene. We are to take stock this week of the signs in our lives of the Messiah’s presence. We already share in the life of Christ, in the sacraments and our Christian community; while we long for the full coming of His kingdom on earth and his return in glory. What is there in your life that is cause for rejoicing, a clear sign that your savior has already come?
As an important part of this preparation and hope, our days of Reconciliation went off extremely well. Last Sunday we had the confessions of many adult parishioners, followed by all our school children Tuesday. They showed that they had thoughtfully, honestly, prepared for this special encounter with Jesus. This is still available at the usual Saturday afternoon reconciliation time.
This late in the season, I also want to encourage you to take care of yourself a bit. The season has pressures and difficult times for some. Take a few moments with the beautiful Advent scriptures; do a Holy Hour (or even just a few minutes ) at home, or in our Adoration Chapel. Discuss at dinner, or with a friend, what spiritual gift you are hoping for this Christmas, to see that the peace and love we really celebrate are yours. There is much to be hopeful, and joyful, for!
And on the priests’ preparation : From this week on I’m in full “Christmas Retreat” mode, preparing fulltime for the several Christmas liturgies and homilies which come quickly. I’ll be doing as little of “business as usual” as possible. Please support Fr. Nickolai and I in this and let the staff assist you in any non-emergency issues, or defer them till after the holidays.