Pastor's Corner

First Sunday of Advent w/e 11/27-11/28

The selection taken from the Gospel of Luke for proclamation on this First Sunday of Advent is one in which Jesus summarizes the prophets’ description of what will be the end times and the coming of the day of redemption anticipated in the coming of the Son of Man. Again, the world and its temporal goods and structures will be upended by the power of God and the arrival of this time must be anticipated by readiness and an attitude of expectation. “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.” To stand before the Son of Man in the end times in a way which is anticipatory is to have stood before Jesus with humble acceptance of His word and presence through lives well lived in faith and charity. The question arises as we reflect on both the final days of the earth and our own final days before death is ‘How have we lived and how do we continue to live in the light of the revelation of God in Jesus?’ In what way are we preparing for Jesus’ coming both as a little child in the celebration of Christmas and at the end of time? We are encouraged to bend an ear and our hearts to the message of Jesus first proclaimed to the disciples and continuing to be announced in the lives of goodness lived by faithful followers.

     The Season of Advent gives us time and encouragement to prepare for Jesus’ coming at both times by urging a penitential stance and an increase in prayer and works of charity. Our Advent Wreath, lit each week before Mass, symbolizes the light of Christ gifted to us in the moment of our baptism and growing stronger each day by our practice of God’s presence in our lives. The purple candles, lit on the first, second, and fourth weeks of the Season, are a somber yet hopeful reminder of our period of prayerful waiting. The pink candle, lit on the third week, is a sign of hope the days of waiting are soon coming to a close. The changes to colors of liturgical vestments and surroundings announce the beginning of the Church Year and the Season familiar to us as the edge of Christmas. We pray blessing the wreath in a way which describes the Season and our connection to it: “Lord God your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.”

     The Advent Season will bring new opportunities for prayer and celebration as we look forward to our Advent Retreat, celebrated during one week of the Season and as we offer a chance to kindle a spirit of generosity in our hearts by giving both to our Afghan Relief Project, baskets for which are available in the church and to Toys for Tots, boxes for which will be at the entrances of the church and are to be filled with new unwrapped toys to be given to children who have less. Please remember that Wednesday December 8th is the celebration of the Immaculate Conception, and Masses will be celebrated on Tuesday Dec. 7th at 5:00p.m. and Wednesday Dec. 8th at 12:10p.m.

Thanks and have a great week!

God Bless,

Fr. Joe