November 23, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” the prophet Isaiah cries in today’s First Reading. How appropriate that this new Church year would begin with a plea for God’s visitation. We also hear this anguished voice from Israel in today’s Psalm imploring God to look down from His heavenly throne to save and shepherd His people. Do we not also long for the face of God, for a greater breaking forth of His life, love and guidance in our lives?
There is a clear penitential aspect in today’s liturgy as the people of Israel recognize their sinfulness, their failure to keep God’s covenant and their inability to save themselves. This penitential nature is reflected in the violet vestments worn during this season. As with the beginning of a calendar year, we see in this new liturgical year an opportunity to start anew. Now is the time for us to examine our consciences for the times we have hardened our hearts to His ways and rule in our lives. Now is the time for us to turn back to Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
Quite naturally we seek out the sacrament of Reconciliation so that we may experience a rebirth in our spiritual lives. There is no doubt about it; sin blocks the life of grace and the path of holiness for us. Whether we approach the sacrament for mortal sins, venial sins or even our imperfections, this sacrament is indispensable in our spiritual progress. We are, after all, called to be saints! With confidence, we approach the sacrament joyfully and filled with hope knowing that Christ truly has come, and He will come again. He loves us and longs for us to grow closer to Him. Included in this bulletin is a schedule for our Penance Service and services in the surrounding Catholic churches. Please spend time with this schedule and your calendars and make a date for yourself. Also invite your family and friends to experience God’s love and mercy in this beautiful sacrament of healing.
God’s greatest desire is to bless us! So let us be watchful and alert as Jesus implores us in today’s Gospel. Busy with the mission at hand, we cannot help but live in a constant state of gratitude for what God has done for us and for what God has in store for us. With humility and hope, Advent joy and expectation is a way of life for us. Let us prepare for His coming anew! Christmas is only 25 days from now!
Our Christmas Artisan Fair is next weekend. Come support your fellow parishioners and join the fun. Information on Christmas Caroling, the Giving Tree, Cookie Sale, decorating and more are also all in this bulletin. Tis the Season!
Catechism Question of the Week: True or False: By celebrating the birth and martyrdom of Paul, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (see CCC 524)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: In what way can I prepare the way of the Lord in the lives of those around me?
In Christ’s Peace,