PASTOR’S CORNER DEC. 13, 2010
Message from Fr. Steve: “It’s time to take out the trash!!” Of course he is talking about the awesome gift of forgiveness freeing us from the stench and mess of our sins. We will be celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after the 8am Mass and in the evening beginning at 7pm. On Tuesday evening we will have a reconciliation service.
Jesus in His “Advent Message” wants to give us a present and if we follow his command to “REPENT” we will truly know the blessings of the Season of Grace.
What does Advent “watchful waiting” mean? Anyone who has ever pulled sentry duty or waited for a loved one to come home knows well what it means. It means to stand ready to challenge, defend and/or welcome. It means to be focused and alert and silent. We heard both John the Baptist and Jesus challenge us to “repent”. The word of “repent” in Greek means to refocus, to become pensive, prepare to change and be transformed. In the hustle and bustle of today’s world it is very difficult to be engaged in “repentance” and “watchful waiting”, there are just too many distractions. So many that we often “forget the reason for the season” and end up not being able to meet St. Paul’s challenge of last week’s scripture: “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions for the desires of the flesh.” As we scurry about making final Christmas preparations (the desires of the flesh) I thank God that you have taken time to spiritually prepare yourself for the God who humbled Himself to come among us. Many at the first Christmas, as is the story today, lost out because they were too busy to recognize that a “Great Blessing” had come upon them. The noise and hubbub around them kept them from hearing the chorus of Angels, the burdens of the day kept them from looking up to see the Star of Night and lives lived too comfortably prevented many from realizing the great poverty they live in because they truly had chosen the lesser portion. I praise God that you have chosen well.
It is no secret that next weekend we will be inundated with visitors. Treat them with great hospitality and they will come back. It is one of our strong points to make people feel welcome so I trust that you will do what you do best.
I again remind you of our Christmas schedule:
Christmas Eve: 4:00 – 4:15 (St. Gabriel’s) – 7:00 and 10:00
Christmas Day: 8:00 am and 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Sun. Dec. 26th: 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00
I thank in advance all those who are donating to the Christmas flowers and I remind everyone in this Season of Giving to be as generous as possible in your Christmas donation. We are holding our own financially but as you know, a little cushion is always a good thing and there are many who need our help, now more than ever.
If we don’t see you over Christmas, we: Fr. Antony, Fr. Steve, our staff and myself thank you for you many prayers, blessings and volunteer hours. You are indeed a blessing to us and we reverence you as a gift from God. Travel safely and peacefully!!