Pastor Corner for December 15, 2013
The sights and sounds of the season are in full swing and even the snow has arrived early. In the midst of all the noise our spirits wait for the cry of a “newborn”. Last week I became a great-uncle for the 7th time, her name is Clare. What a joy! Rejoice with me! We can only imagine the joy of Mary and Joseph and all the angels as they waited expectantly for the great change that the Christ would bring to a world that was victimized by one war after another.
Even today in the midst of all the frivolity and busyness we are constantly reminded that WE ARE STILL AT WAR!!!: War against terrorism, abuse, drugs, broken marriages, threats to our Catholic Moral Convictions and teachings, poverty, climatic catastrophes, etc., etc.. We must forever be on guard lest the temptation of complacency blind us to the very real dangers of our time. This may seem like a negative Advent message but it is also the very message of hope and warning that are in our scriptures.
Today is Gaudete Sunday, the Sunday of Joy. It is joyful because scripture reminds us that our God, in the midst of war and other disasters, made a promise that would be fulfilled in the hearts and minds of all believers. He not only promised a Messiah but actually delivered by sending Jesus the Christ to free us from our sins and make possible eternal life. Hear again what our God has promised: Eternal Life, heavenly peace, justice and unconditional love. He did not promise our life would be easy, that we would win the lottery, that every prayer would be answered on our terms and that we would not be sick or persecuted. He did however promise that we would give us joy to balance our afflictions and the promise of eternal life to overcome our doubts and fears. Is this enough? If not, he also reminds us that we are “at war” and for those who choose to follow his discipline, victory is assured. Like John the Baptist, we are challenged to stand firm in our convictions, like Isaiah, we are encourage to spread a message of hope and like St. Paul, we are reminded to be patient and not complain. Wouldn’t you like these gifts in your Christmas stocking? Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened and may your Christmas be overflowing with the generosity of the God of Love.
The first grade class presented a Nativity play. When Joseph came to the inn and asked if there was room the little boy playing the innkeeper replied, “You’re lucky. We just had a cancellation.” Any room in your life for Jesus?
Celebrate with us this Sunday afternoon with the Angelus Chorus Concert at 3:00!!!
Many thanks to the Radzieta family for again donating 2014 calendars. God Bless!!!