December 8, 2019
Today we celebrate the 2nd Sunday of our Advent journey. Today we are once again called to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Our Old Testament reading is a message of hope, justice, and peace. The prophet Isaiah describes the coming of the One who will establish the kingdom of justice and peace, judging the poor with justice. In today’s 2nd reading, St. Paul, writing to the Romans, says that Christ comes to save everyone. Once again we hear the message of ‘hope’ for all who are willing to give their lives to Christ. In today’s Gospel, St. Matthew tells of the great St. John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness a message of repentance. It is not a message of fire and brimstone, an ultimatum, as much as an invitation to “get ready,” to “prepare the way of the Lord.” He says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John is telling us to have hope in the One who will come “with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The repentance he preaches is changing in us whatever keeps us from allowing Christ to come to us.
THANK YOU! To all who turned out this weekend and lent a hand in doing a thorough cleaning of Church. The smell of Murphy’s Oil Soap still lingers, and the Church sparkles, ready for the upcoming holy days.
During Advent, one of many parishes’ outreach to the less fortunate is the Annual Giving Tree which helps those in need have a brighter Christmas. Last weekend our giving tree went empty quickly. That says a lot about our generosity. As you shop for the item on the tag, pray for the person who will receive your gift. Pray that Jesus touch them through you. Please see the bulletin for details on when to return your gift.
We also have our Annual Memorial Poinsettia program this year. Flower envelopes were in your monthly packet (or you can use the ones we have in Church). No set donation is expected, in order for all who want to, to participate. Please write clearly the name(s) of those you would like to remember, or people you would like to honor. All names will appear in our bulletin near Christmas (deadline for the Christmas bulletin is 12/10/19…envelopes must be in the office no later than 12/10 in order to have the names published in the 12/22/19 bulletin). The poinsettias will be a special way to include loved ones in our Christmas celebrations and make our Church so beautiful.
A very powerful way to “prepare the way of the Lord” is for all of us to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance, allowing God’s gracious mercy to remove any obstacles, make straight the path of grace, and give us the gift of His merciful love this Christmas. NEXT Saturday, Dec. 14th, Msgr. and I will have an extended period of confessions for both parishioners of St. Luke and members of the Oratory. We will be hearing confessions from 8am to 11:00am. Plan to make a good Advent confession.
With Christmas falling mid-week on Wednesday, we are planning to decorate the Church on Saturday morning, Dec. 21st. Our St. Vincent de Paul Society is also having their Christmas Basket deliveries that day. In addition, we have a wedding scheduled for 2pm. Busy day! I would love to see a great turn-out for Church decorating in order to be finished before Noon. I have asked Msgr. Morris to please ask members of the Oratory to join us too. Please mark your calendars and be a part of preparing our beautiful Church to welcome our infant King, Jesus.
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)