November 26, 2017
Dear People of God,
Today we celebrate the 34th and final Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe climaxes this year’s celebration of the Paschal Mystery and our growth in discipleship. Our readings for this year’s feast paint an image of a King who tends His flock, like a Good Shepherd. Our Gospel scene of the Last Judgment has the King, once again like a shepherd, separating the sheep from the goats. (I often like to ask as I’m preaching this Gospel, which side of the Church do you want to sit on today, left or right?) The criteria for which each of us will be judged is simple. Did we imitate Jesus? Did we see Him in others and respond or ignore them? Jesus is clear, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for Me.”
Next Sunday we begin with a new Church year as we begin with Advent and preparing room in our hearts for Christ to be reborn in us with joy. Advent is NOT Lent. In Advent we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Messiah and Lord. It is a busy time for all of us as we get ready for Christmas, but I hope as we make our way once again through Advent for us to take time to reflect on the messages of this Holy Season and be ready for perhaps the best Christmas ever. Advent this year is the shortest ever with Christmas falling on a Monday. You will be receiving my annual Christmas Letter in the mail very shortly. Please take the time to read it and perhaps share it with family and neighbors.
During the upcoming season of Advent, I encourage all of us to make use of the tradition of the “Giving Tree,” which will be available to us to help make Christmas a bit brighter to the needy. Each year in many parishes, this tradition has the effect of making us more prepared to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, and know we have welcomed Him by sharing our gifts with others. I also want to encourage all of us to take the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In the carol, Joy to Word, we sing, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” If it’s been awhile since you have gone to confession and received the amazing love and forgiveness of God, I encourage you to rediscover His unconditional love and mercy. Prepare room in your hearts. Create a manger worthy of your Savior.
Thank you to the many who gathered on Thanksgiving morning to celebrate the Eucharist and join in a prayer of gratitude for all our blessings. Thanks too for your generous donations to our St. Vincent de Paul Society which will help us all to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters in our local community.
NEXT weekend, Dec. 2nd/3rd, our Mass schedule changes will go into effect. Weekend Masses will return to Saturdays at 5:00pm, and Sundays at 8:00 and 10:00am. Confessions will now be on Saturdays from 4:15pm to 4:45pm. Beginning Monday Dec. 4th we will also have daily Mass, Monday thru Friday at 8:00am.
God Bless! Have a great week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)