First Sunday of Advent

December 1, 2019

Today we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Advent. We begin a new Church Year and enter the season of expectant joy as we prepare once again for the coming the Lord. This season is a busy one for all of us and the preparation to receive Christ can easily get lost in the tasks before us. This season begins with a vision of a time of peace. The Advent prophet, Isaiah, invites us to “…walk in the light of the Lord.” St. Paul’s letter to the Romans invites us to know the times in which we’re living. It is the hour for us to wake-up. Our salvation is near at hand. In less than four short weeks we will have the opportunity to embrace our savior as we recall the greatest Christmas present we could ever receive. This new Church year our Gospel readings will be taken from St. Matthew. As we celebrate the first day of our annual journey celebrating the Life, Death, Resurrection and glory of Christ, (the Paschal Mystery), St. Matthew tells us , “So too, you also must be prepared…” And that’s what we do each Advent; prepare for the Christ who was born in Bethlehem to be reborn in our hearts and souls this Christmas. “Let every heart prepare Him room…” My prayer for us all is that the Lord Jesus who was born for us will be reborn in us and bring us peace.

During Advent, as we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, we will once again have our Annual Giving Tree to help those in need have a brighter Christmas. As you shop for the item on our giving tree, 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 will 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 to participate. Simply write clearly the name(s) of departed loved ones those you would like to remember, or people you would like to honor. All names will appear in our bulletin near Christmas. The poinsettias will be a special way to include loved ones in our Christmas celebrations and make the Church so beautiful.

This coming Saturday, Dec. 7th, please help us make our beautiful Church shine for the upcoming holidays. Let’s join together and do a thorough cleaning. “Many hands make light work!”

This Fall someone posted an idea that I want to share with you during Advent; it’s called a Reverse Advent Calendar. I have asked Donna to include it in this week’s bulletin. The idea is simple. Each day during Advent you add the item listed into the box. Then on Christmas Eve you donate the contents. I would like to suggest that we try that and donate our boxes to our own St. Vincent de Paul Society. During the winter months we will be needing extra food to share with the needy. A Reverse Advent Calendar will help us to keep the awareness of hunger in our neighborhood a reality. Thought it was a novel idea and hope you will give it a try.

Finally today, one special way for us to prepare room for the Lord to come to us in a special way is to prepare the manger of our hearts by the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. Msgr. Morris and I will once again offer a morning of extended confessions on Saturday, Dec. 14th from 8:00am ‘til 11:00am. Please mark it on the calendar and plan to allow the peace and mercy of God to remove any obstacles from Christ making His advent into your heart.

God Bless! Have a good week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)