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Second Sunday of Advent

December 10, 2017

Dear People of God,

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. We hear the words of the Advent prophet, Isaiah, “Comfort, give comfort to my people.” Isaiah was writing to exiles who feared that God had abandoned them. Isaiah assures the people that God comes to take them home. The reading from 2nd Peter could have addressed to those same exiles. As the Church anticipated the immanent return of Christ some Christians began turning away from the faith, urged on by “scoffers.” Peter explains that the delay has nothing to do with heavenly reckoning, for “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years.” In today’s Gospel we are introduced to the last Advent prophet, St. John the Baptist. Quoting old testament prophets, John declares, “One mightier than I is coming after me.” John urges repentance from sin to prepare for His coming. His words are addressed to us this weekend, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” In all our preparations for Christmas let’s not forget that the Lord wants, most of all, for us to prepare our hearts and souls for Him to come and be reborn in us.

Thanks to everyone who came out this Saturday morning and helped spruce up the Church. It is part of good stewardship and hospitality to have our Church home clean and ready to greet our family as they come together for the great feast of our Lord’s birth. It was also a fun time for us to work together and offer our time and talent.

A special thanks to Pat Mullally and Betsy Feldmann for preparing the Advent Wreath for us and to our multi-talented Donna for making new bows and ribbons for all our Advent decorations. So much goes on behind the scenes for all our liturgical seasons. We have some very dedicated, talented ,and generous folks who make it fun.

Next Sunday, (yes folks, Advent is moving quickly and two weeks from this weekend is Christmas Eve), we will be decorating Church immediately following 10:00am Mass. There’s a lot to do and we are once again asking for your help. There’s the Creche to set-up, trees to arrange, flowers to set out, outside decorations to be put in place, etc. If you can come and lend a hand with the Church decorations we greatly appreciate it.

Just a reminder that all of our Christmas flowers will be in memory of deceased loved ones or in honor of a loved one. Flower envelopes were in your November monthly packet. There are also envelopes at all the doors of Church and in the pews. Please join us in this special way to remember all our loved ones. There is no set “donation” for this campaign. Please print names of those you are remembering/honoring on the space provided. Names of those being remembered/honored will appear in the Christmas bulletin.

Beginning with Advent we are no longer printing the hymns and service music on the back cover of the bulletin. All hymns will now be announced before we sing them. They will also continue to be posted on the hymn board.

Finally today, I want to encourage all parishioners to make good use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Christmas. It’s the “best” way I can suggest to prepare for Christmas and might be the best gift ever this season. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone, don’t let that stop you. The priest who celebrates the Sacrament with you will be happy to guide you through and help you to encounter the forgiveness, love and mercy of God. Regularly scheduled confessions at St. Luke’s are on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:00pm, and on Saturdays from 4:15 to 4:45pm. Confessions are also available by appointment.

God Bless! Happy Advent!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)