December 9, 2018
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. This weekend we are introduced to the precursor of the Messiah, John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. He was the voice crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His path.’ John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance. St. Luke situates John the Baptizer in a specific historical place, the region of the Jordan. John preached at a specific time. Luke is specific because God sent the Lord, the long awaited Messiah, at a specific time in human history. And His Son, our Messiah’s work was specific. He would set things right; raising valleys, lowering mountains, and making crooked and winding paths smooth so that the saving love of God would be accessible to all. The One whose coming John announced began to fulfill the promise voiced by the prophet Baruch, gathering all God’s children back to Jerusalem, the city of peace. There, God’s all-inclusive mercy will reconcile any who have gone astray. That promise continues to be fulfilled in our day. Baptism unites us with Christ. We committed to doing our part to complete the work of fulfillment begun by Jesus in His day and time. When we live Jesus clearly, His coming is made known and we prepare the way of the Lord at our specific time and place in history. We have been ‘Christ-ened’ by our Baptism. Look within this Advent and find Christ dwelling there. Look around and see where His reconciling love is most needed. Make that love visible. When we do, then, ”all flesh will see the salvation of God,” present here and now for years to come.
Msgr. Morris and I have discussed the opportunity for both St. Luke parishioners and the Oratory to have an extended time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Advent, in addition to our regular times. We will be hearing confessions and celebrating the Sacrament from 9:00am to Noon on Saturday, Dec. 15th. We encourage you to take advantage of clearing the path for the Lord by making a good confession before Christmas.
Please be sure to turn in your flower offering envelopes for our Memorial Poinsettia Campaign in order for your loved ones to be included in our Christmas bulletin (the deadline for the bulletin is 12/12/18).
Festival Choir for Christmas rehearsals continue this weekend at 7pm in the Choir loft. It’s not too late to join us. As we build this special choir I am very pleased by those who have been working with me and our organist, sharing time and talent, preparing to offer the gift of music to our parishioners and guests this Christmas.
Church decorating for Christmas will be on Dec. 22nd, beginning at 10:00am. We hope with many hands helping to decorate we will be finished by Noon. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us.
“All I want for Christmas…making a list, checking it twice…It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” So many of the songs of the holidays have been playing on the radio, on FM 102.5, courtesy of the St. Louis General Society of St. Vincent de Paul. It is a good means of evangelization for our Church. The Archdiocese has sponsored this Christmas music ever since the arrival of Archbishop Carlson. It is a reminder to all people what this season is all about (even though there are many secular songs like, “All I want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus”). Mixed in are many of our favorite Christmas carols. Looking for Christmas music? Check out FM 102.5.
Finally today, Msgr. Morris and I would like to invite all parishioners to join us on Sunday, December 30th, the Feast of the Holy Family, for an “Open House,” here at the rectory. Many parishioners have probably never been past the parish office. In the Christmas season, with holiday decorations up, we want to invite you come for a visit to the parish home, and tour the rectory where we live. The Open House will be from 12:30 to 2:30pm. Holiday refreshments will abound. Mark your calendars and plan to stop by.
God Bless! Happy Advent!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)