December 6, 2020
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. As we move through this season of preparing for the Lord, our scriptures this weekend are words of comfort in an unusual year and an unusually hectic time. The prophet Isaiah is told by God, “Comfort, give comfort to my people.” In our preparation for the season of “Comfort and Joy,” the prophet reminds us of a voice crying out in the wilderness, “prepare the way of the Lord…make straight a highway for our God.” As we turn to this week’s Gospel, St. Mark reveals that God fulfilled this prophecy in John the Baptist. Both this week and next our Gospel will feature St. John. He is the voice crying out in the wilderness for all to prepare for the coming of the Lord. And folks, that’s what we are all called to do this season. As we reflect on the Word each week (and each day), we find the Old Testament reading giving us a prophecy of what God will do. The Gospel reading reveals how this was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. How can we prepare for the coming of Jesus? One old nun I had in my early years of school said, “You need to make room for Jesus in the manger of your heart.” As the Christmas carol says, “prepare Him room.” What needs to happen to do that in your life? DO IT!
The past two weeks of shut-down and quarantine were certainly unexpected. When Msgr. told me on Nov. 23rd that he had the virus, we immediately followed Archdiocesan protocols to ensure all of us and all of you were kept safe. The rectory staff especially began mitigation procedures and Msgr. pretty much quarantined in his room. Our wonderful Donna was sent home and has been working remotely. (Modern technology is wonderful). We were able to send out a email blast to many, but there were some who did not get the message that we were shut-down. I apologize for that. We weren’t able to have Mass on Thanksgiving Day, our unofficial Holy Day when we all gather because we want to. That was sad. Then came the 1St Sunday of Advent and the St. Luke community did not have Mass. This weekend we are at the end of the quarantine period and will return to our normal schedules beginning tomorrow. Praise God!
As the Covid-19 virus continues to increase in our region, it is of utmost importance that all of us follow the guidelines of the CDC and the National Institute of Health. Face masks, despite the debate, are important for not only your safety, but that of others. Show compassion for others and wear a mask. Upon entering and leaving St. Luke’s Church, please use the hand sanitizer at the doors. Avoid congregating with parishioners and stand no closer than 6ft. from one another after Mass. Until this dreadful virus is wiped out we all need to be vigilant and not let our guard down.
Tuesday of this week is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day. Our first Mass after the shut-down will be on Monday, Dec. 7th at 5pm. On Tuesday, Dec. 8th, there will be one Mass at 8:00am. Please plan to attend. To our sister Church in Maplewood, Happy feast day.
Finally today, as we draw nearer to the Lord’s Nativity, we will continue the schedule of Masses we have had for the past several years. Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th, Mass will be at 4:00pm with an emphasis on the children. Mass on Christmas morning, Dec. 25th will be at 9:00am. We will have the same schedule for New Year’s, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, with the Vigil Mass at 4pm, and Mass on Jan. 1st at 9:00am.
God Bless! Happy Advent!
Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.