We are a week into our Advent observance. For the church, Advent is a season with two themes. The first is preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, whose kingship we celebrated recently. The second, to which we shift from December 17th on, is celebrating the coming of Jesus in history where he became human – Emmanuel – God with us.
So if we are preparing for Jesus’ Second Coming, how might that look? Today’s Scriptures give us some idea. From the first reading from Baruch and the Responsorial Psalm (126) we encounter the following: There will be no more mourning nor misery. We will be “wrapped in a cloak of God’s justice.” There will be a sense of restoration: children returning “borne aloft in glory” after being taken from us by our enemies. We will be laughing and rejoicing, as in a dream. Where we had gone forth weeping, we will come back rejoicing, led by God, with mercy and justice for company.
In the second reading, Saints Paul and Timothy pray that our love may increase more and more, that we may be pure and blameless.
How will this restoration, this unbelievable joy come to us? It is made clear in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 3. In a very specific time and place (lest we are tempted to relegate all of this to a cozy myth), John the Baptist, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, prompted by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, quoting the prophet Isaiah the whole time: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
Repentance is key. It’s much more than merely feeling sorry. It is a sincere desire to change course, to turn away from what keeps us from God, and making an effort of will to turn toward God. We can ask God for help changing course. He is delighted by every faltering step we take toward him, no matter how humble. Since, as the second reading tells us, God will bring to completeness in us the good work he has begun in us, in his own good and mysterious time and way, we will experience a healing of all losses, all brokenness, all incompleteness, all grief, all mourning.
To get in touch with the enormity of this, and to bring it from an idea “out there” to a reality within, spend some time with the first reading and responsorial psalm. Realize that the powerful emotions prophesied are not exaggerations, nor are they merely symbolic. They are a foretaste of the joy we will experience at the coming of Jesus Chris in glory at the end of time.
This is a lot to wait and hope for – there is real depth in Advent if we’ll let it in. Let’s pray for one another that we can do so! Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Our parish Safeguard the Children Committee serves as the eyes, ears and voice for children and the vulnerable in our community. Over the last several years, the committee has worked with the parish leadership and staff to provide a safe environment for our children, resulting in a number of improvements and the implementation of important policies. Visit Parish Safeguard the Children for more information.
For more information about the VIRTUS® programs above, please visit www.virtusonline.org
This post is updated every month.
Wednesday, December 12
A new ministry for those healing from divorce
First & Third Tuesday of the month
Grace Martinez, Cynthia Jones Campbell, Jett Clyne.
Photo by Julius Acero
Second Monday of the Month
San Fernando room
Contact Dave McCormick
By Julius Acero
This year the Young Adults Ministry adopted an Angel Tag family. You are welcome to join our Christmas shopping for them. We will meet at 7:00pm and carpool. You are invited to contribute for the gifts or just join us as we do our part to brighten their holiday season!
White Elephant ~ December 20
Will be having a White Elephant gift exchange. Join us for a fun filled night. Bring a gift valued at $20 to $30 to participate in the exchange. 7:15pm, Carmel room.
Bible Study ~ January 10
Bring your bible! Join the Young Adults for a bible study session.
Guys/Girls Night ~ January 17
We'll be doing minute to win it/quick games of Guys vs Girls. Join us for some fun! Battle of the sexes.
Praise & Worship ~ January 24
Join the Young Adults for some praise and worship! Musical guest TBD.
Book Club ~ January 31
Was not able to finish The Screwtape Letters with us last month? Don't worry, some of us didn't either! Join us for a discussion and review of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. Special Guest TBD.
Remaining Tickets will be on sale after mass on December 1st and 2nd.
Friday, December 14
Peer leaders help engage our confirmation candidates by acting as mentors and facilitators during our weekly confirmation sessions, our annual retreats, and at 4:12 youth nights.
If you are confirmed and are interested in joining our team, or if you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit also: Youth and Young Adults
Weekend December 15, 16
Saturday, December 15
Fr. Patrick, Marcia Galles, Catherine Shadduck.
Photo by Julius Acero
The Catechism teaches that "Christ’s grace in the Sacrament of Marriage protects the essential purposes of marriage: the good of the couple and the generation and education of children. These purposes are protected and fostered by the permanence of the marriage bond and the mutual fidelity of spouses” (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, 283).
- United States Catholic Conference of Bishops
- For Your Marriage
- Natural Family Planning
- Marriage Encounter
- Local Marriage Encounter Weekends
Third Wednesday of the month
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