Dear Faith Family,
Happy New Year!
As you may know, with the beginning of Advent in our Church, we also celebrate the liturgical new year.
During our normal New Year’s celebrations it is not uncommon to have a countdown to midnight while sharing quality time with friends, but the most common tradition for New Year’s is the resolutions we keep for the betterment of ourselves. Might I suggest we do something similar for Advent?
Obviously, Advent is the countdown for one of our greatest feasts: Christmas! The birth of our Lord is obviously crucial for the loving Redemption that God has for us, but the celebration of Christmas is also such a wonderful opportunity for us to grow closer to God and to become better disciples.
In what ways can we spend more quality time with God? And what type of “New Year’s Resolutions” can we do during Advent? (It is the New Year, after all.)
Thankfully, we at Padre Serra are so blessed to have so many opportunities to dive into the season of Advent, and one of the most beautiful events is our Advent Penance Service on Wednesday, December 4.
For those who have not gone in a while, I can assure you that it is worth it. Whether is has been years, or days, I have never known a priest at our service to be upset with the length of time it has been since someone has gone to Reconciliation. In fact, I know plenty of stories of priests celebrating when people overcome their fears and go to Reconciliation. If you feel called to go, but are a little scared, I can assure you, IT IS NORMAL TO BE AFRAID OF RECONCILIATION.
During my time here at Padre Serra, I have been blessed to run the Year 2 Confirmation retreat. At most retreats, we offer Reconciliation for the candidates. The anxiety of the teens when they find out that the Sacrament is available is palpable, but every year the teens still go. It’s quite amazing. What is even more amazing, though, is the peace they have once they go and receive the grace of the Sacrament. It’s one of my favorite moments that I look forward to every year.
Again, if you are worried, I just want to assure you that you are not alone. If you haven’t gone in forever and forgot how it works, that’s fine! Reconciliation can be a scary thing. Even as someone who goes frequently, it is still a scary thing for me. But let me tell you, it’s definitely worth it.
I look forward to celebrating “the most wonderful time of the year” with all of you! With all of you, I am counting down the days to Christmas and am looking forward to another encounter of Christ.
Youth and Young Adult Minister