A good way to celebrate the season of Advent is to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation. Our Advent Reconcilation Service is Wednesday, December 11, at 7:30 p.m. Come and receive forgiveness, graces and healing through the sacrament as preparation to receive Jesus when he comes at Christmas. There will be several priests available to hear confessions. Please encourage your family members and friends to come along with you.
What are the effects of sin? Sin is to the soul what disease is in the body.
How are we spending our time in preparation for Christmas? Are we caught up with the shopping frenzy? Many stores started the shopping madness on Thanksgiving morning; others open all night. I saw a video of two women fighting at a store on Black Friday, one of them using a stun-gun, all in the name of Advent and Christmas.
Today’s readings point us toward a different way to prepare for Christmas, they all speak of the arrival of God, and encourage us to be alert and ready for the Lord.
Advent has a twofold character: as a time to prepare for the solemnity of Christmas when the Son of God’s first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, the season of Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.
Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope:
• Waiting-memory of the first, humble coming of the Lord in our mortal flesh; waiting-supplication for his final, glorious coming as Lord of history and universal judge;
Why did Christ not save himself and prove to everyone that he is the Son of God? The truth is Christ had to die so that we may live. For Jesus to save himself would contradict his purpose in becoming human. On the surface, Jesus’ death appears as an utter failure. But there is a deeper reality. Jesus had to suffer and die in order to atone for our sins. Humanity had sinned against God, who is infinitely good; hence, an infinite offense had been committed. No mere human person can make up for this immense injustice.
Do you have fears? What are you afraid of? In the Gospel, Christ tells his disciples that no matter what happens, be not afraid. Jesus warns his disciples that they will be suffer, but use the opportunity to bear witness to him with confidence. Part of their vocation in the world is to be as defendants on trial because of their faithfulness to Jesus. Their suffering resembles that of Christ. Their hardships allow them to participate in Christ’s redemptive work. Trials are opportunities to bear witness to their faith.
In the Creed, we pray, “I believe . . . in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” What does that mean to us? And how does this belief affect the way we live?
In the Gospel, Jesus confirms the truth about the resurrection of the body, which has been revealed in the Old Testament. At the time of Jesus, many, including the Pharisees, believe in the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees, however, deny the resurrection, the immortality of soul and the existence of angels.
We’re approaching that time of year again to help a Family-in-Need celebrate Christmas! All parishioners are invited to participate in OLMC’s 15th Annual ADOPT-A-FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS Program.
You may sign-up as a (1) sponsoring family, or (2) as a group of friends, or (3) solo. When you sign-up you will be given the name of a family-in-need and provided with their individual names, along with their ages and clothing sizes. Your commitment is that you will purchase “actual gifts” (and not just “gift cards”) for each member.
You will be expected to bring your adopted family’s