It is already the Third Sunday of Advent. We are at the half-way point, with two full weeks of Advent remaining. Today, the pink Advent Candle is lit and rose colored vestments are worn as we celebrate Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. In the Gospel passage, John the Baptist, who is imprisoned, sends his disciples to Jesus to ask: “Are you the One who is to come?” Jesus encourages them to tell John what they see and hear. The deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the dead are raised to life. What sights to behold! What reasons to rejoice! What wonders that witness to the Lord’s presence among his people! Reflecting upon all these glorious things, let us take time this week to think about what has given us cause to rejoice in the Lord? What wonders has he worked in our lives?
Please note all the opportunities for the Communal Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance in Our Vicariate this week. Since the first is Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church, there will be no evening Mass or any other liturgy at Saint John Paul II Parish so that those who wish may attend the Penance liturgy.
The bulletin has taken on a new look as one way of reducing our paper expense. The quality of the cover page no longer has a glossy finish. Our aim is to have only one insert page, so information has been rearranged, and in cases where it had been duplicated, it now appears only once. The prayer list has had an explanation in it for three weeks to assure all that a master list is placed in the Book of Intentions and on the bulletin boards.
If you or your family has a Nativity set and would like the Christ child figure blessed, please bring it to Church next Saturday or Sunday. On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the Church provides a special rite for the Blessing of an Image of the Infant Jesus, a custom re-introduced by Pope Benedict XVI. The blessing will take place at both weekend Masses.
Please see the Christmas Season Mass Schedule in the following column.
Blessings on your Advent Journey!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ