Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. John the Baptist is the key figure in the Gospel passage. He comes preaching a baptism of repentance and invites all to prepare the way for the Lord by turning away from sin and being baptized. Last week, our Advent reflection before Mass helped us to prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming by taking time for him to enter into that God-shaped space in our hearts. In his homily, Father Jim gave us some homework, a “spiritual exercise,” to help us become aware of Christ’s presence in our lives each day. Please see the Examen in the next column that he requested I print in the bulletin for you. Using this Examen each day, reading from the Little Blue Books, attending weekday Mass, and taking extra quiet time for reflection before the weekend Masses should help heighten our awareness of God’s presence in our lives and the ways in which we and others reflect his presence in thought, word and action. In another week, there will be some opportunities for the Communal Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance in our Vicariate. Let us take to heart the words of John the Baptist, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” As we do, let us make it a point to receive the sacrament of Penance, either individually or in a communal setting, as we prepare our hearts for the great celebration of the Incarnation, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord.
Please join us for the celebration of Advent Evening Prayer this Tuesday at 6:30 PM.
This Thursday, December 8 is a holy day of obligation. It is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mass at Saint John Paul II Parish will take place at 6:30 PM. Morning Masses in our vicariate are listed on the next page of the bulletin.
There are still some tags that remain on our Advent Angel Giving Tree. Remember, gifts are to be returned next weekend, in a gift bag with the tag from the Giving Tree attached.
Blessings on your Advent Journey!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ