Pastor’s Reflection for December 13, 2015

Dear Parishioners,

This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent which is called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice. This is why we light the rose color candle on the Advent wreath. We are nearing the great feast of Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Savior. We rejoice in the great gift that is coming from the Father, His Son Jesus. In a way, it is like winning the Third Week of Adventlottery. You have the winning numbers and are rejoicing even before you receive the cash. You know what is coming. We are rejoicing in two ways. We rejoice in what has happened, that Jesus came to live among us, to teach us the way that leads to eternal life and we rejoice that He will be coming in a new and fresh way to help us turn away from sin and to live as His followers.

This Sunday is a good reminder that as Christians, we live with a joyful Spirit. Life may at times be hard and painful but we know that Jesus is Emmanuel, God is with us. We do not walk alone. Jesus is with us with His love and provides our every need. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. As we bring to mind our many blessings, that we are adopted children of God, may the joy of the Lord dwell in our hearts.

Pope Francis chose December 8 to open The Year Of Mercy because that day marks the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of Vatican II. Pope Francis called mercy “the very foundation of the Church’s life and credibility.” He said that wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy. Mercy means to come to the aid of another out of a sense of relationship. Mercy is not earned or deserved. God in His Mercy came to us, to save us from the power of sin and death. Mercy is a response of love. This Year of Mercy not only brings to mind how we have received mercy from God but encourages us to extend mercy to those in our lives. As we begin every Mass asking for the mercy of God for us sinners, may God grant us the grace to let that mercy overflow to others. This year we will have reflections on mercy each week in the spiritual reflection section of the bulletin.

A good way to prepare for Christmas is to cleanse our souls by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I have made myself available at different times during the week. We always have confessions on Saturday from 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. In addition, I shall be available this week on Monday, December 14, from 2:00 p.m. – 2: 30 p.m. and on Wednesday, December 16, from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,