The Church has traditionally called the Third Sunday of Advent Gaudete Sunday, or Joyful Sunday. The first reading of today’s Mass, from the prophet Isaiah, expresses the great joy which the arrival of the Messiah will bring. The coming of the Lord will be demonstrated by great signs: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared...” The reading from the Gospel again focuses on John the Baptist as the precursor to the Lord; that is, he is the one who guides us in our preparation for the Lord’s coming. Are you and your family preparing to celebrate the Lord’s birth at Christmas? Make good use of this Holy Season of Advent.
May I suggest a few ways to help you prepare better for Christmas? One way is to make a good confession. You’ll find in this bulletin the schedule of opportunities for confessions at area Churches, as well as when confessions are heard here at SS Peter & Paul. Another way to help you prepare for Christmas is to spend some time praying before the Lord during a Holy Hour of Adoration the last two Sundays of Advent from 3 - 4pm (with Solemn Vespers beginning at 3:30pm). I hope that the Magnificat Advent Companion and other resources which I made available for you have been helpful as well. (There are still copies available!)
Many families make an accounting of their charitable giving before the end of a calendar year for, among other reasons, possible tax implications. I hope you will consider placing your parish at the top of that list. And, of course, I still encourage and welcome pledges to the Diocesan Annual Appeal. My thanks to all who have contributed to the DAA and to SS Peter & Paul Church!
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller