The Second Sunday of Advent always includes the Gospel account with John the Baptist. The prophets in the Old Testament served an indispensable service on behalf of God: they were His messengers who brought comforting words to the suffering but stern words for the rebellious. John the Baptist is the last, and the greatest, of the prophets. What would Advent be without him? He is the one who announces the arrival of the Messiah. Although, strictly speaking, John announces the public ministry of the (now) 30-years-old Jesus, the Church has always seen the words of the Baptist as also applying to us and to our preparation for the Lord’s birth. The Baptist’s call for repentance certainly applies to us, as it applied to the contemporaries of Jesus. It is good that the Church observes the different seasons of the liturgical year so that we might use these opportunities to be renewed in faith. The Advent season – if we take our cue from John the Baptist – is a most proper time to reform our lives, to repent from sin, and to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. Has it been a long time since you went to Confession? Maybe even many years? Now is the time to be reconciled to the Lord through this beautiful sacrament of mercy. You will find our parish schedule for confessions (as well as area parish penance services with individual confessions) in this bulletin.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is typically observed on December 8. Since it falls on a Sunday this year, the Church transfers its observance to the following day. Though the obligation to attend Mass is lifted, nevertheless, we will observe this Patronal Feast of our nation tomorrow (Monday), December 9, with Mass at 8:00 A.M.
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!
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller