Pastor’s Letter: December 11, 2022

Pastor’s Letter: December 11, 2022

Pastor’s Letter: December 11, 2022

9 Dec 2022 | Posted by: chadmin

The December 11 bulletin is now available online.

Dear friend,

This Sunday the Church celebrates Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent. “Gaudete,” a Latin word meaning rejoice is the first word of the Latin entrance antiphon for Sunday’s Mass. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.  Indeed, the Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5. These words of St. Paul that exhort us to rejoice, invite us also to understand the result of true rejoicing. When the Lord is near, we are called to “have no anxiety at all” that the Lord will guard our “hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” St. Paul goes on to tell us that rejoicing in the Lord will help us know that whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious will help us prepare for the coming of Christ both this Christmas and when we meet Him face to face. No matter the challenges we face, our God comes to save us. We can all get so bogged down by the daily anxieties of life, it is important to reflect on the blessings of the past and present, when we enter the Lord’s presence. Just from the beauty of our existence, we are called to rejoice in the Lord, but a step further leads us into all the blessings we’ve received. This week’s liturgy opens us up to rejoicing in real gratitude for life, family, forgiveness, and the promise of eternal salvation.

During the Season of Advent, Mary, the Mother of God, holds special importance during the liturgy. On December 8, we celebrated the Immaculate Conception. The theological belief that Mary is the Immaculate Conception is that Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin at her conception. She was kept free from sin by God at her conception in order to give birth to the Christ-child. The Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. In the 16th century, Mary appeared to Juan Diego, asking that a church be built for people to have a place to pray. God provided a miracle through Mary to convince the local bishop of the authenticity of Mary’s request for a church. After picking roses that were miraculously growing on a snow-covered hill in December, a miraculous image of Mary appeared on the tilma, or cloak, worn by Juan Diego. If you have time, there are many great Catholic websites that explain in more detail the beauty of the miracle. In basic Catholic theology, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary because of the honor God gives to her. We as Catholics don’t treat Mary as a goddess or offer her the adoration we offer to God alone. We love Mary for her simplicity, her faithfulness, and her commitment to Jesus. One of my favorite lines of a saint is that “every time we say Mary, Mary says Jesus.” She is always pointing us to her son. With a motherly heart, Mary invites us to love Jesus the way she does. Jesus once said, “You are my friends, if you do what I command you.” The command of Jesus is to “love one another” as He loves us. If we truly love someone, then we are about doing and saying that which is good for the other. During this Advent Season, I hope we all take the time to reflect upon the love of Mary’s motherhood for Jesus that it might guide us to know the love of her motherhood for each of us, as members of the Body of Christ, the Church.

I will be gone this weekend and for a few days to see family. I had planned a work trip, but that aspect fell through so I will enjoy a few days with family. Thanks to Fr. Henderson and Fr. Spannagel for covering Masses for a few days. As we enter the last week of school before the Christmas break, please keep the faculty, staff and students in prayer to finish the year well and grow in their understanding and love of the Advent and Christmas seasons.

God bless,

Father David