Advent is here. This year because Christmas falls on a Sunday, we have exactly four weeks of Advent (there are always four Sundays, but not always four weeks). Our society says that from now until Christmas, we are on a full out sprint. Rather, the Church tries to slow us down to enjoy what God is doing in our midst. God is giving us this season of preparation.
So what exactly are we preparing for? We are getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ first coming: Christmas, and we are getting ready for Him to come again. Maybe the question to ask is this: If Jesus came tomorrow, would we recognize Him and be ready to welcome Him? Advent is meant to help us to do just that. Prayer is a key component at any time, but in a penitential season, which Advent is, it is even more important to help us to focus on getting rid of sin. Sometimes when we focus on sin, we can get down and sad because we find that there is no hope of us getting rid of sin. On our own this would be true, but with God’s help, that is one of the reasons we pray, we can get rid of sin. Wouldn’t a Christmas celebration be even better if we were able to focus on love more because we have had our sins forgiven.
Since it is a penitential season, I encourage all of us to get to the Sacrament of Confession. It brings peace and forgives sins. We should avail ourselves of such beautiful blessings.
On Thursday, December 8th, we celebrate the Immaculate Conception. She is Patroness of our country. On this day, which is a Holy Day of Obligation, we will have Mass at 8:30 am at St. Thomas Aquinas. 5:00 pm at St. Columban. And we will have 7:00 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas. Plenty of opportunities to get to Mass on this day.
Also on Thursday, December 8th, some of our parishioners will be making or renewing their Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. What a truly remarkable gift this is. For those that will be making this, we will do it after each Mass. Question or concerns on this, please see me and I will do my best to help explain what is happening.
May God bless you with His peace!!!
Fr. Thomas P. Galarneault