This Week’s Message from Father Dave…
A disruptive force can often cause life to stir when we want calm. John the Baptist is anything but calm. He comes on the scene at a time in which his message is most needed yet it creates quite a stir. The religious authorities hear his message and cannot fathom why so many are coming to him. The Roman occupation will keep a close eye on John because he appears to them to be a radical. John’s message is disruptive and radical, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his path.”
John has insight into workings of God that others do not. His message appears to be one of urgency. John wants no one to waste any time. He is insisting that a clear and straight path be made between humanity and God. Does John’s message have some inclination about the necessary and needed means to allow God into the human heart like never before?
What makes this message powerful is John’s sense of himself. “One mightier than I is coming after me.” John realizes that the presence of God is beyond even the power of his own words. John is humble enough to realize he is just preparing the way for someone much more important than himself.
John’s message resonates through this Advent season. Our preparation is quick in terms of time, yet we have to pay heed to the message John proclaims. The next two weeks can be significant if we try to clear a path for the Lord that directs Him to the human heart. John is convinced that his ministry is to bring people to acknowledge their sin and to be baptized. However, he is convinced the One coming after him will offer not only forgiveness but the power of the Holy Spirit.
This time of quiet reflection in the course of the craziness of our world before Christmas, can bring us to that holy interchange of acknowledgment of sin by baptism that prepares for what Jesus will offer the world in the gift of the Holy Spirit. Take time to reflect and to prepare for the great feast of Christmas. Prepare your hearts for the power of the moment we realize what God has and is continuing to do for us.
This Tuesday, December 12th we will have our Communal Penance Service with individual confessions at 7pm in the church. There are many other times for confessions throughout the next two weeks:
Sunday December 17th at 4pm-4:45pm
Wednesday December 20th at 9am-10am
Thursday December 21st at 9am-10am
Friday December 22nd at 9am-10am
Saturday December 23rd at 9am-10am and 3pm-4:45pm
This is a good variety of times for you to choose from. If for some reason you still cannot make these times and your desire is to go to the sacrament of Penance before Christmas call me at the rectory to set up at time or the neighboring parishes have times also available for confessions.
The Mass Schedule for Christmas is Sunday, December 24th at 4pm in the church and Hanson Hall, 7pm in the church, and 10pm in the church. Monday, December 25th at 8:30am and 11am. Special thanks in advance to all our liturgical ministers who will make themselves available and our art and environment committee for their great work during this hectic time. Come to Mass on Christmas day with heart willing to be captured by God who becomes like you and I. His passion for us is beyond words.
Carve out a little time each day to realize the special nature of this holy season. God will respond in His own way to your prayers. He is never outdone in generosity. Keep the eye of the heart focused on what is important and not to get caught up in the mad rush of the world during this time. God has a way of slowing us down. Just as Mary and Joseph experienced the movement of God in personal lives it lead them to one another and to fulfill the task of parenting Jesus. God will provide what we need to accept Christ in our lives so that we will prepare him room where he is needed the most – the human heart!!