From our Pastor: December 3, 2017

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we enter the Season of Advent, our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ commands us to “Be watchful! Be alert!” He tells us to “watch,”
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come (Mark 13:33-37). Jesus
warns the disciples that when He comes again, there will be many people who choose
to ignore Him, who choose to ignore the fact that He is the source of all truth, love,
beauty, justice, and peace. Our Lord says, “May he not come suddenly and find you
sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Being watchful, being alert consists in living the Christian life, putting on the Lord
Jesus Christ through faith, hope and love. It consists in realizing that all good things
come from and lead back to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI has stated: “Faith is a liberation of my ‘I’ from its preoccupation with
self, a liberation that sets me free to respond to the Father, to speak the ‘Yes’ of love
that sets me free to say ‘Yes’ to being. Faith is a breaking out of the isolation that is the
malady of my ‘I.’ The act of faith is a breaking open of the door of my subjectivity.”

As disciples of Christ, we are to follow the Lord Jesus and to be His disciples in word
and deed. Discipleship, therefore, is much more than a “feeling,” much more than what
I think that it is. Being Jesus Christ’s disciples includes: keeping His Commandments;
living the virtues of faith, hope and love; spending time with God in prayer; reading
His Word in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition; and frequenting the Sacraments.

This Advent Season reminds us to avoid our tendency to focus on our self – rather, we
are to focus evermore intently on our Savior, Jesus Christ, with gratitude, in friendship
and love. This Season reminds us to avoid being complacent in the Faith, to avoid the
dangerous attitude of being a “good enough Catholic Christian.” This Advent, we prepare
once again to celebrate the birthday of Jesus, His first coming into the world, and we
anticipate His Second Coming at the end of time. In between these two comings, we
focus on His presence in our thoughts, words and prayers, in His Church, Word and
Sacraments, especially in the Holy Eucharist. God reminds us of this at every Mass, as
we strive to pray the Mass well. And God calls us to be evermore aware of His presence
in our daily life, to allow Him to sanctify our words and deeds, watchful and alert in
our daily conversation with Him and in our serving Him through acts of charity. May
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ find us doing so.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William

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