From our Pastor: December 1, 2019

As we enter the Season of Advent this Sunday, December 1, our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ commands us to “stay awake!” He tells us to “be prepared, for at an hour
you do not expect, the Son of Man will come” (Matthew 24:37-44). 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 our Savior, the source of all truth, love,
beauty, goodness, justice and mercy. Our Lord says that there will be people like the
impervious, unprepared people “in the days of Noah” who did not focus on God, but
were focused on themselves and distracted by worldly things.

So, how do we stay focused in Advent, preparing to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday
and prepared for His Second Coming at the end of time? As with every Advent, our
preparation consists in living the Christian life by living the virtues of 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 said, when we are
living the virtues, we become less preoccupied with our self, freeing us to respond to
God with the “yes” of love that sets us free to say “yes” to being the disciples He calls
us to be, children of God.

As disciples of Christ, we follow the Lord Jesus in word and deed. Discipleship,
therefore, is much more than a feeling, but an entering into the love of God and
doing His will. Saint Maximilian Kolbe has said that the essence of our love for God
consists in fulfilling God’s will at every moment of our lives and submitting ourselves
completely to His will. This includes: keeping His Commandments, especially the two
Great Commandments, love of God and love of neighbor; living the virtues of faith,
hope and love; praying; reading God’s Word in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition;
frequenting the Sacraments.

This Advent Season, by God’s grace, may we avoid our tendency to focus on our
self, but rather focus evermore intently on our Savior, Jesus Christ, with gratitude, in
friendship and love. Pope Saint John Paul II said that “every year, Advent reminds
us that grace – and that is God’s will to save man – is more powerful than sin.” May
we be evermore aware of God’s grace, His presence in our daily life, allowing Him to
sanctify our daily words and deeds, more attentive to our daily conversation with Him,
serving Him through acts of charity. As Isaiah says (Isaiah 2:1-5), “Come, let us climb
the Lord’s mountain… that He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His
paths… let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

With prayers for a blessed Advent in Christ,

Fr. William

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