Thanks to everyone who attended our Advent Parish Mission! What a wonderful few evenings we had together! Fr. Ben Dallas led us on beautiful meditations of the infancy narratives from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in the presence of our Lord Jesus exposed in the monstrance and finishing the evening with Benediction. I think everyone who attended can attest to great preaching and insights brought to us for meditation to help us enter into this Advent and Christmas Season. Thank you, Fr. Ben for being with us these days!
On this Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, we celebrate the Joy that the Lord, the Light of the World! Gaudete is a Latin verb for Rejoice! The entrance antiphon for today’s mass is “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! Indeed the Lord is near!” (Philippians 4:4-5) This is the motto of our bishop, Gaudete in Domino semper!
This Sunday we wear Rose or Pink vestments which is the reason for the pink candle in the Advent Wreath and a reminder that the Light is coming into the world and will be revealed soon! So, rejoice today! Rejoice because our salvation from sin and eternal death is coming into the world and will be given to us! He will be called Emmanuel – God is with us! Our God will make His dwelling among us and in us! He makes us HIS temples, houses, dwellings! What a mystery! What a beautiful truth to relish and rejoice in today!
Please don’t forget to pick up more Advent and Christmas reflection books on your way home from mass!
Again, I also invite those who are coming to Sunday mass to invite those friends or family members who you know are not coming to Sunday mass to return and worship with us again. I am sure that you and I know a few people we haven’t seen lately at mass. Let’s invite them to come back! If there is anything keeping them from coming back, I encourage them to contact me and we can speak about it. Our lives can be complicated and as pastor, as spiritual father, I want to know how I can assist people in coming back into our family, our community as we give thanks to God and worship Him. We want as many people as possible to know, walk, experience, and live in the JOY of the Lord, the joy of knowing and being in a relationship with Him!
We have cards in the narthex and in the pews that you can take to hand out to people inviting them home to church on Sunday and on Christmas. Please take a few and pray about those to who you might want to give them and invite.
Many blessings upon you and your families! May the Joy of the Lord fill you hearts this week and throughout this Season of Advent!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin