“Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Today we light the pink candle in our Advent wreathes at home and in the Church to signify the 3rd Sunday Advent known as “Gaudete Sunday”. It is so named because of the Entrance Antiphon for that Sunday is the verse above from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We are a people of joy!
Joy is a virtue and sign of the Holy Spirit. Our lives should be marked by joy. Joy is not just a happy feeling that comes and goes with the situation or the news we read or the person we are with. It is a deep and abiding secure disposition of soul based on our faith and trust in Almighty God and our relationship with Jesus Christ. Joy is a result of confidence in the Gospel and the hope that God gives us. Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly! Joy results from knowing and believing this deep within us.
As we live in confidence and hope, joy is evident in our lives and on our faces! People will wonder why we are joyful in the midst of difficult and struggle. We need to be ready to give an explanation – our joy is based on the truths of the Gospel and on our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. Our joy is based on the life that Almighty God gives us and the promises He makes that life conquers death and sin, that the happiness we long for deep within our souls is fulfilled in Him and in relationship with Him. He is our Joy! May the joy of the Lord be your strength!
This weekend, I welcome Fr. Jeff Kirby to St. James to give us our Parish Mission! It is a blessing to have a friend of mine minister to us! He and I go back to 1997 and college at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. Our friendship has been a blessing all these years!
You are invited to the Mission which will be in the Church at 7:00 PM, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of this week, November 13-15. He will also be giving his presentation after the 8:30 AM mass on Monday and Tuesday for those who cannot come out in the evening. Please come and feed your soul with the insights and encouragement he will give us! I look forward to seeing you there!
On December 5th, one of our parishioners, Mr. Bobby Davis, received the Bishop Francis Xavier Gartland Service Award. Mr. Davis has been the coordinator of our Altar Servers for 12 years! Thank you for your service! You are a blessing to so many in our parish!
Many blessings upon you and your family this Advent season!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin