Fr. Bill's Weekly Letter

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December 09, 2018   

Dear Parishioners:

This weekend we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. Although it seems like Advent has just begun, it is half over. Wow! Time flies!

Pope Francis, recently talked about the fact that there are three dimensions to Advent: the past, the present and the future.

The past dimension of Advent is that we celebrate the first coming of Jesus. I love the expression that the Pope uses when he said, "we are not celebrating the birth of a Christmas Tree, but the birth of Jesus." Would someone observing us see that we are preparing to celebrate what God has done for us, or would it appear we are preparing to celebrate the birth of a Christmas Tree and all the implications of that. We will sing in our Responsorial Psalm this weekend, "The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy." Perhaps, in the next two weeks we can periodically repeat and reflect on that refrain.

The present dimension of Advent is the many comings of Jesus into our lives each day. He is present to us when we pick up the scriptures, when we receive the Eucharist, when we experience Jesus' forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, when we are aware of the gift of the Holy Spirit within us, when we give ourselves to our spouse as Jesus gave himself to us, when we reach out to the marginalized, when we make an effort to make peace with our own souls, our consciences, our anxieties, with a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker with whom we have small wars. May we not be too busy getting ready to celebrate the birth of the Christmas Tree to recognize the comings of Jesus each day.

The future dimension of Jesus is our encounter with him at our death and at his second coming. What do we need to do to prepare for that? Where do we need to refocus? Do we need to re-evaluate our priorities or how we use our time, talents and treasures to meet him as pure as possible? If I knew I were going to die tomorrow, what would I change?  How would I prepare?

Time flies. May the next two weeks not fly by that we do not use this Advent Season to prepare well to  celebrate the past, present and future comings of Jesus and not the birth of the Christmas Tree.

Have a great week and a great Advent.

  Fr. Bill