Beyond Everyday History, There is Salvation History

St. Francis at Prayer

Dear friends, Peace and all Good! 

The terrifying words of coming tribulation seem out of place in the season of “Deck the Halls” and Christmas shopping. While all the world is preparing for a family holiday, a big feast, a babe in the manger, the church wants us to prepare for the end of the world. The church Is not advocating a “bah humbug” attitude, but a realistic attitude. Our church calendar reminds us that in the midst of our daily routines, our fixed cycles of Monday through Sunday, season and plans, God has an eternal plan that is also in motion. And so, we are reminded that beyond everyday history, there is salvation history. We are told to Watch! Be on guard! Look up! The world is passing, gradually. And we are passing as well. If today were the great day of the Lord’s coming, what would you do to prepare? Are these things you are doing or could be doing?

Once again as we begin this Advent, you are invited to participate in our Advent Giving Tree event. You will see a tree near the baptismal font decorated with colorful ornaments. Please take an ornament and purchase a gift for the child listed and bring the unwrapped gift back to the tree next Sunday. This year, all the gifts from the giving tree will be given to children who otherwise would not have a bright Christmas. See the bulletin for more details. Thank you!

Two of the most important biblical Advent figures are John the Baptist and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. John the Baptist was the “precursor” of Christ—the one who ultimately prepared the way for the Messiah. Take a moment to study his icon after Mass today. Then there are several celebrations in honor of Mary this season: The Immaculate Conception on December 8th, Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th and a special emphasis on Mary’s role as an expectant mother on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Please note the lovely image of Mary, pregnant with the child Jesus which adorns our advent wreath. As she is a mother awaiting her newborn, so too we await the Lord Jesus to be born in us through lives of love, service, and integrity. Enjoy this Holy Season of Advent—the time of writing and preparing!

And speaking of preparing, what better way is there to prepare for Christ’s coming than in a worthy celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Penance Liturgy will be on December 13th. Please see the bulletin for the full listing of confession times in all the neighboring parishes.

Finally, I wish to thank all of you for your generous support in the face of the tragic fires which took place throughout the state, especially for the Paradise City fires which left total destruction, lives lost, and hundreds of people stranded and homeless with nothing now to call their own! We thank especially John and Margi Aiello for generously driving north in a U-Haul filled with clothes and other needed supplies as well as over $8000 in cash and gift cards for the families to begin to put their lives back together. This is the way people of good will respond, and you did it! Bless you!

Love,  Fr. Vince