A Message from
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Peace and all Good!
If Advent is a time to ask ourselves if we are ready to receive the Lord, then today’s Scriptures suggest we might ask if we are ready for joy. Our first reading from Isaiah paints a picture of a glorious future and says, “Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness; sorrow and mourning will flee”. In the Gospel, Jesus tells John’s disciples to report to him: “Go and tell John what you hear and see; the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” In other words, the messianic time has arrived, so it is time to rejoice. This all ties in beautifully with the traditional name of this Third Sunday of Advent—“Gaudete Sunday”—the Latin for “Rejoice!” As we heard in the opening antiphon of this Mass, we are to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near!” Flowers adorn the church and the vesture and Advent candle are rose colored—a softer hue from the violet of the other Sundays of Advent. If we are to receive the Lord into our lives, we must be ready to live in joy!As I write this letter, it is the day after our magnificent Opening Mass and Festivities for our Centennial Year! I must admit I am a little tired today and so is everyone else who worked so hard to make the Liturgy and reception so wonderful! It’s a good tired! Everyone—our amazing choir, the servers at the altar, the sacristans behind the scenes, the Hospitality Ministers who greeted our guests in joy, the Parish Community Life Committee for the beautiful and delicious reception, the Art and Environment Committee—the church was gorgeous—the Centennial Committee and Parish Staff who put in hours and hours of planning and work and to the student friars, Br. Jeff and Br. Juan Jose and Tommy Almanza for a myriad of behind the scenes details—like roping and lifting two timpani drums from the floor into the balcony….I couldn’t watch!!!! To all of you our heartfelt appreciation and love! You made the day such a delightful and joyful event for hundreds of people! You are loved!
This week, the parish is urged to “prepare the way of the Lord” by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the Communal Rite of Penance this Tuesday evening, December 17th at 7:00 p.m. There will be a number of priests for confessions. It is a good thing to make peace with our conscience and to know the loving mercy of God. As the Holy Father says, we should never give up on the mercy of God. God never tires of giving us God’s loving forgiveness.
Registered parishioners should have received the Christmas letter and the Centennial Logo ornament in the mail this past week. As you can see there are many lovely liturgies and events taking place this Advent and Christmas Season. I call your attention to our lovely Sunday Evening Vespers at 5 p.m. Everyone who has attended tells me how absolutely beautiful this sung prayer is and what a perfect way for us to once more remember what this season is really all about!
Finally, I wish to thank Ms. Linda Raimundo and her catechetical staff of teachers and helpers, for the lovely performance of the Christmas pageant this morning after the 9:00 a.m. Mass. It is always a delight to see the children, in their inimitable way, act out the Christmas story! Many blessings to you all!
(from left to right) Fr. Luis Baldonado, Fr. Vincent J. Mesi, Fr. Micah Muhlen
and Brother Tito