Father David’s Letter

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we light the candles of our Advent wreath, I’d like us all to reflect a little bit on the deeper meaning of each candle.

1st Candle (Violet, 3 o’clock position) – HOPE

The season (last Sunday) opened with a call to hope.  What do you hope for at thecurrent stage of your life?  What are the deepest and most desperate longings of your heart?  God knows the answers to these questions.  What is important here is that WE can answer them as well.  If we can’t honestly and sincerely answer those questions, then we need to listen to God more attentively and open our hearts more widely to receive the knowledge and promptings of the Spirit and heed the One “who searches and knows us.”  What we hope and long for animates and drives our life.  If our ultimate hope is in this world, then in the end we will fall flat and always be disappointed.  If our ultimate hope however is in God and his unfailing promises, then even in our greatest disappointments and defeats we will find reason to not give up and keep going.

2nd Candle (Violet, 6 o’clock position) – PEACE

Are you at peace in your life?  In the deepest recesses of your spirit are you at rest andcontent?  This is another critical question.  Our souls long for peace.  So many of us can’t bear to witness the incessant violence and thirst for destruction and bloodshed that is reported in the daily news.  Our world is perpetually embattled.  We realize that it is unrealistic to hope for some kind of perfect utopia in this world where everyone is truly at peace with each other.  In this world sin will always mar those efforts.  And yet, we should not give up on the prospect for more widespread peace.  For every soul in this world that is at peace, that soul can impact so many others over the course of a lifetime to help others find peace.  Peace begins in the soul, with a humble and contrite heart that has repented and wholeheartedly embraced the Mercy of the Redeemer.  If one receives and never leaves that loving embrace of the Lord, one will always be at peace in this life regardless of whatever circumstances one may face.

3rd Candle (Rose, 9 o’clock position) – JOY

Just over halfway through the season we are invited to “rejoice, for the Lord is near.” Where do you find joy in your life?  Where do you find joy in this beautiful season?  Here I don’t mean fun or excitement, though our joyful moments may sometimes be fun and exciting.  Here I’m talking about the contentment of the soul that can cause us to smile and genuinely wish Merry Christmas to an overworked and rattled store cashier, to a disconnected relative, or to a dejected and forlorn homeless person.  To ask the question another way, how does God bring you delight?  Think of the joy God fills you with.  In what ways does his joy help you take and give pleasure in the simple and most meaningful acts of kindness and sharing?

 4th Candle (Violet, 12 o’clock position) – LOVE

Consider the various human players in the story – the shepherds, the magi, Joseph,Mary.  They each have their unique perspective, and each of them loved the Savior in his or her own way.  Though different, the common thread in the pattern of their lives is that they heard and responded to the invitation to come to and receive Jesus.  They sacrificed much to see and be with him.  Their commitment demonstrates the perfect form of love that we would describe as simply a gift.  They gave themselves to him with a full and willing heart, and he in turn gave so much more back to them.  How can each of these characters inspire us to love Jesus more?

Blessed Advent!

Fr. David

 

 

Thursday, December 8th, in the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Wednesday, December 7th – Vigil at 7pm and on Thursday, December 8th at 8am. 

 

 

Check out our upcoming Special Events. Go to “About Us” and click on “Special Events”

 

If you still feel uncomfortable to attend Mass, the weekend Mass is still available on St. Mary’s Facebook page and also still being broadcast for you to attend in your car on radio station FM90.3. You can then receive the Eucharist after Mass.

Here is the link to Spiritual Communion and Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament: https://www.virgosacrata.com/spiritual-communion.html

 

2022 Diocesan Appeal

Do You Love Me? See the video below for more information about the 2022 Diocesan Appeal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq5Tz9kc6Fk

 

Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂 

St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE!  What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123