Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Advent is a season of waiting, expecting, and hoping. Beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve, this season helps us to prepare for the coming, or “advent,” of the Christ-Child at Christmas. (The word “advent” comes from the Latin word that means “coming.”)
Some of you may ask: if Jesus really does come (as He does each year), then why doesn’t the world have peace on earth? Why don’t we experience God’s Kingdom on earth instead of sin (war, murder, selfishness, greed, lust, etc.)? Yes, Jesus comes, but the world isn’t ready to receive Him. For the world to change, each of us has to change our hearts, eliminate sin from our lives, and live as Jesus did — with love, sacrifice, and with forgiveness of those who have transgressed against us. Advent is the time for this preparation and change. It is a time for us to prepare our hearts anew for His way (Mt 3:3). We need to take stock of our lives, repent of our sins via the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and change by recommitting our lives to Jesus.
The question we should ask instead is: when Jesus comes, are we going to accept Him into our hearts by accepting His commandments, by following His Church, by working for Him and giving our lives for Him? Let us prepare the way of the Lord by renewing our Baptismal vows on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 10, 2019 (Mt 3:16). Happy New Year!
Your Brothers and Sister in Jesus,
Deacon George Schmidl, Judy Erwin, Mark Mussman, & Jerry Cappel
December 1, 2018