Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Over the next two days the most important personages of Advent make their appearance: St. John the Baptist and most importantly, the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this Second Sunday of Advent we hear John’s cry: Prepare the way of the Lord! This very public and dramatic announcement stirred the masses in excitement and anticipation, and moved many to accept John’s baptism of repentance.
But the far more private and essential preparation came with the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the womb of her mother St. Ann. God’s saving plan began in that hidden and quiet place. Not since our first parents has the human race been re-created in the state of purity, perfection and the fullness of grace. Adam and Eve lost these divine gifts, but by God’s mercy they were restored in the soul and body of the Virgin from Nazareth who would say “yes” (fiat) – “let it be done unto me according to Thy Word; and then the Word was made flesh….”
Monday, December 8 is our solemn celebration of the beginning of Mary’s life. She is the new Ark of the Covenant who bears the living Word of the Father, and so Mother Church holds this day as a Holy Day of Obligation. There will be no vigil Mass on Sunday evening, but please refer to the Mass schedule in the bulletin so that you may fulfill your duty as a faithful Catholic and give glory to God for choosing Mary as the new Eve and heavenly mother of us all.
In conjunction with our celebration of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we affirm, and with fervor like John the Baptist, proclaim the absolute sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Sadly, many people in great error and culpable sinfulness are now advocating the “false right” to determine one’s death by physician-assisted suicide. Recently, a young woman received national attention regarding this very mistake and ungodly practice. Secular media and various groups who seemingly are proposing compassion are, in fact, doing just the opposite. They refuse to see real mercy and compassion as being empathetic with the suffering person. They refuse to see the good that can and does come with making our suffering a sacrifice to God, the Father, as did our Lord Jesus, on the Cross. From that came the greatest good, and our suffering united with His continues to bring immeasurable good from bad situations.
Join us in earnest prayer for the sanctity of human life beginning Monday evening at 9:00 PM into Tuesday morning at 1:00 AM, the Feast of St. Juan Diego, for this very purpose. Our prayer gathering will be held at St. Mary Magdalen and programs will be provided. Come make a “little sacrifice” for the sanctity of life.
Once again I, on behalf of all our parishioners, we wish to thank Richard Hessling and Brendan Murray for their gift of the most beautiful calendars for 2015. There are enough for every Catholic home in our parish and they are so very well designed with all the important feasts and solemnities we celebrate throughout the year. Thank you for this wonderful instrument in passing on the Faith.