Third Sunday of Advent
Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:36)
Today is Gaudete/Rejoicing Sunday! We are more than halfway through the season of Advent, in which the faithful prepares for the Solemnity of Christmas by focusing on the First Coming of the Son of God and looks forward to Christ’s Second Coming! As we enter the final days of Advent, the anticipation increases as the birth of the Savior draws near. The “O Antiphons” are an important part of this time in the Church, referred to as the “Octave before Christmas.” More information about the “O Antiphons” can be found on page 4.
During this special time of prayer, it is good to ask ourselves if are we are ready for the coming of the Lord. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.” (Mt 3:3). What is this voice saying to us? Are the paths of our souls blocked with sin, which impacts our relationships with the Lord and with those around us? How can it be made straight and welcoming? I would like to take this opportunity to focus on the importance of the Sacrament of Confession during this season of preparation.
Every year during Advent, the chaplain at our Catholic Central High School recruits me to be a part of the team of priests that hear confessions, which took place last Tuesday. As the time drew near for me to leave, I stood up from my seat and noticed that Bishop Walkowiak was hearing confessions at the station next to mine! Despite his demanding schedule, the Bishop gave of his time to share the sacrament of God’s mercy with the youth of the diocese! From the Bishop of our diocese to your simple priest, we drop everything to focus on celebrating God’s forgiveness during this holy season. What a beautiful testimony!
This week you will have many opportunities for the Sacrament of Confession: At MQA, I will be in the Confessional on Monday from 5:45-6:30PM (please know that Eucharistic Adoration is from 5:30-6:45PM and daily Mass is at 7PM); Thursday from 8:00-9:00AM (daily Mass at 9AM); and on Friday I will hear Confession after Mass from 9:30-10AM. At SJP2, I will be in the Confessional on Saturday at 3PM; Sunday at 4PM; and two priests will be available on Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30PM, during Eucharistic Adoration (one of us will be in Confessional in the new Church and one will be in the Confessional in the Narthex). Come and prepare the way of the Lord!
If it has been a long time since you have gone to Confession, please tell the priest and he will walk you through the Sacrament. Please know that the priest, who struggles with his own iniquities, will show understanding, compassion, and above all mercy and forgiveness! All you have to do is to approach Confession with a humble and sincere heart. Please see page 3 of this bulletin for further guidance!
Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!