I am so excited to celebrate with you our second Advent and Christmas together. Now, I know that Easter is supposed to be the height of our liturgical year. But it is Advent and Christmas that really touch my heart. Now yes, this is typically a time besieged with consumerism, commercialism and materialism. But, maybe that is why these seasons have so much meaning for me. They are so needed. We need these seasons, celebrated well, to remind us that more is happening than presents, parties, and exhaustion. We need these seasons to refocus us, to bring our attention and our lives back to their source, the God who loves us so much that He came to be one of us. That God is not far off and remote from us, He is truly with us.
As we once again are drawn into these holy seasons, the words of St. John the Baptist should resound within us, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” Over the next four weeks we are invited to get ready, to prepare, to make a place for the Lord in our lives and in our hearts and to anticipate His coming. Advent is a time to get ready and to build up the hope within our hearts for the promised coming of Jesus Christ! We do this by repenting of our sins and emptying ourselves of all that keeps us from totally embracing Christ. I encourage each of us to take advantage of this Advent season to really dig deep into our hearts and souls. As I said last year, Christmas is the ultimate good news that this world so desperately needs to hear. In a world plagued by violence, war, injustice, and what can seem like a never ending font of disorder and confusion; the promise of Immanuel, “God with us,” needs to be heard louder and more clearly than ever before.
My brothers and sisters, it is our mission here at St. Thérèse the Little Flower to proclaim that good news, that God is indeed with us, not just at Advent and Christmas, but also all throughout our lives. May this sacred time help us to proclaim with renewed strength and deepened faith, “Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!
Blessings in Christ!
Fr. Patrick Gallagher
2018 Advent Schedule:
Holy Mass: Normal Schedule
Solemn Vespers with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament December 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd 5:00pm in the Church.
Additional times for the Sacrament of Penance with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament December 9th, 16th, and 23rd beginning at 4:00pm in the Church.
2018 Christmas Mass Schedule:
Monday, December 24th, 4:30pm and 10:30pm (Incense)