Live fully...rejoice in the Lord!

12-17-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

We want to celebrate Christ's coming with a new heart and enormous joy. That is one of principal meanings of Advent. We should ask ourselves if we have done all that we were supposed to: Have I announced the good news of the Gospel to the poor? Have I mended broken hearts? Have I proclaimed pardon to the captive ones? Have I brought liberty to prisoners? We run the risk of living in a world of light and yet, not see, because of pure routine. Saint John reminds us to be on guard: “Among you stands one whom you do not know...”

Advent invites us to live the same joy and enthusiasm that Mary proclaimed in the Magnificat because of all the beautiful work God had performed in her. “Happiness is the gigantic secret of a Christian,” said Chesterton. In this world there are loud but false laughs that don't last very long. Christian happiness surfaces from a very deep and serene joy that resides in the soul. The root of our happiness lies in the certainty that we have been rescued from the evil one and brought over to a world inundated with grace.

St. Paul has told us in the Second Reading “Rejoice always.” This means that happiness is possible. And we are called to live it - with our feet on the ground and aware of the problems around us. Both happiness and sadness are contagious. As Christians we must make happiness fashionable because we believe and are hopeful. And our faith is not artificially grounded. We know who has won the victory!

We are now just one week away from...the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve. They fall on the same Sunday this year. So, you might be asking, what are the obligations for Catholics when the Fourth Sunday of Advent is on Sunday and Christmas Day is on Monday? Well, both days are holy days of obligation. So, you need to plan to attend a Fourth Sunday in Advent Mass and a Christmas Mass. To reduce the number of Masses to a reasonable level, we decided to eliminate the 11:00am Mass on Sunday for the Fourth Sunday in Advent. So, for the Fourth Sunday in Advent your choices are: 5:00pm Vigil on Saturday, 8:30am on Sunday and 1:00pm (Spanish). To celebrate Christmas your options are Sunday, 4:00pm; 6:00pm; 8:00pm (Spanish) and Midnight and on Monday, Christmas Day: 10:00am. Please look at your schedule, talk with your family and plan now to worship our Lord on the Fourth Sunday in Advent and Christmas. I wish you a Blessed Christmas season!

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson