Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Happy season of Advent! As you notice in our church this Sunday, we have begun the season of advent; the advent wreath has been placed and the first of the four candles will be lit indicating that we have started the first week. It is a time of grace and preparation to receive Jesus in the manger of our hearts, for me it is one of the most beautiful times of the year, because together with Christmas they make me enter an atmosphere of peace and meditation on the great mystery of the incarnation of Jesus in the world.
With advent we have started a new liturgical year, in this new year we are going to read the gospel of Saint Matthew, a very profound gospel that makes us enter public life and the mystery of our Lord’s life. The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means coming/ arrival. This time invites us to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the arrival of the light that is Jesus who becomes a man like us, less in sin.
We are a few days away from starting the last month of this year, a year that, like the previous one, has been fraught with great challenges that have made us grow and mature. This year also brought us great achievements and perhaps changes. I think that everything brought in this year will help us to renew hope, and above all to look at ourselves in our own failures and weaknesses. We must be grateful to God because we are still alive and partly healthy. In this last month, let us examine ourselves and see in each one how much we have grown in holiness and in which areas we must continue working.
I want to tell you in advance, so that you can put on your calendars, that in preparation for Christmas, we will have our annual advent penance service on Monday, December 19th. We will be hearing confessions starting at 7:00 p.m. and will also invite other priests to help us and thus be even more prepared to celebrate the Christmas holidays.
As Catholics we know that there is no Christmas without Jesus, He is the center of Christmas, but for years I have noticed that Catholic homes no longer place the nativity scene and if it is done, it has no presence in the homes. I want to invite you to place a nativity scene in your homes this year, in a visible place and if it is big, much better. The scene of the birth invites us to meditate on the Incarnation of the Son of God; may His birth remind us of that precious moment in history.
Finally, I want to remind you that next weekend’s collection will be for the purchase of flowers and Christmas decorations. During this season, I love to decorate the church with lots of poinsettias, lights, and garlands. This year we have bought new decorations because the ones we had were too old, that’s why our budget has gone up. I invite you to help me with this second collection to decorate our church for Christmas. It is very beautiful when the church is more beautifully decorated, it invites us to better live these special times. In advance, thank you very much for your financial support in this second collection.
May Jesus and Mary bless you always,