In this Sunday Gospel St. John the Baptist appears with his exhortation: “Reform your lives. The reign of God is at hand...Prepare the way of the Lord...Even now the ax is laid to the root of the tree.” In other words, St. John the Baptist is saying: “Why wait for the prophet Elijah to return? Why wait for the promised Messiah to come? Why wait for the Kingdom of God to be established?

“NOW IS THE TIME to experience these events by reforming your lives. Now is the time to change your conduct and attitude and your way of life. Tomorrow may be too late. Act now!” St. John the Baptist may be saying to us in more contemporary words like: “If you are thinking of making a Christmas confession, do it now. If you are planning to be reconciled with someone, now is the time and don’t delay it. If you are considering doing good deed to others, do it now and don’t dilly-dally.

There is an ancient story about the three devils who were arguing over the best way to destroy the souls of people in the world. The 1st devil says: “Let’s tell all the Christians that the Bible is all Fable.” “No, that will not do,” the 2nd devil said: “Let me go and I will tell them that there is no heaven nor hell. Take away the fear of punishment and the men will not believe.” The 3rd devil says, “Theirs is one better way. Tell all the Christians that there is a God, that the Bible is inspired, that the Bible is true and that there is heaven and hell. Yes, but I will tell them there is NO HURRY; there is always TOMORROW.” And all the devils agreed and they sent him. Such is Satan’s strategy: there is no hurry, there is always a tomorrow.

There is an advertising company which presents its messages in a unique style. For example, one ad shocks you into attention by proclaiming in large type: “YOU HAVE ONLY 24 HOURS TO LIVE.” “Today, that’s it,” says the smaller type below. So what are you doing with your time and opportunity? Are you helping another human being with some words of kindness or gesture of compassion? Are you doing something to overcome the hatred in this world - with love? There is a verse written by Omar Ibn Al Halif which says: “Four things come not back – the spoken word, the sped arrow, the time past, the neglected opportunity.”

Key Concepts: Treasure. True stewardship is taking care of and sharing all that we have and all that we are – our time, talents and treasure. Why is so important to share our treasure? MONEY and all the things we possess are gifts from God that we are asked to care for and generously share for our own benefits and the good of others. It is important for us to share our money and all of our material possessions for two reasons: 1st, because all the good things that God has made (including money) are meant to be shared, and 2nd, because each one of us has a need to give.

In this first week of December, we celebrate on the 7th, the memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, and Pearl Harbor Day. At 4PM in the evening we have a VIGIL MASS for the feast of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BVM. December 8 is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION, we have a REGULAR 8AM MASS. Every baptized catholic and parishioners of St. Joseph are obliged to attend this Mass. This is all for now, watch for the next. God Bless!

Your Priest – Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie