Halfway through this season of preparation, we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, this Sunday of joy and gladness. With eager anticipation we prepare our hearts for Christ as we prepare our homes for Christmas. Recalling that Mary and Joseph could not find a proper place for Mary to give birth to our Savior, we commit to preparing a proper place to receive our Lord anew into our lives. In Him, the blind see and the deaf hear, the poor are fed and the dead are raised. May we ready ourselves to see the wonders the Lord can do in our midst?

In this 3rd Sunday of Advent. Jesus is telling us that Christianity demands of us Acts of Love. When Jesus was asked by one of the followers of John the Baptist, who was imprisoned by King Herod, “Are you the real Messiah?” Jesus’ reply is: “Go back and report to John the Baptist what you see and hear; the blind see again, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the gospel is preached to the poor.” (Mt. 11:4-5)

These are the concrete, tangible signs whereby people will be able to recognize the TRUE MESSIAH – a fulfillment of the messianic prophecy of Isaiah. (Is. 35:1) Jesus’ Mission was not to establish a new and powerful empire and bring down God’s wrath on the Roman colonizers; nor did He work for economic salvation, but from the nature of Christ’s mission flows the nature of our Christian religion.

The rugged John the Baptist, a prophet in the true sense, disturbed the consciences of the high and mighty, rocked the boat and affected the comfortable. For the ‘comfortable’ who squirmed at John’s words, they asked, “What must we do?” St. John the Baptist says, “Be generous, share your goods to others, be fair, be just and be charitable.” In other words, “Faith Alone’ is not enough, faith should bear fruit in active works of love. (Gal. 5:6) Faith without works is dead. However, all of this is nothing new. We have heard this over and over to the point of becoming trite and meaningless. What is needed is to put these teachings into practice. For our faith is primarily not to be known but to be done.

As we move closer to Christmas and move deeper into Advent, the real preparation must not be so much in putting the Spirit of Christmas into words, as in putting actions into our words. God bless you and be healthy and joyful.

  1. A JOKE FROM ST. JOE ON “POWER”: A catechist told her class, “We have been learning about how powerful the kings and queens were in biblical times. But there is a higher power. Who can tell me what it is?” Little Jonnie blurted out, “I know! I know! Aces!” (Guess what the little boy meant?)

This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, a day of joy and gladness. On the 12th, we have the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe that recalls the apparition of Mary at the hill of Tepeyac to the native convert, St. Juan Diego. On the 13th, we have the memorial of St. Lucy, Virgin, Martyr and patroness of Syracuse and all Sicily. On the 14th, we celebrate the feast day of St, John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor of the Church, also known as the “Mystical Doctor’ of Carmelite Friars {O.C.D.}. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie