Christmas is just a week away. Hopefully, in the busyness of the season, you are making room in your schedule for quiet prayer and reflection. Even if it is only fifteen minutes, you will find it is one of the best times of your day. For many, this is best done very early in the morning or late at night, since this is the time of fewest distractions. Set aside your worries and concerns for this short time and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and inspiration. As you focus on the Christmas story, you will discover, little by little, Godly peace and joy.
To help with your preparation and celebration of this holy season, please consider attending this Sunday afternoon a tri-parish performance of Advent Lessons and Carols. Musicians and singers from our three parishes, and beyond, will combine the beautiful music of Christmas with the inspiring words of Sacred Scripture. The 1 hour performance will begin in St. Peter church at 4pm and conclude in the church basement with a lite reception. I hope to see you there for this pre-Christmas celebration of mystery, joy, and wonder.
Please look closely at the Mass schedule for the entire 3-day Christmas weekend. The Mass times for Sunday morning will be slightly different from the normal Sunday Mass times. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we have the opportunity (and obligation) to attend Mass twice during these three days: once for the 4th Sunday of Advent and once for Christmas. You are encouraged to arrive early for any of the Masses so that you can enjoy the beauty of sacred music before the manger scene. Make yourself available to be with Him and He will be with you.
One of those truths that we need to hear is the necessity of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s not the most popular sacrament, but it’s one of the most important. Padre Pio said the sacrament had the power to change the course of a soul from hell to heaven. Pope Francis said the same in recalling how frequent reception of it has heavily influenced who he is today. The Blessed Virgin Mary said we should go to Confession at least every month.
We would do very well to follow the simple spiritual instructions of the Saints, who give us the most direct path to heaven. As a result, we priests make it very convenient for you to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This last week of Advent, we will be offering even more opportunities for you to go to Confession beyond our regular times. Each of us priests will be present at 12 noon and 6pm according to the following schedule:
Dec. 18 Monday – St. Peter
Dec. 19 Tuesday – St. Mary
Dec. 20 Wednesday – St. Peter
Dec. 21 Thursday – Resurrection
Dec. 22 Friday – St. Peter
Again, three priests will be present each of these days at both 12 noon and then again at 6pm. We will be in the church for at least one hour, or until all confessions are heard. God’s blessings to you this last week of Advent!