Bulletin for the week of December 11th - 17th, 2005.
A sincere welcome to those who are new among us. We hope you find a warm and welcoming faith-home with us. Please introduce yourself after Mass and call the Rectory to register.MASSES:
ADVENT PENETENTIAL/RECONCILLIATION SERVICE - SUNDAY DECEMBER 18th, 7:00P.M.:
Yes, we are sinful people. That is not a put-down. It is an acknowledgement that there are dark corners of various kinds in our individual hearts and in us as a community. It could also be expressed as “being out of joint” or ‘missing the mark” compared to the holy and godly lives that God summons us to. And only a gracious and forgiving God can handle these dark corners of ours, this “being out of joint”, this missing the mark”. God does so by extending his mercy, his forgiveness to us. Surely, we want to yield to and give ourselves over to such a God; we do so with a contrite heart.
That is what December 18th’s service is all about. It is a good way of preparing for Christmas. It is one of the ways in which we can grow in holiness. That is what God wants for us. Deep down, we also want that for ourselves.
A few specific time slots are set aside for that in the hope that everyone can be accommodated who wants to celebrate God’s forgiveness in the individual confession:
TIMES FOR CHRISTMAS MASSES AND FOR NEW YEAR’S:
AN INTERESTING REFLECTION ON ADVENT FROM THE TABLET:
Advent means “The Coming”. We remember God’s historic coming in Jesus; we also pray to stay awake and on guard for his second Coming at the end of time. In the very early Church, this second Coming was thought imminent and most likely to happen on a Sunday at dawn, when Jesus rose from the dead. Consequently, Sunday liturgies began with an all night vigil on Saturday evening, so that the congregation would be awake and ready for the final Coming on Sunday. As we have now been waiting more than 2000 years, the second Coming has lost something of its urgency. We are now in the gap between the first and the final coming.
Time in itself, I learned in philosophy, does not exist. What, then, is eternity? We think of it as time stretching forwards and backwards without limit, a very boring prospect: but eternity does not stretch in that way.
Eternity is the now, the present moment; eternity like God, is an eternal NOW. What an astonishing difference it makes to our lives when we think of eternity as an eternal NOW, creation as a sacrament of the present moment.
The God who holds us now in being every second of our lives is the God who manifested Godself to us in Jesus 2,000 plus years ago. We are not living in an in between two comings; We are living in the same NOW as we remembered 2,000 years ago, and the second Coming will be in the same NOW. God is as near to us at this moment as God was present to Mary 2,000 years ago. If this leaves your head spinning, let it spin; just hear God calling you by name and telling you “ I am with you always, even till the end of time.”
During Advent, it is good to keep reminding ourselves “God is come”. If that jars grammatically, try “God has come and is now here, where ever and however I happen to be”. “The Spirit, who lived in Jesus and raised him from the dead, now lives in me”. Just keep listening to the phrase being spoken to you. Don’t argue with it Tell God your felt reactions; God who, in St. Augustine’s word“, is nearer to me than I am to myself”.
In this way you are allowing yourself to meet God in God’s continuous Coming and letting God be your teacher. “He who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or to left you will hear this voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, follow it’”. (Isaiah 30:21)
And God is come not only to me, but is present in every single human being. The way we relate to one another is the way we meet God in his Coming. (Gerry W. Hughes is the author of God of Surprises and God in all Things)
OUR LADY OF ANNUNCIATION ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT:
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