Pastor’s Corner December 10, 2017
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday in Advent as we continue to prepare and anticipate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at Christmas. God becoming man is referred to as “The Mystery of the Incarnation.” How God became man cannot be fully understood by us, thus the reason it referred to as a mystery. Our faith teaches us that Jesus, God Himself, became flesh and dwelt among us; He then lived, died and rose from the dead.
The purpose of The Incarnation is the salvation of the world, and we celebrate the great love God has shown us in His Mercy by the earthly life of Jesus. We commemorate this great love each year most importantly by a change in our life, hopefully growing ever closer to Jesus and changing our lives for the better, that is, living a life of deeper discipleship by the gift of His Grace. In light of the salvation given to us in the life of Jesus, we also look to the future, remembering the Second Coming of Jesus, and renew our efforts to be vigilant in living a life in the Grace of Christ, as we do not know “the hour or the day” that we will be called home to eternal life.
In our Gospel reading today, John the Baptist heralds the coming of the Lord, exhorting us to prepare the way for Him by repentance and the forgiveness of sins. If we allow God to forgive our sins and to heal the wounds our sins have caused us, then there is “more room” to receive fully the Spirit of Jesus. In other words, get rid of the bad, so we can be filled with the good! We remember God’s twofold Mercy, that is, the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of His Grace to overcome future sins and live a better life in Christ. Sacramental Confession provides this twofold Grace.
Every sacrament we receive provides a specific Grace from God. In the case of Confession we receive the Grace of God’s forgiveness and also the Grace of amendment of our lives. This allows us to live our lives in the Peace of Christ. This is why Confession and absolution is a necessary part of our sacramental and spiritual life. Of course, Sacramental Confession is highly recommended during Advent, and we will continue to have not only our regularly scheduled times for Confession, but also an additional time each Wednesday evening from 6:30pm until 8pm as well as one half hour before each of the Sunday Masses. I hope you are able to do a thorough examination of conscience and to receive the fullness of God’s Mercy in the Sacramental Graces given in Confession during Advent.
Is St. Landry on Your Christmas List?
Many of us are preparing for Christmas, and part of that preparation includes writing letters to Santa Claus and making a list of Christmas Gifts to give. If you are able, it would be appreciated if you could remember St. Landry on your Christmas list. Our church parish is a gift to each of us in providing a place where we are all ministered in both our spiritual and material needs throughout the year.
As of now, and as you can see in our weekly bulletin, we are a little behind in our regular offertory compared to the amount we budgeted at the beginning of the fiscal year. This year we have some debt after the completion of the Valentin Hall renovation and a plan is in place to extinguish the debt primarily by the regular offertory. To some extent we also rely on the Christmas offering and Christmas gifts above and beyond the regular Christmas offering to help make our budgetary goals. If you are able, please consider putting St. Landry Church on your Christmas Gift List! Thanks again for everything you have done to bring us this far!
Reminder – Giving to those in Need during the holiday season
Finally, a reminder during this giving season that boxes are out in church at each of the entrances for collection of food, clothes and toys for those in need. Your generosity, whether by way of material goods or a monetary donation, is very much appreciated!