From the Pastor’s Desk

The Second Sunday of Advent

Dec 10, 2023

The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”
but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.

-2 Peter 3:9

 

Brothers and Sisters,

Fashionably late, once again. But worry not, for I come armed with a slew of excuses. In a previous parish, the rectory doubled as a quaint house in the neighborhood, affording me a mere 7-minute commute to the Church—I deeply cherished many facets of this arrangement. Regrettably, I allowed a certain habit to take root, a habit that clings to me even now. I’m a last-minute person. Or, to put it more diplomatically, I strive to utilize every available moment efficiently, squeezing in one more task. Consequently, I’d leave at the eleventh hour to ensure I arrived at the Church with just enough time to kick off Mass promptly.

To my chagrin, I soon discovered that the rectory, conveniently perched on the street corner, was the perfect spot to wait for the morning bus, but still, somehow, it didn’t save me any time. If the bus happened to coincide with my departure, I found myself not only waiting for the children to board safely but also contending with the morning traffic as cars embarked on their diverse journeys. There I stood, resigned to my fate, aware that tardiness was inevitable. When I commenced Mass five or so minutes behind schedule, my excuse invariably became, “I got stuck behind the bus, again.” After a few repetitions, an astute parishioner gently reminded me, “Michael, that bus arrives at the same time every day. You can’t use that as an excuse anymore.”

You’ll understand the perpetual struggle if you share my penchant for being “surprised” by traffic. I acknowledge that certain routes at specific times are prone to delays, yet I persist in neglecting this inevitable reality when planning my day. Peter directs our attention to the Psalmist in his epistle, who recognizes that God exists beyond time constraints. God is perpetually punctual; we tend to “dilly dally.” The challenge in Isaiah, echoed in the opening verses of Mark’s Gospel, to “make straight his paths” is as relevant to our direction as it is to our timing. Now is the opportune moment to acknowledge the Lord; now is the time for conversion.

In Advent, with our lengthy checklists preparing for Christmas celebrations in Church and with family and friends, the most crucial tasks often remain undone: being present to the Lord. Stay faithful in your prayer life and nurture a genuine fear of the Lord. This fear isn’t one of punishment or retribution; it’s the gift of the Spirit, a fear of disappointing a God deserving of our admiration and love, and one that leads to true wonder and awe as we praise the Lord for His presence in our lives.
May you truly value the gift of time and offer the “first” of your day to the Lord!

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Other Considerations in and around our Community:

  • ST. LIDWINA CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT GROUP – Do you or someone you love suffer from chronic pain? Father Larry Swink is starting an online apostolate aimed at those who suffer from chronic pain–a cause he, too, endures. The forum is a place to share struggles, for Father to give Catholic advice on how to carry this cross, and a venue to share online Healing Masses and prayers. Visit thedeeperdivepodcast.com to learn more.

Going on at OLPH:

STAY CONNECTED THIS ADVENT: As we eagerly anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Lord, there are numerous opportunities for you (and your family) to deepen your faith and strengthen your connection with the divine. For more information on our Advent events and to stay connected with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help community, visit OLPHParish.org/advent. Embrace the true essence of Advent as a time of anticipation, reflection, and spiritual renewal.

PRAYER AND PRAISE FOR YOUNG ADULT MEN – Twice monthly, OLPH Men’s Ministry will host praise and worship in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at Our Lady of Perpetual Help—just an uncomplicated night of prayer, soft music by guitar, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Hearing the sound of men’s voices, all lifted in prayer and song is powerful, and praying together as men are desperately needed in a society that lacks solid Christian men with values who strive to live out the Gospel of Our Blessed Lord. Young Adult Men (ages 18-35) of the parish and friends, please mark your calendar for the first and third Mondays of each month to join us at 8 PM. Our next gathering will be in the Chapel on Monday, December 4, at 8 PM.

OLPH PARISHIONER DEDICATES SPRING BREAK TO MISSION WORK Freshman Sydney McGee of the Franciscan University of Steubenville will join a team of missionaries to Quito, Ecuador, during Spring Break 2024. The parish is proud to support Sydney in this effort. If you, too, would like to contribute to the expense of her trip, visit https://outreach.franciscan.edu/ecuador-spring-mission/ into your browser to donate through Franciscan University’s website. Enter “Sydney McGee” under “Enter Student’s Name.” So that you know, donations are not tax deductible since it is going to a person.