The First Sunday of Advent
From the Pastor’s Desk
November 27, 2022
“Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”
~ Isaiah 2:3b
Blessed Advent to you and your family! I pray you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends! This 1st Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Church year; as with the traditional calendar’s New Year, it’s a good time to reflect, pause, prepare, and look back and ahead. To that end, over these next four weeks, put some time aside, take advantage of our Perpetual Adoration chapel (for busy folks, it is virtually always open, with after-hour access), and spend some time with Jesus. Remember, our Lord is truly present in the Eucharist and the church. Sit with Him, and when you do, recall all the ways Christ was present with you this past year and how He abided with you during sad, happy, challenging, or comfortable times. Did the Holy Spirit send you any “God winks” to remind you of His steadfast presence? Look up and gaze at the beautiful stained glass window of Jesus the Good Shepherd above the Altar in the chapel and know the Lord has claimed you, understands you, and will protect you! Then take a moment to look ahead and consider the assurances of the Advent season that His kingdom will reign and there will be tidings of great joy and the promise of eternal life. Now ponder how you might prepare to receive such a glorious gift, and be sure to wait to hear God’s answer. Also, pray that we can encourage each other in faith so that we never give up on God’s promises during Advent and all year!
I have to admit; I keep saying ‘halo’ instead of ‘hallow.’ The first use refers to a circle of light depicted on images of God and the saints. The second means to venerate or to make holy (perhaps, better translated as to acknowledge rather than ‘make’ in relation to God!).
Recommended by staff, Pastoral Council members, and several parishioners, the app is rich with meaningful content and resources and perfect for the busy person struggling to pray. Yet, Hallow can complement a veteran prayer warrior’s healthy habits.
Downloaded Hallow in your app store or desktop at hallow.com/holyday, and then be sure to search for “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” (select the Ellicott City option). And you’ll have full access to the paid app through Easter.
The app includes great ways to pray, including Scripture (read to you and explained), sermons, podcasts like Bible in a Year or the upcoming Catechism in a Year, music, audiobooks, rosaries, family prayers, options for kids and teens, and even bedtime meditations.
Please do me a favor, connect today and give it a chance this Advent.
As a parish family, let’s all participate in #Pray25 Challenge, which will lead us through salvation history to the birth of Jesus. The Challenge includes support from the engaging cast of The Chosen, one of the most well-known and celebrated pieces of Christian media to date.
Go deeper with the Challenge and join our OLPH Virtual Prayer group at hallow.com/groups/WQDVPV (or from the app with the code WQDVPV). Being a part of the group allows us to share reflections through the season and post intentions so that we may personally and meaningfully pray for one another.
Before I close, I wanted to tell you about the exciting initiative under the leadership of Archbishop Lori called “Seek the City to Come,” which focuses on solid pastoral renewal and planning with the parishes of Baltimore City and those in the immediate vicinity. The name alludes to the promise of God’s kingdom and calls parishioners to a deep trust and faith in God’s imminent victory. Please pray for the Archdiocese this Advent and the efforts to strengthen our parishes. To learn more, I encourage you to visit https://www.archbalt.org/seekthecity/.
Finally, let’s pray for each other this Advent! And when we do, let’s ask our Lord that we, as brothers and sisters, may accompany one another this season as we help one another grow in holiness.
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett