3rd Sunday of Advent I 13 December 2020
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Brothers and Sisters,
The rose candle we will light at Masses and in our homes, today is also called the Gaudete candle, derived from the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” Both the phrase and the candle offer essential reminders that this third Sunday in Advent is a call to REJOICE! But this call to action requires us to choose an intentional way of living actively. We have to decide to create time and space in our busy lives to be exuberant. So on this Gaudette, Sunday, slow down and give yourself time to rejoice! The Church is reminding us to take the time to enjoy family, sharing the many heartfelt customs like preparing the Christmas tree, baking those delicious cookies and treats, singing your favorite Christmas carols, and watching some classic holiday movies together. Spend some time reflecting on the birth of our Lord in the Gospels or gaze upon sacred art, reflecting on the miraculous mystery that is unfolding before us. And as we begin the cultural preparations that often lift our mood, express your joy to God in prayer, remembering that we are making room to receive our Savior into our hearts and our homes as he draws near through the Holy Spirit.
Let’s not forget the Sacrament of Reconciliation in our preparations. We will offer extended hours this week for the opportunity to encounter the healing and forgiveness of God.
The Sacrament Reconciliation will be offered per the following times and locations:
Monday, December 14, 4 pm to 7 pm
Tuesday, December 15, 4 pm to 7 pm
Wednesday, December 16, 11 am to 12-noon and 6 pm to 7 pm
Friday, December 18, 4 pm-6 pm
Saturday, December 19, 1 pm to 4 pm
Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday will be held outdoors via car, located behind the church building, and indoors via the main church entrance.
Our first session on Wednesdays will be held in front of the church, and the evening session held in the rear of the church.
Friday will take place inside the Church.
Please note that during the fourth week of Advent, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available on Tuesday, December 22, from 4 pm to 7 pm.
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis announced in his apostolic letter Patris Corde, that “With a Father’s Heart”, Francis highlighted the unassuming and determined father, who taught Jesus the beauty of our humanity and the importance of our work and that the coming year will be dedicated to St. Joseph. While quarantined, I have reflected upon artwork depicting Joseph teaching Jesus his craft of carpentry. It is inspiring to realize what the Lord accomplishes through our everyday professions with such effortlessness. God truly meets us right where we are. With that said, I’m looking forward to returning to public ministry and the work of the Church. Like Joseph, I’m faithful to care for and protect those the Lord has entrusted in OLPH’s care. Together, let’s imitate Joseph and his uncompromising readiness to accept Mary and her child into his heart and his home despite human obstacles and call upon his care and protection for our Church, our world, our family, and our community. I want to thank you all for your prayers for my recovery and your commitment to preventing the spreading of the virus.
Our parish has been blessed by our ongoing partnership with Christ Life and many of our parishioners have deepened their relationship with Jesus as a result. In January, the parish will again offer the, Discovering Christ, the first step in the family of Christ Life programs. Please consider and pray about who you know that could benefit from this digital program. As with many ministries, I also encourage our parishioners to support Christ Life and its mission, consider supporting them through your monetary gift here.
Lastly, I offer my gratitude and thanks to our wonderful staff of OLPH who have ensured the ongoing care of the Parish and celebration of Mass and opportunities for Adoration during my quarantine. In particular, I’d like to offer special thanks Fr. Rob, who celebrates his vocation to the priesthood this coming Tuesday. May the Lord pour forth abundant blessings on him and for his ministry to each of us.
As you plan for your week, please check out these special offerings:
- Please help us ensure we have a seat set aside for you next weekend at Mass. We request you reserve a seat for December 19-20 HERE,
- We are delighted to offer many options for Christmas Mass. As we prepare for many visitors, it would be helpful to review our Christmas Mass Schedule and reserve a seat HERE
- Join us for our Blue Christmas Prayer Service on Monday, December 14 at 7 pm in the church (or via livestream). Let us pray for and with one another, especially those dealing with the struggles of the pandemic, mourning the loss of loved ones, or experiencing depression or sadness of any form.
- Last Friday, we were able to offer a Holy Hour for our Sisters in the Lord. This Friday, 12/18 we invite our Brothers in the Lord, to join us at 7 pm in the church for an evening of prayer, worship, and testimony before the Blessed Sacrament.
- This evening, Christmas with The Chosen will air at 8 pm on Facebook page and YouTube channel. Featuring an all-star lineup of Christian artists including Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, For King and Country, the Piano Guys, Mandisa, and more, the special will be hosted by The Chosen’s Director Dallas Jenkins with a special airing of “The Shepherd”
Prayer to St. Joseph from Pope Francis in Patris Corde.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett