Light the pink candle. Gaudete!  Rejoice!  The long-awaited messiah is near.  That is the joyful hope of this third week of advent.

During these last days of Advent, the hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, invites us to reflect more deeply on Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.  Each verse evokes an image from the Old Testament – a thing of great value – and applies it to the messiah.  The final verse: O come, Desire of Nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind.  Make our sad divisions cease and show Thyself our King of Peace.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of a time when Gentiles (non-Jews) will come to Jerusalem to honor the God of Israel, the one true God (Isaiah 2, et al).  This messiah will bind our hearts together, not might coercive laws that crush the spirit, but with the law of love that alone can fill the longing heart.  In a beautiful way, Jesus comes to us not as a mighty conqueror, but as a child – not to intimidate us, but to invite us.  During this Christmas season we propose him again as the path to peace.

We continue to implement the plan for the Hamilton Catholic Pastoral Region. Please see inside for our Christmas Mass schedule.  It may require some adjustments from the past; however, what we are celebrating remains the same: God sent his Son, so that we might have redemption, life, and light in him.  Rejoice in that.

If you want to include confession as part of your preparation for the feast of our Lord’s birth, the following times are available in our pastoral region. Tuesday 7-8pm at St. Julie Billiart (Spanish or English).  Saturday 9-10am at St. Peter’s and Saturday 2:30-3:30 at St. Julie’s.  You can also call the parish office and ask one of the priests to schedule a time with you.  Rejoice, the Lord is near.

Fr. Rob