This second Sunday of Advent we encounter John the Baptist. John the Baptist used to feature much more prominently in Catholic life. Almost every church would feature him in the baptistry (St. Joseph church still does) or in decorating the ambo. He used to be included in the Confiteor (I confess to almighty God…). I understand why that had been the case; our Lord himself said, “Among those born of women, none is greater than John.” I don’t understand why he has receded in our decoration of churches and in our communal prayer. When I read “Heaven is for Real” I found it fitting, curious yet fitting, that John, Jesus’s cousin is one of the people that 4-year old Colton Burpo met during the just over three minutes that he was dead on the operating table.
John’s message was “prepare” and offered a baptism of repentance. A number of the faithful prepared through repentance at our Advent penance service last Tuesday. A penance service will be at Queen of Peace on Monday of this week and at Sacred Heart on Wednesday of this week.
School children at both of our schools have been preparing their respective Christmas programs. Finding creative ways to tell the story of Christmas is an important part of handing on the faith. While the call for a “new evangelization” was given in 1975, we are still seeing the fruits come about with more lay Christians using movies, podcasts, screenplays, and radio to tell the story of God’s relentless love for a people who had gone astray. Sometimes, too, telling of the triumphs of living the gospel. Many of these are available to members of our pastoral region through FORMED: https://hamiltoncpr.formed.org.
St. Peter’s pastoral council meets on Tuesday of this week and their finance council meets on Thursday of this week.
Prepare your heart to receive our Savior who is coming near.