First Sunday of Advent - A Message from Father Joseph

First Sunday of AdventFirst Sunday of AdventDear Parishioners: Today we enter into the Advent Season with the first Sunday of Advent. Advent starts the new liturgical year. Just as the earth needs its cycles of seasons to rejuvenate itself, so we use the seasons of the Church's year to bring new life to the image of God, in which we were created and to the likeness of Christ into which we were baptized.

It's a time for each one of us to take this opportunity to reflect on our lives and to better them for the good of ourselves and of others. I was reflecting on the NCYC experience that many of our youth participated in at Indianapolis - November 15th to the 19th. It was a time of renewal for them and for me as well. The church is very much alive and is on fire as reflected in the 26,000 youth who participated at NCYC. A new Advent has begun in their lives.

We have heard many times the statement "get over yourself'. Advent is a time for us to start the process to do just that. When our lives stop being about us; when we cease being self-important and become other-centered; when we are finally able to let go of all those things that hold us back; (selfishness, resentment, ego, the illusion of self-sufficiency, the plans we have for our lives without respect to God, the mistakes we've made that we can't let go); this is when we really start living and loving as we were always meant to do. It's also the first and best step toward true and lasting happiness. Happiness is what we all are looking for in our lives. It begins with "get over it"!

Lets use this Advent Season as a time for learning to see yourself as God sees you. Learning to love yourself as God loves you. Learning to love others as God loves them. We need to grow in gratitude, and to responsibly take care of ourselves , as well as to responsibly take care of others . It's a time to re-set one’s expectations. This is a great time for all of us to start again, as we prepare for the King that is to come.

May you all have a Blessed Advent Season!

Your Brother in Christ,

Father Joseph

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Festival CD's from the St. Joseph Spirit Choir, which sings at the 11:00 a.m. mass on Sundays, are vailable for a $10 donation. They are available in the gift shop.