From the Desk of Father Tharp
Advent Parish Region Penance Service
Please make a note that the Advent Penance Service for St. Ann and Sacred Heart is at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12 at Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart is ideal for this use as it has six “ready-made” alcoves that easily become six confession stations. We will try to have as many priests as possible present to hear individual confessions.
Please Note: Pre-Baptism Class for December ONLY!!!!
Because the Sacred Heart Second Grade will be making First Reconciliation on December 10 at 7:15 p.m., the Pre-Baptism Class that evening will NOT begin in the basement of the church at 8:00 p.m. Rather it will begin in the basement of Sacred Heart at 8:45 p.m. Please point this out to anyone you may believe will be attending the Pre-Baptism Class in December.
Retirement Funds for Religious
The Retirement Fund for Religious is taken up annually across the U.S. on the second Sunday in December. The funds collected are directed by an arm of the USCCB to Communities of Religious who have numerous elderly Sisters, many of whom taught for years at very low reimbursement to their communities. Now there are few or no younger Sisters to work to take care of them. Please be generous in today’s second collection, or place a donation in the “Religious Retirement Envelope” and place it in next week’s collection.
Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens and Candidates
Some RCIA candidates and catechumens have indicated a preference to participate in the Rite of Acceptance on the Third Sunday of Advent at St. Ann on Saturday, December 15 at the 5:15 Mass. Thus the RCIA class will be received as official Candidates and Catechumens at both Churches on differing dates. Please pray for our RCIA candidates and catechumens as they continue their journey of spiritual discovery.
Reflection on Scripture
In today’s first reading, the Prophet Baruch (the secretary to Jeremiah) tells the Jewish people exiled in Babylon that their captivity is about to end. He admits before God that it was their sins that caused the exile and captivity, but looks to God for justice against their abductors. In the gospel selection, John the Baptist preaches personal repentance signified by a washing ritual. (Baptismo is the Greek verb for “wash.”) He offers “repentance” as the best method for preparing for the coming of the Messiah.
John the Baptist knew that only a repentant heart, emptied of selfishness and pride, is open to Jesus and his way of salvation. Only Jesus can “level” the road to salvation. The “level road” is longed for by the exiles in Babylon, by those being baptized by John in the Jordan, and by those who enter the season of Advent with pure hearts seeking the Lord. Let us be filled with hope as we walk ever closer to Jesus on the road to eternal salvation.
Next Weekend: Third Sunday of Advent
Theme: Shout for Joy “Gaudate”