Pastoral Ponderings: December 13-14, 2014

-Third Sunday of Advent -

Advent-3

A Voice Cries Out:

What kind of voice are you in the wilderness of our world today? What are you shouting out for People to hear these days? What are people actually hearing from you? And just as important, what are people seeing you do? Are you proclaiming “good news”? Or are being bogged down by the hectic pace we Americans labor under, especially during this month?

Aligning ourselves with the two prophets of the readings today, Isaiah and John the Baptist, we have our work cut out for us. Instead of just listening to the “today’s story”, insert yourself as one of these prophets. John the Baptist knew his role to point out and to prepare the world for the Messiah. His role, as was Isaiah’s, was to show that the Lord’s presence and care was upon all those who called upon God. They are calling for a much needed radical change in the whole idea of “waiting” for the Lord.

Are you bringing glad tidings to anyone in need? We’re not talking about some grandiose or extravagant national program. We’re talking your actual neighbor or maybe a person under the same roof who may sit at the same table as you. The listeners of Isaiah and John were sorely in need of some joy-filled words and favorable actions.

The blessings and gifts we have received are best returned to God through our sharing of them. By this sharing of gifts – freedom, peace, and rejoicing can be brought to those most in need! By doing justice, we become more of the children of God that we were created to be.

On the Level:

Our parish newsletter is still looking for an interested person who would like to begin composing the articles we read each month. Give it some thought and give me a call. Let’s not lose this valuable method of communication.

St. Joseph’s CYO (Athletic Association):

We had a profitable and fruitful meeting of our members and interested persons last week. I’m happy with our discussion and the direction we seem to be headed. Thank you.

-Fr. Larry Martello
Pastor

Pastoral Ponderings: December 6-7, 2014

-Second Sunday of Advent -

Advent-2

“So, What Sort of Person Ought You Be?”

We don’t have too much of the writings of St. Peter, but in today’s Mass we do. He is presenting how we would like to find ourselves at the Lord’s second coming. Given all that he and the early circle of believers has experienced he asks: “what sort of persons ought you be when the Lord Jesus comes again?” He answers directly and simply. You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming day of God. It’s not that we ought to be afraid of his coming, but we should be watchful in our expecting his return. St. Peter says, “…He is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Peter admits it will take time for us to grow, develop and deepen our consciousness of God’s plan. It begins with knowledge of the many gifts and blessings we already have in our lives. Consciously living as a steward of this giftedness, our lives seem to be improving and getting better the longer we live. But we need to prepare to meet the Lord in a new way – not just in the crib at Bethlehem nor his coming on the clouds of heaven. We are to be people “hastening the coming day of God.” Each Advent our lives are renewed and enlightened by the unfolding plan of our salvation evident in the Words of Scripture, the example of the ‘living saints’ around us, and by our own personal faith experiences.

Make it a good Advent in preparation for Christmas.

Parish Advent Day:

“Bringing Our Faith to Life”

Let us offer a hearty thank you to Evelyn Caffarel and the Spiritual Development / Outreach Committee for bringing Fr. Mark Hobson to us last week. Father enlightened us to the leadership qualities of our Holy Father Pope Francis evident in caring for those marginalized in our society and the world as a whole. Then Father Mark brought the Holy Father’s example right down to our local church – in each one here today. He also cautioned us not to be found looking up to the sky and miss the Jesus we are passing by.

-Fr. Larry Martello
Pastor

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