Gaudete Sunday

12-11-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace and Joy in Our Lord Jesus!

Maranatha! We hear this word during Advent. It simply means, “Come Lord Jesus!” This simple prayer of the early Christians was offered because they expected the Lord’s return at any moment. As they waited for His coming, they lived like it and they were joyful about it. Today is a reminder that the celebrations of Christ’s coming draws near.

The 3rd Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. It is the day we light the rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath and the priest and deacon wear the rose-colored vestments. Gaudete comes from the Latin verb gaudere (to rejoice). As Christians, we have reasons for hope and joy because we know of God’s presence… especially at Holy Mass where He is truly present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

Our relationship with Christ invites us to share God’s love and mercy in our actions and attitudes. We have a Savior! Jesus Christ is our JOY! Of course, the Advent season also has a penitential component to help us focus on what is truly important. The violet (purple) colored candles remind us to prepare for the coming of Christ. Fasting and penance is a way to prepare as we lead up to the feast of our Savior's birth. The rose candle reminds us of the joy that is to come, and serves, amid this season of penance, as a 'break' when we recall the hope we have because of the coming of Our Lord.

Advent invites us to get our houses in order. Doing a bit of spiritual cleaning and spiritual reflection offers us grace to bring hope and the message of God’s love to others. Getting right with God through the Sacrament of Confession helps us to realize that Our Lord’s mercy and love can strengthen us to face the troubles and trials of this world! All the world will bend the knee… some in terror—but as for God's friends, we will bend the knee in joyful adoration as Jesus takes His place as Our King.

As you make your plans for the upcoming Christmas celebrations, you may face a certain Catholic dilemma. Many will go to Holy Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas day… thanks be to God. There are those who will not even give a second thought about the fact that we have an opportunity to go to Mass on Sunday. Let us begin to pray for those whose faith has grown weak and for those who have fallen away from the faith. Let us ask for the eyes of faith to see our need for the Bread of Life that we may remain connected to Our Lord. Our souls need the real spiritual nourishment that only God can provide. Holy Mass gives us real food from Heaven and our promise of eternal life.

Our Lord commanded us to keep holy the Sabbath. I want you to consider the great importance we place on Holy Mass. If you are struggling or know someone who is in need of God’s grace, then going to Mass can open hearts and minds to the wonders of God’s generous love for us.
The Mass schedule for December 24th/25th is as follows: Daily Mass will be celebrated at 8:30am with

Confessions at 8:00am on Saturday, December 24. Later that same day, we will celebrate Christmas Eve Masses at 5:00pm and 12:00am. Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th Masses are at 8:00am and 10:00am. Live stream overflow seating will be offered in the hall for each Mass except for the Midnight Mass.

Let us pray that this Christmas season will be a time for spiritual renewal for the human family.