What came to mind as you entered the church today and looked at the Advent wreath which hangs over the baptismal font? Did it bring to mind the family Advent wreath that sat in the middle of the dining room table when you were younger? The simplicity of the wreath with its four candles has always expressed to me the special nature of this season we begin today which calls for a heightened level of spiritual awareness.
The scripture readings during Advent speak this same message. The Sunday gospels will emphasize the importance of attending to the present moment in an active way. In the weeks ahead we'll hear about John the Baptist, and then Mary. Both figures lifted expectant hearts to God and were profoundly ready to do His will from moment to moment. I pray that we will come to imitate the readiness of John and Mary in the busy days ahead.
Please mark your calendar for December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Besides being a holy day of obligation, this day begins the Jubilee Year of Mercy. On the following day, you will have an opportunity to receive the mercy of God at our annual Advent reconciliation service. It takes place at 7:00 pm. Several other area Catholic churches and their priests will be joining us. I hope you will keep us busy that night! Check the bulletin insert for other times that we will have confessions here at the parish.