Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin a new church year. Advent is the church’s four week preparation for the coming of Christ into our lives and hearts. During the season of Advent the church teaches about three comings of Christ. The first coming happened about 2,000 years ago when Christ was born in time on that first Christmas morning. The angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to people of goodwill.” The second coming of Christ is at the end of time. We await His coming in glory with all the angels and saints of heaven. We do not know the day or the hour of His coming. Only God, the Father, knows of that exact time. We pray to be ready every day for His coming. There is also a third coming of Christ that the church teaches about. It is His coming to us every day into our lives and hearts. This is a very important coming of Christ. He comes to us when we pray and participate in the sacraments of the church. If we welcome Christ every day then we will truly be ready when he comes at the end of time!
I encourage you to participate in the many events and activities being offered to you by the parish as a way to welcome Christ each day. We are going to have our Sunday Advent Vespers at 5pm in the church with guest speakers over the next 4 weeks. November 30 the speaker will be Deacon Bob Lavanco from Our Lady of Hope; Dec 7 the speaker will be Msgr Ralph Maresca, the pastor of ST Francis of Assisi in Astoria; Dec 14 the speaker will be Fr Greg McIlhenney, the Associate pastor of St Patrick’s, Bayridge; Dec 21 the speaker will be Fr James Cunningham, the pastor of Holy Name in Park Slope. All are welcomed!!
All day Penance will take place on Wednesday, Dec 10, from 7:30am- 7:30pm. What a great way to prepare for the Lord’s coming by removing any obstacle from our lives that prevents us from receiving Him with joy. On Friday, Dec 19, we are going to have Lessons and Carols in the Church at 8pm with all our choirs participating. Lessons and Carols in an opportunity, through Scripture and song, to celebrate how God keeps His promise by sending us the long awaited Messiah. We wanted to try something different this year and have it on a Friday evening because all the Sundays of Advent are booked. Please make every effort to join us that evening.
I encourage all of you to make the effort in attending daily mass if you can, especially the 7pm in the evening as way for preparing for Christ’s coming. We also have daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel from 7:30am-6:45pm, Monday to Fridays. What a great opportunity to spend some quite time in prayer with the Lord asking Him to come into my heart. Also, I am happy to announce that beginning on Monday, Dec 1, you will have the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation at different times during the week (Monday-Friday). Confession will be offered on the following days at the following times: Mondays from 7:30am-8:30am; Wednesdays from 6pm-7pm; and in Spanish on Thursdays from 7:30pm-8:30pm. Confessions will take place in the church. Saturday confessions will stay the same from 4pm-4:45pm. Please take advantage of this opportunity I am introducing to the parish.
A Blessed Advent to each of you!!!