Sunday, December 13 at St. Francis Xavier Parish
This is already the 3rd Sunday of Advent, know to us as Gaudete Sunday, signalling that the feast of Christ nativity is drawing closer and closer.
“Today’s gospel tells us that John the Baptist was born into the world for a singular purpose, “to testify to the light.” And not just any light, but “the light of the human race” (John 1:4), “the light that shines in the darkness,” that the darkness can never overpower (1:5). One of the reasons the feast of Christmas was originally placed on December 25 was to highlight the symbolism of celebrating the birth of the one who proclaimed himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12) during the darkest days of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.
Whether we find ourselves in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere on this Gaudete Sunday, there is plenty of darkness to be encountered: poverty, war, violence, hatred, greed, and all manners of evil. When we turn our gaze to our own suffering and that of others, it is easy to become discouraged. How can any light possibly brighten this darkness?
As Christians, we could say that we have all been born into the world with the same vocation as John the Baptist: to testify to the light, to be hope in the world by fully living our belief in and relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the source of our gladness, and the reason St. Paul urges all of us to “rejoice always.” As the feast of Christ’s nativity draws nearer, we pause to ask ourselves, How do we live our vocation to joy? How are we being called, at this moment in human history, to testify to the light that no darkness can overcome?” (Living Liturgy 2021)
As I did over past weeks and so this weekend at the end of each Sunday Mass I will provide an update on the ongoing One Heart, One Soul Campaign. Thank you to all our parishioners who submitted their pledges to the Diocese this past week in support of our parish. Thank you for your generosity and care for the parish entrusted to us.
Pope Francis on Tuesday announced a special year dedicated to St. Joseph starting from 8 December 2020 until 8 December 2021, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. We are all invited to read the Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”) that explains reasons for the year of St. Joseph and invites us to have a devotion to him. At the conclusion of his Letter, Pope Francis adds a prayer to St Joseph, which he encourages all of us to pray together during this year:
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
As we are only 2 weeks away form the celebration of Christmas, please remember to register for one of the Masses on the Eve or Christmas Day. Since we are limited to only 30% capacity at this time it helps us to know how many parishioners to expect so we don’t cross that limit. The 4pm Mass is already full so please confider other options.
Starting next week there will be numerous opportunities to receive the sacrament of reconciliation before the celebration of Christmas. Please check the parish bulletin tomorrow, when it is published online, for the confessions schedule.
For those who cannot be with us at this time in person at Sunday Mass we invite you to participate in the Mass virtually from your home by joining us for the Rosary at 8:30am followed by the 9am morning Mass here.