PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD
Advent is not just a four-week season that happens annually before Christmas, with all the attention being on Christmas. Advent really means “coming”; and God is always coming, and always present.
However, perhaps one of the most momentous ways God is coming this year is in the call to take urgent action on climate change. The authorities say we have less than twelve years before unstoppable, multi death-dealing change really gets a grip. Already it is happening. We have had extreme weather here, massive storms and a very extensive heat wave last summer, with perhaps worse to come next summer.
The earth is not our possession, but a God given trust. That is why it concerns us Christians most deeply. Read Laudato Si. Everyone can do something, whether it is re-cycling our waste and our used goods, turning off unwanted light and heat. Using public transport more, and sharing the car. And at Christmas being especially careful of what we will be throwing away
Christmas is not about having more but loving more. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” . Fill the valleys not with rubbish but let them flourish for our children and grandchildren. No one can say “not my responsibility”, or “not my brother's keeper”.
This week's Calendar
Tuesday 11th: The memorial-day of St. Damasus.
Wednesday 12th: The Memorial-day of St. Finnian, bishop.
Thursday 13th: The Memorial-day of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr.
Friday 14th: The Memorial-day of St. John of the Cross, priest and Doctor of the Church.
Sunday 16th: The 3rd Sunday Advent.
This Week's Readings
A reading from the prophet Baruch
Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians.
‘My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more.
Anniversaries and Prayers Requested.
Please pray for the following:
Margaret Corcoran (month's mind)
John Corcoran (anniversary)
Paddy O' Leary
Alfie and Sarah Sparks(remembrance)
Meave O'Leary, St Luke's Post Office (2007)
Aidan Murphy, Wesley Terrace
Marie Hyde(recently deceased)
Breda Spillane(recently deceased)
Peter Dooley(recently deceased)
May they rest in peace .
Due to the changes in our Mass schedule we anticipate a major reduction in the collections.
We are required to run the parish on a break even basis, i.e. we cant run into the red as we have no way of servicing an overdraft or loan.
We have implemented changes in our cost structure. This means that the maintenance budget for all our buildings has been practically eliminated.
We are now operating on a needs must basis, a hole in the roof would be an example of a must do job.
We ask for your help in three ways
- Please be generous as you can in your contribution to parish collections
-Please join the weekly envelope system and help us maximise the benefit we gain from it. Boxes are available at the back of the church.
-Please consider sponsoring some essential maintenance work. We have a number of projects that range in cost from €1k to €14k. Please contact the sacristan if you want to help.
A new selection of cards is now available and is on sale in the porch. €3 per pack, two packs for €5.
More on the Holy Season of Advent .
In recent years it has become very noticeable that the fever of Christmas is gathering momentum earlier and earlier. Many shops are ‘ready to go' just as soon as Halloween is finished. This is reflected in how many Christians are now just as eager to plunge straight into the Christmas rush, neglecting to wait out in prayer, and indeed in penance, the Holy Season of Advent.
In our enthusiasm and excitement we could forget that 23 rd December this year is still only the 4th Sunday of Advent ie: one day before Christmas Eve and only two days before Christmas Day itself! It seems that the coming of Santa is more important than the coming of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and hope.
Waiting : Firstly, waiting to remember the first coming of Jesus at Bethlehem and then, waiting in supplication for His second coming at the end of time.
Conversion: Advent is a season for taking quiet time to review where we are in our relationship with God and our neighbour. “Repent” (as John the Baptist cried out) “ for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! ” (Mt3:2).
Joyful Hope: We hope and trust that the salvation already accomplished by Christ, and the reality of grace in the world will mature and reach their fullness. We are full of Joy because of Jesus! We are full of Hope because the Word became Flesh!
We cry out ‘ O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Marana tha! '
Waiting can be hard for many of us, we simply don't like to wait; we want things NOW.
Advent, however, offers us a fantastic opportunity to take some time out and allow Advent prayers and readings to grow our faith, our hope and our love, realizing that none of them are perfect yet.
Pope's Intentions for December
Evangelisation : That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.
Ministers of the Word
Rota sheets for ministers of the Word for St. Patrick's Church are available from the sacristy .
Season of Advent
Today we welcome the first Sunday of Advent, lighting the first candle on our Advent Wreath, asking that Our Lord may light our way as we prepare for His ‘coming' this Christmas. ‘Advent' means ‘the coming', as we remember Jesus' first coming in a stable in Bethlehem and we anticipate His second coming at the end of time. Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight, a time of waiting, conversion and of hope.
We honour our Blessed Lady and Mother in this season as we ‘await' her Feast Day of her Immaculate Conception and of course her role at Christmas time. Our Advent Prayer reminds us also to set quality time aside to pause and pray and reflect on the true meaning of Advent and Christmas.
Come Lord Jesus, Come.
Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send Your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We, who have so much to do, seek quiet spaces to hear Your voice each day;
We, who are anxious over so many things, look forward to Your coming among us;
We, who are blessed in so many ways, long for the complete joy of Your Kingdom We, whose hearts are heavy, seek the joy of Your presence;
We are Your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To You we say: ‘Come, Lord Jesus, Come!' Amen.
(Fr Henri J.M. Noumen)
Holy Family church welcomes Volunteers
Volunteers are needed to help in running Holy Family church.
If you would like to help in any of the following:
the Altar Society,
the Newsletter team,
the Parish Council,
the Ministries of the Word and Eucharist,
please leave your name in the Sacristy.
Mother Teresa Canonised a Saint on this day
When Saint Mother Teresa was in Calcutta for 20 years she received a ‘call within a call'. Jesus told her:
‘I am sending you into the dark holes of the poor. Come, be My light!'.
From that day St Mother Teresa and her dedicated Sisters in the Missionaries of Charity have done fantastic work with the poorest of the poor, founding orphanages, medical centres, house for the dying etc. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. St Mother Teresa said:
‘If I ever become a saint, I will surely be one of darkness. I will continue to be absent from heaven to light the light of those in darkness on earth.' Today let us pray :
Dear Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, come to us who continue to dwell in the dark. Come be our light! Pray for us. Amen.