Becoming Better Prepared

As we celebrate this joyful Gaudete Sunday, still waiting and anticipating the celebration of Christ’s first arrival, let us embrace, in these final nine days, a prayerfully thought-out commitment to truly make ourselves better prepared. We can be better prepared for not only the celebration of Christmas with parishioners, friends and family, but better prepared to continue our day-to-day living, with a genuine daily acute awareness that we need always to be preparing for the Savior’s inevitable “Second Coming”.

I think we all know that there is no better way to increase our faith and our inner resolve to live more holy lives, than to increase our knowledge and understanding of our faith. Well you are about to receive an Advent gift from the parish that will provide every parishioner easy access, at no cost, to one of the most prolific faith enhancing, Catholic information and entertainment resources available. This program is titled “FORMED”, and at each Mass today, you will be introduced to more details regarding the many benefits it will provide for every family.

As you have often heard me encourage, we all need to be ever striving to increase our knowledge of our Catholic faith. Prejudice and denigration of Christians in general, and Catholics in particular have been ever on the rise. Our children are buffeted by ridicule and misinformation as they go off from home into the highly secularized world. The resources provided free of charge by your FORMED membership (children are included) will be a great assist in providing a significantly stronger faith. And, yes, we all need a stronger faith knowledge in this day and age in order to navigate through the lies, prejudice and misinformation of our modernist culture.

As we rapidly close in on Christmas Day and the celebration of the Word becoming flesh (and doing so explicitly for our redemption), my thankful attention turns, not so much to the Nativity-set depictions of the Virgin Birth of Jesus, but to the reality of His Real Presence in our beautiful tabernacle. The former conveys a pleasant memory, but the latter (our core Catholic belief that Christ is fully present) stirs my heart and my soul with joy and confidence that my prayers and my presence in proximity to Him are gratefully desired by Him.

Oh, how I wish and pray, that the dedicated group of committed adorers of the Exposed Body of Christ would grow, from the just over fifty parishioners, into the hundreds…in fact several hundreds. While I am extremely grateful for the many Christmas remembrances that I receive from parishioners at Christmas time, I would dearly love to receive one of our “Eucharistic Adoration – A Gift of Love” cards. These small red 3”x 5” cards are available in the chapel by the sign-up sheet, and they provide a tangible gift you can give to anyone you would like. The ‘Card’ denotes, inside, that you have made an hour of Eucharistic Adoration for the intention(s) of whomever you intend. I, personally, would dearly love to receive the gift of a prayerful holy hour made, more than anything else. And, I would also receive great joy in the knowledge that yet another parishioner has committed to, and will benefit from having made a prayerful, belief-and-peace-enhancing, Holy Hour.

On this Gaudete Sunday, as we exude a preliminary joy in anticipation of Christmas, let us count and be thankful for our many blessings, and make a special point of recollecting that the absolutely greatest gift we can ever receive, has been here all the time. He never really left. His abiding Presence remains with us ‘til the end of time.’ If we live in the state of grace we can intimately take Him into our bodies every day, and radiate His Magnificence as we become living Monstrances, doing what he has always asked us to do, not only loving Him…but also loving our neighbors (and our enemies) as ourselves.

Wishing you Peace and joy in His Presence,