December 10, 2017
Girls and Boys in Pre K 3 & 4 were so excited on Thursday morning with snow falling and Christmas coming. It can be a magical time and hectic too. Buffalo News “Gusto” suggests we should be “making a list and checking it twice” to decide on special things to do! Like: hot chocolate in front of a great fireplace; see old fashioned windows on Central Ave in the Village of Lancaster; go caroling with friends; ice skating at Canalside; holiday Pops or a play; try a Perry’s Christmas Ice Cream flavor; etc. During the season of Advent we can also make a simple list of spiritual things to do to prepare for Christmas.
Isaiah is preparing the way of the Lord with an announcement of glad tidings. He is herald of good news: speaking tenderly to the Jewish people in exile that God, like a Good Shepherd, will be leading them back home to Jerusalem. We too can radiate joy knowing God is with us in the daily struggles and celebrations of life.
The author of the 2nd Letter of St. Peter encourages readers to hold to the coming Day of God. The Lord does not delay his promises. The "apparent" delay in the return of Jesus in glory is an opportunity for holiness and devotion. God is patient with us in order to give us a chance to repent. Advent can be a time of honesty as we acknowledge regrets, admit our hurts and confess our sins.
St. Mark begins the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God by quoting Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” John the Baptist is a preeminent herald proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John points to One mightier than him who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and be a font of God’s mercy and salvation.
Advent can be an occasion for us of comfort knowing God is with us along the way. Advent can be a season of patience with others and humility as we confess our sins. Advent can be a precious sacrament of peace. Come to our Advent Penance Services at 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM on Monday December 18 to experience reconciliation before Christmas. “Light Is On” in the church for confessions on Wednesday December 20 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Doing simple spiritual things during Advent can deepen our enjoyment when commemorate the birth of Christ.
When I served on the Southern Tier people in the community, apart from parishioners, would call me “pastor”. It was a term of respect and, for some, it enable the person addressing me to avoid using the title: “Father”. I took no offense. Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew says to his disciples and the crowd: “Call no one on earth your father; y... READ MORE
It was a remarkable turn out on Wednesday for the funeral service, procession and burial of Craig Lehner. Many, who did not know Craig, became emotionally attached to him because of the circumstances of his death and the telling of his story. We will always remember his special bond with “Shield” his canine partner. In our Gospel today, when Jesus is asked to identify ... READ MORE
I have a twenty pound note (British Sterling) from my last trip to London. Queen Elizabeth, her portrait, is imprinted on one side. She is the reigning monarch. It is a custom here, in our country, to have currency engraved with the figure of a notable man or in the case of a “silver” dollar -- Susan B. Anthony. For most Americans and the English this custom is not off... READ MORE
I am not a “birdwatcher” but I do slow down at times to observe and listen to the birds. I have noticed a gathering of sparrows in the maple tree, evergreens and bushes next to Langley Hall. It is a bird sanctuary. The birds stop chirping when I quietly walk by as if I am stalking them. Birdwatchers note a scout sparrow arrives first, then more sparrows, finches and do... READ MORE
Our first reading is from the prophet Isaiah. It is ballad or song. Listening to the original Hebrew lyrics we can detect the rhyme and word association. It moves from joy to sadness like a Country Western song. The harvest is near with joyful anticipation of plentiful grapes for wine. Isaiah sings of the owner of the vineyard as his friend who has cleared the fertile hill... READ MORE