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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

I’m so glad to see our seasonal residents from the north filling in the pews. Welcome back to your second home! May you have a refreshing life in the Sunshine State and an enriching spiritual experience at our parish! On December 1st, I completed six months in this parish as Administrator. It has been a great blessing to be in this parish and my joy is doubled meeting new people every day.

With this First Sunday of Advent, we start the new liturgical year (B Cycle). We will learn from Mark’s gospel every Sunday. Advent season is meant as preparation time for the celebration of Christmas. While the commercial world tries to detach Jesus from Christmas by calling it the ‘holiday season’, we try to prepare ourselves spiritually keeping Jesus as the center of our celebration.

I read a story sometime ago that a mother with her pudgy 6-year-old son went for some last-minute Christmas shopping. In the crowded mall, she suddenly realized his soft fingers were missing from her hand. With panic in her voice, she ran down the aisles looking for him. Finally, she found him fixing his face at a big glass window with wide open eyes looking at the nativity scene displayed. When he heard his mother screaming his name, he said “Look Mommy…..there is baby Jesus in the hay”. The mother pulled him off with frustration, “Honey…we don’t have time for that”.

As Catholics, we have time for preparing not only for the celebration of Christmas but also preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus. The readings explain how we should always be watchful and responsible. In the Gospel Jesus says, ‘Be watchful! Be alert’. The First reading talks about how we could be ready at all times by surrendering ourselves to God; Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands. In the Second reading, St. Paul strengthens us with his words promising that God will reveal to us in Jesus Christ through His second coming: God is faithful.

During these four weeks of preparation, we have scheduled some special spiritual events that you can participate. On Tuesday, December 12th at 7pm, please come and enjoy the grace of our Lord through an ‘Advent Reconciliation Service’. There will be at least 20 priests available for the individual confessions. Please see the bulletin for more information and any further special events.

Please note that on December 8th, we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patronal feast day of our country, and a holy day of obligation. See you soon!

God bless you.
Fr. Jay Raju

-I reading: Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
-II reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
-Gospel: Mark 13:33-37