November 26, 2023
Dear Parish Family,
Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast is celebrated on the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and we start a new year! Honoring Christ as King focuses our hearts and minds on Jesus as our ruler and head. He is the beginning and end of all we are. We belong to Him. All we do, we must do for Him. We must live as members of His kingdom.
Advent (from the Latin ad venio, “to come”) is the liturgical season anticipating the coming of the Lord. While the days grow shorter and colder, we prepare for the Savior who comes to kindle our hearts with His light and His love. The Advent season is filled with preparation and expectation. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Sometimes we can become so busy with these preparations that we might lose sight of the real reason for all this activity: the Word Made Flesh coming to dwell among us. So this Advent, let’s try to preserve the spiritual focus of this special season of preparation amid the hustle and bustle of the countdown to Christmas.
In our shopping and baking, let us remember to purchase and prepare something for the poor. When we clean our homes, perhaps we can share some of our possessions with those who lack many necessities. While we are decking the halls of our homes, let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.
Every January 1, millions of people make resolutions for the coming year–and, before the month is out, most will have broken them. Still, the impulse is a good one. As disciples, we know that we are far from perfect, and anything that helps us become a better person is worthwhile. So on this First Sunday of Advent, why not make some spiritual resolutions for our lives of Faith, Hope, and Love?
Please be sure to check out our parish special Advent Mailer which will be delivered to your homes, and outlines all of the opportunities we are offering at Good Shepherd for grace and spiritual growth this Advent. Each Advent is a gift of the Lord, to bring us back to what is most important in life. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to make this a holy year, a year of prayer, a year of increased love, a true year of the Lord! The Lord is coming! Let us embrace Him!
Grace and peace,
Father Neil Sullivan