The Savior Is Coming (and someone else)
The Christmas holy days are ones that are normally filled with great hope. There is the hope of a bright future that comes with numerous wedding engagements that occur. There is also the hope of a little bit of rest and relaxation that oftentimes occurs during this time.
All of these hopes pale in comparison to the hope that is born on December 25th. Our world seems to be short on hope. We see violence, political crises, and devastating storms ravishing our land. There is a lot of cause for despair and heartache. Even personally we see our own sins and shortcomings, confessing the same sins over and over; we wonder, “is there any hope for conversion?”
Jesus is the Savior of the World. As we notice the brokenness of the world and our own personal sinfulness, we realize that we need a savior. We are insufficient on our own. Without God’s intervention, we spin out of control into darkness. Part of the Advent season is recognizing the darkness of the world. When we recognize just how messed up things are, the salvation offered by Jesus Christ is all the more glorious. He comes to defeat the powers of darkness and offer a better way of life.
One way that we recognize the darkness that exists in our own hearts is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In acknowledging and confessing our sins, we admit that we are broken and need Jesus to save us. We can’t save ourselves. On Wednesday, December 22nd we will have another Day of Grace at Immaculate Conception. Confession and Adoration will occur in the church from 6am until 10pm.
Looking a little bit into the future, January 1st is the Octave day of Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Normally it is a Holy Day of Obligation. This year, since it falls on a Saturday, it isn’t an obligatory day. Nonetheless we will have a Mass at all four parishes for the Solemnity. The schedule can be found with the Christmas schedule on page 5 of the bulletin.
The following day, January 2nd is the Solemnity of the Epiphany at which we recall the visit of the Magi to adore the newborn king. It is also the final day of the Year of the Eucharist. It has been a beautiful year dedicated to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. His grace and love has drawn so many people to Him. Thank you for your participation during this incredible year. In the January 2nd bulletin, we’ll include a recap of all the activities, events, and initiatives launched this past year. It is overwhelming.
Finally to close the Year of the Eucharist, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr will be present to offer the 10am Mass at St. Joseph on January 2nd. Also he will be thanking God for the renovations that have occurred at St. Joseph during this year (the new high altar, statues, and paintings). I invite all Petersburg Parishioners to attend this Mass to join the Archbishop in thanking God for this incredible year. Please come and thank God for all that He continues to do in our parishes and in the hearts of our parishioners.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson