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and Sacred Heart Catholic Churches

Niagara, Pembine, and Aurora Wisconsin

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Happy (Liturgical) New Year!

Posted by Fr. Matt on December 3, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Fr. Matt’s Corner:. . Be prepared . . . In days to come . . .

         Happy New Year to you, my dear friends in Christ.  The beginning of this new Church year is a time to dream.  Some of us have already begun to dream about next year’s gun deer season; others are simply dreaming of a white and wonderful Christmas.  In this spirit, the Church gives us one of our great dreamers – the visionary prophet Isaiah – as one of our chief guidesduring this Advent season.

         This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.  All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say:  “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His paths.”   Advent is a season of waiting – waiting for the days to come.  Advent is a season of hope – a hope founded on our rock-solid faith in God:  the hope that we and our neighbors might stream toward that rock – the mountain of the LORDS’s house, that He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His paths.

          But this is not a merely passive waiting; it is not a merely sleepy dream; it is not a merely wishy-washy hope.  It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.  For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.  Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light!  Whew, them’s fightin’ words from St. Paul – and well he knew both the cost and the rewards of this spiritual battle.  What are we to do, then?  How are we to fight?

          It begins as John the Baptist began (stay tuned for next week’s gospel!) in the desert as we confront the reality of our lives and our sins.  In the liberating Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), we truly throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, as we bring what has lain hidden and festering into the healing rays of God’s light and love – ahh, to breathe again in the fresh air of Divine Life!

          This Advent, make some time to bring your faith back out into the light of your everyday life.  Go to confession (our communal penance service is this Wednesday, December 4th, at 6 pm at St. Anthony’s).  Read scripture.  Do an extra act of charity and love.  Visit someone who’s lonely.  Pray for yourself and others.  There are many things we can do to – as Jesus commands – Be Prepared

          Peace to all of you, my friends, this Holy Day, and to all who love the Lord in simplicity of heart,

Fr. Matt

Categories: Fr. Matt's weekly article

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