Pope Saint John Paul II repeatedly called for a “New Evangelization.” My Sister’s husband sent me this description of the new Evangelization: “a)renewingour own understanding of the faith, b) restoring a confidence in what we believe, and c) being willing to share our gift of faith.”
I really like that as a simple condensation of how the work of Evangelization begins in our souls with these 3 steps. Our hearts and minds need perpetual renewal and deepening of our understanding. This will never end, not even in Heaven. And the more we know and love Jesus, the more He will restore confidence in what we believe. Especially in 2018, how often do we feel we must apologize for our faith in the public square? Let Christ restore your confidence that you have something wonderful to share. And finally, be willing to do that sharing!
So I would like to encourage each member of our parish family, as we prepare for Christmas, to make a commitment to daily prayer and spiritual reading in order to grow in our understanding of the faith. Advent is an especially good time to focus on asking Jesus to reveal his presence in our hearts ever deeper. It is our personal encounters with the risen Christ, through the sacraments, through our prayer, and our serving one another, that restores our confidence in what we believe. Finally pick someone to pray for, to care for, and eventually share your faith with (prayer, care, and share). Amid the endless avalanche of “new” high tech products, there is one “perfect gift” that makes all things new. Give the gift of love this Christmas by praying, caring, and sharing your faith with someone and you will see Christmas miracles!!
A reminder that this Saturday is our patronal feast and Holy Day of Obligation for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. A kindly reminder that to attend Mass on a Sunday and Holy Days is a precept that binds every Catholic, and to deliberately fail this obligation is matter for grave sin (CCC 2180-83). Mass times are in the bulletin here, and since folks ask every time a Holy Day falls on a Saturday: No, there are no “Two-fers.” A Mass attended for Saturday evening can’t double to cover both obligations!
I pray that this Advent will be a season of great prayer for you and your families….
pax et bonum,