From Our Pastor: 4th Sunday of Advent
As we come to this final Sunday in Advent, we are given the foretelling of what is to come. Now granted we all know Christ is coming at Christmas but remember that as we hear these readings proclaim we experience them as if they are happening for the first time. They become alive and new. We are reminded though like the first weekend that we must be vigilant for He is almost here means not only at Christmas, but in the second coming. The good news of this Sunday is the foretelling and Importance of the fact that Jesus is not just the Christ/the Messiah, but He is God with us. He is the coming of the Lord that was foretold. God took on our flesh so that we may take on His divinity. We don’t become gods, as some other religions believe, but we become united as one IN God. We experience this now in the gift of His flesh and blood in the Eucharist we receive in our being, as it prepares us for the day our flesh is taken into His being. This unity we experience in the here and now to prepare us for the immensity of what this gift is about. God is love. He loves you so much He came to save you and wants you to be with Him eternally united in that love. And we get the foretaste of that love in the gift of the Eucharist and the birth of Jesus Christ. His enfleshment is our rescue. Be ready, He is coming.
As you may have noticed we have a new image in our Church of the Venerable Fr. Augustine Tolton. We are so proud to have such a presence in our community of this great and hopeful future saint. If you don’t know his story, learn it! This image will help teach you. I asked the artist, who is local, to tell his story and not just convey his image. They have done this so well. So, after Christmas we will have short little blurbs about differing parts of the image to explain it. Each week read the explanation and take an opportunity to go back and pray with the image to allow his story to move us. This is an early Christmas gift to us! Let us enjoy it as we then come to learn the story it tells. To start, most may not know that the parish and university were one. St. Francis Solanus was the original name of Quincy University. St. Francis Solanus was the name of the college at the time Gus attended school here. Our parish, especially through the Franciscans played a part in his education and path. This church was only a year old when, Gus was ordained and sent home to Quincy. I can imagine he came here to this Church to see the exciting new structure, and maybe I am just wishfully thinking, I can only imagine he would have said mass here in our Church at some point. Let us pray for his canonization cause and for God’s miracles through his intercession be seen and recognized!
As we look ahead to this final week, the last opportunity for confession is Wednesday December 21 from 4-5. Fr. Rafal and I both will be there to hear confessions. There will be no Saturday morning mass, no Saturday morning or afternoon confessions. Our mass times follow the Christmas schedule not the weekend schedule. Monday December 26 there will be 6:30 a.m. mass as Fr. Bruns will be home and has offered to take it, so Fr. Rafal and I can go home. Please remember at the Christmas masses to make it a point to welcome guest and visitors. Make them feel at home. Let them know how grateful we are they are here, and feel free to let them know they are always welcome here. Please be accommodating and patient and hospitable. We have such an opportunity to evangelize with our welcome. And to prepare for all of this, pray for all who will be here this Christmas, especially those who may be away or may be here for the very first time. We have the opportunity for them to not only encounter the little baby Jesus, but also the gift of Christ present in each of you.
-Rev. Steven Arisman