From Our Pastor: New Beginnings
New Beginnings. The Church year begins anew this weekend with the first week of Advent. We begin cycle C of the three-year cycle of readings. A, B, and C are the weekend reading cycles and Year I and II are the daily Mass cycles of readings. If you attend Mass every day you hear a great deal of the scriptures, and way more than most of our protestant brothers and sisters. We hear almost all of the psalms. About 13.5% of the Old Testament (again, not counting the Psalms), 54.0% of the non-Gospel New Testament, 89.8% of the Gospels, and 71.5 % of the entire New Testament.
Throughout the entire liturgy of the Mass, we are washed over by the scriptures. The words of the Mass, the responses of the people, our antiphons, hymns, and songs are all scriptural, and so on. As we begin this new cycle of readings and begin again the Church year, we start anew with the opportunity to prepare the way of the Lord into our hearts. The Gospel tells us the nations and world will be in dismay and perplexed.
We God’s holy people are not meant to be the nations and worlds, but instead we are to be people of the world to come. The Gospel reminds us to be sober from drunkenness, carousing, and, most especially, the anxieties of daily life, so that we are not caught off guard. BE READY, Jesus is coming. We all make preparations for Christmas by decorating and wrapping and cooking and partying, but are we preparing for Christmas by prayer, scripture, and the sacraments? We must prepare our hearts and not just our homes and stomachs.
November 28 at 7:00 p.m. we have Lessons and Carols here at St. Francis. Come to this awesome opportunity with Quincy University. Who doesn’t LOVE singing Christmas songs? Come join us.
December 1 and 2 at 6:30 p.m. we have our parish mission with Luke Spehar! It is so exciting. I promise you that you will LOVE this opportunity. His talk and concert and mission are going to inspire you to prepare this Advent season. Your kids, teens, and young adults are going to love this event! He is spectacular! Bring them the first night and they will beg to come back for the second. Adults, don’t get me wrong, he will inspire you and his music and message will move you. Please come take advantage of this awesome experience. If you want a preview, check out his music online on your music streaming services and YouTube! You won’t be disappointed.
-Rev. Steven Arisman