Dear STL Family,
As we enter the Third Week of Advent, another candle is lit as we light the way for the coming of Christ. In Fr. Ron's homily this morning, he reminds us that we make straight the path of the Lord by making ourselves worthy of the coming of Christ. He further asks us to ask ourselves, "Do we want God to come to us? Do we want to make that pathway straight for Him?"
During the past two weeks of Advent, I've been watchful and observant of how we do this through our service to others, especially those in need. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of time, a lot of juggling as we attempt to balance family, work, and everyone's demands on us.
I've become keenly aware that we cannot help but be changed by our encounters with those in need and how our very encounters develop compassion in us and a heightened awareness of others' needs. I marvel at the responses to "stepping up to the plate" opportunities, if you will, that our amazing parish volunteers and donors have already demonstrated. Not only are your Christian attitudes showing, but your relationship-building attributes as well. The incoming donations to The Giving Tree project and Las Madrinas Bake & Craft Fair's fruitful profits and the women's creative, artistic talents are perfect examples.
I was recently told that unspoken prejudices exist in our parish and judgmental language is used toward those who are "not like us". That saddens me, but I know that even negative 'influencers' will inevitably invade our holy places. It is not our intention to applaud only those who keep our ministries running or dismiss those who are not very involved in the parish. We know there are many of you who are changing lives through works of mercy and justice outside our parish ministries. Please know that wherever or however you serve, you honor God and give Him glory!
At this juncture, it's a good time to pause, breathe, and slowly wait ~ my image is of Mary and Joseph waiting for the birth of their baby. Yes, I too, get restless in the waiting, but I found comfort when Fr. Ron shared the words of St. Augustine, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Ok, my break is over; more news to share with you...
This third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word meaning 'rejoice.' So let us rejoice with each other!
With a very grateful heart,
"The centre of me is always and eternally in terrible pain, a curious, wild pain, a searching for something, beyond what the world contains, something transfiguring and infinite - the beatific vision - God -
I do not find it, I do not think it is to be found - but the love of it is my life...it fills every passion that I have - it is the actual spring of life within me".
~ Bertrand Russell
Sent by Jane Alfano