I will say it but to no avail! This was not the best year and this was a great year. Every year I have been alive there have always been ups and downs. I think that is a pretty general statement and I would say that it is accurate too. Not just for me but for many good folks out there in internet land. I made some painful decisions that affected lives. But I also made some good friends and connections that I’m hoping will enliven my life and the lives of my parish family. But something weird happened this morning that brought me to my blog today. Not so much that it was the end of the year but to a realization that I’m still trying to piece together. My calendar reminder mentioned that my little dog Kerry of eleven years died three years ago early in the morning. He was not in the best health when I moved here to Nativity. He was diabetic, blind and severely underweight. But as troubled as he was with his health, he still gave me that unconditional love that so many of my fur kids have given me. Even to the day he died he was still the most loving dog I ever had. When he died in his sleep it was a sadness but also a relief. I had decided that I would have to put him down the next day but God gave me a break and sent Kerry on his journey over the elusive Rainbow Bridge. I have his ashes in my little house Chapel next to another beloved pet, Gus.
But I also called to mind all the people whom I buried this year. I said farewell to some really wonderful folks and for some I had the privilege of officiating at their funerals. So I now sheepishly join on the bandwagon of saying Good Riddance 2013 and look forward with new hope for a prosperous year. My wish is to see a ministerial growth in my parish community. I want to see people take ownership of their parish and watch it flourish. I want to meet new people who share my vision of rebuilding a church community into a great community. So I graciously and humbly ask God to bless me and my family. To give peace and hope to my congregation and for them to be willing to open their hearts and minds to a God who truly loves us. Pray for me my friends because I am praying for you! Happy New Year!
On this third Sunday of Advent it is commonly referred to as “Gaudete Sunday.” it signals the closeness of the coming of the Christ Child. The Rose colored candle is lit and, if possible, Rose colored vestments are worn by the presider. I can liken it to a flare being shot up into the night sky to call attention to those around that help is needed or help is on the way. Indeed, with the coming of Christ as the infant we are reminded that he came to us as one like us! Flesh and blood, hungry for his mother’s milk and needing all the loving care that any newborn child would require. It is so awesome to reflect on the knowledge that our God loved us so much he sent us his son to be among us. All with the knowledge that this child would come to change the world for all time.
Each week I post the daily mass readings. I do not do this to fill space but rather I do it with the hope that we will take the time to read scripture each day. Having said this I’m sure people will want to ask me which bible do we read. That is a very good question because there are so many versions of the bible it can be confusing. Let me help you by telling you the official version of the Catholic Church is the New American Version (NAB). Study bibles with notes are an excellent source of delving into certain phrases that we may not be familiar with. I would also suggest that you do not necessarily buy a hardbound edition. The St. Joseph Edition by Catholic Publishing is highly recommended and they have them in large print.
Every Catholic home should have one and not to place on the coffee table in the living room for everyone to see. Make a prayer corner for yourself somewhere in your home where you can read scripture and pray. Only when we practice our faith and belief can we truly enjoy the fruits of the sacrifice we make each day when we offer thanks and praise.
We owe it to ourselves and to God to take a break each day and give thanks. We are so distracted by the noisy world. We can get lost, lonely, confused, angry, hurt along with so many other emotions. The one thing that will never let us down in is in our time with Him. I strongly encourage you to begin feeding your heart and mind to strengthen your inner spirit.
Rejoice, for He is near!