Advent III

Note from the Bishop
Already, it is the third week of Advent and St. John the Baptist comes into the picture. Last Sunday’s Gospel portrayed him in prison, punished for defending the laws of matrimony, yet still pointing out to his own disciples the Messias. Today he is being asked if he himself is the Messias and confesses with the greatest humility that he is not. In fact, he admits that he is not even worthy of loosening the sandals of the Messias. A good lesson in humility for each and every one of us. As has been said by many before us, if we wish to approach the cave of Bethlehem we must stoop low. Isn’t this what the virtue of humility teaches us? It is our Advent virtue.

This Advent has already seen two baptisms with a third on the way. This, too, reminds us of the reason why Our Savior came. Since the sin of Adam and Eve, every child (with the exception of Our Lord, Our Lady, and a few who were cleansed miraculously in their mother’s womb) has come into this world with the stain of Original Sin. We weep in a valley of tears and struggle against the effects of a fallen human nature. Ours is a fallen world, but the Christ Child came to raise us up. Baptism washes away Original Sin and makes us children of God and opens the gates of heaven to those who receive it. May these little children, freshly washed in the Blood of Christ, persevere in the baptismal innocence, and may the rest of us persevere in the path of penance.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception was a beautiful respite in the middle of a busy week. I hope you managed to find some quiet time and a chance to do some spiritual reading. It isn’t always easy to find the time, but where there is a will, there is a way. On the Vigil of the feast, Christian Wright received his First Holy Communion at long last. It was done quietly at the school Mass, but what a celebration was had in heaven! The angels in heaven must have truly rejoiced at yet another soul receiving the true Bread of Angels.

The St. Lucia procession took place today before the High Mass. The Sodality of Charity has been working on this for quite a while now. Speaking of the Sodality, they meet once a month and do all sorts of fun and edifying things; everything from watching a movie, to making crafts. Last month, they made some nice shrines to put in their rooms, while yesterday they had an early Christmas gift exchange. I think they call it a White Elephant gift exchange.

I wish you all a grace filled third week of Advent. We are almost there. So don’t cave in to the pressures of the world to begin celebrating Christmas just yet. We’ve still got our Advent program to stick to so that we find ourselves truly ready for the feast day. Only after we have prepared ourselves—or rather, been prepared by Our Lord’s grace—can we have that peaceful Christmas we all wish for.
– Bishop McGuire