We know that for big events in our lives we usually attempt to be prepared. We spend years in school to prepare for a hoped for career, we take about two years to prepare for a wedding day experience, we fast from food just to take some medical tests, etc. So also in order to welcome Jesus our Savior at the end of time or at least at the end of our time here on earth, we too need to prepare. Advent assists us in engaging in active preparation for our Lord Jesus’ 2nd coming. St. Paul prays for the Thessalonians…. “strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones” 1 Thess. 3:13. The Gospel encourages us: “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” Luke 21:28. For we shall welcome Jesus back again, He who is “The LORD our justice” Jer. 33:16. That is “The Lord who will reestablish “right relationship” between God and all of us. We have been waiting for over two thousand years. Some might call this a ‘delay.’ St. Paul prefers to call it “an opportunity.” This year our Holy Father Francis has called us to reflect upon God’s mercy. It is God’s mercy that gives us time to prepare for the 2nd coming of our Lord. Let us take advantage of this era of mercy and receive God’s forgiveness as preparation for the time we shall say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” Matthew 23:39.
WE’LL LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON FOR YOU…. In most of all Catholic Churches throughout the Diocese of Buffalo, confessions will be available every Wednesday during our Advent Season from December 2nd to the 23rd from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. At each of our three churches: St. Martin de Porres, St. Lawrence, and Nativity we’ll be leaving the “Lights on for YOU!” Come and prepare your heart to celebrate the birth of our Savior worthily and well.
AN ADVENT RETREAT, celebrating the Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis, “Jesus, heal us body, mind and spirit” will be held at St. Lawrence Parish, 1520 E. Delavan Ave. The retreat begins Sunday December 13 at 6:30 PM with a discussion of God’s Mercy and Compassion, ANOINTING OF THE SICK with guest Fr. David Bellittiere who is well-known for his healing ministry to those experiencing serious illness, cancer in particular, and for his devotion to St. Peregrine. Fr. Ron Sajdak is expected to join Fr. David to facilitate Anointing of those attending. Monday December 14 with reflections on how we have responded in Mercy and Compassion with RECONCILIATION AND PRIVATE CONFESSIONS. Our final evening is Tuesday December 15 with reflections on our response to God’s Mercy and Compassion and ends with HOLY EUCHARIST Principal celebrant, Fr. Daniel Ogbeifun."