Pastor's Message - December 10, 2017
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
A transformation is underway as lights are strung, decorations are fitted and plans are made for the Advent of Jesus’ birth and our anticipation of Jesus’ second coming. On this second Sunday of Advent, we hear from the Gospel of Mark about John the Baptist boldly proclaiming that “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” May we also hear the words of John the Baptist and make a straight path for the Lord!
Are you experiencing pre-Christmas stress? Then please come join us for an Advent concert this Sunday at 2:00pm in Church. All of our choirs will be participating for this playful and reflective musical masterpiece called “Lessons and Carols.” A special thanks to Joe Kwiatkowski and Chrisanne Gates for organizing this truly beautiful musical extravaganza. The event is free!
This Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00pm in Church we will have our Advent Penance Service. If it has been a while since you have celebrated the Sacrament, don’t worry. We will have materials available to guide you through everything for an anxiety-free experience of God’s mercy and grace. Bring the whole family and the kids too! We all need the opportunity to experience the blessings of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I will have neighboring priests assisting me for a private reception of the Sacrament.
This week our school children present their annual Christmas Pageant. What a wonderful way to step back from the business and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas. All are welcome to see our talented and gifted young people.
Join us for a Visit with Santa next Sunday after the 9:00am and 10:30am Masses. Come down to the parish center for some tasty treats and see Santa. All are welcome!
Finally, be sure to carefully check the Christmas schedule of mass times listed in the bulletin.
May God bless you this Week!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - December 10, 2017
The Second Sunday of Advent
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
BE EAGER TO BE FOUND WITHOUT SPOT OR BLEMISH BEFORE HIM, AT PEACE
In our second Sunday in Advent, our scripture readings call us to a time of preparation, a time when the Lord will come "with power", yet "like a shepherd feeding his flock". Even, as a defenseless infant in the arms of his mother.
In our first reading (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11)
, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah, offering words of comfort. Their time of exile is almost over and Israel will be delivered from their bondage of slavery in a foreign land.
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.
In our Gospel reading (Mark 1:1-5)
, we hear from the opening of Mark's gospel. Mark introduces John the Baptist using the words of Isaiah, as a messenger to "prepare the way of the Lord." Then he introduces Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophesy in a call to repentance and preparation for when the Lord will come to deliver us from the bondage of sin, baptizing with the Holy Spirit.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: "One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
In our Epistle reading (2 Peter 3:8-14), we are called to prepare for the final coming of the Lord and to live our lives as "to be found without spot or blemish before him."
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard "delay," but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.
Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
Our time of preparation for the coming of the Lord is indeed a journey through the desert. A time of dryness yet anticipation for a time when our guilt is expiated and our Lord comes like a shepherd. "In his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom." May we ponder St. Peter's call, "conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God."
to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
Monday, December 11
6:30-8:00 pm in Room 1
The St. Rita Men’s Group gathers to support one another in our faith journey and deepen our relationship with Jesus. We meet to discuss topics that explore our faith and the challenges we face. All are welcome!
Our St. Rita Society is hosting a
Musical entertainment with
our Music Director Joe Kwiatkowski
Tuesday, December 12
at 7:00pm in the Parish Center
December is here and we are ready to have our annual Christmas party, complete with entertainment and holiday treats. We are pleased to have our Joe Kwiatkowski and our own St. Rita’s musicians entertain us with a medley of Christmas tunes.
Members are asked to please bring an appetizer, chips & dip, cheese & crackers, or a dessert to share with our guests.
Everyone is invited and please feel free to bring your husband, a friend, or a guest!
Also, please bring unwrapped health care products (shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc.) that will be donated to those in need in shelters and nursing homes.
with Individual Confession
(available in English and Spanish)
Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm
Regular times for Confession:
Saturdays from 3:30 - 4:30 pm and
Wednesdays at 8:45am (after morning Mass)
Thursday, December 14
7:30pm in Room 1
Join us for this time together before the holiday!
If you have experienced the loss of a friend or loved one through death, we invite you to attend. All are most welcome!
"Legends of a Christmas King" ~ a Christmas pageant presented by students in grades K, 1, & 2.
Come enjoy this wonderful play.
There are 3 performances--Thursday, Dec 14th at 1:00pm and Friday, Dec 15th at 10:00am and 7:00pm.
Kindergartners are in the Angel choir.
Hope to see you there!
Advent is a joyful season as we await the celebration of the Lord’s coming among us. Take some quiet time to spend with our Lord. Adoration will be held on Wednesdays:
December 6, December 13, December 20
from 1:00 - 3:00pm in Church
St. Rita’s Boy Scout Troop #163
FRESH CUT CHRISTMAS TREE SALE
Saturday 9:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday 10:00am - 5:00pm
(Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
Visit us behind Bill Gray’s Restaurant off of Hard Road
(in the BJ’s plaza)
Up to 8 Ft. tall = $40 ~ Over 8 Ft. tall = $50
Money raised will help to pay for camping gear, scout books, awards, badges and camping/backpacking trips. The boys thank you for your support.
St. Rita School . . .
Where Faith and Knowledge Meet!
St. Rita School invites you to our
PROSPECTIVE FAMILY INFORMATION NIGHT
Thursday, January 18 at 7:00 pm
~Tours will be given~
Meet in church starting at 7:00 pm. Babysitting will be provided. In addition to tours, there will be separate presentations by the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers.
St. Rita School is committed to fostering the God-given gifts of each child. In an atmosphere where faith and knowledge meet, our goal is to shepherd the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth of our students.
St. Rita School offers grades PK3 & PK4 (half & full day options) and full day Kindergarten through Grade 5.
We offer a Before School Care Program which is available beginning at 7:00am and an After School Care Program which is available until 6:00pm.
We are Common Core Compliant and Middle States Accredited.
If it becomes necessary to close school due to inclement weather, such notice will be given over the local radio stations beginning at 6:00 a.m.
The announcement will indicate that ALL WEBSTER CENTRAL SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED. Families are requested to listen to the radio and not call the School office.