Advent at St. John’s

December 14, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
Gaudete Sunday means “Rejoice Sunday” because we are halfway through the season of Advent. However, since this Advent is only three weeks long, we are two-thirds of the way through the season of preparation.

This Sunday we have our Communal Penance Service, to help us through the season of Advent. We know the mission God has for us is to be holy men and women, but we still struggle with our human brokenness which turns us away from being fully committed to Jesus and our vocation. Praise be to the Lord for giving us the sacrament of Reconciliation to bring us back and give us another chance to recommit our life to Him. 

One of the great joys about being a priest is being able to celebrate the sacrament of Confession. As priests we are not interested in hearing what people have done, rather we rejoice in seeing a person with the desire to come back to God and to rededicate themselves to Him. I have experienced that gladness from both sides of the screen. From being the confessor who rejoices with the one who makes the return, and as the penitent who rejoices that God has extended His mercy towards me. 

One of my favorite quotes from the late Fr. Jeff Huard is, “sin is dull, love is beautiful.” Which is to say sin is not that interesting—we more or less fall into the same sins over and over again so it is dull. Rather, when we see love and all the many ways it expresses itself we are always drawn to its beauty. 

As we go continue to the end of Advent, may we go in with hearts renewed in love and dedication to Jesus. He is coming and we want to prepare not just a manger to lay Him, but a soul that has been decorated beautifully in which He can rest in.

In Christ,
Father Joseph
Parochial Vicar