A Message from Fr. Hurley (November 28, 2021)

News November 23, 2021

Happy New Year Everyone,

Today we begin our new liturgical year. I am excited and hopeful the constraints of COVID will be less impactful on our parish life. There is more to endure, but I hope this new year will be a time of renewed life for our parish.

The Advent season should bring that same excitement for our life with the Lord. It is time of openness to new life, to better life. As we start anew, the Gospel on this first Sunday of Advent brings strange apocalyptic images from our Lord himself. The Lord gives us a proper frame of reference for this new beginning with an image of anticipation where the old world realities are thrown into chaos. The principles that guided people are now a source of disorientation. This disorientation is the result of the Lord Jesus Christ coming into the world. The coming of Jesus Christ into the world causes a re-orientation of everything. This is proclaimed to us today so we may acknowledge the need to re-orient our lives, values, and the principles that guide us. The coming of our Lord should cause us to examine our lives. How can we reorder our lives so our Lord is the primary driver of all?

Clearly revealed in this Gospel from Luke is the challenge and pain of reorienting our lives. It will not be easy:

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life and that day catch you by surprise like a trap…Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21: 34-36

As the secular world ramps up for Christmas with an exclusive focus on the joyfulness of this time of year, we disciples of Christ enter a season of preparation we call Advent. Yes, we anticipate the joy of Christ coming into the world and our lives, but we must prepare our hearts, minds, souls, and lives for that coming.

I am excited by the great opportunities our parish is providing that can assist with our preparations for the coming of Christ. The Advent Retreat online is available with sign up through the bulletin. This is a simple way for anyone to enter a retreat from home. The Outreach program (for now I am calling it “Disciples in Action (DIA)”) is yet another excellent opportunity. A small group of folks are establishing a variety of volunteer outreach programs that will minister to local needs. The outreach activities will range from collection of toys or clothing for the needy to visiting elderly persons in need of assistance for simple tasks like online bill payment. I hope this is the beginning of a network of volunteers from our parish who can use their particular talents and gifts to meet the corresponding needs of those in our local area. You may know of a need that we are not aware of at this time. The DIA program can receive your input and be a mechanism for new types of outreach opportunities. Details are available in the bulletin.

I am excited to see the folks gathering at the new Wednesday morning rosary and social gathering (9 am each Wednesday in Saint Mary Chapel). There is a great spirit of fellowship and hope in the gathering. The devotion to the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is so exciting… what a witness to our faith.

Exciting opportunities abound for re-orienting our lives to enter into the coming of the Lord. There is much to do and this is the time to begin.

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength…”. Lk 21:36
Fr. Hurley