Be Watchful, Be Alert! Happy Liturgical New Year!

Be Watchful, Be Alert! Happy Liturgical New Year!

Let’s be honest, 2020 has been a challenging year for many as our lives have been uprooted in so many ways. I have heard over and over again, ‘I can’t wait for 2020 to be over.’ I can understand those sentiments so it can be exciting to think that our 2020 liturgical year is over and we are moving into our 2021 liturgical year with this First Sunday of Advent. This year our Gospel comes to us primarily from the Gospel of Mark. Mark’s Gospel is a fast paced Gospel in which we will notice the phrase, ‘immediately’ quite often. There is a great sense of urgency in Mark’s Gospel and as we move into this cycle of readings I think it is important for us to understand that sense of urgency in our own lives. If we really think about what our Advent season is all about, and what Mark’s Gospel is pointing us towards are we watchful and alert? There is a sense that we must be ready and prepared. Advent focuses our attention on the two comings of Jesus Christ. In the first two weeks of Advent we focus on what we anticipate, the second coming of Jesus and how all of us need to be prepared and ready. Weeks three and four of Advent focus us on the first coming of Jesus and remind us that Jesus came into a world that was not prepared for God to become flesh in a manger. The entire focus of Advent is to invite us to prepare our own lives, to be prepared for Jesus. How well are we doing that?

Certainly these times can be challenging and we may simply pray them away, but if we are honest every moment is precious. Yes even in 2020 there have been great graces and the presence of Christ that maybe we haven’t noticed or acknowledged as we should. Remember, nobody ever said that life would be easy, or that challenges wouldn’t confront us. We are reminded though that if we are believers in Jesus, then how we handle all the struggles and challenges should be shaped differently because Jesus is at the core of who we are. What does this mean? Simply, that maybe some of the challenges we have endured in 2020 help to remind us that we need to be more concerned about one another. A perfect example is wearing a mask. This simple task is about caring for one another, realizing that it isn’t all about ‘me’ and my life, but about the well being of all. Remember, Jesus did not come for himself, he came for others and showed us how to prepare our eternal life by caring for the lives of others here and now. What does it mean to prepare this Advent season? Look beyond ourselves, look to others and be alert to where we can be more Christ like. This is the season of hope, peace, love and joy. That means we should be exemplifying those virtues and qualities that promote hope, peace, love and joy. If we really understand what we are preparing for, then let’s make that extra effort. Maybe the best question we should ask ourselves as we begin this Advent season is; Amidst all of the challenges presented to us in 2020, how have they brought me closer to Jesus? If not, there’s still time to prepare. Take advantage of the opportunity now. You’ll notice on the cover of the bulletin all of the Advent activities that are going on at St. Mary’s. Please take advantage of the opportunities our parish is providing for you to prepare your life to encounter Christ. I am proud that our parish will be sponsoring ‘Mercy Day’, a day of reconciliation and healing in which a priest will be available for 24 hours. Take advantage of this opportunity. The full schedule for Mercy Day is available on our website.

 

Keep Smiling 🙂

 

Fr. Bryan

St. Mary’s Church Swormville

6919 Transit Road
Swormville, NY 14051
(716) 688-9380

Parish Events Calendar

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Wed 20

Snow Me The Money- St. Mary School HSA Cash Raffle!

December 1, 2020 - January 29, 2021
Wed 20

Adoration & Prayer

January 20 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wed 20

Middle School Lesson Night – CONSCIENCE

January 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wed 20

High School Lesson Night – CONSCIENCE

January 20 @ 7:15 pm - 8:15 pm
Sun 24

Family Workshop – SACRED SCRIPTURE

January 24 @ 10:15 am - 11:00 am
Sun 24

Middle School Lesson Night – CREED

January 24 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sun 24

High School Lesson Night – CREED

January 24 @ 7:15 pm - 8:15 pm