As we come closer to Christmas and the New Year, of course there will be a lot of parties, visits and celebrations taking place in your home. In the midst of all these we too face a lot of tension, anxiety, stress and many more things in our lives. These last days of Advent the Church invites us to make our life much better, more meaningful, and more Christ centered as we clear our pathways and to make ready our hearts to welcome Jesus into our midst once again this Christmas. We shall make our pathways to enter into the ambiance of silence in order to experience the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit – “Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity,” (CCC 1832).
As we enter more profoundly into this 3rd Week of Advent, our hearts yearn for more interior peace than any other riches that the modern world can offer. It is a time that we should learn to examine ourselves, our spiritual and moral lives, and with some time alone with God we shall find peace in the inner rests of our soul. We need to do a lot of examination of our conscience and repent from our wrongdoings in order to experience the inner joy and peace. The Lord demands patience, attention, humility, selflessness, genuine love and charity towards others which will lead us into a joyful Christmas and the New Year celebrations. May we imitate St. Joseph and Mother Mary so that Jesus can take us into the depth of our hearts.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Masses are falling one after another this year. Both celebrations are obligations for us to fulfill. The Fourth Sunday of Advent begins with Sunset Mass on 23rd December and ends with Sunday morning Masses on 24th December. Whereas our Christmas Masses begins at 7.30 pm and 10.00 pm on 24th November and ends on Monday, 25th December with masses at 7.30 am (Tamil), 9.30 am (English) and 11.30 am (Myanmar). I hope you don’t skip both days of obligation for no reason.
As we enter into this new chapter of our parish vision for the year 2018 “Committing Ourselves To New Evangelisation” we shall pray for inspiration and courage to serve and spread the Gospel with joy and respectfully with EVERYONE, including with people of our Faiths. We pray this prayer regularly every weekend and make it familiar among us and come together to own the vision and mission as we grow as a Church.
Below is the prayer that we have composed to help us focus on New Evangelisation:
COMMITTING OURSELVES TO NEW EVANGELISATION
Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your love and grace in helping us experience wholeness and hope in our lives. We put ourselves, our lives, and our future in Your hands. May the power of Your Son’s resurrection work in us and transform us according to Your will.
We embrace the commitment of love graciously as stewards of patience, kindness, and gentleness as we engage with EVERYONE.
We commit ourselves in the spirit of new evangelisation as we step forward in faith, to go where You lead us without hesitation or fear and to trust that Your presence is with us and that You will provide all we need.
Loving St. Joseph, our Patron, watch over us, protect us and guide us. Most Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. George Packiasamy