But, the major emphasis in the season of Advent is on waiting with joyful expectation to receive Our Savior. We are called to a deeper openness, receptivity, to the gift of God’s love and presence in our lives. Repentance of our sins and reconciliation with our God and God’s people helps us to experience more fully God’s love and opens our hearts ever wider to the One who brings us healing, life and peace.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Advent season can help us to be more open to receiving the Lord when he comes into our midst. There will be times for individual reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation at each of our churches. I encourage you to take the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Penance in preparation for Christmas. Below you will find the times and places the Sacrament will be offered.
Jesus is always offering us the gift of forgiveness. As you finish filling out your Christmas gift list, consider giving the gift of forgiveness. If you need to be reconciled with anyone you have hurt or anyone who has hurt you, reach out to them during this season with the offer of contrition or forgiveness that can lead to healing. The healing of broken relationships can make us whole and help us to receive the mercy of God and grow in personal holiness.
Also, as we journey through the season of Advent consider inviting family and friends to come to church with you, especially anyone who might have drifted away from the practice of their faith or have been alienated from the faith or the parish for whatever reason. Your invitation might be the incentive they need to come back to church, and the Mercy of God.
CMA Report: As we reflect on the gift of Christ as we approach Christmas, may we remember to share our gifts and blessings with others through our support of the Catholic Ministry Appeal. The following is a report of the progress of the 2015/2016 appeal as of November 30. The parish goal for Good Shepherd Catholic Community is $29,732; so far 104 parishioners have pledged or given $24,115. If you haven’t already taken the opportunity to support this year’s appeal, I ask you to please consider doing so before the year-end. Your contribution helps support the many diocesan ministries that support our parishes. Your gift would be greatly appreciated.
Fruit Basket Project: Consider giving a fruit basket for Christmas. The youth will be making and selling three size baskets for: $10.00, $12.50, and $25.00. You may want to buy one for yourself or your family, or give one as a gift for that hard to buy for person. You may also wish to donate a basket. Donated baskets will be delivered to people in our parishes who are in hospitals, needy, or housebound. A donated basket would be a beautiful way to tell the sick, needy and housebound that the parish community cares for them. There will be two pick-up dates for orders. You can order your baskets for the weekend of December 13/14 or the weekend of December 20/21. Ordered baskets can be picked up at church after all the Masses on those weekends. Please consider supporting this worthwhile project, it benefits so many people of all ages. May God bless you, Father Bill