This Sunday we celebrate Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday as we wait in joyful anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Christ. As reported in the publication “Vatican News”, Pope Francis reminded us that our waiting for Jesus requires vigilance in the form of “marveling at God’s action and at His surprises.” Our Holy Father asked the Virgin Mary for her guidance during our Advent journey. He stated, “May Mary, the vigilant Virgin and Mother of hope” help us “to turn our gaze toward the ‘mountain of the Lord’, the image of Jesus Christ, who draws all people to Himself.” Pope Francis also urged the faithful to avoid distractions that may tempt us such as the commercialization of the season, and he challenged us to prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of the Lord.
“The St. Jude Advent Prayer” provided below, from “The National Shrine of St. Jude” reflects the sentiments of Our Holy Father:
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth. Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you. St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. Amen
As we take this prayer to heart, and as we strive to prepare spiritually for the coming of the Lord, we are reminded that this Friday, December 18th at 9:00 am, we will celebrate a memorial Mass for our beloved former pastor, Monsignor Paul Reynolds. He served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Atlanta for over forty years. He shepherded his congregation at Saint Brigid from 2006 until his death in 2010. He was a priest of great wisdom and insight and joy and truly appreciated the opportunity to serve the people entrusted to his care.
As we reflect on the memory of Monsignor Reynolds, we realize that we live in difficult and uncertain times as we cope with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus. In the midst of these difficult times, we strive to maintain our spiritual focus. Therefore, we continue to have additional opportunities during the season of Advent to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please check the parish bulletin or parish website for details. Hopefully, we will truly get our spiritual priorities in order as we get ready to receive Our Lord, Our Savior, Our King of Kings.