The season of Advent begins this Sunday. Advent is a special time in the Church year as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Advent holds out the hope and desire to see the light of Christ shine through the darkness of our world. Pope Francis stated, “Advent is the time we are given to welcome the Lord who comes to encounter us, and also to verify our longing for God, to look forward and prepare ourselves for Christ’s return.”
As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, we are urged to remain watchful and vigilant as we wait in joyful anticipation for the coming of the Lord. During this special time, we will sponsor our Advent Parish Mission to be presented by Fr. Linus Klucsarits of the Order of Saint Benedict. Fr. Linus is an experienced teacher and spiritual director from Saint Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama. He will speak of the gift of the Christ Child that awaits us, and the spiritual process of preparation that is expected of us. He will focus on how we can be spiritually prepared as we strive to cope with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus in these difficult and uncertain times. There will be time during the Mission for prayer and reflection.
The following Parish Mission Prayer asks God to bless our efforts:
Once again You are at the door and knock.
During our parish mission, You ask us to open the door of our hearts to Your abundant mercy.
Rouse us! Purify and illumine our hearts!
Enter into every home of our parish.
Recall those far off, raise the fallen, awaken the indifferent.
Strengthen those who seek to be near You. May no one refuse Your invitation, Lord.
Expand our hearts so that we may be merciful to others as You are so merciful to us.
O Mary, Mother of Mercy, we entrust to you this time of mission.
May it produce abundant fruits in our Christian life. Amen.
Please invite your friends and loved ones to the Mission, especially those Catholics who may have been away from the Church for some time and some reason. Through God’s grace, you may be instrumental in getting your friends and loved ones to return to the precious faith we love and cherish.
I encourage you to prayerfully consider attending the 2021 Advent Parish Mission and availing yourself of this special time of grace.