Our Advent Season continues as we strive to remain watchful and alert as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. This past week we sponsored our Advent Parish Mission and it was pleasing to see so many of our parishioners and friends in attendance. The focus on our understanding of the Mass, and on the hope we experience as we await the coming of the Christ Child, helped many to more fully embrace the true spirit of Advent.
This spirit continues as we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mother this coming Thursday and affirm our belief that our Mother Mary was blessed among women and was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception. As reported in the media outlet “Catholic News Agency”, Pope Francis, reflecting on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, stated that this feast is “one of the wonders of the story of salvation.” He further noted, “The uncontaminated beauty of our Mother is incomparable, but at the same time it attracts us. Let us entrust ourselves to her and say ‘no’ to sin and ‘yes’ to Grace once and for all.”
The following “Prayer to the Immaculate Conception” encourages us to seek the intercession of Mary as we continue on our journey of faith during this special Season.
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this,
Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through her intercession,
to come to You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, on the profound words of Our Holy Father, and as we focus on this great feast of Mary, we are encouraged to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Season of Advent. Please be aware that we will have additional priests available at appropriate times to assist us during the Season. The Sacrament is here to heal us spiritually and get us closer to the Lord who loves us. Please check the parish bulletin or the parish website for additional times and dates for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Our Church leaders challenge us to maintain a strong spiritual focus during our Advent journey and strive to avoid the commercialism of the Season. We are invited through prayer, works of charity, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation to truly prepare ourselves for the coming of Our Lord, Our Savior, Our King of Kings.