This coming Tuesday, December 8th, we not only celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, that moment when God ordained Mary to be the spotless Mother of his only begotten Son, but we also begin what Pope Francis calls: “The Jubilee Year of Mercy.” During this whole coming year we will remember and highlight God’s infinite mercy towards us. For Jesus, no one is outside the scope of his forgiveness and healing and love. Our task then, is to simply embrace and accept, something that can be hard to do, when we are confronted by our own faults, past failures, and sin. Jesus comes with Mercy to heal and forgive any guilt or shame or sin that tries to destroy us, and the last enemy to be destroyed is death! So, let’s be sure to keep God’s infinite Mercy in mind, and maybe seek the healing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this season of Advent as an avenue of healing. Fr. Al Stangl used to say, “When God forgives, He puts our sins in the deepest part of the ocean, and then he places a sign which says, “NO FISHING!” That should be a great comfort for some. My hope starting this Tuesday is to weave the theme of God’s Mercy into many of our liturgies throughout the coming year.
To begin with, I want to mention this Tuesday, December 8th, we will not only be having Masses at both St. Peter at 8:15 am. and St. Paul at 6:30 pm. for the Holy Day of Obligation, but our plan is also to have a Living Rosary for the Year of Mercy preceding the service at St. Paul’s. This Living Rosary will begin in the Church of St. Paul at 6:00 pm. where we will pray the Joyful Mysteries and remember God’s infinite love. This will then be followed by the 6:30 pm. Mass. All are invited to come join us and be a part of this Living Rosary and Mass! No real need to contact anyone for now, just show up about 5:45 pm. in the gathering area as we organize and process into church to pray! May peace and love be present in your hearts and we continue our journey through Advent, prepare for Christmas and highlight God’s mercy towards us!