“CONVERTERE  DOMINE  ALIQUANTUM,ET NE TARDES VENIRE AD SERVOS TUOS.TURN TOWARD US, LORD, IF ONLY FOR A MOMENT,HURRY TO YOUR SERVANTS.” (An Advent Sourcebook, p.50) John the Baptist always appears in the Gospel on the Second Sunday of Advent.  He lived in the desert with an extreme group called the Eseenes.  He looked different than most folks at the time, and most of them thought he was an interesting character. But his message was one of repentance and preparation. He called the people to pay attention to the One coming after him, for John prepared the way for the Messiah. His message can resonate with us today. It is one of preparedness for the time the Lord will return. We know the seasons have changed. It’s colder, and we are wearing heavier clothing. But our preparedness has to be one in which we actively work for the kingdom. Like John we, too, are sent to prepare the way of the Lord and to celebrate his presence as an ongoing encounter with our God. We experience Jesus in the Word and the Eucharist and also in the lives of one another. Since Advent is a season of hope, our lives should reflect that hope, even in the midst of a pandemic. If we give in to despair, then we have nothing positive to offer one another. While the pandemic may cause some of us anxiety, Jesus offers us his presence to comfort and reassure us. We in turn must be able to offer one another that same reassurance so that we truly are able to live as a people of faith and hope. Mary is a sign of hope for us, no matter what difficulties we have. She is a model of faith, fidelity, hope and strength, even in the midst of the difficulties she had to face. Let us find the strength we need to continue to be faithful followers of Jesus during this sacred Season of Advent. HAPPY ADVENT!!FR. JOE

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