REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
Advent is here and well underway. I hope you notice this year that the environment in the church will slowly develop as we progress further and further into the Season of Advent, ultimately culminating at Christmas. This slow yet methodical development is what’s called progressive solemnity. With each passing week of Advent you should notice a more visible anticipation of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Jesus. Christmas is just around the corner…but not here yet. Don’t worry; it’ll get here. For now, focus on the person of John the Baptist in this Sunday’s Gospel who tells us to turn away from our sins.
Legend says that while painting The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci had a terrible fight with someone. Afterward, he went to his studio, picked up his brush, and prepared to paint the face of Jesus. To his dismay he couldn’t make a single decent stroke. He put down his brush, went to the man he had fought with, and asked his forgiveness. Leonardo returned to his studio and resumed painting the face of Jesus.
I love this legend of Leonardo da Vinci (whether it’s true or not) because it hits home a common experience we all have. You see, sin disrupts and can even rupture our relationship with God.
Seeking reconciliation with God, that is, the forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Confession, helps heal and restore our relationship with God so we can do our part in “painting” the face of Jesus in the world with our words and actions.
Friends, do you find it hard to “paint” the face of Jesus in your life? The truth is, we all do to varying extents. That’s why the Church encourages us to participate in the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation during the Season of Advent. Whether it’s been 10 days or 10 years, will you consider going to Confession this Advent?
Please know that Confessions are offered every week here at St. James in the church on Saturdays at 4pm. You can also call the rectory office or send an email to one of the priests requesting an appointment for Confession.
I hope you’re having a spiritually fruitful Advent Season!
Quote of the Week
It is one thing to mourn sin because it exposes us to hell…and another thing to mourn it because it is wrong and offensive to God. It is one thing to be terrified, another, to be humbled.