Dear friends in Christ
The Church presents the figure of Saint John the Baptist to us in this Advent season, as the one who, above all the Prophets, prepared the world for the immediate appearing of our Saviour. Saint Augustine writes: John appears as the dividing line between the two Testaments, the Old and New. Our Lord Himself teaches something about John when He talks about the law and the Prophets down to John the Baptist. He is the personification of antiquity and the announcement of all new times. As representing antiquity he is from two elderly parents. As one who is a harbinger of new times, he shows that he has been a Prophet from his mother’s womb. He has not yet been born when, at our Lady’s arrival, he leaps for joy inside his mother. John is called the Prophet of the Most High, because his mission is to go before the Lord to prepare His ways, teaching the knowledge of salvation to His people. Our great joy can be the same as John the Baptist, whenever we bring people to Christ. During these Advent days, we should continue to live the pure spirit of this season, not anticipating the Christmas celebration too early, and by living calm and sober lives in preparation for His birth.
As in previous years, I remind you about the importance of sending religious greetings cards, not being inappropriate in the amounts of money we spend on ourselves and our children and also considering helping at this time those who are struggling from lack of material means. At the 9.30am Mass next Sunday the children can bring a gift which they offer for a child in need somewhere. These will be distributed by the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society. May God bless us as we continue this Advent pilgrimage.
Fr Kevin Hale