Dear Friends in Christ
On this middle Sunday of Advent the Church bids us be joyful - Gaudete - as we prepare for the arrival of Christ. As Christians we are required to make this joy evident to the world by the manner of our lives. We do this by listening again to the voice of St John the Baptist who asks us to reform our lives by going into the desert, finding space and peace amidst the business of the world, so that the message can be heard. Practically this can be achieved by small gestures such as living simply through self-denial, using religious-themed greetings cards, preparing a Crib in our homes. This involves being counter-cultural as the world around us continues on its usual cycle of materialism and consumerism with often little reference to the event of the Incarnation. St John the Baptist reminds us that we have to stand ready by the constant call to reform our lives.
Next Sunday, the Fourth of Advent, there is the custom of the Blessing of the figures of the Infant Jesus at the end of Mass; please ask the children to bring their figures along so that they can be blessed ahead of them being placed in your Cribs on Christmas Day. During 9.30am Mass this weekend children are invited to present a gift for a child in need which will be distributed by the Brentwood Catholic Children's Society.
Thank you once again for the generous support you gave to the Parish Bazaar last weekend. £1,753.47 was raised and this will be equally divided between the weekly running costs of the Parish Centre and support for Persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East through the Aid to the Church in Need Charity. God bless you all in yours efforts to remain faithful to Christ this Advent!
Msgr Kevin Hale