Dear Friends in Christ
The joy of the Advent season - highlighted on this Gaudete Sunday - is the closeness of Jesus. His closeness makes Mary rejoice: Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you! Then His nearness makes the unborn John the Baptist leap in the womb of his mother. We too will be full of joy if Jesus is present in our lives, if we have not lost Him, if we have not allowed our vision of life to be clouded by lukewarmness in our faith or lack of generosity. To know Christ and live in His company is to have the kind of joy that the Church expresses on this Sunday of Advent. The days of the final lead-up to Christmas begin this week, expressed in the Christmas Novena. We can try to be more ready by encouraging an atmosphere of Christian peace where we live and work, and by doing all we can in small ways to bring happiness and affection to those around us. People need to be convinced that Christ has come into our world, and this life which He lived amongst us has changed humanity for good. Few things are more convincing than the habitual happiness of the Christian, even in the midst of pain and contradiction. Our Blessed Lady knew these difficulties and by staying close to her we can learn how not to lose our peace and live joyfully.
At 9.30am Mass next Sunday we invite you to bring the figures of the
Infant Jesus which will be blest at the end of Mass ahead of placing them in our Cribs on Christmas Day.
God bless you all in the final days of Advent!
Msgr Kevin Hale