From the Pastor’s Desk

My Dear Parishioners,

It is worth noting that today’s psalm is the same one that was used last week for the feast of Christ the King: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. This is no coincidence. The Church wants us to see that the ultimate goal of faith is that, when our lives are over, we might be found worthy, in the words of Isaiah, to climb the Lord’s mountain.

As we begin the season of Advent, our Scriptures invite us to reflect on this truth, and place before us a selection of images: from the pilgrim people ascending to Lord’s mountain to the light and dark of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Even the very sobering Gospel reference to Noah and the great flood is heavy with meaning and worthy of reflection. Jesus doesn’t mince his words! We need to be vigilant and prayerful, to stay awake. There is going to be a judgment and, like the master who expects his house to be broken into, we need to be prepared.

But let us remember that the idea of final judgment is not limited to Advent. Each week, in our Creed, we express the belief that Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. That judgment will be real, a review of the life with its many choices and decisions, laid out before us in the light of God’s revelation. We can find it hard to reconcile this part of faith with our view of God as loving and forgiving, especially as many have a distorted understanding of God as being indulgent and accepting of all types of behavior.

How easy it is to be like the people at the time of Noah, indifferent to what was about to take place. How many hear the message, but prefer to discount it or to ignore it and so lose the opportunity to be prepared? Paul puts it so well, our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Our Gospel challenges us to stay awake, to be like that good master. Paul exhorts us to put on Christ: a wonderful image to reflect upon as we begin Advent, for this season is more than just the run-up to the holidays!

We know the final outcome in the conflict between good and evil: the victory of Christ! Our task is to ensure that we are on the victorious side by living lives worthy of Him. We ought not to take eternal life for granted but, each day, renew our commitment to the Gospel and the hope that our baptism offers. As Christians, we are called to be realistic, to face the fact that our world is broken and in need of healing. Yet, we are never without HOPE. Indeed, the Christian view is to see worldly imperfection not as a lost cause but as an opportunity for improvement and redemption. This is what we celebrate in this Advent time of preparation and anticipation. We look forward to the coming of Christ, striving to be vigilant and worthy to stand before the Son of Man.

All God’s Blessings,
Msgr. Maresca