+Dear Saint David Parishioners,
Third Sunday of Advent – ALREADY! Oh my, there is still so much to do in preparation for Christmas – writing cards, buying and wrapping gifts, getting ready for gatherings – and yet in the entrance antiphon we recite, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” We may make the words of Isaiah in today’s first reading our own by asking God to: “Strengthen the hands that are feeble (from making all those Christmas cookies), make firm the knees that are weak (from climbing up and down the ladder to decorate), say to those whose hearts are frightened (there are not enough hours in the day): Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, … He comes to save you.” (Yes, I certainly need saving from this hectic pace!). These words, not in parentheses, can calm us in these frenzied days, and give us pause to slow down and consider what is the true meaning of this beautiful season – it is JESUS, Who has come to save us!
Therefore, there is cause for rejoicing. Saint James encourages us to be patient, “because the coming of the Lord is at hand.” We may feel frantic, but placing our hope and trust in Jesus will help us to recognize the good in others, rather than complaining and judging them. When we are uncharitable, this does not bring us peace, but the opposite – we become upset within and it also creates disharmony among others – definitely not what Jesus wants for us. He wants peace and harmony to reign in and among us.
Saint John the Baptist was the great prophet who announced the coming of the Savior of the world. As he lay in prison, he began to doubt whether the One for whom he was preparing everyone was actually the Messiah. He sent some of his followers to ask Jesus. Jesus responded and cleared up John’s ponderings by having his followers state what He was doing: “Yes, I am He. The blind can now see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, etc.” Jesus explains to John’s disciples that although John is the prophet; “yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” In other words, “Here I am, the Savior is standing right in front of you!” This definitely is a reason to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near” (Phil 4: 4-5)!
May these final days of preparation for Christmas bring you and your loved ones, great peace and joy. Christmas and New Year blessings to all!