Pastor's Message - December 4, 2016
"On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. " ~Isaiah 11
Dear Parishioners and Friends;
The Second Sunday of Advent is here! A transformation is underway as lights are strung, decorations are fitted and plans are made for the Advent of Jesus’ birth and our anticipation of Jesus’ second coming.
This weekend at the 9:00 am Mass, we again host our Monthly Children's Mass. This is a great opportunity to bring the whole family to learn and pray the mass!
As we do during the Advent season, this weekend we celebrate Mitten Sunday. Baskets are provided for mitten donations to help us all be mindful of those in need this coming winter.
This Sunday afternoon our choir is providing a free Advent/Christmas concert, Lessons & Carols, in church at 2:00pm. If you have never been, please consider treating yourself to this wonderful presentation in word and song by all of our parish musicians and vocalists. It is a great way to celebrate the beginning of Advent. Come and listen to new music and songs with full choral accompaniment!
May God bless you this week!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - December 4, 2016
The Second Sunday in Advent
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
||The Preaching of John the Baptist
PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE STRAIGHT HIS PATHS
This Sunday, we continue our look to the coming of the savior amidst warnings of the final judgement as well.
Isaiah offers hope to the people of Judah at a time when they were besieged by relentless attacks by foreign foes to a time when "the wolf will be the guest of the lamb". His prophesy was that a bud shall blossom from the stump of Jesse (King David's father) - a prophesy fulfilled in Jesus.
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
In our Gospel reading (Matthew 3:1-12)
we hear of John the Baptist preaching a message of repentance as "A voice crying out in the desert . . . the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
In our Epistle reading, (Romans 15:4-9)
, St. Paul offers hope and encouragement as he instructs his beloved community in how to live and treat one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. He also calls for unity among Jews and Gentiles alike - all members of God's Kingdom.
Brothers and sisters: Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name.
For we who's hope is in Christ, we do well to follow the "encouragement of the Scriptures" and treat one another as Christ would have us do.
- Click Here to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for Sunday, December 4
Advent is a joyful season as we await the celebration of the Lord's coming among us. Take some quiet time to spend with our Lord on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00 in Church.
Open to all 2½ to 4 year olds (accompanied by a parent or caregiver) to our PreK Book Nook and Music Hour!
Join us on the Thursdays listed below from 1:00-2:00pm in the PreK-4 classroom in school for a fun filled afternoon of stories, crafts and songs.
11/17: Thanksgiving is for Family
12/1: Christmas Time
12/8: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus
Please register (for one or all weeks) by calling the school office at 671-3132. Space is limited - first come, first served. The cost is $3.00 per class or $15.00 for all 6 weeks. You do not need to be a parishioner to attend so invite your neighbors, friends, and family. All are welcome!
Wooden angels and hearts made and packaged by the School of the Holy Childhood are available for $7.00. Each year there is a new angel to add to your collection. The proceeds will be shared between St. Damien Pediatric Hospital (Haiti’s only pediatric free hospital), Holy Childhood and HOPE Ministry. They are available now at St. Rita’s Parish Office during the week.
"Holiday in Bethlehem" ~ K/1st/2nd Grade's Play
Come enjoy this wonderful play.
Thursday, December 15
at 7:30pm in Room 1
All who have experienced the loss of a friend or loved one through death are invited to attend. All are welcome!
On January 18th meet us in the Parish Center starting at 7:00pm to learn about our very Special School.
Babysitting will be provided.
If it becomes necessary to close school due to inclement weather, such notice will be given over the local radio stations beginning at 6:00 a.m.
The announcement will indicate that ALL WEBSTER CENTRAL SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED. Families are requested to listen to the radio and not call the school office.
Drop off your Box Tops for Education and Campbell Soup Labels in the box in church or in the school office.