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Pastor's Letter 20231210 - 10 December 2023 - Second Sunday of Advent

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December 10th, 2023

Second Sunday of Advent


A Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  “All Mankind Shall See The Salvation By Our God”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Isaiah 40:1-11)  Isaiah urgedd the people to prepare a way for the Lord, Who was coming to save them.  When humanity reaches its lowest ebb, and hope seems impossible, the Lord of Life and New Beginnings reaches out to cradle the sinner in His loving forgiveness.  Comfort, not scorn, will bring new hope.


(2 Peter 3:8-14)  Peter said that if the Lord is “slow in coming.”  It was to give people opportunity to be ready to meet Him when He comes.  With God’s merciful gift of time, crooked ways can be mended and straightened.  Waiting time is not wasted if each day is regarded as a gift of God’s patience, and is used to turn more fully to His goodness.


(Mark 1:1-8)  John the Baptist also urged the people to prepare for the imminent coming of the Savior.  Hollow hearts can be filled with joyful welcome for the one who brings to the world God’s own Spirit.  Those who would prepare others to recognize the Lord must first become a clear and straightened “path” for them to follow.  


John the Baptist

If you take a walk on a cold, bright winter’s morning, just after the sun has risen on the eastern horizon, you may note the rays of light beginning to scatter to the four corners of the sky.  Probably, the moon will be seen as quite pale, in comparison to the bright sun—maybe barely visible.  An hour or so earlier, though, it would have been a bright and beautiful object dominating the night sky.  But now, it may seem like a ragged memory of its former glory, like a candle, having been pushed into the background by electric light.

But it should be noted that the now ragged moon was the faithful light that had guided people through the darkness of night for ages past.  

Like the moon, the prophets of the Old Testament kept the faith of people alive during their “long night” of expectation, when it seemed the “dawn” of the Messiah would never come.  Thanks to them, the “flame of hope” never guttered. 

John the Baptist was the last, and greatest of these selfless and courageous individuals, who prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah.  He worked diligently to bring his own light to the people.  For a while, he dominated the scene, enjoying great popularity.  But he was always conscious that a “greater light” was coming onto the scene—in Whose presence he was not destined to shine. 

When that Light appeared in the Person of our Blessed Lord, Jesus, John knew his task was completed.  He didn’t hinder it, or seek to delay the advent of the new Light.  On the contrary, he welcomed It, facilitated It and encouraged It.  He pointed out Jesus to the people, and acknowledged that his Cousin was far greater than himself.  From our analogy above, he was only the fading “moon;” while Jesus was the rising “Sun.”  Then John stepped aside and allowed Jesus to shine forth, knowing it meant obscurity for him.  That required greatness.  Jesus recognized that greatness and acknowledged the debt He owed to John.  

To “make way,” or “make room” for someone else calls for humility and generosity.  Indeed, it takes a kind of “dying to self.”  To retire from a high office is to “die,” a little— sometimes, perhaps, even more than a little…. Some people, even great and holy ones, spoil things, and damage their cause, by holding on too long to the reins of power.  

Parents spend the best years of their lives “preparing the way” for their children, in the sense of opening them to life, with all its wonders and responsibilities.  But there comes a time when they have to withdraw, in order that their children can come into “their own.”  Having given life to them, parents must allow children to live that life for themselves.

All of us are tempted, from time to time, to “hug the limelight.”  We perhaps, inadvertently, dominate others, and relegate them to the “shadows.”  As a result, people can feel oppressed, and a good deal of light is lost to the world.  We must try to shine to the best of our ability, while being careful not to block the path for others.  Also, we must be conscious of the debt we owe to others to prepared the way for us.  Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

We can make the same mistake with God.  We may act as if it was our work that matters.  We make “too much” of ourselves, whereas, it may be a question of getting out of the way, letting God “take over.”  

Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, opened the way to salvation for all of us.  We must strive to walk in His Light and avoid being a source of darkness to anyone.  The only way to truly find peace and happiness is to forget ourselves, and love others.

Our Blessed Lord, Jesus, came to earth to free us from our sins; deliver us from the power of evil; to rid us of our fears; and enable us to live in holiness and justice, all the days of our lives.  He came to give us light when we are in darkness, and the shadows of death surround us.  He came to guide our feet into the way of peace.  Through the Holy Spirit, working of within us, we can emulate His Presence, and become models of Christ’s Light to the world.

May God Richly Bless You!


Make Straight in the Desert a Highway.docx

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Edited by Father Michael
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