My dear friends in Christ,
I pray this finds you well. I can hardly believe that I have already been here at St. John XXIII for five months; it feels as though it was just a week ago that I was moving into the rectory. But it has been five months, and it has been a truly blessed five months in my life. St. John XXIII parish has been so incredibly welcoming and kind; I am both grateful to this parish and to almighty God for the short time I have already enjoyed here, and I cannot wait to discover what the Lord has in store for this parish in the months and years to come.
As we move forward into the season of Advent, we are invited by the Church to examine the many ways in which Jesus Christ comes into our lives. He came, those many years ago, into our world to free us from sin and to invite us into relationship with the Father. He will come, at the end of time, when he restores all things and invites us into eternal life in the Heavenly Jerusalem. And He comes to us, in so many ways, as we live out our daily lives: through the Eucharist, our liturgical celebrations, our participation in the sacraments, and in the many people we encounter from day to day. I would like to invite you, as we reflect on the many ways that Jesus Christ comes to us, to also consider the role that each of us plays in bringing Jesus Christ to others. Advent prepares us to celebrate Christmas, our Lord’s great arrival. Each of us, as a Christian, is called to help this arrival be made known in the lives of each person we meet, through our actions, through our words, and through an invitation.
Finally, I want to personally invite each of you to join us this Advent, as we prepare for Christmas, at our Sunday Masses, and to join us on Christmas, as we celebrate the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Masses for Christmas are at 5 pm, 5:15 pm, and 10 pm on December 24th, and at 10 am on December 25th. I pray that the Lord blesses you each abundantly this Advent and Christmas season, and that we may each share with others our wonderful faith in and friendship with Jesus Christ.
I remain faithfully yours, through Christ,
Fr. Brian O’Connor