St. Luke’s gospel this weekend recounts St. John the Baptist’s call for repentance in preparation of the One who is to come – Jesus. Recall that in Mark 1:15, Jesus declares to His followers to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” In Advent we are called to repent or change our ways in preparation for the twofold coming of Christ and throughout the liturgical year we deepen our understanding of Christ through repentance and the acceptance of the Gospel of Life.
This call for repentance, conversion or change understands and accepts that we are constantly being pulled in many directions – family, work, life, etc. Change is normal and typically we adapt accordingly with little disruption yet there are times when it is not welcome and can be very upsetting. In Faith, we naturally embrace the Cross of Christ during these moments and take consolation when He helps us when the Cross is heavier than usual. As a parish family our Cross is heavier than normal with the need to consolidate our worship sites into one parish church. The announcement of the proposed closure of St. Brendan Church just prior to Advent and the Christmas season was not planned as a test of our collected ability to face the need to change. It came about because the time had arrived to face it.
I would like to thank the members of the parish Finance Committee and Parish Council who individually and in their respective roles representing the parish have listened and offered sound input with respect to our need to consolidate. And I would like to thank our active parishioners, too. Not surprisingly, our attendance has increased since the announcement was made during the weekend of November 13 – 14, 2021. Your input in the challenge we face is vital. Come January 2022 a special email will be set up for comments and in February 2022 a week will be designated as “Listening Week” that will have approximately five opportunities for folks to realistically discuss our present situation. My hope is to have two sessions after daily Masses and after each weekend Mass – the daily Mass group inspired this approach after we had a listening session after a recent daily Mass. It was a fruitful and respectful discussion of a very uncomfortable subject --- the need to change.
Be assured of my prayers and please pray for me!