Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. The liturgical color remains violet/purple. Purple was originally associated with royalty. As usual for these types of things, it was because purple cloth was very rare and outrageously expensive. Purple dye initially came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre, which is in modern-day Lebanon. (Tyre is mentioned in the Bible several times.) Fabric traders obtained the dye from a small mollusk that was only found in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean Sea. Over 9000 mollusks were needed to produce just one gram of Tyrian purple. Pound for pound, purple cloth was worth more than gold. This all ended when an 18 year old English chemist (William Henry) in 1856 accidentally created a synthetic purple compound. The color soon because widely available and William made a fortune in the process. So it only makes sense to use purple as we prepare to celebrate the entry of the King of kings into the world. Over time though, in the Church, purple also became associated with penance, preparation, and sacrifice. Thus it makes sense that we use purple during Advent and Lent.
This past Wednesday was the Snowflake Dazzle. What a fun evening? We had way more people come to the spaghetti dinner than we did last year. Betsy estimates we had around 250 people come down to the basement for food. I also went over to the fire station and had a great bowl of chicken noodle soup. The parade was short but fun. I’m disappointed though. For some reason someone told me they did NOT throw candy at the parade. I was lied to. There was indeed candy at the parade. There I was with no sack. Oh, well. (Just kidding; I’m really not disappointed.) It was just fun to see the kids enjoying them outside.
Today (December 8) is usually the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Since December 8 falls on a Sunday, it is superseded by the Second Sunday of Advent. Thus, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 9. Because it is moved, it is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation. However, on Monday (December 9) we will still have Eucharistic Adoration at 7:30 AM and Mass at 8:30 at St. Teresa’s. There will also be Mass at the Newman Center in Mankato at noon.
Also, Thursday, December 12, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of the Americas. It is an especially important feast to our Mexican brothers and sisters in Christ for it was in Mexico that Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego on this day in 1531. So remember to pray for our Hispanic brothers and sisters on this day.
Next Saturday (December 14) is First Reconciliation for our young kids. Please keep them in prayer as they ask for forgiveness of their sins from Jesus.
In the Gospel, Matthew sees in John the Baptist the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. John tells the Pharisees and Sadducees that he is baptizing for the forgiveness of sins, but One is coming of which he is not worthy to carry His sandals. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John pointed to Jesus. May we in our lives not point others to ourselves, but to Jesus Christ.
Peace and love,