Homily for the Second Sunday of Advent (December 7, 2014)

Audio: Homily for Second Sunday of Advent

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Bulletin Article for the Second Sunday of Advent (December 7, 2014)

Can you believe another year is over? We are here at the beginning of the Church year. We are at the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time when we recall the history of God’s people and reflect on how the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ. In doing so, we see how God was faithful in the past. Thus we will be better prepared to put our trust in Him for our future and the future of humanity.

The Jewish people waited and waited for the Messiah to come. God has come among us and is among us, especially in the Eucharist. However, if you have ever waited for something great, you know how the waiting itself, the anticipation, can lead to a deeper and greater appreciation for the thing we are waiting for. The same is true for Christ. If we place ourselves in the position of the Jewish people, which we hear about in the first reading, we begin to get a sense of the great anticipation and desire they had for the coming of the Messiah.

This is a busy time of year. And yes it is good to plan and prepare for family visiting or going to visit family. However, the Church, God, is asking us to have a mindset of simplicity during this Advent season. We are called to make an extra effort to strip away things that distract us from Christ. We are called to clear out our souls so that we can make more room for Christ in our hearts. One great way to do this is to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The possible times for going are listed elsewhere in this bulletin.

Have a great beginning to the Church year and to the Advent season.

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the First Sunday of Advent (November 30, 2014)

Can you believe another year is over? We are here at the beginning of the Church year. We are at the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time when we recall the history of God’s people and reflect on how the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ. In doing so, we see how God was faithful in the past. Thus we will be better prepared to put our trust in Him for our future and the future of humanity.

The Jewish people waited and waited for the Messiah to come. God has come among us and is among us, especially in the Eucharist. However, if you have ever waited for something great, you know how the waiting itself, the anticipation, can lead to a deeper and greater appreciation for the thing we are waiting for. The same is true for Christ. If we place ourselves in the position of the Jewish people, which we hear about in the first reading, we begin to get a sense of the great anticipation and desire they had for the coming of the Messiah.

This is a busy time of year. And yes it is good to plan and prepare for family visiting or going to visit family. However, the Church, God, is asking us to have a mindset of simplicity during this Advent season. We are called to make an extra effort to strip away things that distract us from Christ. We are called to clear out our souls so that we can make more room for Christ in our hearts. One great way to do this is to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The possible times for going are listed elsewhere in this bulletin.

Have a great beginning to the Church year and to the Advent season.

Father Vogel

December Trumpet Letter to Parishioners

Hello,

Advent is just around the corner. What a great time of the year. Actually Advent begins the year for the Church. So even though New Years hasn’t come yet, it is a new year in the life of the Church. So welcome to 2015…a little early. During Advent, the liturgical color changes from green (Ordinary Time) to purple. Purple has several meanings. One, is it is the color of penance. This is especially true during the season of Lent, the season leading up to Easter. However, it is true to a lesser extent during the season of Advent. This is why some of you may remember from growing up that weddings were not allowed during Advent or Lent. Now, the Church leaves it up to the bishop. Weddings are allowed in our diocese, but the Rite of Marriage does say, “When marriage is celebrated during Advent or Lent or other days of penance, the parish priest should advise the couple to take into consideration the special nature of these times.” So it allowed, but even though Holy Matrimony is a moment of great celebration, because of the season, the celebrating should be moderated.

However, this also points to the fact that even outside the celebrating of weddings, this is a penitential time. It is a time of reflection. It is a time of doing extra acts of penance as reparation for the times we have failed to love God and our neighbor. It is a time of saying sorry. It is a great time to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This year I have decided to continue what I did for Lent last year. I will be in the Confessional at different times throughout the day, each parish getting on day. Then on Saturday, December 20th, I will be spending an hour at each parish in case you can’t make it during the week. Check elsewhere in the bulletin for the complete schedule. Also, the surrounding clusters are having Reconciliation services. Either look in the Trumpet, bulletin, or call the Fulda office for the times and places. I cannot encourage you enough to take this opportunity to receive God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.

This is all to lead up to celebrating that God, the Creator of the universe, became one of us, took on human nature. God, the Creator, becomes part of His own creation. And even then, He didn’t come as a powerful wealthy person. Rather He came as a helpless baby, born of two insignificant humble people, Mary and Joseph. Jesus is King of the Universe, but He comes to us in a barn, being laid in an animal trough. He who is to feed the nations (in the Eucharist) is laid in an animal feeding trough. As we get closer and closer to Christmas, remember the humility in which the King of Universe came among us. Remember also that there are twelve days of Christmas. This doesn’t mean we celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then we’re done. No, this is such a momentous event in the salvation of humanity, we rightfully celebrate for a couple of weeks. Remember to take time to continue celebrating Christmas in your families and in your heart for the full duration of the Christmas season.

Speaking of moderated celebrating, Bishop John Quinn is coming to Fulda, Sunday, December 14th. He is going to help celebrate the blessing of being back in the renovated church. Because he can’t get here earlier, on that Sunday, St. Gabriel and St. Anthony are going to switch Mass times. So on Sunday, December 14th, St. Anthony will have Mass at 8:30 AM and St. Gabriel will have Mass at 10:30 AM. After the celebration Mass in Fulda, we are having a soup meal downstairs. There will be other activities celebrating the gift God has given us of being back in the church. People from the IHM and St. Anthony, even others, are obviously welcome to join us and the bishop in celebrating and giving thanks for St. Gabriel’s.

Things are going well. The stain glass windows are scheduled to be put in the first couple of weeks of December and the pipe organ is still scheduled for January.

Thank you for the blessings of the past year. It has been a great gift serving you. May God continue to bless us and do great things with and in us.

Thanks and blessings,

Father Vogel