Fr. Lara's Lines
1st Sunday of Advent
The liturgical year is a cycle of six seasons: Advent,
Christmas, Ordinary Time after Epiphany, Lent, Easter,
and Ordinary Time after Pentecost. The Church year
begins with the season of Advent which follows the feast
of Christ the King. The different seasons of the liturgical
calendar help us to meditate on all the mysteries of our
faith. The liturgical calendar helps us grow in our
relationship with God. The spiritual life of the Church
revolves around the celebration of the liturgical seasons.
Each season is celebrated in a different way allowing us
to walk towards a more perfect union with God. The
solemnities, feasts, and memorials draw us closer to the
presence of God. The vestments, colors, decorations,
chants, prayers, and gestures are meant to help us
recognize and feel the uniqueness of each season.
One of the books used at Mass is the lectionary which
contains the readings we hear--first reading, psalm, second
reading, and gospel. The cycle of readings for Sundays
is different from the readings we use for daily services.
For the Sunday readings, the cycle is divided into three
years (A, B, and C). Year B begins this weekend, December 3,
and continues through December 1, 2024. In Year A,
we read mostly from the Gospel of Matthew; inYear B,
the Gospel of Mark and chapter 6 of the Gospel of
John; in Year C, the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of John
is read during the Easter season in all three years. For
many of the Sundays during this year, we will be hearing
the Gospel of Mark. I encourage you to reread and
meditate on the gospel of Mark during this liturgical
of Jesus into the world and into our hearts. The word
advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means
coming or arrival. It is a time of preparation. For the
last few weeks, we’ve talked about preparing for the
second coming of Jesus. During Advent, we also prepare
ourselves to celebrate the first coming of Jesus. At his
first coming, Jesus brought a message of peace, love,
joy, and faith into the world. The season of Advent
prepares us for the nativity of Jesus on Christmas Day.
What are you doing this Advent to be ready for the
coming of Jesus? Is there anything in your life you need
to change for Jesus to find a place in your heart?
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus tells us to be watchful and
alert for we do not know when the time will come. The
Church also wants us to be prepared. Preparation or
training is a big part of our culture. We spend so much
time and resources getting ready for events, competitions,
jobs, tests, etc. The Church wants us to be spiritually
ready for receiving Jesus into our lives. Advent is a
season of preparation. We have four weeks to
prepare our hearts for the nativity of Jesus.
Every Advent, we have the opportunity to celebrate the
Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is one way for us to
be spiritually ready. Reconciliation cleanses our hearts,
frees our minds, and brings peace to our souls. Confession
helps us to recognize our failings and get the graces we
need for sanctification. Next Tuesday, December 5 at
7:00pm, we will host an Advent Reconciliation service
at SCL. As in the past, parishioners from Our Lady of
Perpetual Help and St. Norbert will join us for this service.
Advent is preparation for Christmas, preparation to
receive Jesus into the world and our hearts. This
Reconciliation service makes Advent a more spiritual
The Immaculate Conception
The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate
Conception on December 8. This is one of four Marian
dogmas of the Church: One, Mary the Mother of God;
two, Mary’s perpetual virginity; three, Mary’s assumption
into heaven; and four, Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
declares that Mary was conceived without the stain of
original sin. Pope Pius IX formally defined the dogma
of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854, in
his encyclical Inneffabilis Deus: “We pronounce and de-
fine that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin
Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular
privilege and grace of Almighty God, in view of the mer-
its of Christ Jesus, Our Savior, was preserved immaculate
from all stain of original sin, is revealed by God and
therefore is to be firmly and confidently believed by all
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a holy
day of obligation. The Church invites us to celebrate
this dogma by participating in the Sacrament of the
Eucharist. Mary was immaculately conceived so that
she could give birth to the savior of the world. Jesus
now comes to us in the Eucharist. It is a privilege to
receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We will have a vigil Mass
on Thursday, December 7at 7:00 pm, and Masses on
Friday, December 8 at 9:00am and 7:00pm.
Recognize God in Your Oridinary Moments - By Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman
Just this week, my husband and I signed our wills,
and the lawyer was careful to couch our transaction
in gentle, abstract language: “When we lose you”
she kept saying, instead of “When you die.”
It’s very uncomfortable to dwell on our death. But
the Christian life does not just encourage us to do
so; it demands that we do.
I once came upon a prayer consecrating the last two
hours of life to the Blessed Mother. I have since found
variations of the prayer online with different phras-
ing, but the sentiment of them all is the same: Let me
not be caught sleeping. Let me be ready.
“You can’t do all your homework at the end,” a
deacon who ministers to the dying once told me.
“Good Friday is waiting in the wings for all of us.”
I think of that a lot when I don’t particularly feel like
praying, when I think I’m too busy to go to confession
or when feelings of resentment fester inside me on
Sunday mornings as I pack my family off to church.
All our good deeds are like polluted rags, says the
prophet. We have all withered like leaves.
You can’t do all your homework at the end. God
is faithful. Are we?
“May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
— Mark 13:36
The Holy Father's Intentions for December
We pray that people with disabilities may
be at the center of attention in society and
that institutions may offer inclusive programs which
value their active participation.
Honor Our Military
Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and
are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who
may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and
pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.
Please Pray for Ukraine
We pray in gratitude for all of those who have defended
peace, virtue, and justice with honor. We pray especially
for those who have suffered in mind and body from the
ravages of war. May Your peace reign in our hearts
and in our world. Amen.
He Who Sacrificed His Life
Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
MATTHEW NEUBAUER, Nephew of Dan & Judy Neubauer
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon
SANG HOON LEE
MORRIS COREY MCMAHON, SON OF CHRIS & JULIE MCMAHON
JOHN A. STONIS, GRANDSON OF JOHN & DOROTHY STONIS
MICHAEL T. HEHN, GRANDSON OF JOHN & DOROTHY STONIS
To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to firstname.lastname@example.org
For our sisters and brothers involved in or
affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine--
the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the
displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders.
May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and
hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Neighbors of other Faiths
The Golden Rule
Donations can be made here:
Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html
Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us
"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis
Excerpted from charterforcompassion.org/the-golden-rule-in-seven-major-religions
We may speak of great differences in
religious beliefs and forms of worship
around the world. Called by an endless
number of names, all, however, recognize and worship a Supreme
Being. And all religions, somewhere in their sacred literature,
expound the fundamental philosophy of the Golden Rule.
Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
~ Buddha, Undanavarga 5:18
Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that all men
should do to you, do ye even so to them.
~ Matthew 7:12
Confucianism: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do
~ Confucius, Analects 15:23
Hinduism: Good people proceed while considering what is best
for others is best for themselves.
Islamism: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother
what he loves for himself.
~ Mohammed, Traditions
Judaism: And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
~ Leviticus 19:18
Zoroastrianism: Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do
~ Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29