Christmas is more than a day!

12-29-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I had to write this about a week before Christmas, so I can’t tell you how mine went! Instead, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Christmas Season.

As Catholics we believe that some things are so wonderful that it takes a lot more than a day to celebrate them. Christmas is certainly one of those things! That’s why, as Catholics, we celebrate Christmas for a season which began at Mass on Christmas Eve and will continue through the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism on the Sunday after Epiphany (January 12). While the rest of the world often takes down decorations the day after Christmas, we continue celebrating the birth of our Lord for nearly three weeks! Keeping your trees up and homes decorated is one way to celebrate this season of joy.

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Merry Christmas!

12-22-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to begin by thanking all those who took tags and brought gifts for the Giving Tree. Your generosity provided gifts for many children and elderly parishioners and members of our local community. It is a testimony to your charity and faith!

It was great to see our Year of Spiritual Renewal finally culminate in our Consecration to Jesus thru Our Lady of Guadalupe last week. The Mass at the Cathedral, which I had the blessed pleasure to attend, was prayerful and inspiring. As was reciting the Prayer of Consecration with all of you at Holy Mass last weekend.

My prayer is that this consecration will move each one of us to think about how we might truly dedicate ourselves more completely to Jesus and His Blessed Mother. Adoring Him in the Holy Eucharist and serving Him in our poor and suffering neighbors are some ways we can do this for Jesus. Praying the Rosary each day, or perhaps attending and praying the Miraculous Medal Novena on Monday evenings in the chapel, are some ways we can be more dedicated to Our Blessed Mother – and thru her, to Jesus.

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Gaudete Sunday

12-15-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

This past Thursday, our Bishop consecrated our diocese to the Lord thru our Blessed Mother, Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This weekend, we will join ourselves to that consecration by saying a special prayer at all our Masses. The prayer is a special consecration to Our Lady.

It is important that, as we move forward, we remember that we are consecrated to our Lord and His holy Mother. To be consecrated means that we belong to Jesus and Mary in a very special – indeed in a sacred – way. We should do our best to live our lives according to Jesus’ teachings and Mary’s example – and help others do the same.

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent. In the ‘old’ days, this Sunday was called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete basically means ‘be happy’ or ‘rejoice’. On the surface, we are rejoicing because Christmas is almost here.

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Consecration and Confession

12-08-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I hope your Thanksgiving was as nice as mine! Fr. Wojciech and I watched most of the P’burg – Easton football game on TV together that morning. Then I headed over to my sister Natalie’s home in Hillsborough. Some relatives we don’t see too often, my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Jack, were there along with some cousins from my father’s side of my family. It was great to spend the day with them. My mother was there – of course- and we ate a lot more then we should have!

Next weekend we will consecrate ourselves to our Lord through His Blessed Mother, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We have been preparing for this all year – and I am excited that it is finally here. Our Bishop will consecrate the whole diocese the evening of December 12th, the actual Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He has asked all our parishes to do the same at all our Masses next weekend, which I am happy to do.

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Advent

12-01-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Bulletin deadlines required me to write this column before Thanksgiving, so I can’t tell you how mine went. I can tell you that I was looking forward to it as I wrote these words!

Today we begin the holy season of Advent. While it’s easy to think of Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas, it’s really much more than that. The word Advent means ‘coming’ – and Advent is indeed a time to get ready for the coming of Christ.

As Catholics, Advent makes us think about not just one – but two – of Christ’s comings. While we are certainly getting ready to celebrate His First Coming at Christmas, Advent also reminds us to get ready for His Second Coming on Judgement Day. Indeed, it is that Second Coming that is the main focus of today’s readings. In the Gospel Jesus tells us to be ready for His Second Coming. He reminds us that we don’t know when it will be – so we should be ready for it all the time.

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