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Fr. Mark’s Desk - December 10, 2017
Second Sunday of Advent
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

Dear Parishioners,

The above words are a profound beginning not just of the Gospel of Mark, but of the entire New Testament. Knowledge of God was certainly prevalent through the Hebrew Scriptures. We recall Genesis; “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth...” as an indicator of God’s activity before our worldly reality. It is in this worldly reality that God enters in the Incarnation of the Son. The ‘beginning’ refers to that entry of the Son while remembering God’s eternal presence. The beginning of the Gospel of John perhaps best captures this idea of God’s presence in the world.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”

When we refer to ‘life eternal’ we are not merely referring to a future time, but a past time as well. Understanding this can help us live the complexity of life. Recall the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Our world, our lives are sometimes in pain, and yet at the same time, grace is filling the darkness with light, a light that cannot be overcome.

Luke begins his Gospel by addressing Theophilus, which means, ‘one who loves God’. The Gospels then are the beginning of an encounter of an eternal God in the hearts of those who love God. The Gospel beginnings lead us on a journey that will result eventually in death, but will result in another (yet eternal) beginning, the Resurrection.

So, this ‘beginning’ is more complicated than it initially appears. But understanding God and his design for us is always a beginning, right??

“In Mark, the ‘beginning’… refers to the beginning of the gospel and the era of salvation in Christ. ‘The beginning’ includes what Jesus did and taught, his passion and resurrection, and what his followers did and taught, and their participation in Jesus’ passion and resurrection.”
- Eugene LaVerdiere

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The ritual for remandating of St. Linus Eucharistic Ministers and Eucharistic Ministers of Care will take place on Sunday, December 17 at 9 am Mass. This ritual of remandating is required every three years. Attendance at the Mass is encouraged but not required. All current ministers will automatically be remandated. Please let Fr. Mark know, if you wish not to continue serving in this ministry. Thank you.

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Please note: There will be no Noon Mass on Sunday, December 24. Masses at 7:30 am, 9:00 am, and 10:30 am on December 24 will be for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. These Masses do not fulfill the Christmas obligation. Masses for Christmas Eve will be at 3 pm, 4:30 pm and 11 pm. These Masses do not fulfill the obligation of the Fourth Sunday of Advent. So, to answer the question, ‘Yes, we have to go to Mass twice!!’

Have a great week!
Fr. Mark Walter

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