From the Pastor’s Desk
Today we light the third candle of our Advent wreath. You will notice that it is a different color candle. It is a rose-colored candle, reflecting the purple of Advent and the white of Christmas. Today is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. The Latin word Gaudete means rejoice. We rejoice today that soon we will celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Our second reading at Mass today, which comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians tells us to rejoice always in the Lord! During this season of Advent, we are called to wait in joyful anticipation for the Lord’s coming. John the Baptist once again reminds us in today’s gospel that one mightier than he is coming. He tells us that when the Lord comes, he will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. As we approach the midpoint of our Advent journey the question, we must ask ourselves is, “are we ready to welcome the Lord wholeheartedly this Christmas?” We must continue to keep Christ at the very center of our lives, not allowing the hustle and bustle of Christmas to hinder our minds from losing sight of the reason for the season. May we truly rejoice this Gaudete Sunday, knowing that the Lord is near. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission
As some of you may have heard, our Holy Father Pope Francis has called the entire Catholic Church to participate in the upcoming Synod of Bishops. The word “synod” simply means gathering. The Holy Father has called all Catholics to journey together with their bishops. This Synod is a process of journeying together by listening, dialoging, praying, discerning and making decisions together for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here in the Diocese of Brooklyn, each parish has been asked to hold a listening session based on questions that have presented by the Bishops of the Church. These questions will be published in next week’s bulletin. We will hold a listening session the first week in January. From that listening session, our responses will then be compiled and given to Bishop Brennan, who will then report back to the Bishops of the United States. You will hear more information about the Synod as we get closer to the listening session date.
Advent Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration
As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers each Tuesday during Advent continuing this Tuesday, December 14. Vespers will take place at Our Lady of Victory Church starting at 7:30PM. We will welcome Pastor Alex Williams who is from the Institutional International Ministries here in Brooklyn.
2021 Diocese of Brooklyn Annual Catholic Appeal
I wish to thank all of you who have already contributed to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. Our goal here at St. Martin de Porres is $63,586. We have pledged thus far $53,085. The key to having a successful ACA is participation. We are asking everyone to participate in this year’s ACA that we will be able to achieve our goal. Any monies collected beyond the goal comes directly back to the parish. I also want to thank all of you who contributed to the parish for Giving Tuesday this past week. May God bless you for your thoughtful generosity.
Wishing you a blessed, peaceful and joyful Advent,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox