Third Sunday of Advent: This third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday. “Gaudete” is Latin for “rejoice”. The first words of the entrance antiphon for today’s Mass is, “Rejoice.” In the Gospel today (Matthew 11:2-11) Jesus gives praise for his cousin John the Baptist. “I tell you most solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater that John the Baptist has never been seen.” (Matthew 11:11). John’s whole life was dedicated to preparing the way for the Saviour of the world. In words of burning power John had prophesied the coming of the judge and had painted in fiery colours the great day of the Lord. He had portrayed the Messiah as the judge with the winnowing fan in his hand that would separate the chaff from the grain and throw the chaff once and for all into eternal fire. John had expected and proclaimed a clear message: that the Spirit had now come on the one that God had sent. “Look, there is the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). God’s presence had begun… but what a difference from what John had imagined! No fire fell from heaven to consume sinners and bear definitive witness to the just; in fact, nothing changed at all in the present world. Jesus went about preaching and doing good in the land, but the ambiguity remained. Human life continued to be a dark mystery to which people had to entrust themselves with faith and hope amid the world’s darkness. John’s real suffering, the real recasting as it were of his entire being in relation to God, began in earnest with the activity of Christ during the time when he, John, was in prison. The darkness of the prison cell was not the most fearful darkness John had to endure. Clearly, it was this utterly different personality of Jesus that most tormented John during the long nights in prison: In his distress John sent messengers to the Lord: “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Mt. 11, 31). It is a question all of us were ready to ask over and over again during the days of dreadful news of child abuse, war in the continent of Europe, the fragility of our planet earth and in all the distresses of our own lives, “Are you really He: the Redeemer of the world? Are you really here now as the Redeemer” In answer, Jesus reminds John’s messengers and us of what the prophet Isaiah had said in foretelling precisely this kind of peaceful, merciful Messiah who will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street (Is. 42, 2), but will go about preaching and doing good. Jesus adds the significant words: ‘Blessed is he who does not lose faith in me.’ This means that it is in fact possible for people to lose faith in him. Even when He comes He does not bring such absolute clarity to the human situation as to eliminate all questions and solve all riddles. Blessed is he who ceases to ask for signs and absolute certainty. Blessed is he who is able, even in this darkness, to go his way in faith and love. This was probably the final task set the Baptist as he lay in prison: to become blessed by this unquestioning acceptance of God’s obscure will. It is about discovering God precisely in the darkness of this world and in our own life, and thus becoming profoundly blessed. Remember John the Baptist’s motto of life: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (Jn. 3, 30).
Lord, we pray that when people come to the church, they may not find us following meekly the dictates of the powerful, like reeds swaying in the breeze, nor concerned with fine garments, like people who live in palaces. May they find a prophet and more than a prophet, an institution that will show up the false values of our society and so prepare the way for your chosen ones to carry out your work in the world. ( Prayer of Michael De Verteuil)
Feasts of the Week: Monday: Our Lady of Guadalupe is patron of the Americas. The memorial recalls the apparitions in December 1531 to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on Tepeyac hill near Mexico City. Tuesday: St. Lucy martyred in 304 in Sicily during the persecution of Diocletian. Wednesday: St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) Carmelite mystic, Doctor of the Church and reformer of the Carmelite Order.
Thanks for the collection last week. It came to £1970. We appreciate your generosity and support. Be assured of the prayers of the community. Thanks also to our Readers, Collectors, Ushers, Ministers of the Eucharist and Singers who help in our liturgy over the weekend. We are blessed by the fact that you are willing to share your gift with us.
Confessions: We celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation here from Mon to Fri from 2pm to 5pm Saturday confessions are heard from 1pm – 6pm. Christmas Eve Vigil @ 8pm. Christmas Day 9am, 10.30am & 12noon. Note: No 4pm Mass.
Our dead remembered: There is a special petition box in the front of the altar. All your family and friends who have died over the past years their names will be remembered in our Christmas Masses.
The Shop: There are a great selection of cribs on display as well as candles, cards and suitable gifts for Christmas.
Our Graan Calendars are available free of charge.
Aisling Centre – 6th Annual Hope Healing Growth Day of Inspiration 7th January 2023. Crest Centre, SW College, Enniskillen. Further info & tickets available on Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/28897tmy or Aisling Centre 028 66 325811.
Benny Burns, Drumbeg, Enniskillen
James Flanagan, Belleek
Sarah Mc Brien, Toneelnorth, Boho
Patsy Mc Caffrey, Coonian
Caitlin Hogg, Kinawley
Dominic King, Castlewellan
Joe Carleton, Ashwoods, Enniskillen
Tommy & Willie Gilleece, Drumawill, Enniskillen
Kathleen Quinn, Boho
Mary Devaney, Woodside, New York
Brigid Maguire, Belleek
John Melanophy, Boho
Sarah Carters, Tempo
Elizabeth Mc Cormack, Tempo
Ciaran Monaghan, Florida formerly Carrick-on-Shannon
Dessie, Daniel & Margaret Neilan, Garrison
Canon Lonergan, Garrison
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201