The end is near! Not the end of the world. Jesus tells us knowledge of that time is reserved to the Father alone. But the end of the Church Year is near. It has special meaning for us as members of Christ the King. Next weekend we will mark the end of the Church Year with the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This is not only the solemn conclusion to another Year of Grace, but also our patronal feast as members of Christ the King Parish.
This year we will celebrate our patronal feast in a very special way. The principal Mass next weekend will be the 5:00 p.m. Saturday Mass which will be followed by a parish-wide pitch-in supper in Tuohy Hall. The Pastoral Council has organized a wonderful evening to help us celebrate and strengthen the bonds we share as a parish community. Please plan on joining us!
Advent will immediately follow our celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King. With all of the activity that accompanies our preparations for Christmas, we can easily lose sight of the most important preparation, which is our spiritual preparation.
If we are not careful, the days of Advent can all too , easily slip by. For this reason, I invite parishioners to be proactive in doing three things in preparation for Christmas and to mark these things on family calendars now before Advent begins.
1. Our church will be filled with people for our Christmas Masses. All are welcome and we rejoice in the presence of each and every person who finds his or her way to Christ the King at Christmas. Many people will come ‘home for Christmas’ on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. For parishioners who have fallen out of the practice of regular participation in Sunday Mass, I ask that you return home early this year by participating faithfully in Sunday Mass on all four Sundays of Advent in preparation for Christmas.
2. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most important ways to prepare for Christmas. The North Deanery Penance Services, at which many priests will be available, are scheduled for Sunday, December 15, at 2:00 p.m. at Saint Simon Parish, and December 16 and 17 at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Luke Parish. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will also be available on Sunday, December 1, 8, and 22 from 2:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m. here at Christ the King.
3. “O Come, Let us Adore Him.” Each parish family is urged to sign up for one hour of Adoration in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on a Sunday of Advent. Adoration will take place each Sunday of Advent from 5:00 p.m. to midnight. On the Third Sunday of Advent, December 15, adoration will begin at 2:00 p.m. and continue until midnight. Can we not commit ourselves to one of these 31 hours to bring the family to Church to pray before the Blessed Sacrament? Sign-up sheets will be available in the vestibule this weekend and next weekend.
Let us be proactive in preparing for Christmas. Instead of fitting other activities around Sunday Mass, Reconciliation and Adoration, let us fit all other activities around these three important ways of preparing for Christ’s birth. Leave nothing to chance. Marie your calendars now.
See you at Mass, Reconciliation and Adoration!