I thank all who participated in the all parish meetings this past weekend. Since I am writing this before they happened, I will comment on them next week.
Two pieces of information from the Pastoral Council: first, because of work changes and extended absences from the country, our chairperson, Brandon Young, has found it necessary to resign from the council. Joanna Clementi, the vice chair, has taken over. We thank Brandon for his service to our community over the last year and a half and wish him well in his new work assignment.
Second, the Pastoral Council will be establishing an Evangelization and Formation Commission. If you are interested in the possibility of serving your community through this commission, please talk with me. Educators and those with faith formation experience would be very helpful.
Our first readings in Advent give us hope-filled prophecies about “the Day of the Lord” (we would say “the day when the fullness of Christ’s Kingdom is achieved.”) Our reading from Isaiah this weekend uses the image of a mountain: In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain.
Think how important this image is in scripture: Moses met God ON A MOUNTAIN in the burning bush and received the 10 commandments there. Jerusalem was built on a hill and the Jews “went UP to Jerusalem.” In the New Testament Jesus “went up the mountain to pray,” the Transfiguration took place on Mount Tabor, we have the “Mount” of Olives and the hill of Golgatha, etc. The point is that “mount” or “mountain” presents a place to encounter God, a place where God can be found. And it fits well with our concept that heaven is “up there”!! In Advent we not only prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, His first coming, but we also commit ourselves to work to bring about the fullness of His Kingdom when, as our first reading tells us, They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.
As we begin the season of Advent, as well as a new Church year, let us commit ourselves to bring unity and peace in the world around us. We ask the Prince of Peace to be with us and strengthen us.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS