November 29 – First Sunday of Advent
Today we hit the reset button! Liturgically speaking. Today, the First Sunday of Advent begins a new year of scripture readings for Sunday and weekday Masses. We are now in year B of the Sunday readings and cycle I for weekday readings. But Advent is more than just a change in scripture readings. Advent is a call to hit the reset button in our lives! And I can’t think of a better time than NOW to reset the direction of our lives. We are living in the midst of a pandemic. We are weary, and sometimes suspicious, of government mandates in response to the pandemic. We are weary of politics that has polarized us as a people, a nation, and a church. We are weary of zoom meetings and online learning. We are weary of minimal interaction with our family, friends, and neighbors. As I said in my homily a couple of weeks ago, I think we are all experiencing a low-grade depression. But you know what, things weren’t all that different 2,000 years ago when Israel was weary of wars and being ruled by the Romans. They longed for a Savior. We celebrate the birth of that long awaited for Savior at Christmas. Advent is a reminder that we long for the RETURN of that Savior. Advent is a time to refocus on the promise of Jesus that he would return in glory. We Christians have waited for two millennia. The season of Advent is a season that invites us to deeper conversion. As disciples of Christ, we learn anew what it means to wait as Christians. Our weariness should be comforted in the fact that our Savior HAS come…..and will come again! Let’s all hit the resent button, be a little more joyful, a little more patient with each other, a little kinder. Though the uncertainties of our time can frazzle our nerves, we know one thing for sure…Jesus redeemed us and will return in glory. Now that should bring a smile to your face!
Speaking of hitting the reset button, I share with you today that Deacon Michael Plese and his wife Laurie will be leaving the parish and moving out of state. Deacon Mike has worked as a delivery driver for FedEx for 33 years. He has accepted a new position to work out of their facility in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Deacon Mike and his family have been members of OLM for 29 years. Their adult daughters, Emily is married and lives in London, England, and Michelle will be married at the cathedral in Nashville in August 2021. Deacon Mike was ordained in 2016 and has served OLM as a catechist in the RE program, celebrated baptisms and weddings. He has participated in Communion Services and Benediction. He has taken the brunt of my teasing. I’m not sure how Red Robin on Ogden Avenue is going to stay in business after he moves! Deacon Mike starts his new job the first week of January 2021, and he and Laurie will be moving to the Nashville area with 2 dogs and 3 cats! I personally thank Deacon Mike and Laurie for his ministry at OLM. He has been one of the biggest recruiters for new permanent deacons from our parish. He will deacon the 10:00am Mass on December 20 and give a farewell message at all the Masses that weekend. We will miss you Deacon Mike!
Have a Blessed Advent!