I hope that we were all attentive to the words and spirit of the prayer of the celebrant at Mass today as the Collect the prayer on our behalf ... "Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son ... " was offered to the Father. There needs to be a growing sense of urgency to our desire for God and our involvement in his life giving body. That urgency does not flow from fear, but rather from the growing uncertainties of life around us and the growing awareness that the answer must be found in something outside of ourselves. If, as we know, there is a Higher Power, a Transcendant God, a merciful Savior then he must hold the answer. And if, as we know, that same God is intimately connected to our lives by a deep and abiding love, then we must with all of our hearts and minds, all of our efforts, seek to know him, and to love him, and to serve him. And not tomorrow, or when I am better prepared, or if the circumstances are appropriate ... but NOW!
The Scriptures today reminded us that in ancient times as well as today, when someone of great importance announced a visit every effort was made by the entire place to "prepare the way". The winding way was made straight, the hills leveled and the valleys filled in, the road paved and made smooth. Homes were readied, food was prepared and hearts were made ready with great anticipation. Even today if I want something, if the desired dream vacation is planned, if something important in my life is pending, I will do all in my power to make sure that it happens. Nothing will stand in the way. And these are things that pass away, things that are transitory. There should be nothing hindering us from our journey toward Christ. That is what ADVENT is about - our "ad venio", our "coming toward" Him who is the source of all, the Lord of life. Let nothing hinder our journey or lessen our desire.
This was a weekend of great liturgies. On Saturday evening our regional Senior Youth Ministry ministered in our parish at the 4:00 pm Mass, serving in various liturgical capacities and assisting with lively music. This is a part of their monthly Teen Hope Mass as they visit the three area parishes that form the regional youth efforts. It was great.
This morning at 8:30 am we were blessed with our Adult Choir (who usually sings at 11) and at the 11:00 am Mass we had our Young Voices Choir (the youth choir). Both the Adult and Young Voices were accompanied by organ, keyboard, flute, trumpet, guitar, percussion, and at the 11am a violin. Awesome. We are so blessed. Kudos to Marion Siebert our Director of Music and Diana Mikash, Director of Young Voices and so much more.