The 2017 Christmas Season
Click here to view our Christmas 2017 Newsletter for events, resources, and information for the Christmas Season at St. Andrew Parish.
Message for The Third Sunday of Advent
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Heartily is probably not a word you use frequently or hear regularly at your supper table. It means sincerely, profoundly, to a great degree. You might use it in a sentence: “She laughed heartily.” Perhaps it is its very rareness that makes it a good “Church word.” Catholics traditionally used it when reciting the Act of Contrition. Oh my God, I am heartily sorry… Many still use that form of the prayer. As a confessor, I am glad that the catechists changed the format of the prayer. Now we teach the kids to the new format that begins: My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart… This more conventional wording has all but stopped the kids from their humorous malaprop: Oh my God, I am partly sorry… although the malapropos may be closer to the truth.
We hear the word used in the first reading this week by Isaiah. “I rejoice heartily in the Lord…” Isaiah continues his oracle of comfort with a series of blessings that explain the reason for rejoicing heartily, all of which are consequences of God’s love. Israel, the unfaithful nation, has been reconciled and is no longer to be exiled. Communion is restored through the mercy of God. Israel was not partly sorry, but heartily sorry for its infidelity. Its rejoicing will be as heartily joyful.
Likewise, our own sense of profound joy flows from the object of our trust. Israel tried other sources of joy and security including a military alliance with a pagan nation. They felt that the protection the other nation offered was more trustworthy than whatever God could offer. Of course this description is a gross oversimplification of the facts. Misery was the fruit of their infidelity nonetheless.
Like Israel, we probably have not made a sudden decision to put our trust in things as the source of security or joy. It grows gradually. We may believe in God initially but gradually put our trust in people or things that eventually displace God as our source of security. The person faces a choice if their spiritual life is to grow: get more things and people to trust, or to refresh their relationship with God and trust him. St. Paul, in the second reading today, urges the congregation to test everything; retain what is good.
Ask the question: what have I put my faith in as the source of my joy? When joy evaporates or gets stolen, isn’t that evidence that that thing or person is not the source of endless joy? This does not mean that the PS4, the smart phone, the iPad, clothing, or jewelry you intend to give as gifts are bad in themselves, but they are not reliable (trustworthy) sources of joy. Joy is as transitory as the thing in which we put our hope.
Advent is the season for turning again to God in trust. Perhaps it is the experience of being overwhelmed by Christmas preparations that will bring us to the point where we admit to ourselves that we did the best we were able. If more was to be done, it will have to be scratched off our To Do list in trust that our loved ones will rejoice heartily anyway. Besides, even John the Baptist acknowledged that he came to testify to the light and that he was not the light itself.
Not having to be the light seems to be the way we can enter the joy of the Incarnation heartily.
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Readings for the Week of December 10, 2017
- Sunday: Is 40:1-5, 9-11 / Ps 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14  / 2 Pt 3:8-14 / Mk 1:1-8
- Monday: Is 35:1-10 / Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14 [Is 35:4f] / Lk 5:17-26
- Tuesday: Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab / Jdt 13:18bcde, 19 [15:9d] / Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47
- Wednesday: Is 40:25-31 / Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10  / Mt 11:28-30
- Thursday: Is 41:13-20 / Ps 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab  / Mt 11:11-15
- Friday: Is 48:17-19 / Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6 [cf. Jn 8:12] / Mt 11:16-19
- Saturday: Sir 48:1-4, 9-11 / Ps 80:2ac and 3b, 15-16, 18-19  / Mt 17:9a, 10-13
- Next Sunday: Is 61:1-2a, 10-11 / Lk 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54 [Is 61:10b] / 1 Thes 5:16-24 / Jn 1:6-8, 19-28
Weekday Masses are in The Annunciation Chapel (located in the white building by the parking lot). The Mass times in our Chapel are: 8:00 a.m. on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. There is No Wed. mass.
Every Saturday, 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul Church
Every Saturday; 3:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church
Every Sunday; after 11:00 a.m. Mass at Saint Andrew Church
Check bulletin for updates.
Or by appointment, call the St. Andrew Rectory at 454-2486.
Saint Andrew and Saint Jude
Ken Adams; 814-440-7813
1:30-4:00pm every other Tuesday
Food and clothing are available.
We are able to serve anyone in the neighborhood within our Second Harvest boundaries and all parishioners in need.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Holy Day Eucharist
or as marked in bulletin
8:00 a.m. to noon
12:30 p. m. to 4:00 p. m.
Wednesday, closed all day.
Friday 8:00 a.m. to noon