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11th December 2022
REJOICE, IF YOU’VE BEEN TO CONFESSION!

Today is the third Sunday in Advent, and is also called Joy or Rejoice Sunday. The Latin term Guadate means Rejoice, which is reflected in the rose/pink coloured advent candle lit today and by the colour of the Priest’s Mass Vestment’s. The feeling of Joy, is the result felt, when we repent for our sins. This gives cause to Rejoice! Advent Season, is a penitential (expressing remorse) period of time, given by God, as a sacred opportunity, to remind us to confess our sins, and reconcile ourselves back to Him in Confession. It is a time, not just to prepare for Christmas, but also a time to prepare for Christ’s Second Coming. At that time, He will seriously Judge us, to see, if we are worthy or not, to enter Heaven. Do not be fooled by the devil’s mantra, which falsely teaches, that because God is so merciful, then everybody will be saved for Heaven. This is not the case, because how we live our lives here on earth, will determine how we live in eternity, beyond the grave. God has laid down terms and conditions (Commandments), to be strictly obeyed, if we intend going to Heaven. Practicing our Faith, in the spirit of humility, is the Key to unlocking the gates of Heaven for us. Faith practiced is faith lived. This is done by forgiving those who trespass against us. Doing the Will of God on earth, as it is in Heaven. Keeping His Name Sacred. We are to go to Mass every Sunday, in order to express and give thanksgiving to Our Creator. We are to exercise love to everyone, by practicing the virtue of patience.

THE KEY INTO HEAVEN
In today’s Gospel (Matt 11:2-11), Jesus highlights the importance of practicing humility. He tells us that, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen. This is because of his humility. Yet, Jesus tells us, that those already found worthy to be living in Heaven, are even more humbler than John. Heaven is obviously a Kingdom of total Peace, where everyone lives in a humble state of love with each other. They have God in the centre of their lives. We need to begin to place Jesus, in the centre of our lives now, as it is done in Heaven. If a soul refuses live by God’s standards here on earth, then Heaven is not for that angry proud soul. The soul who does their best to live by God’s standards and surrender to His Will and teachings, will be treated with Divine Compassion and Mercy for continuously trying. God bless, Fr Brendan.

8th December 2022
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION WAS WHEN MARY WAS CONCEIVED.

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is not to be confused with the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary that occurred at the Annunciation. The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s own moment of creation (conception), when she was immaculately conceived in the womb of her own mother, St. Anne. Mary was conceived, as a result of a physical and intimate union, between her Mum and Dad, who was St. Joachim. Nine months after today’s date, 8th December, will be the celebration of the Birth of Mary, on the 8th September. Today, we celebrate Mary, who, from the first instant of her existence, in the womb of her mother Anne was, ‘by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, preserved from all stain or mark of Original Sin’. This was necessary, in order for her, to become the sinless Mother of God, and in turn, become our Mother and that of the Church. This moment signified the beginning of the Church. Mary is the New Eve, the New Mother of the Living.
MARY IS FREE FROM ORIGINAL SIN.
In our own conception, we inherit the mark of Original Sin. This is the mark of Death. The First Reading today (Genesis 3:9-15,20), informs us that the First Eve, was the first mother of the living, but she threw it all away, by her sinful act of disobedience to God’s command. Jesus, as it were, becomes the Second Adam, who removes this mark of death from our souls, and replaces it with the mark of Eternal Life. This is done in the Sacrament of Baptism, which is an essential Rite or Act, if we want our souls and those of ‘our’ children to fully live on earth and beyond the grave. God is the Word made Flesh, by making Himself visible in the Person of Jesus. Mary remains forever Immaculate and Blessed, in the glory of her Virginity. The Name Mary means Vessel and she is truly a Living Vessel of God, blessed among women and full of grace in her lowliness. God singled her out from all of humanity, for the purpose of partaking in God’s redemptive plan for Salvation. Mary was saved without ever having been lost. Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) always brings us back to the Annunciation moment, which can create confusion between the two conceptions. God bless, Fr. Brendan.

Sunday 4th December 2022
The Readings today are all about Conversion of heart, through repenting (regretting) of our sins. John the baptised is called to serve God and he obliges. The second Advent Candle, lit today, represents Love. The Way to Love God, is by acknowledging our sins, and repenting through the Sacrament of Confession. It is important that we exercise the virtue of humility, by coming down from our high mountain of pride, and straightening out our lives to follow Christ. John’s way of life, by living on locust and wild honey and dressed in an uncomfortable garment of camel hair, denotes his life of humility and sacrifice. To truly change our sinful lives, is having the desire to change for a spiritual better way of living, and produce the appropriate fruit, such as, love, kindness, tolerance and mercy, towards each other. We should not be hypocrites, like the Pharisees and the Sadduces, referred to as broods of vipers, (snakes), who talk and act unkindly, behind peoples backs, and at the same time, take God’s Mercy for granted. Jesus tells us (Mt 3:1-12) that the tree (us) which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down (Judgement Day) and thrown on the fire, which refers to Hell.

LIVING AS ONE IN SPIRIT
All the animals lying down and living in harmony with each other (Is 11:1-10), symbolises the State of Grace. Love, Tolerance and Peace in Heaven. Everybody and everything live as one in the Holy Spirit. There is no death in Heaven, only eternal Life. Jesus is asking us now to make-up (repair) with our neighbour, because there is no place in Heaven, for the angry, intolerant, sinful, arrogant and gossipy soul. Jesus describes these unpleasant souls as useless chaff, only fit to burn in a fire that will never go out. Jesus is making us aware that Hell still exists, and people who produce the rotten fruit of anger and hatred, ultimately send themselves to this eternal death. Our earthly pilgrimage is a sacred time to repent, to change our sinful ways and throw off the garment of sin, by replacing it, with the garment of mercy and love. We should be like John, who wore a leather belt around his waist, symbolising the girdle of integrity, truth, purity and obedience in accordance to God’s Divine Will for us to live.

A VOICE CRIES WITH TEARS OF URGENCY
A Voice that cries in the wilderness, is Jesus calling us through the voice of John. The voice is John’s, but the Words are Christ. We are called to prepare ourselves for His Second Coming, which is called Judgement Day. We must be cleansed of all sinful attachments and addictions, before entering Heaven. We must never lose hope and think that we are too far gone. Jesus’ Divine Mercy awaits us all in the Sacrament of Confession, regardless the badness of our sins. God bless, Fr Brendan.