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Dear Friends in Christ,

On this Second Sunday of Advent, Christ comes to us through the voice of His herald, John the Baptist, calling us to "prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths." In patient love, Christ waits for all of us until we are fully united to Him.  Christ wishes to prepare our hearts as a manger for Him to dwell in.  No matter how often we have wandered far away from God, He never gives up on us. Like a shepherd, He gathers us, His lambs, and draws us back to His path.  

God enters into the depths of our hearts through a gentle prompting from the Holy Spirit, who sheds light into the dark corners of our souls, revealing to us our sins.  For what sins do we need to seek God's forgiveness? What crookedness in our lives do we need to surrender to the foot of the Cross and allow Christ's healing power to make straight?  Let us welcome the Holy Spirit and ask Him to melt the hardness of our hearts and move us to kneel before God's throne of merciful love.  Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, let us in all humility, beg God for forgiveness.  Let His grace flow freely and enlighten our hearts with the fire of Christ's love.  Only then can we be fully prepared to let Christ be born into our hearts.  Only then can we truly celebrate in Thanksgiving to our Savior and Redeemer who never tires of offering Himself and His infinite mercies in each Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass.  Here, our Lord continues to fill us with His strength and renews us as His authentic Christian disciples.

So, into our second week of Advent preparation, let us be baptized with the Spirit of repentance, and look forward to God's promise of a new heaven and a new earth, as Christ truly reigns in our hearts.  We trust that God will give us the grace to be found unblemished before Him, at peace, until His glorious coming.

In Christ, with gratitude and prayers,

Rev. Jonathan Paala

"I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (Mark 1:8)

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