Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! On top of a very fun and food-filled few days, my family was especially blessed with the birth of the 10th grandchild, Owen, on last Saturday. I was happy to be able to visit him in the hospital a few hours after he was born while on my way back to Hudson. He was a very healthy 9 pounds!
This coming week, we will have an Advent night of reflection on Thursday, December 12th, at 6pm at St. Mary on the Lake. (I hope to have a similar night of prayer during Lent at Sacred Heart).
Advent is one of those seasons that is an incredibly busy time with all of the Christmas parties. Amidst all of this craziness (as good and enjoyable as the parties are), we can struggle to find time to really pray and prepare for Christmas. This night of reflection is meant to be an hour we simply spend with Jesus and He spends with us.
While praying about what Jesus wants this time to be focused on, He has been bringing up this verse from Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” That is what this night is meant to be: a time to come before Jesus and let Him take what is burdening us. Advent celebrates Jesus coming into the world to bring us to Himself. A great way to prepare for Christmas is give Him what He came for: our hearts, and especially those things that might be weighing us down. Christmas is a celebration of God doing something miraculous to set the world and our lives free. For us then, this hour is a time to be in and experience that rest Jesus has come to give us.
The night of reflection will be an hour of time spent in Adoration before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is simply a time to sit in the presence of Jesus. I will offer a short reflection/meditation to help guide us into the hour of prayer. We will have music in the background to help pray. Fr. Tomy will be there to offer the opportunity for confession. If anyone has a particular need that they would like prayer for, I will be offering the opportunity to pray with them on an individual basis.
What do we bring to this night? All those needs that sometimes go unspoken in our lives. The older I get, the more I realize that this Christmas season is one that can be very difficult for people who have one struggle or another. It can be a time that highlights old wounds, grief over a lost loved one, divisions in families, and the list can go on. Sometimes there are things we stop hoping for, things we stop even praying for. Christmas is a special time of the year to bring them before the Lord. All these are things Jesus wants us to bring to Him so He can draw us right to His Heart.
I hope to see you there!