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Fr. Patrick Moses

Third Sunday of Advent

I’m writing my weekly bulletin message from Magdala in the northern District of Israel. The graces and experiences so far on this pilgrimage have been wonderful, almost overwhelming.  I am so grateful to all those at home, who have made it possible for me to be here by covering my  ministerial and administrative duties while I’m gone.  

For the most part my daily schedule on this pilgrimage has been unplanned. My first couple of days were scheduled out but I wanted to let the Spirit guide me for the rest of my time here.  That’s difficult for me because I like to be organized and well ordered. To be able to let go and let the Spirit guide me is something I enjoy but still struggle completely letting go.

Yesterday, I spent some time at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. It thought about the lives of Mary and Joseph. I’m sure in many ways they had their lives planned out. They were engaged, they would be married, start a family, and live out their lives like any other couple in Nazareth.  Then, that fateful day the angel Gabriel came to Mary and everything changed. 

It was an act of faith to understand what the angel said to her, that she would conceive in her womb and bear the Christ child. It also took an act of faith for Joseph to understand that Mary had conceived, through the Holy Spirit, and would bear the Christ Child.  At the end of the day, they held on to a faith that allowed them to follow the will of God. Mary and Joseph let go of their preconceived ideas of how their lives would be lived out.  This allowed them to accomplish the important work to which they had been called.  

The abandonment of our will to the Spirit is an incredible gift to embrace.  It is not easy and often can be    unsettling.  In our trust in God, however, He always provides an abundance of grace and more blessings than we could ever imagine.  We, like all the saints, are faced with the same challenge: walking by faith and not by sight.  

Happy Advent and have a blessed week!

Fr. Patrick 

P.S.  Our Parish Penance Service is this Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 7:00PM.  

I invite you all to participate in this loving and healing Sacrament as part of your Christmas preparation.