December 9, 2018 – Second Sunday of Advent

I.  Instrument of God’s Presence: just as Mary and Joseph, Zachariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptizer, Isaiah and other prophets, were instruments of God’s presence, so are we called be to the presence of God—indeed, the presence of Jesus—as we journey through this season of Advent. May the following prayer challenge you as it challenged me:

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with DISCOMFORT…at easy answers, half truths, and superficial

          relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with ANGER…at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so

          that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with TEARS…to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection,

          starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to

          turn their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough FOOLISHNESS…to believe that you can make a

          difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


II.  Did you know? The Diocese of Owensboro was etched out of the Archdiocese of Louisville, encompassing the 32 westernmost counties of our Commonwealth. Pope Pius  XI  issued a paper bull, creating the new Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky on December 9, 1937. There were 40 priests from the Archdiocese, who were “frozen” in their assignments (commonly known as the 40 martyrs) with Father Francis R. Cotton appointed as our first bishop. Some referred to this newly formed Diocese as the “land of Cotton!”

III. Feast of the Americas (North, Central, and South): Wednesday, the Church throughout America celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. The story of the origins of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is well known. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a quiet, humble man, a poor peasant. When Mary appeared to him and asked him to tell the local bishop to build a church in her honor, Juan Diego became a very reluctant messenger. The bishop would not believe him. So Mary filled Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak) with roses in December, and when he emptied out these beautiful flowers at the bishops feet, there, imprinted on his tilma, was a wonderful image of the Virgin, dressed like a young Aztec woman. I invite you to celebrate Mass, Wednesday, December 12, at 7 AM or 12:05 noon.

IV.  Update on Porch Project: when you read this, the concrete will be poured for our steps up to the porch top. Let’s pray for good weather that much can be accomplished, and our main church entrance can welcome visitors and parishioners alike at Christmas. As you might have picked up by now, I am an eternal optimist and still hang on to that hope and expectation that are porch will be navigable by Christmas! Miracles do happen! I believe in miracles!

V.  Saint Meinrad LESSONS & CAROLS: The event will be Sunday, December 9, at 7 p.m. Central Time in the school’s St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel, St. Meinrad, IN. The service, titled “From Eden to Heaven: The Story of Salvation,” tells the story of the redemption of mankind by alternating Scripture readings and singing hymns and carols. The service is expected to last an hour and 15 minutes and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Heritage Gallery on the first floor of St. Gregory Hall. Parking is available in the Guest House and student parking lots.