From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope and pray that you are all doing well and safe.
I hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day celebration despite the challenging situation of the current pandemic and the natural calamities around us. We need to give thanks to God all the time and for everything He bestows on us.
The First Sunday of Advent is here! That means that we are in the new liturgical year of 2021 in the church calendar. The term Advent is adopted from Latin word “adventus” that means coming or arrival. In the New Testament, this is the term used for the Second Coming of Christ. Thus, the season of Advent in the Christian calendar anticipates the “coming of Christ.”
Our gospel this weekend reminds us that we should spend this time in expectation of the Lord’s return. Jesus admonishes us, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come… you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all:
‘Watch!” (Matthew 13:33, 35-37).
We may well ask what this means for us. Brothers and sisters, the reading is telling us that we should not let the Lord’s coming find us unprepared or caught in the “sleep” of daily business. This Advent should be a time for us to shake off those distractions and temptations that may prevent us from truly making this season a spiritually profitable time.
Jesus says that we need to remain vigilant and to pray for the strength to deal with all the trials that lay ahead. Jesus did not believe or teach that the life that we are living now is just a dream from which we need to awaken; but he did want to make us aware that we cannot just go through this life blind to the spiritual reality that is an abiding aspect of our existence. Even in this life, with all its suffering and distractions, we must be awake to the fact that there is something more than meets the eye, something that makes all of the suffering and struggles in this life meaningful and purposeful.
This is the reality to which Jesus calls us to awaken! God’s Kingdom is breaking into our world, and we do not know when it will come but it is coming. The Lord does not want us to be caught unaware!
Saying that, to prepare ourselves for the coming of God’s kingdom, we have a few helps available for you here in our parish. Besides coming to Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, there are small group gatherings called “Appreciate the Word, Live the Word” where you talk and reflect on the weekend readings, and there is also the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Check our bulletin for more information.
Also, this season is a time for sharing what you have with our less fortunate brothers and sisters here in our area and abroad. You have been generous in the past I believe you will be this year as well.
Thank you and God bless you.
SMALL THINGS, BIG THANKS!
What are the little things we are thankful for? In this video project, the second graders are grateful not only for the things that they have but also for the relationships that matter to them the most. Watch it here.
Our Mass Book is Now Open
Our 2021 Mass Book opens today, Sunday, November 29, for your Mass Intentions. Please note that no more than five Mass intentions may be scheduled at any one time. Besides Mass intentions, you will also be able to make donations for the sanctuary lamp and for the bread and wine used at our Masses.
The 2021 Bible Diary is Now Available!
The new edition of the Bible Diary is now available for $10 at the Parish Office after Mass or during office hours. The 2021 Bible Diary contains the assigned scripture reading for each day of the year, a reflection on the reading, and also information about the saint of day. The Bible Diary is a great help for personal daily prayer. These books also make an appreciated Christmas Gift.
Update on Shining The Light of Christ
“Shining the Light of Christ” is the theme of 2020 Annual Appeal that supports the mission, programs and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for Our Lady of Mercy Parish is $42,809. There is a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our goal. Currently, the total pledge amount is $50,600 and $47,316 has been collected. Please support this appeal.
New Update On We Are Living Stones
Our total pledged amount is now $501,472. We are at 100.65% of our goal of that $432,293 has been collected and $194,137 disbursed to the parish. We remind those who have not fully paid their pledge to continue sending your payment to the We Are Living Stones Office. (171 Clifton Avenue, Newark, NJ 07104-0500) God bless your generosity!