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 Third  Sunday in Advent – Dec. 16, 2018

“In Christianity, we hear often about the “Good News.” We might often associate it with Jesus’ compassion to the poor, His healings and miracles, and the salvation He won for us. In today’s Gospel, we read of John the Baptist. “Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.” Yet as we examine the rest of the reading, we see examples of John’s preaching. If you have two cloaks, give one away. Don’t cheat others out of their money, extort, or lie. And, of course, the warning that the Messiah is on the move and “his winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Merry Christmas? Not only do John’s listeners enjoy his message, but they seem to think he might be the awaited Messiah! To understand today’s Gospel, it’s important to understand the Jewish people. For most of their history, God’s chosen people had been under someone else’s heel. They were slaves in Egypt. Their kingdoms were ravaged first by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians. Now they were under the yoke of the Roman Empire. Familiar with being strangers in a strange land, welcoming the stranger, caring for the vulnerable, and enacting justice was incredibly important to them as a people. While John’s words may seem odd or strong to our modern ears, this call to justice was welcome, even if it was directed at the hearer. The truth is, no one is exempt from John’s call to repentance. We all have further to go in the Christian life. We can all grow in virtue and love our neighbors more generously. The Church gives us the Advent season to examine our own hearts. Did any of John’s warnings resonate with you? That could be a great thing to bring to Jesus this week!

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This time of year I get asked the same question and that is why are we using purple instead of blue for Advent?Simple answer is because purple is the Churchapproved color and blue is not approved by the Church. As a matter of fact, blue is not a liturgical color at all in the Church. The reason we use purple during Advent and during Lent is because it represents repentance and both the season of Advent and Lent are repentant seasons. Both are times we are to prepare for Christ’s second coming even as we celebrate His first coming. I admit it is ironic that I am writing this article for the bulletin for the one weekend that we do not use purple (technically it is called violet in the Church) but instead we use pink (technically it is called rose in the Church). The weekend that we use pink is due to the fact that pink represents joy in the church. It is a reminder to us that even though we are in a season of repentance we should still be joyful. This might seem strange that while contemplating our sins and the things we need to change in our life we should be joyful. However, if you really think about it, you would naturally be joyful for God is willing to forgive our sins no matter how many they are or how serious they are for He loves us that much! When you are aware of that how can you not be joyful!!!
God Bless you and have a wonderful week,
Fr. Michael

We would like to invite all parishioners to join us for a special celebration of Christmas beginning at 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve.  The parish community will come together to sing some of our favorite Christmas Carols before the start of Midnight Mass. Please plan to join us if you can. Christmas Masses will also be celebrated on Monday, Christmas Eve at 5:00 pm and on Tuesday, Christmas Day at 10 am and 12:00 noon.

The gift of Altar Flowers for the first two weeks of November has been given in memory of Juana Maldonado & CharlesSylvestri by Jesse & Joanna Sylvestri.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the first two weeks of December has been given in memory of Carmela & Augie Sylvestri by Jesse & Joanna Sylvestri. The second two weeks of December have been given in memory of Stanley Czlapinski, the Eckel Family and the DeMeo Family by Maryann & Walter Eckel.

 SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to GodSt. Paul reminds us that our God is an abundant God, the ultimate giver of gifts. He promises to give us all that we need. When we trust that God will take care of us, it is easier for us to share what we have been given.

  PLEASE  PRAY FOR THE SICK
That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Gloria, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Marie, Bonnie, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Denise Gautier, Joseph, Christine Morrison, Jessica Esopo, Jack McShera, Theresa McPeak, Walter Eckel. Adelgunde Marshall.

MIRACULOUS MEDAL NOVENA
The Miraculous Medal Novena will be moving to Saturday morning after the 8:30 am mass starting in January. There are two reasons for the move – first, there are people who have expressed to me that they would like to attend but cannot during the week due to their work schedule. Second, Saturdays are dedicated to our Blessed Mother in the Church and it is the more appropriate day to have a Novena to her.

MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2018
8:30​ Helene Schinski by Mr. & Mrs. Tom Schinn
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2018
8:30​ Annv. Victoria Sherman by Joan Vicenzotti
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2018
8:30​ Agnes Sari by Mr. & Mrs. Antonio Sari
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2018
8:30​ James DeMeo by Maryann Eckel
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018
8:30​ John Robinson by a Friend
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018
8:30​ Annv. Beatrice Graziano by Fr. Graz
5:00 pm​  Cecelia & George Furman & Bertha Nemec by Mr. & Mrs. George Furman
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018
8:00​ For the People of the Parish
10:00​ Jerald Diaz by the Family
12:00​ Rose Musto by Maryrose Higgins
MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2018
8:30Butch Walsh by the Cascones
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2018
8:30Fran Nolan by the Traina Family
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2018
8:30Annv. Linda Garris by Mr. & Mrs. Dawn Farrington
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2018
8:30John Robinson by a Friend

FRIDAY,
DECEMBER 21, 2018
8:30Elizabeth Stampone by Sharon Melvin
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2018
8:30Virginia Pires by the Family
5:00 pmAnnv. Florence & Nicholas Perone by the Family
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2018
8:00For the People of the Parish
10:00Incoronata Competiello by Anthony Barricella
12:00Dolores Donatello by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Chinchar

It is the best way to ensure our parish receives the support needed for our operating expenses and ministries? eGiving through Parish Giving! We are excited to introduce “Enhanced Stewardship through Electronic Funds Transfer” for your weekly offertory. No more envelopes or last-minute check writing! Electronic giving is safe and easy for you and good stewardship for the parish. Please enroll today by visiting www.icchackensack.com. and click on the logo that is on top of the website. Increased enrollment with Parish Giving will help stabilize our parish finances. There are brochures in the pews or visit Parish Giving at www.parishgiving.org

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