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Second  Sunday of Advent  – Dec 10, 2017

p  People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him.” John the Baptist commanded quite a crowd. What was the attraction? Was it his unusual appearance—clothed in camel’s hair? Perhaps it was his bizarre eating habits—feeding on locusts and wild honey. Or maybe people were captivated by the Baptist’s remarkable humility in the face of such huge popularity— “I am not worthy.” Unlike our modern fascination with standing in the presence of
superstars, the crowds who flocked to John weren’t looking for a thrill. They weren’t lining up for autographs. They were lining up for baptism. And they were acknowledging their sins at the same time. John was proclaiming “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” And people came because they were longing to experience the freedom of that forgiveness. John called them to conversion. To convert means to turn, in this case to turn away from sin. And the crowds were anxious to do so in order to “prepare the way of the Lord.” For these first-century Jews, the imminent approach of the Messiah came with a call for conversion and they took this call very seriously. Now, for us, as twenty-first century Christians, the Church, like John the Baptist, calls us to prepare and repent during this season of Advent. Will we take the call seriously? Will we examine the areas of our lives that need to change? Will we pray for God’s help to overcome our habitual sin and to make choices based on generosity instead of selfishness? Now is the time to heed the message. Now is the time to “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”
FROM THE RECTORY:
The other day I was reading Dear Amy in the paper and the person that wrote in to her stated that her brother was no longer talking to her for he had bought some expensive gift for his newborn niece and his sister failed to send him a thank you card for the gift. I mention this to you for we are now in the second weekend of Advent and in the middle of the Christmas gift buying season. The above situation had me thinking about what motivates us to buy the gifts we buy for others? For that matter what motivates us to do kind acts for others like holding open a door or letting someone pull into traffic ahead of you? I understand why the brother was upset about not getting a thank you card for it is the polite thing to do if you receive a gift just like it is the right thing to say thank you if someone holds the door for you or give a wave of thanks if they let you into traffic. I also admit I used to get upset myself if I did not receive the proper form of thank you. I would grumble if I held the door or let someone into traffic and was not thanked, I thought “I didn’t have to hold the door” or “I did not have to let you into traffic”. But I came to realize that I was wrong! For as much as a thank you would be nice, is that why I am giving the gift or doing the kind act? I had to ask myself that when I give a gift is it out of love for the person I am giving the gift to or is it to get attention and praise for being so generous? Is it about them or about me? You see if we give a gift or do a kind act because we are looking for the recognition for what we have done, then we are not doing it out of love for others but rather out of love for ourselves….now that is rude and self-centered. Let us this Christmas not look for praise or recognition when we give gifts but rather let us give from our hearts, let us give because we love the other more than ourselves.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael

 SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
“…whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did for me” – MATTHEW 25:40
Most of us are generous when it’s convenient for us. We are generous when we have the time or the money. But, generosity is the opposite of that. It means giving of one’s time, money, compassion, forgiveness or mercy when it’s not convenient; when it’s not on our schedule, but on the other person’s schedule.

LIVE THE LITURGY INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK
  On this First Sunday of Advent, we are asked to be watchful and alert. Because of our baptism we are called to be gatekeepers of God’s house and God’s servants. We have been put in charge of caring for what God has made—the earth around us and our brothers and sisters. Being responsible means being attentive to what is within our care. Are we responsible and attentive stewards or does our attention and focus often wander to things that are not important to the kingdom of God?

  MONTH OF REMEMBRANCE
Beginning on November 2nd, All Souls Day, we will pray for all the departed during the month of November. Please write the names of your loved ones on your All Soul’s Day envelope and place it in the basket. All the envelopes will be placed on the altar for the entire month of November.

MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
8:30 am.   William and Lotetta Marshall by the Family
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017
8:30 am  Annv. Michael Totaro by Mr. & Mrs. Vincent Caporrino
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
8:30 am.  Annv. Carmela Uzzalino by Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Roman
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2017
8:30 am.  Helene Schinski by Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Schinn
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2017
8:30 am.  Maryann Petruzziello by her son Jesse
12:30 pm  Musto Family by Maryrose Higgins
7:30 pm     Annv. Lucien Zaremba by Veronica Smolenski
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017
8:30 am   Maryann & Alexander Graziano by Fr. Graz
5:00 pm  James Turk by Jennifer O’Connor & Mary Turk
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2017
8:00 am    For the People of the Parish
10:00 am   Thomas Sr., Thomas Jr. & Fay DiMartino by Betty Dalessio
12:00 pm  Fay Rusconi by Marie Blackwell


The gift of bread and wine for the first two weeks of December has been given in memory of Juana Maldonado & Charles Sylvestri byJesse & Joanna Sylvestri.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the first two weeks of November has been donated in memory of Frank Pizza by the Pizza Family.

 


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

OUR ADVERTISERS OF THE WEEK

 Our parish benefits greatly from the ads you see on the back of our bulletin. The revenue pays for its printing, which is an important means of communication for the parish. We thank the local businesses that have renewed their ads, as well as the new advertisers who have recently signed on. Please look on the last page of our bulletin each week during the coming months where we highlight a different advertiser with a special ad space as a ‘thank you’ for their support all year long. When you visit a business that advertises in our Faith Formation Program Registration Form[397] bulletin, please let them know that this is where you saw their ad.

RAINBOWS FOR ALL GOD’S CHILDREN
Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Paramus will once again offer the Rainbows program. This program is a weekly support group for children, 1st-8th grades, who are living in single-parent homes or have families that are going through painful transitions. When something significant happens in a family, the entire family is affected. If a parent dies or a divorce occurs, not only do the parents grieve, but the children do also. Because of their age and short life experience, children find it extremely difficult to verbalize those feelings. This program has some very beautiful, sensitive, caring, trained adults who have said “yes” to helping these children put these feelings into words, work through their grief, build a stronger sense of self-esteem, and begin to accept what has taken place in the family. The program is free to any child who needs it. Sessions begin in October. To facilitate the book order, you need to register as soon as possible. Contact Patricia Pattermann at 201-265-3812.

WANTED

Singers for children’s choir and adult choir.