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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, December 09, 2011
3rd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) 11thDecember 2011
Pretty in Pink

The introit (entrance antiphon) today begins with the instruction, “Rejoice!” As I said last week, Advent used to be called St Martin’s Lent, a 40 day fast leading up to Christmas. But as during Lent, on one Sunday the organ playing an instrumental, more colourful flowers and the wearing of rose-pink vestments were permitted. Indeed, in Rome the stational Mass of the Bishop takes place in St Peter’s today marking this as the most significant day of the season.

Throughout Advent, the scriptures refer to the Lord’s second coming but today there are additional signs of gladness: not only are we to adore the Lord who is to come but we are called to worship and hail with joy the Lord who is close at hand. St Paul calls us to rejoice too and prepare to meet the Saviour with prayers and thanksgiving. And St John tells us the Lamb of God is now in our midst though we do not know Him. Thus, today penitential exercises are suspended to remind us of the joy in our redemption which should always be in our hearts.

However, that doesn’t mean that it stops being a penitential season. The reminder is still there that we are preparing for the historical coming of Christ and his coming at the end of time. Therefore we need to ensure that we are ready and that is why confessions are offered after all the weekend Masses and will be offered after every Mass celebrated in the week leading up to Christmas. I encourage you to make use of this sacrament and to rejoice in the grace of God freely offered.

On a practical note, it would be very helpful over the coming weeks if you could try and come to get Mass cards signed and Mass intentions booked when I can guarantee that there will be someone more competent than me here to do that for you - on a Monday between 10am and 3pm and a Thursday between 10am and 2pm. Of course I’ll try doing it for you if I’m around but I probably won’t be as I don’t spend all day in the house twiddling my thumbs. Well, not all day anyway!

In the meantime, carry on rejoicing. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:02 pm