Dear Parish Family: I would like to devote this column to our students of both Arma and Girard. We are starting a new academic year. This is a good opportunity to reﬂect on the gifts of thought and reason which God has given to us and the gift of an education which millions of our ancestors did not have. Since knowledge is precious, and ignorance can be deadly, we must resolve to take full advantage of this gift of education. A good education squandered in youth is very difﬁcult to make up for as an adult. And cramming all night before a major test usually produces dim results. Therefore let us decide now to be studious students, determined to study and learn. There of course is nothing wrong with fun and games, but only after our scholastic duties are done. We must remember that God wants us to be smart Catholics, well educated and equipped mentally to spread his kingdom. It does not please God if we keep ourselves ignorant either deliberately or through sloth. God gave us a mind; he wants us to strengthen it. So let us always put homework ahead of video games and our favorite band. We will enjoy them more anyway if all of our academic duties are ﬁnished. Know that all of you students and your families will be in my prayers during this entire academic year! God bless you, Fr. Max
How do you like to wait? Waiting is a challenge for many if not for all of us! You remember that story of the man who had a dream of talking with God. He asked God, “Lord, what is a million years like to you?” God replied, “Oh, that’s just a minute!” Then the man asked again, “Lord, what’s a million dollars like to you?” God said smiling, “It’s just a cent!” Then the man said, “Lord, can you give me a million dollars?” God replied almost laughing, “That’s not a problem, wait a minute!”
Waiting is an act that develops in us the virtue of patience and perseverance! We can learn again from the example of Israel who was waiting for the coming of the Messiah! Throughout their history many fell into infidelities as they become IMPATIENT and failed to persevere! While those who remain vigilant in prayer like Simeon and Anna who spend most of their times at the temple everyday, were able to experience the joy even to the point of holding the Messiah in his arms, and exclaimed “Now Lord you can let your servant go in peace, for in my own eyes I have seen the fullness of your salvation…”
As we know that Advent means coming, and that Christ is coming to us, we are reminded once more to patiently wait and persevere in our waiting. We know it is not an easy task, and on our own efforts alone we will not be able to do it. That’s why in Advent, we need to pray more fervently and avail of the sacraments eagerly and as often as possible that we may receive God’s grace of patience and perseverance. We have to follow the example of Simeon and Anna and we will certainly be rewarded with the joy of salvation!
I know many of you have already put up your Christmas tree and Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving. That is not bad, but it would be better if you include putting up even a small Advent wreath where every Sunday or Saturday night you and your family could gather together and light one of its candles and say your prayers. You can also share reflections on each other’s experiences while spiritually preparing during this Advent. I am sure this would help us and our families experience more meaningfully our Christmas celebration!
May God impart upon all of you His abundant blessings especially during this Advent Season! Amen! Fr. Roger Lumbre