Dear Parish Family,


I have a small public confession to make. As much as I love vacations and holidays and special occasions, there’s just something about “ordinary” that really attracts me. I love the familiarity of a schedule with no disruptions and that feeling of knowing what to expect that day. There’s a simple beauty in the everyday that I find myself deeply appreciative. Yet underneath this simple desire for the everyday is even more so the desire to be comfortable.


This desire manifests itself in various ways, even in small things like changing weather seasons. Almost every time the weather slides into a new season, I stand in opposition to the changes. I audibly groaned this past week as the snow piled on my car, signaling the last remnants of fall leaving. Even when I was a little girl, one of my favorite things was to sit in front of our large bay window in our living room, content to watch the seasons change from spring to summer, from summer to fall, from fall to winter, without really ever leaving the comfort of home.


We all like this kind of comfort, in some way shape or form. That’s why we pull out our favorite sweaters every year at this time. Why we consistently hold onto family traditions. And why we enjoy spending time with those we’ve had time building friendships with. We like to be comfortable. And while this isn’t necessarily bad in of itself, I have to admit to the fact that my desire to be comfortable often times causes me to miss the moments when the Lord wants me to take the next step and grow.


I think this is why the Church is a genius in the way our calendar works. We have different seasons that we live and pray through for a reason. It causes us to not settle in the comfortable of a routine and becoming passive in our journeys with the Lord. It reawakens and points out new truths that we must learn.


We’ll be entering in to a new season, Advent, very soon. And as much as I love the vibrant green of Ordinary Time, I find myself looking forward to seeing that beautiful wreath of candles being displayed upfront. The season of Advent calls us into a time of reflection as we wait and hope and orient ourselves to the Birth of our Lord, Emmanuel, God with us. What might be God calling me to learn or grow in the next couple of weeks? What are some concrete steps I can take to make sure I’m not passive or looking out the window as seasons change right before my eyes?


Some ways to grow in this upcoming season is to attend some of the opportunities for community and discipleship here at St. John’s. Attend our Advent Holy Hour, “O Come, Let Us Adore!” coming up Dec. 14th. Or maybe think about attending our next Dynamic Catholic meeting at the end of this month on Nov. 29th. Maybe it’s incorporating a time to pray with your family in these next couple of weeks. Whatever it is, I believe the Lord is calling us all to grow and to experience Him differently in this season than we have in the previous season.


I’m reminded of a quote that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “The world promises you comfort. You were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”


I want to be able to experience the greatness of this upcoming season.


To growing together,


Clare Kolenda