Dear Parish Family,
Some of the scenes from Black Friday were pretty crazy! Don’t let consumerism take over this holy Advent season of preparation. Relax and take time to focus on the Prince of Peace. Our “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!” event this Friday is the perfect time to do that, as our church is transformed into a candlelit sanctuary. Come and adore the Lord Jesus in the same spirit that the shepherds and magi came to worship in awe at the Christ child. And invite a friend, maybe that someone who has never encountered Jesus in that powerful and personal way. Maybe that someone is you! Come, let us adore him at 6:30 p.m. this Friday. Prelude music begins around 6:40 p.m. with the actual holy hour beginning at 7:00 p.m.
How is your Advent coming along? Have you been able to invest in your spiritual health in this new church year? This is the final week that I will be preaching on the Five Precepts of the Church, which we can see as our basic spiritual regimen. We work out our bodies, but we also need to work out our souls and thus do spiritual exercises that foster the health of our soul. I’ve listed the Five Precepts last month, but they are worth repeating as we conclude this 5-part homily series that :
1.“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, resting from those works and active ties which could impede such sanctification of these days.”
2. “You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”
3. “You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.”
4. “You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.”
5. “You shall help to provide for the material needs of the Church.”
These five precepts can be found in the Catechism #2042-43, and you can listen to a homily on each of them on our website: www.stjohnjackson.org/category/homilies/.
As a new year’s resolution for the new church year that we began last Sunday, I encourage you to make an unwavering commitment to following those Five Precepts as the baseline for your spiritual life. While a robust daily prayer life and weekly faith formation are ideal, that can be difficult for someone who is just beginning to develop a spiritual life. All Catholics, however, are obliged to at least observe the five precepts because, while we should be checking in with God at the beginning and end of every day, these precepts guarantee that we’re checking in with God and aligning our lives to his beautiful plan for us at least every Sunday.
Yours in Christ,