Anyway, the reason I came across it was my cold. I was miserably sick this weekend, and Sunday morning seemed to be the worst of it. I knew there was no way I'd be able to get to Mass feeling like a ton of bricks was repeatedly smashing down over me. So I stayed in bed, offering the gross feelings for whatever intentions God deemed necessary.
By mid-afternoon, I was feeling substantially better, so I mentioned to John that I might attempt going to Mass in the evening. St. Williams, about 45 minutes from me, had an 8pm Mass on Sunday night. So I hopped into my car and made my way into NE Philadelphia. I arrived early enough to say my Divine Mercy chaplet and take a gander at the changes that've been made since my last visit. The church, itself, is still the same, but I noted their new collection of artwork. The above picture was among those new items.
In addition to seeing beautiful artwork, I was privileged to hear a wonderful homily from their new pastor. Apparently he'd locked himself out of the rectory on Saturday (after hearing the 1st Penances of children at another parish!). Being home alone with no access to a phone or spare key, he was forced to take refuge from the cold in the church. He spent the next 2+ hours meditating on the meaning of advent, his own preparedness for Christ, and quite probably how to ensure he'd never get locked out of the rectory again. Ha.
He made a good point, though. In being locked out of the rectory, he wondered what he'd do if he were to be locked out of Heaven. He acknowledged his lack of perfection, and thus acknowledged his need for advent matches everyone else. Advent, though a time of anticipation, is not JUST about waiting. It's also about preparing for Christ as John the Baptist so eloquently exemplified. Preparing through repentance and a dedication to changing one's life is our surest bet to making our souls ready to accept the gift that is Christ.
Also, the fact that he surmised that his 2 hour stint in the church was really a gift that seemed, at first, like an annoyance lifted my heart. This priest obviously strove to see Christ in everything... "annoyances" included. :) It made me happy to again realize that we've been blessed with an abundance of graces through our priests. It didn't hurt that he would stop Mass at each "change" to remind us of the new language, having us repeat those prayers that we'd stumble over patiently... like a conscientious teacher. :)
All in all, me missing Mass at my own parish enabled me to attend this Mass in Philly and I am eternally grateful for such a blessing. :) I hope everyone else had such a wonderful Sunday!