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Immaculate Conception – December 8

December 7 Vigil: 7:30pm (bilingual mass)

December 8: 8:00am; 10:00am; 12:00noon

Our Lady of Guadalupe – December 12

December 12: 6:30am; 9:00am; 10:00am (SMS); 7:00pm (bilingual mass)

Advent means “coming”. Using the rich readings from the Old Testament, we spend this season reflecting on God’s promises to send us a savior. This he did in Jesus’ first coming 2000 years ago as a baby. But we also reflect on the fact that Jesus will come again at the end of time, so this season also has the sense of preparing for our Savior’s return in the future; in other words, Jesus’ coming is not just a past event.

The primary way we prepare is by participating in the Mass, where Jesus comes to us in a third sense, really and truly in His Word and in the Eucharist. Preparing for Jesus’ first coming at Christmas helps us understand how he comes every Sunday in the Mass, which in turn helps us prepare for when he will come again at the end of the world and at the end of our time here.

Another way we prepare is by going to Confession and participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As always, Confession will be offered after every daily Mass, Saturday from 3:30-4:30pm and also every Tuesday from 6:00-7:30pm. This is a wonderful way to prepare to receive all the graces God wants to give this Christmas.

 Finally, how important our Blessed Mother is in our preparation. She was the first to receive Jesus, and her “yes” to God’s plan prepared the way for our salvation. During Advent, we celebrate two great feast days of Mary. This Saturday, December 8, we celebrate the Immaculate Conception, when we remember how God preserved Mary from experiencing Original Sin. Since this is the patronal feast of our country, December 8 is a Holy Day of Obligation, so we will be offering a Vigil Mass (bi-lingual) on Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30pm and three Masses on Saturday morning at 8am, 10am and 12noon. On December 12, we also celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, when we remember how Mary appeared in the New World, in present day Mexico, and converted millions to accepting Jesus as their Savior. Through her intercession, may the Holy Spirit prepare the way in our hearts for the coming of Jesus the Savior in a new way on Christmas.