For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

We might say that 2021 has been the “Year of Delivery Woes.” The mail, shipping issues, misdirected packages, oops, we had to change the delivery date are all things we heard. They may have caused us some frustration. Did you know that there is one area of delivery that has worked perfectly? No, it is not a matchup between FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL – it is the assured delivery of God’s promises.

Look at the verse from 2 Corinthians 1:20 above. It says that ALL THE PROMISES OF GOD have their YES in Jesus. Jesus is indeed the delivery fulfiller. Throughout human history God made promises. He would deliver His people from sin and death. He would bring peace and healing. He would turn people’s stoney/hard personalities into heart centered personalities – they would be people of love. He would show His people the way to true joy – a joy that overcomes circumstances, a joy that is more than momentary happiness. The promises of God have been fulfilled and ratified in Christ. He is the living incarnate “Yes” and “Amen” to God’s promises. The Greek word Ναί translated Yes means strong affirmation; yes.

Jesus therefore delivers on all of the promises of God. There is no delay, there is no unexpected trouble in receiving those promises. He is always on-time and nothing is ever missing or in the way. Throughout Advent we will focus on thirty of God’s promises under the headings of hope, peace, joy, and love. We will see how Jesus has and is delivering His Father’s promises in both our personal and communal lives. God holds promises for us. Come, see how He is intervening to draw us closer to the realization that His promises are real promises for us as a community of faith. Scripture calls us to answer amen to Jesus’ YES. So let us do so this Advent in church. Let our Amen echo our yes to His YES.

Welcome to our December 2021 Newsletter. So much going on. We have Daily Holy Mass, Rorate Holy Mass, Christmas Wafers/Opłatek available, our Parish Vigil / Wigilia Dinner on December 12th, the greening of the church on December 19th, and of course our full schedule for the Christmas Season (as we celebrate for forty days). The Holy Masses of Christmas include 4pm for families with children, Midnight Holy Mass / Pasterka – at Midnight (yes, for real), and Christmas Day at 10am. That and so much more within our December 2021 Newsletter.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I wonder if the translators got it wrong? I wonder if I can say “got” in that sentence? Paul, writing to the Philippians, says he is moving toward the goal. A grammar study would tell us that “to” and “toward” are two different things. There is a key distinction. As we enter into Advent and soon the Christmas season, this is a vital distinction. Are we moving toward or to Jesus? In any sentence, “towards” means “in the direction of that person or thing”. When we use “toward,” we are not describing a destination; the destination is without certainty. Toward only describes a general direction. However, when to say “to” we have defined the destination of our journey. While our exact way of getting to that destination remains un-described, we have set our goal with certainty. We work to get to it. We focus on it. We say with confidence, that is exactly where I am going. Advent is a call to prepare for the journey to the returning and victorious Christ. We are to spend this time getting ready, fortifying ourselves for His return so we can meet Him “standing erect with our heads held high.” We are called to set our destination, and retranslate Paul’s words – I am moving to the goal, to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. That is where I want to be. We may feel fine walking toward Jesus. We might get lucky and trip into the manger at Christmas. The problem with a lack of certainty on our part is that we may miss the mark and end up separated, unable to get to our goal. Getting close, being in the neighborhood, is not enough for Jesus. He wants more. The four weeks of Advent lead to the forty days of Christmas. Time is short. Let us then set the goal, let us be dedicated and focused on the place we need to get to. Let us walk straight to a kingdom defined life. That is the goal, the prize.

December, the quick journey through Advent to the forty day season of Christmas. We discuss the journey, as you see above. Are we heading in God’s general direction, or are we going straight to Him? It makes a difference. We are so excited about these seasons, their quiet times and their activities. Join us for our meatless vigil dinner on December 16th. Listen to what our youth have prepared. Join in and ‘green the church’ on December 23rd.

Looking for real Midnight Holy Mass? Only here in Schenectady! Blessing of wine on the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist – yes, that too.

We wish you all the many and varied blessings of these seasons as we expectantly move to Jesus’ return.

Check out all this and more in our December 2018 Newsletter.