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    St. Mary's Parish
    211 Avenue O South
    Saskatoon, SK
    S7M 2R6

    Phone: 306 244 2983
    Fax: 306 242 6461
    stmarysrectory@sasktel.net

    Map
  • Mass Times

    Sunday Masses
    Saturday: 7pm
    Sunday: 9am, 11am,
    1pm Aboriginal Mass with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
    4pm mass in Spanish

    Weekday Mass Times:
    Monday to Saturday: 9am
    Wednesday: 9am, 7:15pm


    Perpetual Help Devotions at both Wednesday Masses

    Adoration and Benediction on First Saturdays following the 9:00 AM Mass until 12:00 Noon
  • Reconciliation

    Saturday: 4-5pm, 6-6:45pm
    Sunday: 12:30-1pm (Guadalupe Parish)
    Sunday: 3-4pm in Spanish
    Wednesday: 6:30-7pm

    Or by appointment
  • Office Hours

    Monday to Friday
    8:30am to 12 Noon
    12:30pm to 4:00pm

1st Sunday in Advent

Keep Awake

By Fr. Ray Reitzel, C.R.

Advent comes to us yearly to challenge us to wake up from our lethargy and small-mindedness, into the great hopes which our faith offers us. In the first reading, Isaiah, even though a gifted and inspired poet, was also an eminently practical person. Israel was surrounded by great conquering forces, by voices willing to compromise morality, for the sake of the balance of power, and by all manner of political intrigue and dishonesty. Isaiah proclaims international peace and well-being as the fruit of loyalty to God’s covenant. Mount Zion, the mountain of the Lord’s house, is the centre of that peace because it is the symbol and focal point of the divine covenant that God made with Israel, as well as with all people and all nations.

‘Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths…. the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.’ “

The world for which Isaiah promises a lasting peace was the real world of his day as it is of our own. If peace and justice are not succeeding in our world, it is because our job is not yet finished, and our efforts have not yet been fully realized.

As we reflect on current times, and the complexity of local, national and international relations, are we not in the same position as the people of Isaiah’s time? We still seem determined to resolve all conflicts with weapons of war rather than with instruments and strategies for peace; we still want to eliminate those we cannot contain. We strive to bring Christ to so many who have lost their spiritual focus, because of worldly distractions and church scandals. The reading from Isaiah, however, asks us to stop the madness, and to place more trust in our God – the one who loves and forgives without limit [Year of Mercy], the one who welcomes home all who believe in His dream for the world – a reign of justice and peace.

Paul (Second Reading) encourages all of us, “it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep,” to be watchful when, in his straight-talk style, he warns us that the pursuit of the “good life” more than likely will sidetrack many of us from the urgent task before us. And if we are to prepare for the new day of the Lord, our lives should reflect the light of the Risen Christ, rather than groping in the darkness caused by the many distractions of this world.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us, “As in the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Those who had faith, followed Noah into the Ark, and were saved, and the others lost out.

The Ark is an image of the Church. You may have heard in the past that, “Outside of the Church, there is no salvation.” To take this literally, has been condemned by the Catholic Church. But in another sense, it is true. The Church teaches that all people are saved through Jesus Christ. People who are baptized, formally belong to the “visible” Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Then there is the Baptism of Desire which includes people who live according to what they sincerely believe is right. The angels announcing to the shepherds on Christmas Eve, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, to people of good will [God’s will].” Jesus on the cross said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” Pope Francis, “Who am I to judge?”

And when does the” final Coming of the Lord” take place? Well we probably will not see the end of the world, although all the signs have taken place. In the past year, thousands of people have seen the “Coming of the Lord”. They died. Some died after a bout with cancer, or other ailments. They had time to prepare. Others died from an accident, or shortly after; or from old age. In most cases we do not know the day nor the hour when we are ‘called’, as in the days of Noah.

So Jesus reminds us, “Keep awake!” He reminds us that if we were expecting a thief, we would be well prepared. Look what we pay for security: cameras, guards, dogs, police force, army, insurance, etc.. So for spiritual security we need regular prayer, Mass and the sacraments, good works, showing generous love and compassion and mercy to others, which, in turn, reflects God’s loving mercy and compassion to others. Remember the Boy Scout motto, “Always be Prepared!”

11-november-27-2016

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