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from fathers desk

My dear parish family,

We had a wonderful Christmas Bazaar (now two weekends ago). I just want to extend special thanks to everyone who made that day possible. Coming together to pull off an event like that is, well, a little miracle. God inspired each person who served as they did, to love, to chip in, and make the day special. It was a full and rich day at OLPH and I appreciate everyone who answered the call to serve and to welcome folks from our larger community into our parish. I hope you each met someone new.

While mentioning “thank yous”, I need to extend a special and gracious thanks to the anonymous member who came forward to say, “If other members match it, I will contribute up to $25,000.” Another little miracle for our parish family to move forward in faith and make improvements on much needed areas of our campus. I hope that each of you will give something to support the $25k match campaign, as each dollar is doubled up to the match. Who knows maybe someone else will come forward to help us match the rest of it! What does Jesus say: ask, seek, and knock.  Well, it is time to ask with faith and confidence and wait for the good people of OLPH to respond with generosity, as the Lord has been generous with them. To be honest, I am excited by this campaign, but also nervous. It is always hard to ask for money. But we are not just asking for funds but for necessary improvements so that we can accomplish our mission.

This weekend we begin the Advent season. Advent is the season of expectation. Advent is a season of preparation and vigilance, a season of watchfulness but it would not be so if we did not expect something special to happen, a miracle. We expect God to break into our mess and show us that He is God. Hence our series “Expect Miracles!”

Sometimes we approach a reality or person full of expectations. We can even come before God in this way. We expect God to be a certain way or do a certain thing, and often we are surprised or even disappointed. When we have a litany of expectations for God, often the reality does not quite match. Our thinking and God’s thinking; our timing and God’s timing.

We need expectation but without expectations. That is what this season and the series are about. The incarnation of God is the greatest miracle, the invisible eternal son taking to himself the fullness of humanity as a visible moral infant. The all-powerful becomes helpless. Do we see it as a miracle?

When we look around, do we see the action of God in the world? Do we perceive not only the outrageous and incredible miracles that happen from time to time, but even the hidden miracles. My friend used to call them quinky-dinks. Some call them coincidences, but what about God-incidences… too cheesy?

I have a particular invitation for you - pray for a miracle. Think about it, reflect on it, and then be bold, be courageous and faith-filled, and pray for a miracle this Christmas. So many of the biblical figures not only prayed for miracles but regularly expected them, counted on them, and their faith and confidence in God were strengthened as God intervened in history, in small ways and in dramatic fashion. Not all miracles are visible to all. Sometimes the skeptic can be blind to what is directly before her. So - maybe let’s step out of our comfort zone and pray for a miracle this season. In church we will be handing out cards so our whole parish family can pray for these miracles together. It is so exciting!

Welcome to the season of expectation!

Fr. Wilson