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Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

“Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!” cries Johns the Baptist in this Sunday’s gospel. There is a sense of urgency, and a summons to make a firm commitment in the voice of the Baptist. Christ presents himself to us, and how do we respond? Bob Novak was a well-known political pundit and Catholic convert who died a few years back. Here is the description of his conversion:

Late in life [Bob] became a person of faith, converting to Catholicism because, as he said in his memoir, he was jolted by the remark of a young woman. He was dining with her and other students before he was to give a speech at Syracuse University. The conversation turned to her Catholicism. He told her that he had been sitting in on Catholic masses for four years. She asked him if he intended to become a Catholic. “No, not at the present time,” he said. “Mr. Novak,” she remonstrated, “life is short, but eternity is forever.”

“I was so shaken by what she said,” Bob writes, “that I could barely get through the rest of the dinner and my speech that night. Sometime during the short night before rising to catch a seven a.m. flight back to Washington, I became convinced that the Holy Spirit was speaking through this Syracuse student.”

This young college student was a John the Baptist figure for Bob Novak, reminding him of the urgency of responding to God’s call. “Life is short, but eternity is forever.” The Kingdom of heaven is eternity breaking into history. It beckons our full attention and response.

This week’s Advent events

I encourage you to attend Mrs. Vicky Schneider’s talk on her book, The Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle, this Saturday, December 3 at 6:00pm in the parish hall. She will help to reawaken us to the reality of Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. The Knights of Columbus will graciously provide food and drink for all those who attend. Vicky will have copies of her book to sell after the talk.

On Monday, December 5, at 7:30pm in the church, David Guillen will give an Advent reflection in Spanish, Abriendo nuestro corazón a Jesus este Adviento.

Sr. Providencia renews her temporary vows on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception,

December 8, at the 7:00pm Spanish Mass. We’ll host a reception for her—and in honor of our

Immaculate Mother—after the Mass in the parish hall.

On Saturday, December 10, join hundreds of pilgrims throughout the Archdiocese for “Walk with Mary.” The procession begins at 11:00am from Sacred Heart Parish in Washington. The pilgrimage concludes with an Archdiocesan-wide Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass at 2:00pm at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Fr. Dave

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