1991 Dec 8 – 2nd Sun Advent 1992 (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle C 2nd Sun Advent
Phil 1, 4-6, 8-11
PHILIPPIANS AND DOING TIME WITH ST. PAUL This week’s second reading is from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It’s one of his prison letters. In it Paul rejoices in his association with the Philippians. He prays for continued growth of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul had good reason to rejoice in his relationship with the Philippians. They were his strongest supporters while he was in jail. The Philippians kept in touch with him while he was locked up. They looked after his personal needs.
Having been locked myself, I can appreciate the gratitude and love Paul had for his friends in Philippi. One of my favorite sayings about going to jail is: “Never go alone. Bring as many people with you as you can.”
Jails are not pleasant places. Injustices can, and do, happen to people in the prisons and jails of this country. The more people on the “outside” interested in your well-being while you’re on the “inside”, the better your chances of getting help when you need it.
When the Gospel’s writers listed visiting the imprisoned as a work of mercy, they had in mind visiting their own community members locked up for proclaiming the Lord.
Right now I’m writing to five jailed, Faith-based War Resisters. I’m writing to Fr. Roy Bourgeois; who is doing 16 months for protesting at the School of Americas, the military training school for Latin American’s at Ft. Benning, GA. I’m writing to Fr. Jerry Sawada & Dan Schechter; who are doing six months for protesting at Nuclear Missile Silos. And I’m writing to Moana Cole & Ciaron O’Reilly; who are doing a year in jail for their Plowshares witness at the SAC base in Syracuse, NY.
I’m also beginning to prepare myself for the possible six-month jail sentence that is likely to follow my crossing the line at SAC on December 28th. Doing jail time is not a pleasant experience. Having good support people on the “outside” makes life on the “inside” much more bearable. The good support people I have had in the past made all the difference in the world for me when I was imprisoned.
From my perspective, St. Paul’s enthusiasm for the Philippians is very understandable.
ANNE’S COMMUNAL PENANCE-SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8TH AT 7:00 PM / HOLY FAMILY COMMUNAL PENANCE-WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11TH AT 7:00 PM
In this week’s Gospel from Luke, John the Baptist proclaims, “Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path.” There is no better way personally to make ready the way of the Lord, or to clear him a straight path, than confessing your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Don’t miss this important spiritual opportunity. ATTEND A COMMUNAL PENANCE SERVICE!