St Joseph Church, Pinole - Pastor's Messages

Pastor's Messages from Father Geoffrey Baraan


Sunday, November 28, 2021

My dear friends in Christ,

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving gathering with your family and friends!

Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of Christ as our King! A very important feast to remind us once again of the importance of making him number in our lives! His kingship is that of love. He is a king who lives not in distant place surrounded by walls of insecurity and ignorance but a king who lives in us! He offers himself as the wellspring of truth. And because of him -----there is a better tomorrow!

This weekend we begin the new liturgical year with the season of Advent.

As the days become shorter, and the nights longer, the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Christ. The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar state:

“Advent has twofold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.”

There is no question that Advent is not an easy season to celebrate. There are many reasons for this.

And the biggest reason is that this time of joyful expectation is overshadowed by Christmas external preparation of spending more time doing shopping for gifts and Christmas Trees, decorations and so many other things. That’s why it is important that we need to focus and slow down. Our internal preparation is more important. Our heart must be freed from darkness and hatred, resentment and selfishness, arrogance and pride. This is the time to lower ourselves in humility before our God. We need to let go of all these things that will prevent us from welcoming Christ in our heart. When we let go, we make room for Christ!

The four weeks of Advent invite us to be on guard, to watch, to be ready, and to prepare. Jesus said in the Gospel today, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come!”

Everything about our worship space reflects the season. This is one way of reminding us about the importance of our Advent preparations. We can easily be caught in the external preparation of Christmas. I am not saying that we don’t do our Christmas shopping and these other things that are part of our tradition. What I am saying is that we should not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by it. Have time for prayer and reflection!

I hope that we take our preparation very seriously. And I pray that we prepare our heart. Christ must have a place in our heart. He must be our only possession.

The coming of the Son of Man is not about commercialism or materialism but it is about our salvation and God’s love revealed to us in Christ.

Just a caution from Bishop Fulton Sheen, “If through our lives we put a premium on the things of the world, then we will regard lightly the things of eternity.”

May you be filled with joy and peace during this Advent season! At the end it is not about the presents but it is about the presence….that is--- the presence of Christ. Let us give ourselves the best Christmas ever! LET US HOPE, WORK, AND PRAY FOR A BETTER TOMORROW!

Your servant,

Fr. Geoffrey


Please join us for our Christmas Concert, GOING BACK TO BETHLEHEM, on December 10, Friday at 7pm in the Church featuring the great balladeer, Julius Obregon, Joanne Lorenzana and many of our local artists. Please join us in person. You can be a sponsor for the concert. For individual or family, it will be $100 and for business, it will be $200. Please consider doing this. We will acknowledge you during the concert!

And I hope to see you all.

Fr. G

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