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Archbishop Perez has designated Sunday, November 28, the First Sunday of Advent, as the beginning of “Nothing Compares to Being There” throughout the Archdiocese.  This is a diocesan-wide effort to remind all the faithful that, while electronic means of participating in the Holy Mass can be good for an emergency, or for those truly unable to come to Mass, they are never meant to be permanent.

It has been said that Catholicism is an “Incarnational religion.” This means than the one Church, established by the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is visible in itself and makes use of visible and physical means to transmit God’s invisible graces to us. This is after the pattern of Our Lord Himself, God the Son, Who always existed, “taking on flesh” (the meaning of “incarnation”) and becoming Man for us. It’s all personal! The Sacraments themselves are outward signs that give us the invisible life of Christ, which we call grace. This is one of the reasons why, throughout this past year and a half I have often cautioned our good people to not lose their humanity! If we lose that, we can so easily lose the means of grace given to us in a physical manner. There is no substitute.

It has always been the law of the Church that anyone who is truly prevented from coming to Mass because of sickness, some medical condition or an “obligation in charity,” such as caring for a sick loved one, is legitimately excused. Beyond that, we are all bound to follow the Commandment of God, given to Moses, and continued in the new Covenant, to “keep holy the Lord’s Day.” For us, as Catholics, this means going to Mass on Sundays.

We should all be very grateful to media such as EWTN, which provides so much information and devotion for our Catholic Faith. So many people tell me how they follow the Rosary each day, learn from their “favorites,” on the various EWTN programs, and “assist” at the Holy Mass when they are not able to come to Church. All of this is a great blessing and, indeed, is almost miraculous in that it was built up by the vision of Mother Angélica from a “garage” studio and one camera! By all means, continue to watch your favorite spiritual programs, follow the Rosary, etc. and, if you are truly unable to come to Church, follow the Mass and receive Our Lord spiritually. However, it is also important to remember that “Nothing Compares to Being There (Here)” at your spiritual home of Holy Saviour! We have not seen some of our people in a long time. Come home!!

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Nothing Compare to Being There

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