Nov 28, 2016

Parish Advent Reconciliation Service

I have lived a life of 50 years. That’s more or less 18,000 days. Hoping my calculations are correct, during that time, I have slept, more or less, 54,000 hours. That’s roughly 2, 276 days. I have therefore been asleep for 6 years! Maybe you have been asleep longer or less than me. For the most part, I have had my fair share of dreams and nightmares, of tossing and turning and of being as “snug as a bug in rug”!

But for most of us who are busy during the day and trying to get as much done as we can, sleep is the ultimate heresy. It tells us to stop doing what we are doing. It reminds us that we cannot be in control 24 hours a day.  Maybe that’s the reason why so many people do not sleep well. I know of only one man who was able to sleep soundly in a small fishing boat while it was being tossed around by a raging storm, and that was on the Sea of Galilee!

So how we approach the morning of a new day, very much depends on a good night’s sleep. So, this evening, before we go to bed, we should want to put to rest the sins that can keep us up all night and make us restless throughout the following day. It’s not just the body and the mind, in preparation for the challenges of new day, that needs to rest. The soul likewise does. So, tonight, after we send our sins to their final resting place through the Sacrament of Confession, may the following words from Scripture that speak of the Advent of the Lord’s arrival, but only after a good night's sleep, be welcomed, in anticipation of a new day -

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans
"Brothers and sisters: You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.  
The Word of the Lord

As I will now point my brother priests to their places to assure you individually of the mercy of God, it remains for me to wish you a very good night and to sleep well!

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