Along with so many others, I looked in amazement at the horrific and tragic happenings in Newtown, Conn. Such sadness seems quite beyond our capacity to handle. Mercifully we can take comfort in the fact that this is the season of HOPE and we are sorely in need of such a virtue. Advent helps us to focus on the presence of our Savior among us and inspires us to know that the sadness of evil that still runs rampant among us will ultimately be undone when He comes again.

Even this past Gaudete Sunday weekend, as I celebrated Masses at the prison in Oxford and the joy-filled Eucharist with the people at Resurrection Parish – they were celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Saint James Parish – my heart was filled with sadness over the loss and the fear that pervades the lives of so many people with such a tragedy.

Our society pays heavily in times like this for the tireless efforts to remove God from our lives. To whom shall we go, if not our loving Father? Who understands better the loss of children than God, who saw the loss of the innocents shortly after His Son entered this world? Who better than our Mother, Mary, to weep with us over the tragic death of her child? God is with us. It is times like this that make it so important to keep Christ visible in our lives. It is truly the point of the Incarnation – God is with us.

As we earnestly start to prepare for the full scale launch of the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Father Joe Walijewski, might this not be a good time to seek comfort from God through his intercession? Father Joe sure understood the need to care for children and really worked hard to make at least some part of the world safe for them. This might be a great time to ask the Lord to help us and to send some peace to those who mourn through Father Joe’s intercession.

Of course, I hope to see you at Sunday Mass!

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