Catholic Courier 12 01 2017 E Edition Page 2

Catholic Courier Diocese of Rochester, NY December 2017 From theBishop 2 Table of contents On the cover The Holy Family is depicted in this photo illustration. See pages 14-17 for articles about Advent. Continuing crisis Rochester's homelessness increases - 4 Making church stronger Encuentro notes cultural connections - 6 Appeal supports needy Helps fund work of many ministries - 7 School sports champs Athletes secure state crowns - 8-9 Teens grow in faith Hundreds attend youth gathering - 10-11 Warm and welcoming Christmas seen as time to evangelize - 14 Help at the holidays Grieving comforted during Advent - 15 Good Christmas reads Children's books exude joy - 17 Getting creative Enter photo contest by Dec. 15 - 19 No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for Him. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ: On Sunday, December 3, we began the liturgi- cal season of Advent in preparation for the cele- bration of Christ's birth on Christmas Day. In the first reading from Isaiah proclaimed on that day, we heard these words: "No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for Him" (Isa- iah 64:3). The marvelous deeds of God powerfully were witnessed in Jesus when He came among us in the gift of the Incarna- tion. In the Holy Gospels we read that Jesus asked His disciples to report His works to John the Baptist, who asked if indeed this was the Messiah: "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them" (Matthew 11:4-5; Luke 7:22). In meditating upon these words, one cannot fail to wonder how is it that Jesus would end His earthly mission in cru- cifixion after the people had seen such marvel- ous deeds! What possibly could have happened? Perhaps these miraculous cures performed by Jesus were far more appealing than the challenges Jesus posed to his listeners: to take up their crosses and follow Him; to believe that the Eucharist is His Body and Blood; to live the Be- atitudes; to forgive; to love others as He has first loved us! Jesus was ac- ceptable, even wonderful, as long as He was kept at a distance, did not interfere with their lives, left them to go their own way after serving their purposes. We must be attentive to the voice of Jesus, lest we become no differ- ent from the crowds on Palm Sunday that cried out, "Hosanna," but just a few days later cried out, "Crucify Him" on Good Friday. As long as Jesus returns to the tabernacle and does not make any de- mands upon us throughout our daily lives, all is fine. But when, from that tab- ernacle, He expects us to proclaim His presence at home, at school, in the neighborhood, and at the workplace, then faith be- comes uncomfortable, and Jesus, whether intention- ally or unintentionally, can be ignored. "For the deepest dis- tress of men today is not due to the crisis of our material resources; the problem is that the win- dows that give access to God have been bricked up, and we are consequently at risk of losing the air our heart breathes, the core of human freedom and dig- nity" (Benedict XVI, The Blessing of Christmas, p. 94). Our silence allows others to advance agen- das and cultures contrary to the Gospel. Respect Continued on page 18 Bishop SalvatoreR. Matano From the Bishop The infant Jesus calls us to renew our faith

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