I am excited to share with all of you some wonderful news. The Diocese of Oakland has completed the acquisition of the adjacent land that was once occupied by the Kawahana Nursery. The new land will provide our parish with wonderful opportunities to expand the parking lot, a pick-up and drop off area as well as a much needed play area for St. John School. All current and future members of our St. John community will benefit from this acquisition and the subsequent development of this land. There is still a lot of work and planning that needs to be done to develop the land to suit the parish needs, but the most important step of acquiring the land has been completed.
Fr. Mike Lacey
In our spiritual journey, we are now on the third Sunday of Advent. This weekend the penitential purple of the season changes to rose and we celebrate "Gaudete" or "Rejoice!" Sunday. "Shout for joy, daughter of Sion" says Zephaniah. "Draw water joyfully from the font of salvation," says Isaiah. "Rejoice in the Lord always," says St. Paul. "Do penance for the judge is coming," says John the Baptist. Wait a minute. What's that stark, strident saint of the desert doing here, on "Rejoice Sunday"? His stern call to repentance does not seem to fit.
Believe it or not, John the Baptist is the patron saint of spiritual joy. After all, he leapt for joy in his mother's womb at the presence of Jesus and Mary (Luke 1:44). And it says that he rejoices to hear the bridegrooms voice (John 3:29-30). Now this is very interesting. Crowds were coming to hear John from all over Israel before anyone even heard about Jesus of Nazareth. Actually, our patron saint , John the Baptist, even baptized his cousin. This launched the Lord's public ministry, heralding the end of John's career.