Sacred Heart Church

First Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2021


Mk 10:17-30

Staying awake can often be a challenge, especially when we are exhausted. Life's demands have a way of zapping every last bit of energy out of us. When we are tired it affects us not only physically, but psychologically and spiritually as well. All of our senses are dulled and diminished. We can overlook details, become disinterested, lethargic and apathetic, and detached. Getting sufficient physical rest only helps so much. We need to be rejuvenated, refreshed, and reenergized in other ways. If we are psychologically exhausted, we need to understand what is draining our emotions and taxing our relationships. If we are spiritually tired, we need to find the necessary shot in the arm to put us back in touch with God. Unfortunately, exhaustion is seldom limited to just one part of who we are. When we lack energy and zeal it is usually the case that everything suffers. We not only are affected physically, but psychologically and spiritually as well. In short, when we run out of gas the engine stops.

And yet, our Lord's directive is clear, "Be vigilant at all times." Even Jesus knew what "the anxieties of daily life" can do to us. One day pours into another and time quickly flies by. Any one of us can take a moment and reflect on how many wonderful, creative opportunities we miss because there is always so much stuff to do and so little time to do it. Usually, these are missed moments of love, and if we are missing love encounters we are also missing God. Sleepwalking through life, we check the boxes next to our list of "must and have to dos" and justify it all by convincing ourselves that tomorrow is another day and there'll be more time. It may surprise us, but tomorrow is here, and time is running out. While we may like to believe that we have an eternity of time to do all those things that require the focus, energy, and desire we do not currently have, we don't. We're on a limited ride and time is short.

Jesus is also clear on another point. “That day [will] catch you by surprise like a trap.” If we are going to be judged on love and so easily justify not having all that much time to do so, then it seems we must shift focus a bit. St. Teresa of Calcutta tells us, “We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another.” Getting to this place doesn't “just happen.” It requires vigilance and discipline both with a knowledge of what is really of importance and what really needs to be the focus of our energy and time. Pray, starting now and not tomorrow, that we can stay alert, be strengthened in our faith, and be prepared for whatever will come. Don't miss another opportunity to love.
Liturgical Publications, Inc


Some babies die by baby should die by "choice"



Today's gospel tells us to "Be watchful." This comes naturally to families. Parents are watchful of their children's health, grades, and friends. Children are watchful of parental moods. Today's gospel encourages us to use this ability to see God acting in the innocence, tenderness, love, and forgiveness of your family. "Be watchful," the Lord is already with you.


Citizens Concerned for Human Life, Blair County Chapter, has Christmas cards available for purchase. Two beautiful designs are offered, one depicts the Nativity scene, and the other pictures the infant Jesus. The cost is $7 for a package of 11 cards. Your purchase will help support the pro-life work of CCHL in Blair County. For more information, call Pat at 946-068

Stewardship Reflections

Did you know that you can become royalty, for the right price? It's true- for the low, low cost of $50, you, too, can purchase a 12-square-inch souvenir plot of Scottish land and call yourself "Laird So-and-so." Now, this lordship or ladyship doesn't come with the ability to boss anyone around, but maybe your friends will be impressed enough to bend the knee. My point is, we've all got our own little fiefdoms - folks or communities for which we have a feeling of responsibility. Maybe we're not their "king," but most of us have those we think of as "our people."

Now, in this world, people lay themselves down for their kings. History is riddled with the bodies of men, young and old - and plenty of women and children, too - who were casualties of wars waged by men in power, men who never had to shed their own blood. But in the next world, the King dies for his people. This is leadership par excellence - the leadership of someone whose love is greater than his ambition.

We are all leaders of a sort. On the parish level, you have the obvious roles - serving on pastoral council, spearheading the capital campaign, leading the Altar Guild. But you also have the quiet ones who lead from the wings - the janitor who can always be relied upon to do his job, or the volunteer librarian who puts in extra hours on the weekends. There is a saying - find your people. I say, find your people, and find a way to lay yourself down for them, in imitation of the greatest King that ever was
(Stewardship Reflection, Catholic Stewardship Consultants, Inc. 2021/09/13)


We are always happy to welcome new parishioners to Sacred Heart Parish and Saint Mary Parish. Please introduce yourself to a member of the parish staff and register at the rectory. Registration, the practice of stewardship, and regular participation in the Eucharist indicate that a person is an active member of the parish and is eligible to act as a godparent or sponsor. As a church community seeking to be faith-filled disciples and good stewards, the sacrifice of our time, talent and treasure are essential for the common good.

Prayer Requests

Please remember the health intention of Mark Blackie, Rod Baronner, Dan Bauer, John Belin, Glenn Benner, Tommy Cheslock, Jack Chilcote, Brandon Conaway, Shirley Conlon, Denise Conrad, James Conrad, Kathy Corl, Dan Costlow, John Delin, Paula Diedrich, Joan Donnelly, Matt Dorman, Amelia Doughurty, Lois Duncan, Sam Dunio, Willis Edevane, Phyllis Hartman, Phyllis Hauser, Alva Herman, Ralph Hidebrand, Diane Horton, Paulette Johns, Kenny Anthony Keagy, Sue Koehle, Lori Krug, John Leshene, Beth Lloyd, Cindy Lytle, Barbara Mat-tren, Charles McGrain, Bev Mueller, Kevin O'Rourke, Bill Orr, Karen Pacifico, Gail Pearson, Sarah Rihnovich, Brian Sherbin, Hank Sherbin, Laura Snyder, Peggy Stauffer, Alice Thiec, and Ken Tromm.

If you would like to add a sick or hospitalized person to our prayer list or re-add a person, please call the rectory office, at 943-8553. Parishioners of Saint Mary are encouraged and welcome to participate. Remember, you must have the permission of the ill person/family to publish their name.



Sacred Heart Parish | 511 20th Street | Altoona, PA 16602 | (814) 943-8553
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