Pastor’s Corner for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B by Fr. Bruce Botha SJ

We have been lighting candles each week as we count down to the big celebration which begins this evening, with the Vespers of Christmas, with carols, leading into our Vigil Mass of Christmas. Before we leave the Advent season, I want to take a moment to reflect on two moments: the Christmas Lunch for the Homeless and the ordination of Fr Lwazi Masina.


At our Christmas lunch we fed over 700 people. The staff at Mayfair Convent, one of the schools within our parish boundaries, provided cooked lunches for 200 homeless, with their staff eagerly volunteering to do the cooking. Their students also wrapped 700 gifts of toiletries, which the SVP had donated. Some of the staff also showed up on the Saturday to help with the distribution of food packs and gift packs. I am so grateful to them for their kindness and generosity. Here was a great example of how well our ministry to the schools is working, when it produces such an abundance of good fruit.


We had at least 30 parishioners volunteering over the Friday and Saturday, preparing the food, dishing it up, serving it, distributing gift packs and so much more. The money that was used to buy the food came from you, our parishioners. The time spent, the energy devoted to this celebration was truly amazing, and I want to thank you for that.


The following week we had the ordination of Fr Lwazi, who will be here until the bishop moves him to a new parish, sometime in the next few weeks or months. It was a beautiful celebration at the cathedral, with many of our parishioners there to support him, as well as many of the priests of the archdiocese. It was truly a wonderful celebration. I know that he would have told you himself by now about how grateful he is to this community for making him feel welcome, and journeying with him on his own ministerial journey. Wherever it is he goes, we know that some of what he learnt here will be making him a better priest.


What unites both celebrations is the commitment to service displayed by both: our parishioners and the school community of Mayfair to the poor and homeless, and Fr Lwazi’s desire to serve the people of God, in particular the Church here in Johannesburg. “Loving service” is what unites us all as disciples of Christ, no matter who we are, lay person or priest.


Now to thoughts of Christmas… As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, I would like to wish you his abundant blessings, especially of peace in your homes and his love in your hearts.


Fr Bruce Botha SJ