Like last year, we are running the fourth Sunday of Advent right into Christmas Eve. That simply means we get to praise God for the Birth of His Son now (ok, ok…so I’m trying to stay positive since I don’t have everything done yet)! Keep in mind our Mass schedule for celebrating His Nativity: the Christmas Vigil will be at 4:00 p.m. with the children’s choir (standing room only for this Mass) and at 6:00 p.m. Our MIDNIGHT MASS begins AT Midnight (so don’t call to ask what time the Midnight Mass begins)—although keep in mind Music Ministry does begin singing at 11:30 p.m. THERE IS NOT THE 7:30 a.m. Mass on Christmas Day, ONLY 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.!!! As always, remember to look to welcome any visitors with hospitality and joy…make room for them in your heart and in your pew. We have some Christmas gift books for them or anyone you think might appreciate a good read by Dan Burke called Into the Deep: Finding Peace Through Prayer in the narthex by the St. Francis de Sales statue.
I know this time of year brings squeals of joy from so many people, but it can also bring heavy hearts, sadness, longing to be with loved ones who are not around anymore. Whether it is from a perfect childhood or from a life that never really knew of joy and glad tidings, I pray you celebrate not just a bunch of old past memories or a fear-filled future, but why we are given these final few Advent hours…so we never forget the only memory that matters…that God so loved the world that our Saving God would dare to send His only Son in swaddling clothes simply and profoundly to give us what we truly need…that from the wood of the manger to the wood of the Cross, to the fullness of Glory that awaits the return of the King, Christmas is never really about malls and old nostalgia. It is always about making room for love/sacrifice and giving fully of oneself for the sake of Heaven’s Glory! So, be sure to remember that He took on human flesh and came because He loves YOU! And be vigilant to look for those in your path who need to be reminded of just the same thing.
Peace in Emmanuel, Fr. Bline