December 24, 2017
Dear People of God,
Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent. While we celebrate this final Sunday preparing to welcome our King, we are literally on the doorstep of Christmas. This has been the shortest Advent season possible. The Church looks like Christmas already, but we will keep the full glory subdued as we still celebrate our final Advent Sunday. The final candle is lighted on our wreath and we still prepare for the Lord to come to us; to be reborn in our hearts. Today’s readings focus on God’s plans to establish a house, a lineage that will last longer than a dwelling place David wants to build. When the angel Gabriel visits Mary, he announces the fulfillment of God’s plan promising, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son…the Lord God will give Him the throne of David his father…and of His Kingdom there will be no end.” Advent reminds us of God’s promise to share this everlasting reign with us. All we need to do is reflect on Mary’s “yes,” and say with her, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
Within hours, the joyful preparations will give way to the celebration of our Lord’s nativity. Last weekend a great team of volunteers came to make our beautiful Church an even more beautiful dwelling fit for the King. Thanks to one and all who helped to decorate and prepare us all to experience the beauty of Christmas. I also want to thank the great group of parishioners who came out on Saturday, the 9th to clean Church. It was a parish effort to make the Church clean for Christmas. Now let’s enjoy it all and savor the beautiful gift we need most of all this Christmas; Christ our Lord and God, who comes to make His dwelling in the manger of our hearts.
Please join the parish in bidding farewell to the Owen Family next Sunday following the 10:00am in the St. Joseph Room. We are grateful for their time with our parish. Let us wish them well in their future endeavors.
Finally today, on behalf of Msgr. Morris, Deacon Dave, and the parish staff, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas wherever and with whomever you plan to celebrate it. Many years ago I came across this beautiful prayer written by Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain to the U.S. Senate. It’s message is beautiful.
“We yearn, O father, for the simple beauty of Christmas – for all the old familiar melodies and words which remind us of that great Miracle when He, who made all things, was one night to come as a Babe, to lie in the crook of a woman’s arm. Before such mystery we kneel, as we follow the Shepherds and Wise Men to bring Thee the gift of our love – a love, we confess, that has not always been as warm, or sincere, or real as it could have been. But now on this Christmas morning, that love would find its Beloved, and from Thee receive the grace to make it pure again, warm, and real. We bring Thee our gratitude for every token of Thy love”
God Bless! Happy Advent!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)