Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 18, 2022

Today we celebrate the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent. We are just one week from Christmas and today’s readings help to prepare us for the great feast of the Lord’s Nativity. Our Advent prophet, Isaiah, tells us of God giving Ahaz this sign, “the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” This is the Lord, the King of glory. Let us let Him enter. In today’s Gospel, St. Matthew tells us the story of how the prophesy of Isaiah was fulfilled and how the birth of Jesus came about. It is a story we know well. Joseph, a righteous man, betrothed to Mary finds his soon to be wife with child. He is confused and, through the visit of an angel of the Lord, is comforted with the news that this is God’s plan. He’s told, “She will bear a son and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew tells us that this was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. Jesus will be Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” It is this Emmanuel that we have waited for this Advent and He is coming once again to be reborn in us with joy.

While I am not with you this weekend, I am grateful to Msgr. Morris for covering Masses here at St. Luke’s, and for the LaSalettes who are covering my duties at Immaculate Conception in Maplewood. I am hoping to be home sometime today or tomorrow, trusting the surgery went well and I can begin to recover in the comfort of my rooms at the rectory in order to be well enough to celebrate Christmas Masses.

A very big thanks to all who came out to help decorate the Church yesterday in preparation for Christmas. I know it is always one of my favorite activities as we see the Church become a place fit for a King. There is a lot that goes in to making our beautiful Church even more glorious both at Christmas and Easter. The time and talent of parishioners of both our parish and members of the Oratory of Ss. Gregory & Augustine is much appreciated. As people join us for Christmas Mass they cannot help but be truly affected by the beauty of Christmas in our house of worship. Thank you one and all. I look forward to seeing the Church.

Finally today, once again, if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to please fill out the All Things New online survey with any comments you may have regarding the proposed models that were presented at the Listening Sessions in early November. Please note that all surveys need to be turned in by December 31st.

God Bless! Happy Advent!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete