Mass Theme

December 22nd ✙ Fourth Sunday of Advent

Readings for December 22nd, 2019

        AS WE APPROACH CHRISTMAS, the pace of things speeds up, so that the spiritual side tends to get lost.
       Let us pause to make room in our minds and hearts so that Christ may come to us during this Eucharist.
       Lord Jesus, you come into our darkness. Lord, have mercy.
       Lord Jesus, you come into our doubting. Christ, have mercy.
       Lord Jesus, you come into our fears. Lord, have mercy.

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MONDAY, December 23rd:✟ Paul & Frances Aiello, by John Aiello
TUESDAY, December 24th: For Children and Youth in our Parish
WEDNESDAY, December 25th :For Parents and the Elderly
THURSDAY, December 26th :✟ Rich Toreson, by Kris Acord
FRIDAY, December 27th:✟ Jerry Bates, by Mary K. Bates

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This Week's Gospel

       The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of the birth of Jesus from Joseph's perspective. In the preceding verses of the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel, the Evangelist has listed the genealogy of Jesus, tracing his lineage through King David to Abraham.
       In the chapter to follow, Matthew tells of the visit from the Magi, the Holy Family's flight into Egypt, and Herod's massacre of the infants in Bethlehem. We must not gloss over too quickly the difficult circumstances described in today's Gospel. The way that Joseph and Mary face these circumstances tells us much about these holy people and their faith in God.
       Joseph and Mary are betrothed to be married. Betrothal in first century Jewish culture was in fact the first part of the marriage contract. A breach of this contract was considered adultery. Mary is found to be with child. If adultery is proven, the punishment might be death. Joseph has rights under Mosaic law, but chooses to act discreetly in his plans to break the marriage contract, so as to protect Mary. Then God intervenes.
        The message of the angel given to Joseph in his dream tells us much about the child that Mary bears and his role in God's plan. He is conceived by the Holy Spirit. His name will be Jesus, which in the Hebrew means “Yahweh saves.” He will be the fulfillment of the prophecy heard in today's first reading from Isaiah:
        “. . . The virgin shall be with child . . . and shall name him Emmanuel [God with us].”

St. Joseph Visited by Angel

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Reflections

Christmas Expectations

As Christmas approaches, people’s hopes soar. However, the substance of these hopes is often dictated by commercial interests. Little wonder, then, that when the sun goes down on Christmas Day, many feel disappointed.
Those who pin their hopes on what the merchants promise will always be disappointed, not because they promise too little, but too much... of the wrong thing. What our hearts long for is a taste of what the angels announced to the shepherds;
“Behold, I bring news of a great joy; today a savior has been born to you.”
This joy is the real hope of Christmas.
Let us open our hearts to receive it.

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Why Do Cathothics Do That?

What is the origin of the Nativity Scene?

Known as a creche in French, or presepio in Italian, it is familiar to everyone. Nativities can be carvings, art, ceramics, or even living depictions of the night of Jesus’ birth. The scenes contain the same five basic elements: Baby Jesus in a manger, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, and barn animals. Often the three wise men are added to the scene.
On Christmas Eve in 1223, St. Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene to promote the true significance of Christmas.
He wanted to remind everyone that Baby Jesus was born into a humble, poor, but loving environment.
He felt Catholics were missing the message of the Gospel because they were ensnared in materialism.
The most important thing about the nativity scene is its message.
Our Heavenly Father sent His own son to earth to be sacrificed for our sins.
Those who believe in Him may receive forgiveness and eternity in Heaven.

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Pray for our Troops

Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Please Pray for these men and women in the service of our country:

Tim Birimisa-Fasano,Army Brian Tucker
Frank Baker-Gleason, US Coast Guard Kyle McGill, US Army Infantry
Master Sgt. Matthew Rossini, Army

Nick Kennedy, USN

Commander Michael Quigley,US Navy James Chapman
Kristin Chapman, USAF Seamus Weston
Sarah Manley, USAF Alicia Delahunty
Andy Harrison, USAF Robert A. Wharton
Nickolaus Swanson Master Sgt. Ray Olmos Jr.
SSG Trevor Oxman Roy Walters

Amen.

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