Greetings, to all! Last week was a very memorable time starting with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was very festive and even though it was stormy that day we almost filled the church. After the Mass everyone had a gathering at St. Hubert’s Hall were everyone was treated with delicious tamale and ‘sopas,’ pasta salad and the children had an option to have a pizza. I would like to thank Carlos, Josefina and the rest of the Hispanic group that made this event possible.
On Saturday we had our Parish Christmas party and it was very successful. It was joyful and lots of high energy in the room with the choir singing Christmas Carols. Just brought me back in my early years when you hear Christmas songs, laughter, and joyous conversation overwhelms the room.
Many thanks for the Guild and especially the cooks that cooked this marvelous and tender roast of meat. Chef Rich and Chef Joe, well done!
A reporter once asked the learned theologian, Karl Barth, “Sir, you have written many huge volumes about God. Can you tell me, please, how do you know that it’s all true?” With a twinkle in his eye, and without skipping a beat, the great scholar replied, “My mother told me!”
To get close to the mother/child relationship between Jesus and Mary, we have to think of Jesus going through the “terrible two’s” and all the other periods of a child’s development — and all the things Mary must have told Him. If you think about Jesus as a real child (and that is what “Incarnation” means), you realize that He needed to be trained, needed to be cleaned, needed to be nourished, needed to be taught, needed to be disciplined, needed help with all the problems that children have. And Mary was there to fulfill those needs. Mary did what she was supposed to do.
Simply, quietly, day-by-day, Mary cared for Jesus. Of course like all mother/child relationships, it couldn’t have been all smooth sailing. And perhaps the greatest challenge for Mary was the difficulty in understanding her Child. At age twelve, Jesus chided her for searching for Him and worrying about Him, even though He had been missing for three days in a crowded city.
At Cana, He scolded her when she told Him the wine had run out. Later on, when people were accusing Jesus of being insane, Mary went to the place where He was preaching and He seemed to reject her request to come out and talk to her. Then, that moment at the Cross, when Mary, who had been through all the heartbreak with Jesus every step of the way, is quietly turned over to the Apostle John.
Jesus went to His death completely alone. Mary certainly didn’t plan it that way. The bittersweet truth that God’s plan for revealing His goodness is not tailored to fit our preconceptions was a discovery Mary made as a very young woman. And it was the key to Mary’s strength in all those times of crisis and sorrow. And it applies to each of us.
One of my favorite Christmas song is “Mary did you know!” I hope you have a chance to hear it and if not just go to ‘YOUTUBE,” and type in that title.
PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Dec. 21, Fourth Sunday of Advent
“Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel.”
Emmanuel means “God with us”. As Catholics, we believe and proclaim that Jesus is God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who took upon Himself our human flesh. The church believes and proclaims that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. Scripture tells us that Jesus was like us “in every way but sin”.
Today’s Gospel relays the beautiful story of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would be the Mother of the Messiah, the Son of God…and Mary’s complete submission to the will of God: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Let us pray today that our response to God in all things would be a resounding, “Yes!”
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Processional Hymn: Gathering Song For the Sundays of Advent
Psalm 89: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Preparation of the Gifts: People Look East (BB # 49)
Communion Song: Ave Maria, violin; “Advent Joy”, choir
Recessional Song: Let the King of Glory Come (BB # 63)
BB = Breaking Bread SS = Song sheets
Dec. 24/25 Christmas
Processional Hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful (BB # 79)
Psalm 96: Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.
Preparation of the Gifts: Lullaby of the Dove, choir
Communion Song: Silent Night (BB # 89)
O Holy Night, choir
Recessional Song: Joy to the World (BB # 80)
On behalf of the parish we would like to express our thanks for the beautiful music at mass today and the generous performance at the Mirabel Lodge where our beloved Ila Donovan is currently a guest. We will post the videos as we process them on the choir page, but here is a video from mass today to enjoy:
Christmas obliges us to give and St. Elizabeth’s provides an opportunity to give to the local community through the Russian River Food Bank. Donations of cash, checks or dried food stuffs may be made in the designated boxes in the back of the church.
Twice a month food is distributed to needy individuals through this program which is a collaborative effort involving St. Elizabeth’s, St. Vincent de Paul, the Community Church of Guerneville, the Salvation Army and the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Please visit the St. Vincent de Paul page for more information.
After mass, the choir headed over to Mirabel Lodge to present a medley of Christmas Carols for our beloved Ila Donovan. Ila looked wonderful and she and her fellow guests enjoyed the choir enormously! Thank you Rebecca Brown, Eric Lindnenbusch, Fr. Luis and the St. Elizabeth’s Choir for your lovely Christmas gift to this community!
(the rest of the carols are on the Choir page.)
Thank you to Diane Lisciandro for these great photos from today’s mass.