The Christmas season continues until next week, ending with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Sunday, January 11, 2015. Again we thank Fr. Luis, the St. Elizabeth Choir and all the parishioners who contributed to our Advent and Christmas liturgy, festivities and community outreach. The photo above was taken in the foyer of St. Elizabeth’s shooting through the wreathes on the door and showing the brightly lit creche and festive decorations of the altar. May the hope and joy of this Christmas season remain with you throughout the year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow, another year has passed and hopefully all of us are growing in faith and a better person that you can imagine, and if not the only person you can blame would be you.
Every year it is important to reflect how our life have been this pass year and improve ON what is needed to grow as in the Apostle Paul’s words, “… for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Ours is a faith that evokes an openness to the discovery of ever new insights in dealing with the question of who we are and what we ought to be doing in our lives. Ours is a faith that inspires us to rise above the ordinary. Ours is a faith that asks no less of us than to risk our life in the cause of things-as-they-ought-to-be. Ours is a faith that urges us to embrace Paul’s vision of newness of life, not just on New Year’s Day, but every day: “… the old has passed away, behold, the new!”
The Christian author C.S. Lewis loved books. Someone once asked him if there would be books in heaven. He replied that the only books in our heavenly libraries would be the ones we had given to others. “Nothing that you have not given away will ever really be yours,” he said. Our Lord believed this to be true not only of things we possess in life, but of life itself. It was He who told us that to have life we must be willing to lose it; to truly possess it we must fling it away.
Someone has said that love is a basket with five loaves and two fishes: it’s never enough until you start to give it away. And someone has written the fable of “The Old Man” in which a small boy, with arms full of books, is walking past a park. He sees an old man sitting on a cold bench, huddling under a flimsy coat. “How difficult it must be,” the boy thought,” to be old and sitting on a cold bench on a blustery day like today.” Then he turned to get a better look at the old man with the unshaven face and the battered cap. The old man saw him and, lifting his head, asked, “Yes?” The small boy stammered, “I just thought … I wondered … I mean do you need … you look so … I just thought … might I … can I help you?” The old man smiled a warm and friendly smile — a loving smile. ” You already have,” he said.
Whenever you ask your Heavenly Father to help you, it is well to remember that He already has. The Good News about God is that He has first loved you, and that He wants you to rise above the mere average. He wants you to have life, and to have it abundantly. But He has given you freedom of choice — freedom to say “Yes!” or “No!” to His abiding love. You can come under His Rule or you can back away. You can obey His great commandment of love or you can disobey. You can follow Christ or you can follow the crowd. “He who obeys the commandments he has received from Me is the man who loves Me,” Jesus said. The consequence, or the fruit, of freely choosing to say “Yes!” to God is love. Doing God’s Will is learning how to love!
On these first days of the New Year 2015, don’t just talk about it! Forget your good intentions! All the talk and good intentions in the world are of no account if you’re not willing to get on with it. Do it! “Do God’s Will as I have revealed it to you,” Jesus said. But He doesn’t leave you hanging there. He continues to give you help. He holds before you the joy of obedience. He promises you that if you will follow Him you will experience wholeness of life. You will become the tree that bears rich fruit – rich fruit in abundance.
Have a wonderful year and may it be a peaceful one and a blessed one!
Correction to bulletin: Caption under photo of Ila Donovan, CeCe Gannon is Ila’s neice, not her daughter.
Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Jan 4, The Epiphany of the Lord
Epiphany takes its name from the Greek epiphania, which denotes the visit of a god to earth.
After contemplating the staggering fact that God has become a human child, we turn to look at this mystery (of the Incarnation) from the opposite angle and realize that this seemingly helpless Child is, in fact, the omnipotent God, the King and Ruler of the universe. His kingship extends to the whole world. The revelation of Christ to the three kings at Bethlehem is a symbol of His revelation to the whole of the Gentile world. Epiphany presents to us the calling of not merely a chosen few (the Jews), but all nations to Christianity.
During Advent, the world was in darkness; at Epiphany the Light bursts forth to all nations and the prophecy is fulfilled: “The Gentiles shall walk in Thy light, and kings in the brightness of Thy rising.”
These words may be applied to us, upon whom the light of Christ has indeed risen, and who have the responsibility to radiate that light in the darkness of our own world.
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Processional Hymn: We Three Kings (BB # 107)
Psalm 72: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Preparation of the Gifts: The First Nowell (BB # 105)
Communion Song: What Child is This (BB # 110)
Recessional Song: Joy to the World (BB # 80)
BB = Breaking Bread SS = Song sheets
Our violinist, Therese Brown, has returned to school to continue her studies as a violin performance major. We thank her for sharing her beautiful talents with and we keep her in our prayers.
Our Christmas liturgies were truly beautiful and our choir would like to thank you all for celebrating with us! Thank you to Fr. Luis for supporting our music ministry, and to all those who contributed to our music ministry expenses using the donation can in the back of the church. We appreciate your generosity! May God bless you.
Editor: Thank you to our choir for another beautiful mass today!
Thank you to Sue Tierney for the lucheon for Ila Donovan on New Year’s Eve. We had delicious quiche and salad and wonderful cookies from LunaCakes. Ila had a grand time and enjoyed her visitors.
Here is Fr. Robert Barron on the Feast of the Epiphany. Fr. starts with a discussion of the modern claim to the superiority being “spiritual” rather than “religious”, running through the usual sources of this argument (the comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell, Sir James Frazer “The Golden Bough”, etc.) and then points out that the magii had to consult the religious authorities of the time in order to find the messiah. Even though the were astrologers and astronomers and the most skilled of their time, it was only after consulting scripture that they could ascertain the location of the messiah. Fr. Barron shows us that the Jewish people were chosen for those who seek, for the nations. Finally he reminds us that God seeks us; that we need to open our hearts to allow that to happen – to not only focus on our egotistical execution of our search, but to allow God to shape and inspire us. Our perceptions alone will never reach into God’s mine and purposes. Only through his grace can we reach the more profound understanding of God and spirituality.
We will be continuing Fr. Barron’s series CATHOLICISM later in January when Fr. Luis returns.