Click this link for this week’s bulletin: Bulletin20Dec2015
Note: Christmas Schedule
Christmas Eve Carols 4:00 PM St. Elizabeth
Christmas Eve Mass 5:00 PM St. Elizabeth
Christmas Day Mass 10:00 AM St. Elizabeth
My fellow Christians, brothers and sisters: Do you lie awake at night, stricken with worry and anxiety? Or do you believe there will be a fulfillment of what was spoken to you by the Lord?
Do you find it difficult to come to terms with the nagging subject of death? Or do you believe that God’s plan of salvation ultimately will be carried out?
Do you wrestle with the same thorny issues over and over again? Or do you believe you are part of God’s plan of fulfillment?
Do you struggle with destructive behaviors, self-awareness, or the notion of gradual, goal-oriented change? Or do you believe that with God’s help, you will joyfully overcome?
Mary gave birth to the Savior. Our part is to give new birth, in our time, to His Kingdom of Peace and Justice and Love. Our part is to proclaim the Reign of God on earth in word and indeed. Our part is to train our brains, and our hearts, both, to follow Mary’s beautiful example, and to do it joyfully.
When we look around us these days and see what is happening in our world, we may feel lost, isolated, and purposeless. We may feel our very identity slipping away and the urgent need to retrain our brains. Jesus tells us that when this happens, we can begin again; that the strength and the power of a God who loves us always gives us new opportunities to enter more deeply into the fullness of life. We can begin again because God is here, meeting us on our own ground, through Christ our King, who lives and reigns among us, and who is strong enough to lift us up out of the pit of frustration and despair — all together!
Through Mary’s humanity God delivered Himself to man. Through Mary’s humanity came the Son of God to reveal the fullness of God’s love for us. Toward that end, Jesus’ birth was His first step up the road to Calvary’s hill. This is the destiny of all of us. With every new birth comes a new cross and a new opportunity for learning how to love. We have our crosses to bear, all of us. We must carry a cross. We would not be human otherwise. But we have hope. Because Jesus died and rose again His promise of ultimate fulfillment is believable. Acceptance of the promise is our first step up the road to full humanity. Jesus’ promise makes the heaviest burden bearable, for we are loved by a gracious God who will never abandon us. That is the promise on which we literally stake our lives. In our love for one another God has given us the opportunity to catch our earthly glimpse of the majesty and the beauty of Divine love. That is what makes us fully human. That is what makes us a People of Hope.
The need to learn and grow and practice never ends. And for Christians, the Good News is that the course has been set — the study guide has been written — and the tuition is free.
The Divine instructor is waiting — waiting for us to set a new course for our Life. Like Mary, we too are part of the plan. So let us pray that we do our part, and do it joyfully!
Peace and Blessings!
LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER
By our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Dec. 20, 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 Visitation, when Mary “traveled to the hill country in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth, then pregnant with Jesus’s cousin John the Baptist. Elizabeth joyfully proclaims, “the moment your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy!” We wish you joy as we celebrate the coming of Christ!
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: Gathering Song for Advent
Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come and give us your peace.
Psalm 80: Lord, make us turn to you let us see your face, and we shall be saved.
Preparation of Gifts: Hail Mary, Gentle Woman # 711
Choir: Will We Know Him?
Recessional: Save Us, O Lord # 663
Please join us for Christmas caroling at 4 pm on Christmas Eve, led by our beautiful choir, followed by Mass at 5 pm. Everyone is welcome!