A Sunday Reflection

Third Sunday of Advent (Cycle A)

At various times in our life we wonder whether what we have so eagerly awaited and announced has really taken place. From his prison cell, John the Baptist also wonders whether Jesus, the One he pointed to as the Lamb of God, is indeed the Messiah. To the messengers John has sent, Jesus replies by pointing out that “the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them” (Mt 11:5). Good news indeed! Rejoice!

When all around us seems dark and threatening and we start to wonder where God is, it is good to remember the words of the Psalmist: “The Lord God keeps faith forever” (Ps 146:6). Isaiah assures us that we “will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee” (Is 35:10), while St. James exhorts us to be patient “because the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Js 5:10).

The world desperately needs the One who is our hope. As we prepare our hearts to receive him this Christmas, let us be heralds of His joy by sharing with others the blessings we have received. God bless you!

Fr. Luis R. Largaespada

Christmas Mass Schedule

December 24, 2019
Christmas Eve
5:30 p.m. Christmas Vigil Family Mass (English)
11:00 p.m. Christmas Concert

December 25, 2019
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
12:00 a.m. Bilingual Midnight Mass
10:30 a.m. Mass
12:30 p.m. Misa (Español)
5:30 p.m. Mass

December 28 & 29, 2019
Feast of the Holy Family
Regular Mass Schedule

January 1, 2020
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
10:30 a.m. Mass
12:30 p.m. Misa (Español)
5:30 p.m. Mass

News

Around the Parish

Mindo Futures brought the mini-golf.

St. Hugh-Steinway Concert Series and the Knights of Columbus sold tickets for their respective events.

Celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King.

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Admirabile Signum

APOSTOLIC LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE MEANING AND IMPORTANCE OF THE NATIVITY SCENE

THE ENCHANTING IMAGE of the Christmas crèche, so dear to the Christian people, never ceases to arouse amazement and wonder…. I wish to encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas.

I would like now to reflect on the various elements of the nativity scene in order to appreciate their deeper meaning. First, there is the background of a starry sky wrapped in the darkness and silence of night. We represent this not only out of fidelity to the Gospel accounts, but also for its symbolic value. We can think of all those times in our lives when we have experienced the darkness of night. Yet even then, God does not abandon us, but is there to answer our crucial questions about the meaning of life. Who am I? Where do I come from? Why was I born at this time in history? Why do I love? Why do I suffer? Why will I die? It was to answer these questions that God became man.

The landscapes that are part of the nativity scene also deserve some mention. Frequently they include the ruins of ancient houses or buildings…. the ruins are the visible sign of fallen humanity, of everything that inevitably falls into ruin, decays and disappoints. This scenic setting tells us that Jesus is newness in the midst of an aging world, that he has come to heal and rebuild, to restore the world and our lives to their original splendor.

With what emotion should we arrange the mountains, streams, sheep and shepherds in the nativity scene! As we do so, we are reminded that, as the prophets had foretold, all creation rejoices in the coming of the Messiah. The angels and the guiding star are a sign that we too are called to set out for the cave and to worship the Lord.

It is customary to add many symbolic figures to our nativity scenes. First, there are the beggars and the others who know only the wealth of the heart…. The presence of the poor and the lowly in the nativity scene remind us that God became man for the sake of those who feel most in need of his love and who ask him to draw near to them.

[We] often love to add to the nativity scene other figures that have no apparent connection with the Gospel accounts… From the shepherd to the blacksmith, from the baker to the musicians, from the women carrying jugs of water to the children at play: all this speaks of the everyday holiness, the joy of doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way, born whenever Jesus shares his divine life with us.

(To be continued)

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