Advent Moving Forward

Dear Friends,

This year our Advent season is a bit truncated as the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on December 24. It means that what is always a very busy season will more than likely be even busier for everyone. But let’s keep focused on the very reason why we are in this season.

To help us, John the Baptist proclaims, “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” God sent His only Son to be our redeemer.

Jesus is fully God and fully man. In Him, divinity and humanity are joined together, married. Jesus came to us as an Infant and shares with us all our human experiences except sin. He took our guilt onto Himself, and by His death and resurrection has set us free! We have been purchased by the Blood of Christ for God our Father. This is the cause of our rejoicing, for hope-filled waiting, for living committedly as Jesus’ disciple and joyfully sharing this Good News that transforms the lives of people and thereby the life of the world.

I have had only one question on this but evidently it is an issue that has gotten some traction in some parts of the country. That is, given that Christmas Eve falls on Sunday, is there the possibility of attending only one Mass and fulfilling two obligations, that is Sunday and Christmas? The answer, of course, is no, that is not possible. (Just a point of interest, the last time this occurred was in 2006, eleven years ago.)

December 24 is the Fourth Sunday of Advent and has its own celebration and focus. It prepares us for the great feast of Christmas. Christmas, beginning with the Vigil Masses of Christmas, is a separate celebration, a true holy day, the day we rejoice in the Birth of our Lord as we await His final coming. What a blessing for us to be focused on both celebrations and to receive the overflowing graces of God’s love here and now at Holy Mass.

The Mass schedules have been publicized for quite some time due to this rather unique situation. Adjustments were made to the schedule. Information about the Mass times was sent out to your homes and you can always check the parish website for the schedule (look under the Welcome Tab). One side note, the parish office will be closed on Tuesday, December 26, so everyone can catch their breath.

May this holy season of Advent continue to be a blessing and a grace, helping us to wait expectantly, joyfully and hopefully; while at the same time urging us to hasten, press forward so as to grow in grace and to share His grace with others.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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