Peace and all Good! As we gather on this Fourth Sunday of Advent, our minds and hearts are focused on the coming celebration of Christmas. As we end Advent, we begin to hear of the events surrounding the birth of Christ: the reason for the Season. Isaiah reminds us of the promise once made to the house of David that a maiden would bear a son who would be named Emmanuel—God is with us. Written about 700 years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah clearly speaks of something unique, even mysterious, something that only God in his power could bring about. St. Joseph is at the center of our Gospel today. He receives God’s promise and he is given consolation and peace knowing that now the Scriptures are being fulfilled. He obeys God’s commands and takes Mary into his home and becomes the human father of the Son of God. As we stand on the threshold of our celebration of the birth of Christ, we thank God for his promise of Christ—both as the child and as the One who will return in glory. Let us use these next final days of Advent wisely in preparation for him to enter our hearts. “O come divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day when hope shall sing its triumph and sadness flee away!” (Advent Hymn).
Our Christmas Season Mass schedule is on the back cover of today’s bulletin. Please keep it handy. I would like to remind us that we have a special Children’s Procession and homily on Christmas morning at the 10:00 a.m. Mass (English) and at the Noon Mass (Spanish. It is always sweet to see the children process to the manger scene and then to hear their delightful sharing in the homily. So, if you have young school-age children coming, this would be the best Mass for them.
As we approach a new year, it is time for us to begin our Discernment Process for new Pastoral Council members. On January 5th, you will have the opportunity to recommend fellow parishioners to serve on the Council for a period of three years. Please think about this in the coming weeks and come prepared to nominate people who can work as a team and are dedicated to monthly meetings to do the work of overseeing our parish pastoral plan with its goals and objectives. Thank you.
On another note, please mark your calendars for a special Epiphany Piano Concert on Sunday, January 5th at 2:00 p.m. in Serra Center. The concert of piano music— classical and Christmas season music—will be played by a very young gifted musician, Matthew Sakata, who is really very good! I have heard him play and I can attest that you will be amazed by the music this eleven‐year‐old lad is able to perform! Following the hour‐long concert will be a lovely reception. A free-will offering is welcomed.
In closing, I pray that we each may find even a few precious moments to reflect more deeply on the great feast we will celebrate on December 25th! May the Lord bless you and your families in abundance now and always! A Blessed and Merry Christmas to one and all!
Love, Fr. Vince