Today as we begin this very short Fourth Week of Advent, the readings give us much to reflect on about Jesus — God’s gift to all of us. The Prophet Micha tells the Israelites that from Bethlehem shall come to a ruler “whose origin is from of old,” and he will “stand firm and shepherd his flock,” God’s people. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus did not come to offer God “holocausts and sin offerings,” but obedience to his Father’s will. Finally, Elizabeth, formerly barren, is with child and she greets as Lord, the unborn child that her young relative Mary, is carrying. Indeed, Elizabeth recognizes the child to be born for who he is: The Son of God, the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb. Let us pray that like Mary, we too give birth to Jesus in our world today and may we allow Jesus to work the will of God through us in all that we say and do.
In just a few days, we will celebrate Christmas Day, but we know that our celebration of this Feast of the Incarnation does not end until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This is our beautiful Christmas Season. January 1st is a very important day for us; it is quite a buffet of rich feasts: Mary as the Mother of God, New Year’s Day and new beginnings, and The World Day of Prayer for Peace. All are invited to take part in the Liturgy. What better way to begin the New Year!
Are you coming to our parish Epiphany Party on January 6th? It’s going to be a lot of fun for you and your families. You are asked to please bring some food to share (see today’s bulletin). There will be Christmas caroling, a visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for the children, and every delightful breaking of the pinata filled with goodies for all! Let us joyfully bring our Christmas Season to a conclusion on this Feast of the Epiphany! — Love, Fr. Vince