Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This Sunday we celebrate the GAUDETE SUNDAY, which is the third Sunday of Advent. Gaudete is taken from the Entrance Antiphon: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near” (paraphrase, Phil 4:4-5). Advent is a time of joyful expectation and eager preparation for the Coming of Christ and the Solemnity of Christmas. We actually have Multiple Reasons for Joy. There is joy in looking forward to the annual celebration of Christmas, but there is also joy in recalling the birth of Jesus on the first Christmas. The joy is heightened because he was born to save us from our sins (Mt 1:21b). The joy also extends to anticipation of the Second Coming, either at the end of physical life or the end of the world, the time when believers will be given the crown of righteousness (2 Tm 4:8) and a place in the Father’s house (Jn 14:2) to dwell with God and his angels and saints for all eternity. This joy is represented by the color rose that represents the dawn of the Light of Christ that draws near each day to our lives.
As Christmas draws near to us, let’s not be caught up with Christmas shopping and everything else that happens at this time of the year, but above all, let’s prepare our hearts to receive Him! Let’s start reading the bible each day, watch videos about the Christmas story, look for opportunities to help those in need, go to confession, pray Daily Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Angelus. Spend more time with our families and other people and less with electronics. Since it’s the season of giving, maybe we can even look for opportunities to give our time, whether helping St. Vincent de Paul or the Community Cupboard (Food pantry). As we are invited to Rejoice, let’s also share this joy with others.
Christmas Mass Schedule
Friday, December 24
7:30am - Daily Weekday Mass
4:00pm Upper Church - Christmas Mass - English
4:00pm Lower Church - Christmas Mass - English
6:00pm Upper Church - Christmas Mass - English
8:00pm Upper Church - Christmas Mass - Portuguese
12:00am Upper Church - Christmas Mass - English
Saturday, December 25 - All Masses will be in the Upper Church
8:00am - Christmas Mass - English
10:00am - Christmas Mass - English
1:00pm - Christmas Mass - Spanish
Since Christmas falls on Friday/Saturday this year, our mass obligation for Sunday remains the same. The Church invites us to go to mass twice that weekend, once for Christmas and once for the weekend. For example, you could attend mass on Saturday morning for Christmas and Saturday afternoon, 4:00pm for the weekend.
Father Steven Clemence