Message from Father Bob
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT – “REJOICE AND AGAIN I SAY REJOICE!”
Our attention during this Advent starting with last Sunday and then today is on John the Baptist. This Sunday is also called “Gaudete Sunday” or “Rejoice Sunday”. The Old Testament reading, the Responsorial Psalm, and the epistle reading each call us to rejoice. The rose candle on the Advent wreath is a cheerier color than the usual Advent violet.
Yet John the Baptist featured in the gospel is not a figure of a person you might describe as cheerful or joyful. There is tension here between John’s message, that he is a prophetic voice of one crying out in the desert, “make straight the way of the Lord.” John does not want to see any crookedness in the direction of our life; he wants us to repent and change and get pointed straight - straight to the coming messiah or the Christ. This is hardly a joyful message of glad tidings.
This is the paradox of our Christian faith which has to deal with the mystery of the divine presence in our only too human world. For example, we have to live with both greatness and lowliness, with strength and weakness, with God’s grace and our sinfulness, light and darkness, first and last, divinity and humanity – all coming together in mind-boggling mystery.
So today John the Baptist, the herald for Jesus, while decidedly unjoyful, calls us to a most joyful pursuit – following the one true light in the darkness, which the darkness could not and did not overcome. Soon we will be joyfully celebrating the birth into our world of Jesus the Christ, our Light, who will enlighten us here in this life and give us the promise of eternal joy and peace forever. “Rejoice in the Lord always!”
CONFESSSION TIMES before Christmas:
Saturday, Dec 19th, 9:00am – 10:00am, and 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Tuesday, Dec. 22nd, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, 8:30am – 9:30am
Thur., Dec. 24th, 3:00pm and 5:00pm (one hour earlier than usual)
Fri., Dec. 25th, 9:00am
Nota Bene: Because of COVID-19 restrictions we are only allowed 25% capacity in church (about 60). Basically that means when the Christmas Mass congregation reaches 60 people, the overflow will need to go over to our gym where the Mass in church will be livestreamed on TVs and Holy Communion will be brought over to the gym for people to receive.
In recent years the 4pm Christmas Eve Mass filled the church. So we are hoping by having Mass and 3p and 5pm the crowd will spread out, and I encourage you to think about coming to the Christmas morning 9am Mass which is usually not very crowded. Or if you have not been coming to church and watching it on TV on YouTube, that is still a viable option. Also by getting a wi-fi set up in church, we should now be able to send out our TV Mass in real time via livestreaming. Details coming soon. So plan ahead.
NEW MISSALETTES FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON
Pandemic protocols from the Archdiocese call for no missalettes or hymnals to be left in the pews in church. But since we have them anyway and not wanting to waste them, each parish member is invited to take one from the church entrance table and keep it for your personal use every Sunday. Write you name on the cover and take it home with you, and then remember to keep bringing it with you every weekend.
For a video tutorial visit the St. Bernadette Youtube channel or click the link below:
STARTING THIS WEEK PRINTED WORDS OF THE HYMNS AT MASS
Since it looks like it will be a long while before we can get back to using Missalettes and Hymnals because of Covid19, we will start providing a printed, throwaway sheet with just the words of the Entrance Hymn and theRecessional Hymn. Just pick up the sheet at the church entrances, and then after Mass throw it right in the trash can as you leave church. We cannot reuse any music sheet.