Father David’s Letter
Dear Friends in Christ,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor” – Isaiah 61:1 (cited in Luke 4:18). These words are sung in the Gospel acclamation this Sunday, and they sum up the themes of this Gaudete Sunday – joy and gladness. We visually mark this special day of joy with the lighting of the lighter candle and the wearing of rose vestments (yes, yes, I know, they look “pink”, but you get the point!)
I don’t know about you, but at about this time of the season things can get pretty hectic for me – prepping things at church, finishing Christmas shopping, attending Christmas pageants, and doing all the various and sundry Adventy and Christmasy things that I do every year. The days are full, the time is short, and often I just don’t get everything done that I would like. I’m guessing though that many of you share this sentiment, that you just can’t get your Christmas experience perfect according to your or others’ expectations. Frankly this season can be downright hairsplitting when we try to do every little thing perfectly, to not forget one little tradition the family always does, to find or make the absolute perfect present for each person on your list, to send each person the right card with the right message at the right moment, and so on. The high stress we heap on ourselves this time of year can lead to what some call “Christmas fatigue”, and it can leave some with a not-so-jolly feeling when what is hailed as the “most wonderful time of the year” is over.
Enter Gaudete Sunday. This jovial moment has been described as “the dawning of the divine mystery”. The deep violet of midnight, or “darkness”, is broken by the rose of dawn. Liturgically the “Sun of Justice” has not risen fully, but he can now be glimpsed on the horizon. He is coming, he will not delay, and we are brimming with joy at his impending arrival.
The significance of this day at this precise moment of the holiday season cannot be overstated. As I already mentioned, we sometimes expect too much of ourselves and others during this time, and often just get worn out, such that we don’t feel joy but rather exhaustion and letdown. Gaudete Sunday reminds us that the true joy of this season does not hinge on what WE can accomplish or obtain, but on what HAS BEEN DONE FOR US by He whose joy is everlasting and can’t be wrapped up in a box or bought on Amazon or even found at the North Pole. That joy can be found in the simplest and poorest of Christmas celebrations, and it cannot be taken away even by the meanest of Scrooges.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t have the “perfect” Christmas. Christmas is already perfect, and there is nothing you or I can do to add to or take away from that truth.
Don’t stress and be well, and rejoice that the Lord is near!
Christmas and New Year’s Mass Schedule
December 24th – 4:00pm Mass
11:30pm Choir Concert
December 25th – Midnight Mass
December 31st – 4:00pm
January 1st – 10:00am – Followed by Virgin Mary Breakfast served in Mary Hall – Cost $5 – Call parish office for reservations
St. Mary’s 125th Anniversary Celebration is well on its way!
From August 15, 2019 thru August 15, 2020, you can order you St. Mary T-Shirt that portrays the image of our Blessed Mother as rendered by a 2019 Montini graduate and St. Mary parishioner, Rebecca Bodden! There’s more than just T-Shirts to choose from. Go to this link to order choice of style and sizes: https://inktothepeople.com/st-mary-catholic-church-125th-anniversary-/
Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂
St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE! What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123
Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your spiritual life and get updates on what’s happening at St. Mary!Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically beone of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.