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Feast of the Holy Family

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The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…

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MIDNIGHT MASS
Is 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.

You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.

For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.

For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains By judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

This is the Word of the Lord

Almost

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Come back to the Catholic Church at Christmas

Take a little while to think about this invitation….

Michael Dubruiel: Annunciations

Perhaps you’ve been away for a while….would you like to familiarize yourself with the Catholic Mass before returning?

The How to Book of the Mass  by Michael Dubruiel might be a good start.

Michael DubruielThe How-To Book of the Mass is the only book that not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of themost time-honored tradition of the Catholic Church but also the how.

In this complete guide you get:

  • step-by-step guidelines to walk you through the Mass
  • the Biblical roots of the various parts of the Mass and the very prayers themselves
  • helpful hints and insights from the Tradition of the Church
  • aids in overcoming distractions at Mass
  • ways to make every Mass a way to grow in your relationship with Jesus

If you want to learn what the Mass means to a truly Catholic life—and share this practice with others—you can’t be without The How-To Book…

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So many Christmases.

It is hard to believe we are already well into Advent. Advent is a time of prayer and preparation as we wait to celebrate the joyous birth of Christ.

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As people of the 21st century we are not very good at waiting. Our internet speeds have to be ever faster. The average teenager will only spend seven seconds on a web page. We expect parcels ordered online yesterday to be delivered today. Waiting in supermarket queues annoys us. We get angry at waiting times in GP surgeries. We are not very patient.

The children of today often have so many ‘Christmases’ and so many Christmas treats, before December 25th that the concept of waiting for something special sometimes seems to have almost disappeared.

But there is great peace in taking time, creating space in your lives and just waiting. Waiting allows us time to anticipate, time to reflect and time to prepare. During this Advent, we pray that we can all find the time and the patience to discover the joys of waiting.

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It is also a time to avoid the temptation to fill our lives with complications but instead to focus on simplifying our days. Jesus was born of Mary, a Jewish teenager who was probably illiterate.  This simple Jewish girl was central to the greatest happening since Creation – the Incarnation, the coming to Earth by God, in the person of Jesus.  Through Mary, God became human in order to save us.

During these days of Advent, we recall this simple, yet remarkable event and look forward in hope.

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As we give each other gifts in Christ’s name, we remember that He has given us so much. The essence of Christmas is Christ among us.  While ‘black Friday’ saw the emergence of retail mania, it is worth pausing to remember that the greatest gift we can give our family and friends is the gift of time and love at Christmas.

Our Lady Immaculate

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The Promise is fulfilled.

‘The days are coming’, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made…’ Jeremiah 33:14

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Commentary:

A promise, kept or broken, is a very important piece in the mosaic of relationships.

It evokes expectation in the heart of the one who receives it, because a promise is grounded in trust.

Trust, hope, expectancy, are the foundation and bedrock of the lives of a pilgrim people. In setting out on our journey to the Kingdom, we commit ourselves to a lifetime Advent, for on the way, we will meet our own hungers and thirst…our own deserts. We will come face-to-face with desire and disappointment. But, with promise in our ‘travel bag’, we have the courage to strain forward toward fulfilment, the Journey’s end.

Jeremiah is a man of promise. He is an instrument of hope and fulfilment. Reluctant to speak the name of the Lord, it was his trust in the promise of God that enabled him to loosen his grasp on self-concern and become the utterance of God.

We too, can trust in the Promise – the faithful love of God. We too, can become prophets and instruments of love, hope and justice in the world. The days are here. The time is now. The promise is fulfilled.

(Commentary is from an unknown source. This reflection was part of an Advent service we attended)