Fourth Sunday of Advent

12-18-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. Antony Arockiadoss

Dear Family!

We had a busy week in celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe festival, thanks to all the organizers and volunteers. Our Mother has done everything for us and we are blessed to get every opportunity to venerate her especially under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of the Americas.

A special word of thanks to Mrs. Kucinski and all the teachers who were involved in preparing our kids for the ‘School Christmas Performance’ on December 16th, 7pm. They were terrific! Thanks to all the parents and family who participated and blessed our children.

A special word of thanks also to the Advent penance service ministry and all the priests who came our parish for confessions. Also the Giving Tree ministry in helping our poor during these festive days of Christ coming among us.

Christmas traditions are very important to us, especially the Christmas decorations like the Nativity scene and the Christmas Tree. A few days ago, our Pope said, “The Nativity scene is a genuine way of communicating the gospel, in a world that sometimes seems to be afraid of remembering what Christmas really is and eliminates Christian symbols, only to retain those drawn from a banal, commercial imagination.”

Tradition has it that Saint Francis enlisted real people in his Nativity pageant in 1223, but the tradition lived on to become the crèches we are used to seeing today. I urge all of you to dedicate a special place for your own nativity scene at home and keep this tradition alive and encourage your children to do the same as Pope Francis wills, “ that this custom will never be lost and that, whatever it has fallen into disuse, it can be rediscovered and revived.”

The readings point to the Messianic prophesy, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” We are the beholders of this prophecy and the Crèche is pointing us to this message. By decorating your home with these strong Christian symbols, we in turn communicate the Gospel message that God is in our midst - Emmanuel.

It would be a nice suggestion to teach our children that the remaining days of Advent to be a preparation for the ‘Baby Shower’. We bring our own gifts of decorated souls, humble hearts and serving attitude to the new born Jesus. May your preparations be guided by the Holy Spirit as you relive and revive the long standing Christian traditions! Please find the prayer for blessing your Nativity scene at home in the last page of the bulletin.

Fr. Antony