From the Desk of Father Tharp
Masses for Christmas
Sacred Heart. St. Ann
December 24 3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
December 25 12:00 a.m. 12:00 a.m. (Fr. Duggins)
8:00 a.m 9:00 a.m. (Fr. Peterka)
10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. (Fr. Pucke)
Fr. Tharp will celebrate all Masses except the three so noted.
Reflection on Scripture
The readings from Sacred Scripture for the Fourth Sunday of Advent focus decidedly on the birth of Jesus; not on the Second Coming. Any date after December 17 is always considered “Late Advent.” Late Advent changes the focus of Advent from the Second Coming to the celebration of the Birthday of Jesus; but this is especially true when the Fourth Sunday of Advent is two calendar days before Christmas.
The story recounted in Luke’s gospel is the Visitation. Even though Jesus and John the Baptist were still in the womb, John the Baptist leaps for joy that Jesus is so near. Isn’t it amazing that almost all members of our contemporary Christian society can accept that two pre-natal babies, one a prophet and the other the Son of God, recognized each other while still in their mothers’ wombs; but those same people cannot admit that babies still in the womb are human beings with a right to life? Even some states have civil and criminal law that attaches recovery rights to an unborn baby if he or she is killed in an accident or during the commission of a crime. But if the same child suffers the fate of being carried by a pressured or distraught mother who is told she should not wish him or her to be born, the pregnancy can be terminated legally and without fear of civil or criminal prosecution or penalty.
By being born into humanity, Jesus dignifies all human life as sacred. We must never discard the sacred as if it were trash. Jesus tells us that the highest directive is to love God and love neighbor. As we approach Christmas, let us rededicate ourselves to reverence the gift of life we have from God, and the gift of life we see in neighbor.
Next Weekend: Feast of the Holy Family
1 Sm 1:20-22, 24-28
1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24
Theme: The Christ-centered family is a Holy Family