Infant Pre-Baptism Class
Typically we have the combined Infant Pre-Baptism Class for St. Ann and Sacred Heart on the second Monday of each month in the basement of Sacred Heart Church. Because of First Reconciliation taking place upstairs in the church that evening (and the necessity of my presence there) the Pre-Baptism Class will be in the basement of Sacred Heart as usual but starting at 8:30 p.m.! If you will be coming to this class or you know someone who plans to attend in December, please alert them that the start time is not 8:00 but 8:30 p.m.
This is an unusual year in that the fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve. The Chancery of the Archdiocese has reminded every parish to be clear in explaining that one must attend a precept Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent as well as another Mass for one’s Christmas obligation. In other words, you cannot attend one Sunday Mass and count it for Sunday as well as Christmas. There are no “2 fer’s.”
St. Ann and Sacred Heart therefore announce the following schedule of Masses for Christmas: Please note that Sunday Masses on Christmas Eve morning are at the usual times at both St. Ann and Sacred Heart.
Christmas Masses at St. Ann are scheduled for Sunday, Christmas Eve for 5:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and midnight. The midnight Mass at St. Ann will be celebrated by a Glenmary priest. Fr. Schmitz will celebrate on Christmas Day (Monday) at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Christmas Masses at Sacred Heart are scheduled for Sunday, Christmas Eve for 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. and midnight. Carols will begin at 11:10 p.m. Masses on Christmas Day (Monday) are at 8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. (Please note that the 7:00 p.m. time is a departure from the past, but I could not find a priest to have an earlier time, so I must return from St. Ann in time for this Mass.)
Annual Fr. Tharp Split the Pot
We have been selling chances for the annual “Fr. Tharp Split the Pot for St. Ann.” As in the past, we will sell tickets to the end of the calendar year. As the pot grows larger, interest swells. Encourage your friends and associates to buy early and buy often.
Tickets will be sold after all Sunday Masses in the vestibule.
Reflection on Scripture
John the Baptist lives and dresses according to the Nazarite Vow. The vow is found in Numbers 6:1-21. One must live according to celibacy, poverty, austerity, and submission to the Will of God. John used “washing” rendered and understood by the Greek verb baptizw . Only those who wish to have their sins washed away are invited by John to come into the Jordan. John’s prophetic message is all about humility. John lives humility, and his symbolic washing requires it from the penitent. He is the last and greatest prophet, who announces the Messiah. His diet of locusts and wild honey would fall short of a five star rating, but he does not care about fine dining or fashionable apparel. His focus is proclaiming the logos, the “Word” of God who is Jesus Christ.
In the Holy Sacrament of Baptism established by Jesus Christ, we take on the task of abandoning all allurements of this world in favor of putting on the image of Christ. Baptism causes an ontological change; in other words a change in who and what we are. The counselors of this world often advise, “Be true to yourself !” If only they understood that for a follower of Christ who has been changed to the core by God’s graces in baptism, the only way to be true to self is to be true to Christ. This is the humble prophetic attitude learned from John the Baptist.
Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent
Is 61:1-2a, 10-11
1 Thes 5:16-24
Jn 1:6-8, 10-28
Theme: The mission of John the Baptist.