The priests of St. John's extend to each of you the warmth and the love of this sacred celebration of the Savior's coming among us. May you have peace in your heart as God's promise of salvation unfolds. You will be included in our intentions as we celebrate mass during the Christmas season.
Jesus came for all of us. Kindly invite a friend or neighbor to join us for this joyful celebration of Christmas. We welcome all!
HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
Americans can appear to be abrupt, insensitive and partisan to an outsider. The pace of life we live may give that impression to anyone. But deep down, we Americans are very compassionate, understanding and respectful. Nowhere does the quality of character of Americans surface as much as the respect that each one shows to the person who gave life - their mothers. Deep down, there is a tremendous appreciation and respect for the person who brought forth the life we live.
Christianity has its "Mother." In the person of Mary, who bore the Messiah in human form, we acknowledge the pre-eminent position of this woman who had such a vital role in the redemption of mankind. Because of her role, she has been elevated from the earliest days of the Church to the "First Woman of Christianity."
The Virgin Mother Mary had three great privileges in her lifetime 2000 years ago. The first and greatest, and the source of the other two, was her divine motherhood. Through the intervention of the Holy Spirit, Mary conceived and bore a son who was called Jesus.
Mary's other two privileges were her Immaculate Conception, in preparation for her divine motherhood, and her Assumption a reward that followed her divine motherhood. Although the Immaculate Conception of Mary was not virginal, it was special and unique. Pope Pius IX explained in 1854, "the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception.
The Blessed Mother can be a powerful model and intercessor for us who face the challenges of life in the 21st Century. The restoration of the family through solid marriages, the reversal of the culture of violence that has overtaken our society and the reinforcement of Godly values in public and private are objectives which should call us back to Mary's shining example, back to the Rosary, back to her prayerful support in our struggles. Holy Mary, pray for us!
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent
Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.