Happy Gaudete Sunday of Advent! It is time to break out the Rose-Pink vestment and rejoice that we are past the halfway point of this season of preparation for Christ Coming anew at Christmas.
One thing I love about Advent is the way so many of you so easily and readily embrace the outward Mission of Christ. It seems much easier to care for the less fortunate, to spread the Good News of Jesus, to work toward peace and good cheer in this time, even with the added busyness and rush. If only we could be so attentive, so open, so eager throughout the year. And yet, it is the exact same Christ, in whose birth we rejoice, that sustains and suffuses us with His Grace the whole year long. Maybe the best and longest lasting Gift to the Lord we can give is to ‘re-commitment’ to engaging the Mission of Christ through the Church for the Community each and every day.
You may have noticed that Christmas this year falls on a Saturday. Do I still need to go to Mass on Sunday? Hmmm, does this mean I can get a “Twofer”?!?! You probably can sense the tongue-in-cheek tone to my questions. Yes, Christmas falls on a Saturday. Christmas, due to the supreme importance of the Birth of our Savior, is always, always, always a Holy Day with an attached obligation to attend Mass (in-person, if physically capable). You can fulfill this expectation to honor the Lord’s Birth by attending a Christmas Eve Mass offered at or after 4p on Christmas Eve (Dec 24) or by attending on Christmas day itself (Dec 25). If a parish is hosting a standard weekend Saturday evening Mass on Dec 25, it would only ‘count’ for Christmas if the readings used are those for Christmas. Most any parish that will still be having their standard Saturday evening Mass will likely be using the Sunday Readings for the Solemnity of the Holy Family, which is always the First Sunday after Christmas and our Parish Feast Day. Sunday is always the Lord’s Day. Note: Holy Family has cancelled its standard 5p Mass on Dec 25, just to ‘remove any temptations’