Days of Joy

12-29-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Christmas Season is in full swing! While the secular world has left Christmas behind like a dried fir tree on a curb, we as Catholics celebrate it for a whole season with life. Like Easter, Christmas is such an incredible event that it can’t be contained in one celebration. We celebrate the day for eight days in what’s known as the Octave of Christmas. Every day is Christmas Day!

A reminder that Wednesday, January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation – the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Please note the Mass schedule since it is always different for this day. We have the Vigil, December 31 at 5:30pm. Then on January 1, 2020: 11:00am (English) and 7:00pm (Spanish). All Masses are in the church (138 Fairfield St. SE). Please note that there is no evening Mass or confessions on Jan. 1. Just in time for Christmas, three more of our stained-glass windows were recently installed. How grateful we are for our donors who have made these magnificent windows possible. Here is a little description of each:

The Annunciation – The Angel Gabriel delivers God’s request to the Virgin Mary. He is wearing a stylized dalmatic, the garment of the deacon at Holy Mass, who announces the Gospel during the sacred liturgy. Mary is found at prayer with her arm open, symbolizing her openness to receive the Incarnate Word. Above her is the Holy Spirit, who overshadows her and through whose power she conceives God the Son in her womb. The lilies in the left corner symbolize Mary’s purity. She reads from a scroll of the Prophet Isaiah, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

The Presentation – The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph present the Child Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem after forty days for the rites of purification and dedication as prescribed by the Torah. A Torah scroll is seen on the table in the foreground with the Holy Child above creating a meeting of the word and the Word. Jesus is held by Simeon, the just and pious man, who was awaiting the Messiah. In the passage from St. Luke’s Gospel, Simeon calls Jesus “a light for revelation to the Gentiles.” For this reason we bless candles on this day at Mass, hence the name Candlemas. Note St. Joseph holding a candle symbolizing the true Light, Jesus Christ. In the left corner are seen two turtledoves, which were given in sacrifice by those too poor to offer the usual lamb. But, of course, Mary and Joseph are offering the true Lamb, who will be sacrificed for our sins.

The Flight into Egypt – This window captures the Holy Family’s escape from Herod’s massacre of the infants, detailed in St. Matthew’s Gospel chapter 2:13-18. “The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and His mother, flee to Egypt.’” This window imagines a tender moment as St. Joseph covers the sleeping Infant on the long journey.

Let us live in the love of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Father Wilson